Travel Guide To Ecuador, Beyond The Galapagos

Travel Guide To Ecuador, Beyond The Galapagos

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Ecuador is serviced by international airlines from the USA, Europe, and other cities in South America. Flights are also available to/from the Galapagos Islands, which belong to Ecuador.

Travel to Ecuador is an exciting blend of history and natural beauty with many nature areas including the Galapagos Islands, as well as a fun adventure seeking destination.

Because of Ecuador's location on the Equator there aren't any "traditional" seasons in the country.  Nope, it is either Dry Season or Rainy Season.  Well, what do you expect--this is a humid, subtropical destination. 

All the better to do some spectacular watersports, my friends.  Located right along the Pacific Ocean, Ecuador is a famous South American destination for snorkeling, SCUBA diving, windsurfing, surfing, and kayaking. 

Uh, just watch out for the sharks, OK?  And don't say I didn't warn you.  ;-)

If you don't want to be shark food, head to one of Ecuador's many National Parks.  The El Cajas National Park has more than 275 lakes, and is a haven for all sorts of birds--so bring your binoculars.  The Chimborazo Reserve can get cold, so make sure if you're backpacking or rock climbing to bring a jacket.

All sorts of animals await you at the Ecological Reserve--everything from bear to jaguars.  Um, I think I'll take my chances at the Cotopaxi National Park instead; there I only have to contend with an active volcano.  Hey, at least they've got cabins for when you're tired.

Nope, I think I'll try shopping at this point.  One of Ecuador's most famous markets is the Otavalo Market (on Wednesdays and Saturdays), where a purse will only set you back less than $6 and beautifully woven tapestries average $5-$25.

That's all right, save your Dollars, Pesos, and Euros for a trip to the Galapagos Islands.  Yes, these islands made famous by Darwin belong to Ecuador.  Your best bet is to fly because they're some 600 miles off the coast of the mainland--and a boat trip can take upwards of three days.

I don't know about you--but I don't got that kinda time; and the Galapagos Islands are worth every minute you can spend there.  Birdwatching is a national sport with everyone trying to see all sorts of albatross and the blue-footed booby.  No, everyone wants to see the huge Galapagos tortoise, iguanas, and sea lions. 

The 25-thousand people who live over five islands have to be the luckiest people on Earth, don't ya think?

Well, if you can't live in Ecuador--you can at least party like you're from Ecuador.  All sorts of festivals go on throughout the year.  There are the more traditional holidays like New Years and Carnival, but there's also Simon Bolivar's Birthday July 24th and Independence Day on August 10th.  My favorite is the Mama Negra on November 11th, celebrated with parties and parades.

What's even better is you don't have to wait for a special occasion like this to eat good too.  Try Ecuador's ceviche that's made with shrimp, onions, and lemon.  Forget hitting up the city of Quito's nightclubs (and their usual cover charges for entry), I'm gonna explore every nook & cranny of the city's historic city center--then eat 'til I can't eat no more.

If you don't mind, I'll save one egg--'cause it's said that on the Spring Equinox you can balance an egg on end.   Wow, would you look at that--it actually works. 

What I want to know is, who was the first one to realize this?  Was it the Incas?  The Spanish Conquistadors?  Doesn't matter--you'll be too busy here in Ecuador to give it another thought. 

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