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Ecuador, South America: Where to Go and What to Do

Ecuador, South America: Where to Go and What to Do – Written by Gabriela Boldan

Ecuador has beautiful landscapes, amazing culture, and beautiful people. It is an ideal place to visit any time of the year, enjoying the beauty of the Amazon jungle, the amazing cathedrals, and the many activities each city has to offer.

We travelled with our 4-years old daughter, and we can say that it was easier than we thought. So, we definitely recommend this destination for families. How did we spend our holidays? Let’s find out:

Where did we go

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Quito

Ecuador South America

Our trip to Ecuador started in Quito, the capital city, and we had great times. We recommend you to:

  1. Visit some beautiful cathedrals (most beautiful cathedrals we’ve ever seen)
  2. Climb to the top of Basilica of the National Vow
  3. Stroll in the beautiful narrowed Inca streets
  4. Visit the Virgin of El Panecillo, located on top of a loaf-shaped hill in the heart of the city
  5. Take the cable car to the top of the Pichincha Volcano to see some fantastic views of the city
  6. Visit the museums La Capilla Del Hombre and Casa Museo Guayasamin
  7. Go for a day trip to the famous Cotopaxi Volcano by train (Ruta de Los Volcanes – Tren Ecuador)
  8. Visit the Ciudad Mitad del Mundo (The Middle of the World) – a half-day is enough
  9. Go for a day trip to beautiful Otavalo town to visit the famous Otavalo Market in the central Plaza de Ponchos and take a boat trip on the Laguna de Cuicocha
  10. Enjoy dinner at the Restaurante Vista Hermosa in Centro Historico Quito. It is an excellent top roof restaurant with delicious food and the best city view at night.

Tip: The best way to explore Quito is by taxi/cab. They are fast and inexpensive. You can also hire a taxi driver for the whole day trip to Otavalo for an excellent price.

Lago Agrio

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This is a magical place! The bird and animal watching while exploring the canals of the Amazon rainforest, the spotting of Amazon dolphins, the “hunting” of crocodiles sleeping under the cabins, the piranha’s fishing for lunch and the exploring of the forest at night to spot the creatures of the night, are a lifetime experience.

We recommend visiting one of Ecuador’s indigenous Amazon tribes where you will learn how to make yucca bread

Tip: For the best experience, we recommend staying at the Amazonian rainforest in the Cuyabeno region

Banos de Agua Santa

Ecuador South America

This picturesque town is very well known for adventure sports. Banos de Agua Santa is only a couple of hours away from Quito by bus, and it’s at the base of an active volcano called Tungurahua. We recommend you to:

  1. Take a horseback riding tour to see the Tungurahua volcano and a tour to Ruta de las Cascadas to discover seven beautiful waterfalls. At the end of the route, Pailon del Diablo, you will be amazed by the most dramatic cascades you’ve ever seen
  2. Visit the famous swing on the Tree at Casa de Arbol. Allow yourself to experience the freedom on a huge swing, hanging from a tree on the edge of a mountain with views of the Tungurahua volcano (the feeling of flying above the mountains is impressive)
  3. Another great adventure is zip line through trees, basically flying from the top of a mountain to another, above the fantastic waterfalls
  4. Go to Dino Park, a beautiful natural park. The place is full of dinosaurs’ statues, and there are many stops where you can see local exotic birds and little animals. Do not miss the viewpoint at the top of the mountain where you can see beautiful views of the city. It is ideal for kids!
  5. Let adrenaline fill your body during adventurous rafting in the Pastaza river while exploring the astonishing views of the Andes Mountains and Amazon rainforest
  6. Banos is also known for its thermal baths, so you can enjoy relaxing moments in the thermal baths of the city.

Mindo

Mindo is a small idyllic town in the Andes Mountains.  The zip line in the forest-cloud, walking in the gardens of butterflies and orchids, visiting the El Quetzal Mindo chocolate factory, and birdwatching tours should be on your list.

The whole experience was terrific, and we highly recommend it as it is a lifetime trip!

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