Ecuador is a beautiful, green, and luscious country, filled with adventure, nature, culture, and history. It’s one of my favorite places I’ve visited (read more about my visit here), and now I’ll take you through ten reasons you need to visit as well!
The Andes Mountains start in Ecuador and extend down the length of South America. The mountains tower over villages and hold cities high up in the air. Whether you’re climbing the mountains, or just driving up them to reach Cuenca or Quito for a visit, you’ll be able to marvel at the size and beauty of the Andes.
Artists produce handicrafts of excellent quality, made possible because they have worked for years at perfecting their craft. You can see the work of weavers, textile producers, jewelers, ceramicists, and wood carvers creating their art in their shops. The only problem is trying not to buy too much!
Actual origin of Panama Hats
Panama hats originated here in Ecuador, where they were produced and shipped to the workers digging the Panama canal. Visit an authentic Panama hat shop, where you will be fascinated by the machinery they use to shape the hats from straw, and the handiwork that goes into refining the details and embellishments.
These hairy fellas like to hang out in the Andes, at an altitude of at least 11,500ft (3,500m). Moving slowly about as they graze all day, they’ll often pose for a photo, but don’t get too close as to scare them off! And since they grow more hair than they know what to do with, you’ll have the chance to buy the softest alpaca scarves and blankets in the market.
At the Equator!
In Ecuador, the Republique de Equator, you can visit the equator and stand firmly with one foot in the Northern Hemisphere and one in the Southern. It’s a pretty amazing accomplishment, to be in two places at once.
Ecuador is known for its rich, vast biodiversity, especially on the Galapagos Islands and in the Amazon Jungle. All over the country, a wealth of species is represented. With thousands of different types of animals roaming around and tens of thousands of types of plants, you will have your eyes full with all the life to observe!
With much of the country situated at high altitude and a number of cities high up in the Andes, you’ll have the chance to spend time at high altitude, even just as a casual tourist. You may even feel yourself acclimatizing, and you’ll have such strong lungs when you return home!
Andean Indigenous Persons
The indigenous persons in Ecuador are happy with their customary ways, not inclined to alter their dress or lifestyle to suit the modern trends. Often living in the cities at altitude, their Panama hats, wool ponchos, sun-darkened skin, and short stature give them away. They are very interesting persons to observe, but be sure not take photos of them, as it is highly disrespectful and offensive.
It is no wonder Ecuador is a major agricultural exporter, given their rich fertile lands that are soaked with nutrients from the volcanos and rivers. Ecuador is one of the world’s top producers of quinoa, roses, and chocolate. Be sure to visit the plantations for this produce when you’re there, so you can see how they’re grown!
Last, but certainly not least, is the Amazon jungle, in all of its natural and mysterious glory. Many a myth has been told about what happens in the Amazon, but you’ll have to just see it for yourself! Whether you take on the jungle with a hike, a swim, or a nature walk, always go with a guide. You’ll also want to check out the 8 Items You Must Bring to the Amazon Jungle.