More than the Galapagos. Ecuador packs in beaches, mountains and jungle in a small country.
I can’t say it’s underrated because really I think it’s just unknown!
Everyone raves about Costa Rica, but I find it devoid of culture. Foreigners have ruined it and replaced much of it with yoga retreats and vegan gluten-free cafes.
Ecuador has the Amazon jungle, the Andes mountains, the Pacific coastline.
And of course the Galapagos Islands.
Yet it also has such a rich culture grounded with the living history of Quechua people.
The Quechua people are throughout South America and may be the largest group of indigenous people in the world.
Today 2.5 million Ecuadorians speak Quechua.
It isn’t a culture that is hidden away or only recognized for special occasions.
And that gives Ecuador a special energy and spirit.
And while Ecuador is not perfect. It has handled the balance of tourism much better.
It is still possible to have authentic experiences, that weren’t simply created for tourism.
ECUADORIAN RECIPES AT HOME
The geography of Ecuador determines what people eat in different parts of the country.
In the Andes, Ecuadorian food is full of pork and root vegetables like yuca.
On the coast it’s common to have seafood with coconut milk and rice whereas the Amazon has the most unusual food of it all – albeit not so tasty in the heart of the Amazon.
Wherever you go, aji is on every table. It is a hot sauce that is fruity and spicy and my absolute favourite in the world.
I have marked dishes that are Vegan (V), Gluten-Free (GF), Dairy Free (DF)
Cuban Flan (GF)
TRAVEL IN ECUADOR
This small country has everything.
You can see snow and go to the beach in the same day. That’s how diverse traveling in Ecuador can be.
Ecuador has a whopping 11 international airports and 23 other controlled airports so it is possible to fly most to the most popular cities in Ecuador.
But I prefer the bus. You can cross Ecuador by bus from North to South for only $20. It costs $12 Quito to Cuenca, and
The views of the countryside are some of the most spectacular. And you miss them when you take the train.
And Ecuador’s economy uses US dollars, which makes converting to CAD or any other currency much easier.
FOOD + DRINK
Cuy in Ecuador
Ecuadorian Desserts + Sweet Treats
Ecuadorian Fast Food in Cuenca
Eleven Authentic Ecuadorian Eats
Encebollado: Ecuadorian Breakfast Soup
Guinea Pig Also Tastes Like Chicken
Six Porky Perfect Foods in Ecuador
Traditional Ecuadorian Food: Full List!
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
CULTURE + CUSTOMS
CITIES + TOWNS
HOLIDAYS + EVENTS
STORIES FROM ECUADOR
I’ve visited 3 times and each visit has taught me a lesson.
Serendipity of the Solo Female Traveler
Watching Football Like an Ecuadorian
10 Reasons My Sister Will Miss Me Over the Holidays
2010 The Year Bacon Got a Little Crazy
The Secret I’m Most Afraid to Tell You
Parades are For Suckers Unless You Want to Change the World
Would You Buy a $500 Turkey