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Ecuador

Ecuador is a South American country known for its diverse landscapes, spanning the Amazon jungle, Andean highlands, and the wildlife-rich Galápagos Islands. Its capital, Quito, sits high in the Andes and is renowned for its well-preserved colonial center, replete with 16th and 17th-century palaces and religious sites, reflecting its rich indigenous and Spanish heritage.

The country's economy revolves around agriculture, including bananas, flowers, and cocoa, as well as petroleum exports, making it a nation of vast natural and cultural wealth.

Places to visit

Day plans

Spend a day exploring around

day 1

Exploring Quito

morning:Begin your day with a visit to the historical Old Town where you can marvel at the colonial architecture and visit the iconic Basilica del Voto Nacional. Enjoy a delicious breakfast at Café Dios No Muere.

afternoon:Head to the Teleferico for a breathtaking view of the city and surrounding mountains. Then, savor traditional Ecuadorian cuisine at The Magic Bean Restaurant.

evening:Experience the lively Mariscal district with its vibrant nightlife and myriad of bars and clubs.

day 2

Adventure in Banos

morning:Embrace the thrill of adventure with a cycling tour around the picturesque town and its stunning waterfalls. Make a stop at Café del Cielo for a tasty morning snack.

afternoon:Indulge in the rejuvenating thermal baths and treat yourself to a gourmet lunch at Verde y Natural Restaurant.

evening:Experience the adrenaline rush at the Swing at the End of the World followed by a casual dinner at Street Food Alley.

day 3

Coastal Getaway in Montaita

morning:Relax on the sandy beaches of Montañita and soak up the sun. Begin your day with a delightful breakfast at Lobo Marino Cafe.

afternoon:Learn to surf at the renowned surf schools or opt for a tranquil beachside yoga session. Refuel with freshly caught seafood at El Pelado Ceviches.

evening:Dance the night away at the beach bars and beachside clubs to the rhythmic beats of the South American music.

day 4

Exploring the Amazon Rainforest

morning:Embark on a guided hike through the lush Amazon rainforest and spot diverse wildlife. Enjoy a nutritious breakfast at the lodge before setting out.

afternoon:Take a canoe ride along the winding rivers and visit an indigenous village to learn about their traditions. Savor a jungle-inspired lunch at the lodge.

evening:Experience a mesmerizing evening of stargazing accompanied by indigenous stories and legends around a campfire.

Ecuador Famous Food

Must-Try local dishes

Ceviche

A refreshing dish of seafood marinated in lime juice, often served with plantain chips. Try it at Cevicherias along the coast, such as in Manta or Esmeraldas.

Must-Try!

Llapingachos

Fried potato patties stuffed with cheese and served with a peanut sauce. Look for street vendors in Quito or Cuenca for an authentic experience.

Seco de Pollo

A hearty chicken stew seasoned with beer, cilantro, and other spices. Sample this dish in local eateries in the highland cities like Otavalo or Ibarra.

Encebollado

A fish soup made with onions, yuca, and tomato. Best enjoyed at markets or small food stalls, especially in the coastal towns like Manta or Guayaquil.

Food Markets & Street Food

A food market and street food guide

Mercado San Francisco

Located in Quito, this bustling market offers a wide array of street food options, including empanadas, roasted corn, and tropical fruits.

Mercado 10 de Agosto

In Cuenca, this vibrant market is perfect for sampling Ecuadorian street food like hornado (roast pork), mote pillo, and various soups.

Dietary Restrictions

Navigating dietary restrictions locally

Vegetarian and Vegan Options

While Ecuadorian cuisine heavily features meat, many restaurants offer veggie-friendly options like locro de papas (potato and cheese soup), plantain-based dishes, and fresh fruit bowls.

Vegetarian, Vegan

Gluten-Free Options

Rice is a staple in Ecuadorian cuisine, so gluten-free eaters can enjoy dishes like arroz con pollo (chicken with rice), patacones (fried green plantains), and grilled meats with yuca.

Gluten-Free

Restaurants & Cafés

Best places to eat and drink in Ecuador

Zazu

Situated in Quito, this restaurant offers modern twists on traditional Ecuadorian dishes, combined with an extensive wine list in a stylish setting.

Achiote

Located in Manta, this waterfront restaurant serves outstanding seafood dishes with ocean views, a perfect spot for ceviche and fresh fish.

Things to do in Ecuador

Unique local experiences...

Popular cities in Ecuador

Explore local food, attractions and more!

GuayaquilQuitoCuencaSanto Domingo de los ColoradosMachalaEloy AlfaroMantaPortoviejoSucúaLojaAmbatoEsmeraldasQuevedoRiobambaMilagroIbarraLa LibertadBabahoyoLatacungaTulcánNueva LojaPuerto Francisco de OrellanaSanta ElenaAzoguesPuyoGuarandaTenaMacasPuerto AyoraZamoraPuerto Baquerizo MorenoSangolquíPelileoDaulePasajeChoneSanta RosaHuaquillasMontecristiSamborondónJipijapaOtavaloCayambeVentanasSan Jacinto de Buena FeVelasco IbarraSalinasLa TroncalPlayasMachachiVincesLa ConcordiaRosa ZarateBalzarNaranjitoNaranjalSucreLa ManáSan Lorenzo de EsmeraldasZarumaCatamayoAtuntaquiGuaboPedernalesBahía de CaráquezPuerto QuitoPedro CarboValleSan Antonio de IbarraYaguachi NuevoCalcetaBaquerizo MorenoCamilo Ponce EnríquezPiñasValenciaValdezSan GabrielAlausíRicaurteLomas de SargentilloPatateMuisneCariamangaBañosSinincayMacaráSan Miguel de SalcedoCataramaBañosZumbaguaSanta CruzTosaguaRocafuerteSan VicenteBaláoPuerto VillamilYaupi