Things to do in Ecuador

Things to do in Ecuador


Our top activities in Ecuador

Follow in Darwin's footsteps

Puckered, giant tortoises can walk these rocks for over two centuries, and tiny finches have forgotten how to be afraid of humans. Cormorants have lost their ability to fly, yet prehistoric-looking iguanas have learned to swim. This is a worthy, wildlife Mecca that will inspire even the most reluctant inner biologist.

Live an Ecuadorian life

Vacations are about “getting away from it all”, and a homestay is one of the best ways to step out of your busy life and into someone else’s reality. In some rural Ecuadorian communities, life has changed little since the arrival of the conquistadores – you’ll sleep beneath hand woven alpaca blankets, awake to the sound of crowing roosters and devour vegetables just-pulled from the ground. You can dye and spin your own wool, prepare chocolate from fresh beans and even learn to milk cows.
Deep in the Amazon, where shamans still practise ancient rituals, you’ll learn about the medicinal plants of the forest, and the many tasty fruits and fish that thrive here. You might even get chance to try shooting from a two-meter blowpipe. Sharing their fascinating knowledge is one of the best things you can do in Ecuador - and one of the few ways native peoples can keep their culture alive.

Hike in the mountains

The verdant lower slopes, with their waterfalls and rare orchids, provide easier hikes. Tougher, high-altitude climbs pass glaciers, hardy vegetation and jade-green lakes, into the little-seen world beyond the snow line. If you’re less sure of your footing, you can travel by horse, complete with leather chaps and a poncho. Sit back and enjoy the scenery!

Discover the diversity of the Oriente

Ecuador may be one of the smallest Amazonian countries, but its small size does not diminish the diversity of its wildlife, culture and activities. Water-based trips include paddling a dugout canoe, rafting on some of the world’s best rapids and fishing for tasty – if rather toothsome – piranhas. There are macaw-covered clay licks, mud-munching capybaras and vicious jungle pigs, as well as howler and spider monkeys and strange pink dolphins. Big cats are experts at hide-and-seek – but there are several sanctuaries which rehabilitate orphaned, injured or trafficked wildlife, and can provide visitors and volunteers with a closer glimpse of these elusive species.
One of the most unusual things to do in Ecuador is to discover this mighty jungle during a night hike. In the pitch darkness, your senses become heightened - you’ll be completely immersed in the sounds, smells and strange sensations of the lungs of the earth.
Photo credits: [Hiking: Didrik Johnck] [Macaws Clay Lick: The Next Gen Scientist]
Written by Vicki Brown
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