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 its Indigenous people.
Indigenous people are throughout South America and may be the largest group of indigenous people in the world.
Today 2.5 million Ecuadorians speak Quechua. And many others speak regional languages.
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)
Bolon de Verde
Ceviche in Ecuador
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
Ecuador Safety Tips
Rainy Season in Ecuador
CULTURE + CUSTOMS
CITIES + TOWNS
Canoa: Beach Town Without Obnoxious Parties
Whale Watching in Puerto Lopez
Canoa Fishermen Video
Cuenca Ecuador: Everyone Loves This Colonial City
Did the Catholic Church Just Heal Me
Meet Sugarcane Farmer Rogelio
Stencil Art in Cuenca
Galapagos Cruise Review
Baby Turtle Massacre
Sullivan Bay Tour
The Port of Promiscuity
Loja Ecuador – The Most Underrated City in the Andes
Otavalo Animal Market
Otavalo Artisan Market
HOLIDAYS + EVENTS
Christmas in Ecuador
Cuenca Independence Day
Day of the Dead
Festival of San Pablo and San Pedro
New Year’s Eve in Ecuador
STORIES FROM ECUADOR
I’ve visited 6 times and each visit has taught me a lesson.
Journey to the Centre of the World
Getting Steamed in Baños
Horseback Riding in Baños
Welcome to the Jungle Part 1
Welcome to the Jungle Part 2
Is There Room for Che and Scooby (Cuenca)
Zipping Through the Air (Cuenca)
Thermal Pools of Cuenca
Window Shopping in Cuenca
Rules for Traveling with Family
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
My Galapagos Casa
Why I May Go to Scotland
My Wild Kingdom in the Galapagos
Galapagos Reminds Me of the Philippines
The Joy of Being Boring: Creating a Travel Routine
Can You Ever Really Go Back?
Why I Cannot Leave Canoa
The Spirit of Canoa