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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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