The Galapagos are located six hundred miles west of the Ecuadorian coastline. Its wonders span from the most varied and incredible geological formations: lava flows, blowholes, spatter cones, lava tunnels, to beaches of olive, black, or white sand and the most diverse species of animal and plant life. The most surprising sight for visitors however, is perhaps the varied species of animals, which inspired Charles Darwin on his visit in 1835.
This small town of some 22,000 inhabitants is justly famous for its friendly people and their Saturday Market. The Market dates back to pre-Inca times when jungle products were brought up from eastern lowlands and traded for highlands goods, today's market serves two different groups; locals who buy and barter animals, food and other essentials, and tourists looking for crafts. Here you will find everything from ceramic pots, jewelry to hats made of wool or straw and native paintings.
Cuenca's cobblestone streets, graceful ironwork balconies, flowered plazas, museums and religious art treasures recall her long association with Spain. It's the third largest city in Ecuador marked by shining church domes dating from the 15th & 17th centuries; the earliest buildings dating back to 1557. Several Inca ruins and temples, and museums provide evidence for Ecuador's rich cultural heritage. Cuenca retains a pleasantly provincial air.
In just few hours, you can travel from the Andean Peaks surrounding Quito, to the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest, a living emerald which adorns our world with rare beauty and natural wonders. It extends over 5.5 million square kilometers and is home to more varities of plants and animals than any other place on earth. Birdwatchers will love the close encounter with nature staying at one of the lodges located in remote areas of the Amazon wilderness.
Coca, a sprawling oil town with no street signs and unpaved roads is the gateway to this world of unsoiled nature, where you can take visits to Indian Villages, overnights in Jungle lodges, walks through lush rain-forest in search of brilliant toucans and parrots, and traveling by dug-out canoe down hidden tributaries, are all part of the adventure awaiting in the Amazon Jungle.
The Capital City of Ecuador - Quito has wonderful spring-like climate. It is in a valley flanked by majestic mountains and on a clear day, several snow-capped volcanoes are visible from the capital. Is rich in history and much of the old colonial town is well preserved, the buildings are unchanged and to walk down colonial Quito's streets late at night is to step into bygone eras. Quito nestles a rich treasury of religious and decorative architecture and arts.
Just one and a half hours north of Quito, the snow-capped Cotopaxi volcano is the focal point of Ecuador?s most visited park. Majestic and powerful, Cotopaxi - the highest active volcano in the world - has drawn adventurous travelers, as well as the nature lover by the excellent hiking, climbing, mountain biking and horseback riding opportunities, others come simply to enjoy the sprawling, 33,393 hectares of grassland and the chance to see condor, deer and hummingbirds.
Papallacta Resort and Spa, located 40 miles east of Quito perched on a high Andean valley, offers its visitors health, recreation, adventure and rest. Whether relaxing in the thermal baths, indulging in pampering spa treatments, or embarking on adventure walks at the Rancho del Canon (Canyon Ranch) or Cayambe-Coca Ecological Reserve, you are sure to enjoy the Papallacta experience. Excellent accommodation in hotel rooms or luxury cabins is complemented by our restaurants which serve a range of culinary delights to tickle your tastebuds.
The most important Ecuador's port, this city is a good departure point or gateway for the Galapagos. The most populous and active city in Ecuador, Guayaquil is Ecuador's commercial center. Shopping bargains abound. Rich and varied seafood is a culinary specialty. Las Penas neighborhood preserves the colonial period at its best. Guayaquil is the natural gateway to beautiful beaches and nautical sports, and offers great entertainment with its many restaurants, nightclubs, and casinos.
Banos is located on the northern foothills of the Tungurahua volcano and is the second most populous city in Tungurahua, after Ambato, the capital, and is a major tourist center. It is known as the 'Gateway to the Amazon', as it the last big city still located in the mountains before reaching the jungle and other towns that are located in the Amazon River basin.
Riobamba's central location in Ecuador makes it a mandatory site of transit for travelers en route between north and south, or between coastal and oriental regions. It is also the center of expeditions and excursions to the mountains, the National Parks such as Sangay, the nature reserve of Chimborazo and Carihuairazo. The most beautiful mountains in Ecuador are found surrounding Riobamba, forming one of the most spectacular landscapes in Andes Mountain.
VOLCANO PROTECTED AREA IN THE ANDES
Just one and a half hours north of Quito, the snow-capped Cotopaxi volcano is the focal point of Ecuador's most visited park. Majestic and powerful, Cotopaxi - the highest active volcano in the world - has drawn adventurous travelers, as well as the nature lover by the excellent hiking, climbing, mountain biking and horseback riding opportunities, others come simply to enjoy the sprawling, 33,393 hectares of grassland and the chance to see condor, deer and hummingbirds.
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