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Ecuador sightseeing. Travel guide - attractions, sights, nature and touristic places

Many years Ecuador has been a popular destination with tourists from different countries. Colourful cities and relaxing atmosphere make this country truly appealing and unique. The capital of Ecuador, Quito, is the most popular tourist destination in the country. Quito was formed under influence of several cultures, and this fact couldn’t have failed to reflect in local architecture and art.
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Among multiple landmarks of the city, it’s important to mention the President Palace, the Independence Square, San Diego Monastery, San Francisco and La Compania Churches. The Museum of Colonial Art exhibits large collections of works of famous Latin American artists. Many interesting artefacts can be found in the Museum of Natural History and Archaeological Museum. They throw light upon the history of Ecuador and let visitors know more about culture of ancient tribes. This is a true journey to the past. The best way to get acquainted with traditions of local people and try national dishes is to visit the newer part of the city. There are many small restaurants that serve local food there, and squares often become the scene for numerous theatre and music performances.
It is also important to mention the city of Cuenca, which is well-known because of the Tomebamba River. There are many historic buildings and squares located on the banks of the river. Travellers often visit El Cajas National Park. The territory of the park includes several hundred lakes and lagoons, as well as the internationally famous Ingapirka religious centre. Copyright www.orangesmile.com
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The villages of Horteleg and Gualaseo can be your next step in exploration of Ecuador. These villages have many awesome souvenir shops and art galleries. Textiles and ceramics are traditionally the most popular crafts that tourists prefer to take back home.
Chimborazo Volcano remains one of the most famous nature landmarks of the country. There is a railroad on one of slopes of the volcano, but it takes almost 8 hours for a train to reach the top, so it’s faster to make a car ride. Finally, the Galapagos Islands are the last but not the least important tourist destination in Ecuador. The islands have quite different nature. Some islands are covered with mango groves, while others look like a desert with cacti being the only plant. However, every island has beautiful beaches with crystal clean water.
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History and Entertainment

The first settlements on the territory of present Ecuador were formed in the prehistoric period. There were large settlements of Quito, Qara, Tumbe and Canari tribes. The Indian tribes were characterized by constant struggles for territories. Step by step, the Quito tribes managed to conquer all the rivals. Consequently, they established the Kingdom of Quito that had existed until the colonial period. Spanish colonizers were first to reach the territory of Ecuador at the beginning of the 16th century. It took them just a few years to conquer the new lands.
In 1531, the first settlements, one of which was San Francisco de Quito, were formed on the new territory. Spaniards hoped they would find rich gold and silver deposits here but there were no any deposits in Ecuador. In the fertile lands, they formed vast plantations where African slaves worked. The first liberation movements in Ecuador were established at the beginning of the 19th century. The country managed to break free from Spanish colonizers in 1822. Nevertheless, Ecuador did not stop attracting an attention of other large states. In the middle of the 19th century, it was first visited by Britons and Americans who intended to find oil deposits.
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They invested money in the development of coffee and cocoa plantations. The first half of the 20th century was marked by the beginning of the industrial development. In 1923, the first oil-producing station and transportation routes were built here. In the middle and the second half of the 20th century, the country saw a series of political upheavals followed by a long-awaited period of stability.
Galapagos Islands 2010 Now, the tourism sector is actively developing. There are excellent conditions for active recreation. On the territory of beautiful national parks, there are interesting hiking routes. Ascents of volcanoes are very popular with tourists. Fans of extreme entertainments will not be bored too, as they can walk through the breathtaking jungle. Those travelers who visit Ecuador between June and September can enjoy another interesting entertainment. They definitely should visit the historical port of Puerto Lopez. In this time of the year, it is considered the best place for watching whales in the country.

Fantastic City Tours and Excursions in Ecuador

Reference information
Map of all parks
National and city parks of Ecuador
♥   National Park 'Cayambe Coca' . On the map   Photos
♥   National Park 'Cotopaxi' . On the map   Photos
♥   National Park 'Galápagos' . On the map   Photos
♥   National Park 'Llanganates' . On the map   Photos
♥   National Park 'Machalilla' . On the map   Photos

Famous and uniques places in Ecuador from our review series

Galapagos Islands

From the series “15 Sparsely Populated Places for Solitude with Wildlife”
The most underpopulated area of the planet is Galapagos Islands. This archipelago consists of 19 islands, its whole area is about 8 010 square kilometres. The population of the islands is varying about 25 000 people. Travellers, who want to visit places that are far from the civilization, will like this outstanding and terrifying area. Every island has its own unique nature sightseeing. The main symbol of Baltra island are iguanas that were brought here as a part of the experiment.

Bartolome island is full of wonderful volcano sceneries. In a special time, travellers can see how small tortoises born. One of the most interesting places for walks is Culpepper island, its area is only 1,1 square kilometres. This island is rich in a great popularity of sea lions, Galapagos gulls and sea … Read all

Galapagos Islands

From the series “Famous Unesco Sites in South America”
The Galapagos Islands are real storehouses of amazing natural attractions. The archipelago located in the Pacific Ocean has 19 islands, some of which are inhabited by people. Currently, about 25 000 people permanently reside on the islands, while the number of tourists who visit this ocean area is much more than aforesaid figures. Charles Darwin conducted his study on these islands. Today the local flora and fauna are of great interest to researchers.

The main representative of the local fauna is a huge sea turtle or Galapagos turtle. Islands are also inhabited by rare species of iguanas and birds. Each of these pieces of land is unique and has its own attractive features. Many people come to Bartolome Island to watch sea turtles and Galapagos penguins. Near Wenman Island you can watch … Read all

Statue of Virgin Mary Quito

From the series “The Most Grandiose Statues and Monuments”
The highest statue of Ecuador is the Virgin of Quito, which can be seen in the city of Quito. The monument was open to public in 1976. The height of the statue is 41 meters, including the pedestal. The author of the sculpture is the well-known architect from Spain, Agustin de la Erran Matorra. It is believed that the model for his wonderful creations was the sculpture of the Virgin Mary. Since 1734, the later has being adorning the altar of the main cathedral of Quito, in the Basilica of Saint Francis.

The graceful sculpture depicts the Virgin Mary staying on the Earth. You can notice the snake under her feet. In such a way, the author wanted to express the power of the patron saint of the city, which is able to protect the citizens of Quito from any adversity. This amazing monument is … Read all
All unique sightseeing Ecuador
Country maps Maps of Ecuador
Car rental on OrangeSmile.com Car rental in Ecuador

Sightseeing in popular cities of Ecuador

Guayaquil
Today, the most picturesque historical region of Las Peñas is located at the top of the hill of Saint Anne. Once in these parts, the wealthiest residents built mansions. In these magnificent houses lived many famous people including Simon Bolivar. Like many years ago, today at top of the hill is located the beacon. To rise to it, it is necessary to overcome a steep staircase which contains 444 steps. From the platform surrounding the beacon, a smart panoramic view of the city opens. Also It … Read more

Map of travel guides to Ecuador cities

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