On your tour of mainland Ecuador, you’ll find a beautiful nation of rugged highlands and breathtaking wildlife, perched between the mighty Andes Mountains and the vast Pacific Ocean. Explore the beautiful Spanish architecture of Quito and Cuenca, before ascending into the highlands, where the condor patrols the skies and llamas graze on endless grassland. Enjoy a long Ecuadorian evening with barbecued guinea pig, or play it safe and enjoy a local steak, with a warming glass of Canelazo. Either way, you’ll end your day full and content.
Start your tour in Otavalo, a small city nestled in the towering Andes Mountains. Explore the technicolor offerings of the Plaza de Los Ponchos, the largest indigenous market in South America, offering ponchos, hats, and wooden musical instruments. Take a scenic hike around Lake Cuicocha, in Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve, where shrubs give way to sweeping views of the lake -hopefully you’ll spot a condor, the national symbol of Ecuador.
Quito, Ecuador’s capital, is a lively fusion between Spanish colonial architecture and indigenous Ecuadorian flair. Ramble through the technicolor Plaza San Francisco, where Spanish architecture is painted in vibrant yellows, oranges, and pinks. Take the astonishing cable car to the peak of Pichincha Volcano for a view of the entire city, before heading back into town and visiting the lively Floresta neighborhood.
Fly south to the warm climate and lush surroundings of Cuenca. Start your day in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, whose baroque frontage and beautiful blue domes are one of the most beautiful sights in all of Ecuador. Follow your nose along the banks of the Tomebamba River, towards a succulent meal of barbecued pork. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the laid-back living of Cuenca.
4. Cajas National Park
Head to the breathtaking Cajas National Park, gateway to the Andes. Get your boots on for a hike through the grassland and forest of this park, where herds of friendly llamas graze along the cloud-covered hills. Look to the sky for condors sweeping across the valleys and Giant Hummingbirds probing at cactuses. End your trip in comfort in the coastal town of Guayaquil, looking back on your amazing tour of Ecuador.
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