This is a country that seems to have it all: Andean peaks, Amazon rainforest, indigenous markets, colonial towns, sun-drenched beaches – not to mention a rather famous chain of volcanic islands full of fascinating wildlife. Adding to the appeal is Ecuador’s small size and its ease of travel.

After days of Ecuadorian adventures, there are many appealing places where you can go to relax amid awe-inspiring scenery. Head to the mountainous highlands to recharge at a historic hacienda, or find Zenlike beauty amid a cloud-forest lodge near Mindo. There are peaceful, timeless mountain villages like Vilcabamba and picturesque former gold-mining towns like Zaruma that offer a perfect antidote to the vertiginous rush of modern-day life.

Picturesque colonial centers, Kichwa villages, Amazonian rainforest and the breathtaking heights of the Andes – Ecuador may be small, but it has a dazzling array of wonders.

Interesting facts about Ecuador:

  • The top of Mt. Chimborazo in Quito is as far as you can get from the center of the earth. This may sound crazy – there are many mountains higher than Chimborazo – however the earth bulges at the equator, making Chimborazo technically 1.5 miles higher than Mt. Everest.
  • Ecuador is the world’s largest exporter of bananas.
  • Ecuador is the smallest Andean country