On April 16, 2016, Ecuador experienced a 7.8-magnitude earthquake along its Pacific coast, leaving more than 600 people dead, thousands more injured and homeless, and many buildings and schools damaged. A state of emergency was declared in six affected provinces (Esmereldas, Los Rios, Manabi, Santa Elena, Guayas and Santo Domingo), and relief efforts underway.
Ecuador has long been known for its intricately weaved textiles, colorful jewelry, and even as the original source of the Panama hat (they were first made in Ecuador, but shipped abroad through nearby Panama). With a combination of Andean, European, African, and North American influences, Ecuador offers unlimited shopping opportunities for visitors interested in the […]
With the Galapagos Islands comprising the westernmost part of the South American continent, as well as the country of Ecuador, sunsets in the archipelago are some of the most spectacular to be found on the planet, and perfect for snapping unforgettable photographs each day. Smack in the middle of the island group, Rabida Island (also […]
In Ecuador, the title of “Largest City” belongs not to its capital, but to Guayaquil, that steamy, bustling port city near the Pacific Ocean just south of the equator. With a modern and popular waterfront promenade, a large colonial zone, buzzing nightlife, and an eclectic restaurant scene, Ecuador’s commercial capital more than makes up for what it lacks in Andean quaintness.
Cradled high in the Ecuadorian Andes, the impressively preserved colonial city of Cuenca beckons visitors with its forest of cathedrals, wrought-iron balconies and cobblestone streets. Evocative of the era of Spanish colonial rule — beautiful architecture masking a brutal endeavor — Cuenca still encompasses palpable vestiges of the pre-Columbian cultures resident in the region, such […]
The tour promised the classic “Old Town” highlights – the Basilica de Voto Nacional, Independence Plaza, Iglesia La Compañía de Jesús, and the Monastery of San Francisco among them. We were also to tour a local market, have lunch at an Ecuadorian restaurant and to visit a family-run candle factory. But as often happens, the highlights of the day ended up not being the planned stops, but those that were tailored to our individual interests and allowed Sylvia to show off her love for her city.
Quito is, quite literally, a city that can take your breath away. At over 9000 ft above sea level and just a few degrees shy of the Equator, the air is fresh and the sun’s rays a bit stronger, especially in the mornings. So I decided to take advantage of a beautiful Monday morning to take a leisurely walk to the meeting place assigned for my culinary tour of Quito.
Ecuador is a hiker’s paradise, with forested trails and mountain passes galore. But aside from being the capital city, Quito offers up more than a few breathtaking options for hiking in the surrounding area, providing quiet refuge from the bustle of the metropolis. Easy but adventurous hiking trails such as the Parque Metropolitano, La Carolina […]
Aside from being Ecuador’s capital city, as a seat of pre-Columbian culture and civilization for centuries before the Spanish pitched their tents, Quito serves as a prime location for some of the country’s best museums. From stately institutions showcasing Andean, colonial, and Republican art, to the Equator-straddling collection of artefacts and iconography from the Ecuador’s […]
Since most visitors to the Galapagos Islands spent nights aboard the cruise ships that course through the archipelago, lodging on the islands themselves isn’t always the first consideration. That doesn’t mean that the array of accommodations aren’t worth the consideration. On the contrary, several of the islands feature hotels for every budget — from hostels to […]