Latin America Travel & Tour Information
Ecuador Travel Information
How would you like to venture to the heights to hear the roar of an active volcano and then, a couple of hours later, swim in the Pacific's warm waters and taste the specialties of exotic local cuisine? Would you like to visit a rather modern church and just across the street, as if through a time tunnel, walk into a 17th century cathedral? Would you like to eat a juicy banana right off the bunch? Maybe dive surrounded by harmless sharks? Or perhaps place yourself in both hemispheres at the same time knowing that you are at the center of the earth? This is just a fraction of what is to be found in this country, the smallest on the western South American coast. In Ecuador, everything is contrast, difference and mix.
Incomparable natural beauties, volcanoes, rivers, picturesque coastlines, dense jungles, waterfalls, mountains, beaches and SPAs are all to explore and enjoy within such a small extension. Whale watching, trekking, horse riding, surfing or practicing all sorts of extreme sports are available to the visitor of Ecuador. Contrasts in its nature, in its cities, in its ethnic composition, in its traditions and its climate, which constantly complement each other. Travel infrastructure is highly developed, diverse and prepared to meet every traveler's needs.
A crowded religious-festivity calendar throughout the year enlivens the traditions of the several ethnic groups that proudly exhibit their products, crafts and way of life. The most remarkable are The Feast of Flowers (Fiesta de las Flores) and Ambato's Fruits (las Frutas de Ambato), the latter the biggest carnival in Ecuador, a pleasant explosion of colors and nature.
Ecuador's markets are famous for their high-quality and diverse craft. You will be tempted by the aromas and the smells while walking past these fairs, and you will enjot tasting the many varieties of food this country has to offer, an outcome of cultures' intermingling. The guineapig is, for example, a typical dish from the days before the Spanish introduced beef, or the 'yaguarlocro' (meaning blood soup in Quetchuan tongue), a classic of the highlands, based on heated cattle blood, avocadoes, onions, potatoes and tomatoes. During the Easter Week, a 'fanesca' may appear on the menu, which is a delicious fish, egg and bean soup. Up in the mountains, specialties like the 'llapingachos', potato omelets accompanied by a wide variety of pastries and other types of food based on pork, are cooked in huge oil boilers. In the coastal areas, while enjoying the sun and the cool temperatures, there is plenty of seafood, fresh fruits and vegetables, plus the classic dish: the 'ceviche', marinated fish or seafood, combined according to different recipes with lime, chili, onions, cilantro and other spices. There are different ceviche specialties in accordance to the region, but it always comes escorted by the traditional fried plantains (patacones). Perhaps you would like to try their typical alcoholic beverages like the 'canelazo', a hot cocktail mixed with cinnamon and sugar, and of course, not to forget coffee and its many varieties.