Ecuador may not  but the first place that springs to mind when you are thinking of where to spend your next holiday, but this South American paradise has plenty to offer. Located north of the continent, with the Pacific Ocean just off its western coast, its equatorial situation lends it its beauty. Its welcoming and diverse Spanish-speaking population, and its equally diverse landscape are reasons to venture to the country, to see new things with new eyes.

Getting there, getting around

Getting to Ecuador is not a short and sweet affair; the journey often takes close to a day, with a minimum of two stops. The top destination is the country’s capital, Quito, so initially, you might want to rest your bones in one of the city’s before exploring the country’s diverse countryside.

Scattered about are luxury accommodation options, mixed with reasonably priced resorts along the beach. If you are going for a beach-style holiday, you can stay on the glamorous Decameron hotel in Mompiche. If on a tighter budget, book a room in town.

Four-in-one

Imbabura, also known as “The Land of Lakes” is a province big on tourism, for very good reasons. Volcanoes are not an uncommon sight in Imbabura; in light of the warnings having been issued about activity, just appreciate their beauty from afar. Do also take the time to appreciate the simple splendour of the páramo, with its rosette vegetation and shrubs. Outside the province’s border, and in that of Esmeraldas, you can gaze at the Siete Cascadas – the Seven Waterfalls – in awe.

Head to Cube for the sight of lakes, birds and howler monkeys. The chocolate lover can make a pilgrimage to Valle Hermoso which economically relies on its harvest of cocoa. Santo Domingo has quite the concentration of the ethnic group of Tsáchilas, with their variegated wear and fascinating culture.

All very distinct areas in Ecuador, the four regions in the country are equally worthy of a visit. Ecuador is truly a land of fire and ice, with the Andes’ snowy mountains coexisting with the sweltering heat of the Amazon. From the Coast region, facing the Pacific Ocean, one can make one’s way to the Galapagos Islands, holding one of the most diverse portfolios of life. Follow in Darwin’s footsteps, or make marks of your own along the sandy beach. When it comes to holidays in Ecuador, sky is the limit.

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