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There are not many countries in the world where you can you stand on the equator.  Traverse beaches, Andean mountains and Amazonian forest in a single day. When they say a country 'has it all' they must be talking about Ecuador.

Small but perfectly formed, Ecuador is a tiny nation that punches well above its weight in the tourism stakes. The distances are short, the scenery immeasurably variable and the people welcoming. 

The country offers stunning surf beaches, old-world cities, volcanic spas, towering ice-capped mountains and that incredible bucket-list destination: the Galapagos Islands. For the adventurers. Mountain bikers and road cyclists will love it. No other country offers you the ability to bike from the Andes to the Amazon or to the Coast in a day. this is a different kind of extreme downhill. If uphill isn't your thing, sling the bike onto the roof of a bus and catch a ride back home.

Ecuador is one of the smallest countries in South America and, if it wasn't for the Galapagos territory, would be one of the least visited. Galapagos tourists often quickly transit through a mainland city and miss out on really getting to know a gem of a country.  


Ecuador has some of the most intact indigenous communities in Latin America, and the most diverse. 

Incan Colonisation. 

Spanish Colonials




The Andean mountain range forms a spine down the middle of the country. The equatorial climate keeps the 4,000-6,000m peaks comfortably temperate and as a result, the high terrain, volcanic soil and equatorial climate give way to interesting vegetation and unusual fruits and grains. 


A sign in the old-town square states that Quito is the start of the Amazon river. From this vantage point at 3000m you can see the amazonian valley open up. Some of the last areas to be opened, the last people who have lived without contact have been here. Its also been a source of political controversy as it's expected to hold oil and minerals not to mention timber.

Galapagos has been in peoples minds since darwin. Less controversy around protecting that. It has a high profile and no one lives there expect those who work in the tourism or research industires.


Its a tale of two halves. The mainland hasn't suffered the tourism boom of its neighbour Peru. Tourism on Ecuadors mainland is small scale. Even fewer venture into the towns beyond quito and cuenca for anything more than a day trip.


In contrast to the mainland are Ecuador's Galapagos islands. They aren't quite trampled to death, they are an out of the way, relatively expensive, bucket list item with limited accommodation options. This helps keeps the numbers down however the delicate ecosystem cant handle tourists. Its not a self sustaining environment naturally. Natural water and food sources cant cope with large numbers of humans so it all has to ship or fly in. Every trip adding to the climate change that is litterally killing the place we are trying to protect. 


Ecuador is a year-round prospect. Being on the equator it rains almost every day with the 'dry season' being not noticably drier than the 'wet' season. Daylight hours are set throughout the year. The only real differene is the festivals: water, easter and new years that weird incan one on the equator or if you are going to the galapagos you'll see the baby birds around breeding season Oct / Nov. Remember that being on the equator means what we call "summer" and "winter" would be different if you were in the north or the south so these terms aren't exactly used but they do follow the northern school system with their long "summer" break being July - September.  


Quito and Guayaquil Airports have international connections, predominately going through larger south american hubs or US (miami). These airports are also the gateways to the Galapagos. "International" buses traverse the pan-american highway from Bogata Colombia to Santiago Chile with Quito a stop on the way. 


Local bus transport between towns is cheap but more rustic that tourists may be expecting and a decent amount of Spanish is probably required. Foreigners need to take special care of their baggage on the buses as they are often rummaged through if put under the seat.

Quito is serviced by buses and light rail/trams and taxis. It has an old and new town and best to transit between. Most will stay in the new town as its more touristic with modern facilities and late opening. Guayaquil and Quito both have 'no go' zones. Ecuador may have significantly less tourists but the crime against them is rife. Ecuador is one of those countries where tourists cant blend in. As with most of latin america,  Political protests can quickly turn violent if police turn on the crowds. Beyond the major cities, and once you are off a bus, the country is safe to travel.

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A seamless blend of ancient traditions and modern madness. Japan is inspiring, provocative, beautiful and timeless.



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