Ecuador sits astride the equator. Its relatively tiny size belies its staggering geographical diversity, from a battalion of snow-smothered Andean volcanic peaks to luscious Amazon rainforests. The wild Pacific beaches, unjustly neglected, are fringed with exuberant vegetation pulsating with wildlife. The Galápagos Islands also form part of Ecuador’s territory. Mainland Ecuador is compact and easy to get around. Roads are almost invariably scenic and journeys are of a comfortable length. Short domestic flights and a recently refurbished railway complete the transport network.
Ecuador is one of the continent’s most traditional countries; there’s a strong indigenous tradition in the highland villages, with cottage crafts and hand-woven textiles piled high in the lively markets. It’s a country which is wide open to visitors looking to take part in outdoor activities, visit local communities and relax in lovely country farms or haciendas in exquisite scenery.