Category: Things to Do

Holy Week in Quito

April 14, 2014

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Procession participants during Holy Week in Quito. Photo courtesy of Carlos Tobon Franco via Flickr.

High atop the Andes at 9,350 feet above sea level, there are few cities on Earth closer to Heaven. Quito is known throughout Latin America as a bastion of staunch Roman Catholicism, and hundreds of centuries-old churches stand lording over the Ecuadorian capital. During the week-long run-up to Easter—Semana Santa, or Holy Week (this year, […]

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Discovering Ecuador’s Indigenous Tribes

March 27, 2014

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Visiting Ecuador's Kichwa tribe. Photo courtesy of Cancilleria Ecuador via Flickr.

From mysterious Amazonian witch doctors to colorfully-dressed Andean craftsmen, Ecuador is a melting pot of cultural influences, renowned for its rich and diverse indigenous populations. More than fourteen ethnic groups make up the country’s indigenous population, each with their own time-honored traditions and languages, and in recent years, many tribes have welcomed the chance to share their unique culture and heritage with visiting tourists. Whether you’re trekking through the Amazon, taking a day trip from Quito into the mountains, or joining in the festivities at a traditional folk festival, here are some ideas for discovering Ecuador’s indigenous tribes.

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In Photos: 10 Reasons to Visit the Galapagos Islands in Spring

March 13, 2014

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Galapagos Land Iguanas. Photo courtesy of Sophs74 via Flickr.

Spring might mean the start of the rainy season in the Galapagos Islands, but its calm, warm waters and balmy temperatures make it the ideal time for cruising around the islands. Spring is also the main mating and breeding season for the islands’ vast array of inhabitants, with marine creatures coming ashore to lay their eggs, newborn seal pups lounging on the rocks and colorful wildflowers blooming in the highlands. Whether you’re snorkeling, scuba diving or wildlife spotting from the shore, here are 10 of the best reasons to visit the Galapagos Islands in spring.

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What Not to do in Quito

February 27, 2014

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Quito, Ecuador

From exploring the UNESCO-listed Old Town to scaling a volcano on the world’s second-highest cable car, there are plenty of things to do in the Ecuadorian capital, but to help you make the most of your trip, here are a few tips for what not to do in Quito.

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8 of the Most Beautiful Places in Ecuador

December 5, 2013

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Quito, Ecuador. Photo courtesy of Rinaldo W. via Flickr.

From the vast Amazon rainforest in the East to the rugged peaks of the Andes mountains and the windswept beaches of the pacific coast; Ecuador packs a surprising variety of scenery into its borders. Whether you’re hiking in a National Park or cruising the legendary Galapagos Islands, here are 8 of the most beautiful places in Ecuador to add to your itinerary.

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Day Trip to Gualaceo and Chordeleg from Cuenca

November 11, 2013

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This summer, I had to pleasure of taking my first trip to Ecuador, and the town of Cuenca and its surrounding area was a big draw to me. With the region’s cultural heritage from many indigenous groups and its artisan heritage

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Sustainable Development in Ecuador

October 10, 2013

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Enjoy ecotourism in Ecuador. Photo courtesy of joel_nilsson via Flickr.

With a vast variety of native ecosystems crammed into such a small country, it’s no surprise that Ecuador has become a pioneer of eco-tourism, setting up a number of initiatives to preserve and protect both its natural environments and its indigenous cultures.

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How to Choose a Galapagos Cruise

September 12, 2013

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Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.

With 19 main islands and numerous smaller isles presenting a smorgasbord of wildlife, taking a cruise around Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands is atop many traveler’s bucket lists, but with dozens of tour companies offering everything from half day boat tours to 12-day all-inclusive cruises, it’s tough to know which one to choose. To help you consider your options, here are a few tips for how to choose a Galapagos Cruise.

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Best Day Trips from Quito

August 15, 2013

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Mitad del Mundo, Ecuador.

Whether scaling the heights of the ancient Pichincha Volcano or gazing over the city from a church rooftop, there’s plenty to keep you busy in Quito, the world’s first UNESCO World Heritage listed city, but the Ecuadorian capital also makes a great base for exploring the rest of the country. From trekking in the rainforest to standing on the equator line: here are some of the best day trips from Quito.

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Visiting San Cristóbal Island

July 18, 2013

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The easternmost island in the Galapagos archipelago and the first stop for most flights from mainland Ecuador, San Cristóbal offers visitors so much more than a convenient gateway to the islands. Home to an incredibly diverse array of wildlife – playful sea lions, immense tortoises, marine iguanas, gentle sharks, and innumerable species of seabirds, including the humorously named booby –, San Cristóbal is an eco-traveler’s paradise.

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