Ecuador Destinations
The Equator monument in Ecuador
Woman in traditional costume in Otavalo market, Ecuador
Traditional houses with balconies in the railway town of Alausi, Ecuador

Useful Spanish Vocabulary:
sierra: highlands
costa: coast / lowlands
: beach

oriente: east, the region east of the Andes mountains
volcan: volcano
Linea Equinoccial: Equator

Giant Galapagos Tortoise, Ecuador
Hummingbird on tropical flower in Mindo
The huge crater of Pululahua volcano in Ecuador

Featured Destination: Mindo

Ecuador Destinations

Ecuador's many destinations offer something for everyone.  There are a wide range of different ecosystems and microclimates within a relatively small area so you are never far from something new to explore, from beaches to snow-topped volcanoes or bleak paramo to lush rainforest.  You will probably want to visit each of Ecuador's four main regions: the Sierra (highlands), the Costa (coast and lowlands of the Western Andes), the Oriente (the rainforests to the east of the Andes) and the Galapagos Islands.  Here are some ideas for excursions, tours and destinations you might like to visit in Ecuador: 
Quito - Ecuador's capital and cultural centre with museums, theatres and colonial architecture high in the Andes mountains
Otavalo - famous for its colourful textile market and traditional costumes, a good base for Otavalo excursions
Ibarra - relaxed capital city of Imbabura Province
Calderon - known for figurines and handicrafts made from bread dough
Quito Zoo - see Ecuador's fauna up close, including spectacled bears, ocelots, pumas, monkeys and macaws.
Equator & Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the World) - the Equator Monument and the Inti-Ñan Solar Museum
Cayambe & the Solar Clock - known for buttery biscuits, cheese and the fascinating Quitsato Project's sundial on the equator
Oyacachi - remote village in the Cayambe-Coca Ecological Reserve with hot springs
Papallacta Hot Springs - an easy daytrip for hot pools & thermal springs, or a base for hillwalking to visit the Polylepis forest
Pululahua Volcano & Geobotanical Reserve - vast volcanic crater, with cloudforests & farmland, an easy trip from Quito
Alausi - the famous Devil's Nose railway trip
Zuleta - traditional embroidery, condor conservation and a historic hacienda in a pretty hill village
Cuenca - colonial architecture and attractive churches in a tranquil city
Mindo - a subtropical paradise full of wildlife, especially birds, adventure activities and places to relax
Guayaquil - Ecuador's largest city and main port, trying to reinvent itself as a tourist destination with its new promenade along the river
Loja - way down in the south of the country, a clean and well-organised city known for music and culture
Oriente - the Ecuadorian part of the Amazonian rainforest, lush jungles teeming with wildlife, probably best visited on an organised tour.
Galapagos Islands - the dramatic scenery and unique wildlife of the Galapagos Islands makes them a must-see destination for most visitors to Ecuador.  Decide when is the best time to visit the Galapagos with help from monthly wildlife activity notes and the Galapagos weather calendar.  Choose a Galapagos cruise boat and itinerary, or hotel accommodation in the islands for a land-based tour, and then book your Galapagos flights.
Things to do on rainy days in Quito
The Vivarium
The orchid houses at the Botanical Gardens
The Museum of Natural Sciences
The Amazonia Museum (Museo Amazónico)
Souvenir shopping at the (mostly covered) Quito craft market at Washington and Juan Leon Mera
Mitad del Mundo & Pululahua Volcano - it rarely rains there, even when it's wet in Quito
Salsa lessons
Spanish classes
Holidays with Children in Ecuador
Mindo for tubing on the river, zipwire (canopy) rides, horseriding and swimming
The Vivarium to look at the snakes and frogs
Quito Zoo
The Devil's Nose train ride from Alausi
A farmstay or community tourism holiday where they can help to care for farm animals, pick crops such as oranges and bananas, or pick, roast and grind cacao fruit to make chocolate.
Peaceful Getaways in Quito
If the hustle and bustle gets too much and you need to escape the crowds, try:
Guayasamin's non-religious Chapel of Man and nearby art museum in a tranquil hilltop setting with beautiful views (see Quito Museums for more info)
The Panecillo and Virgin of Quito, with photogenic views across the city
Sit and absorb the atmosphere in one of the quieter churches in Quito's Old Town

The Ecuador Travel Site only covers places I have been to, hence the incomplete coverage of the country.  New destinations pages will be published as and when I have time for more visits and excursions to destinations in Ecuador.
Ecuador Destinations
Ecuador's four main regions, Sierra, Costa, Oriente and Galapagos,
offer many different travel opportunities from wildlife watching tours to adventure sports,
cabañas on the beach to mountain lodges on the slopes of volcanoes, rural eco-tourism destinations to luxury city hotels and spa resorts.  Visit craft markets, cultural centres, museums and national parks to experience some of Ecuador's diversity.