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Cotapaxi National Park In Ecuador
Cotapaxi National Park In Ecuador

Top 10 Ecuadorian Activities

We’ve created an enticing list of the most memorable things to do in Ecuador. We’ve created an enticing list of the most memorable things to do in Ecuador.
We’ve created an enticing list of the most memorable things to do in Ecuador. We’ve created an enticing list of the most memorable things to do in Ecuador.
What To Do In Ecuador?
The combination of cultural riches and epic adventure is what makes Ecuador so special. The centre of its capital Quito is one of the largest and best preserved historic cities in the Americas. When it comes to wild places, not only does Ecuador have the Galapagos Islands and the Amazon Rainforest, the country is also at the forefront of cloud forest conservation, protecting this irreplaceable ecosystem within its numerous national parks and reserves.
  • Explore the Galapagos islands by boat
  • Bird watching in the Cloud Forest at Mashpi Lodge
  • Snorkelling in the Galapagos Islands
  • Visit Cotopaxi National Park
  • Touring the panama hat factories of Cuenca
  • Wander the Otavalo Market
  • Venture into the Amazon Rainforest for Amazing Wildlife Viewing
  • Visit the Papallacta Hot Springs
  • Hiking in Quilotoa
  • Walk the cobbled streets of Cuenca
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1. Explore the Galapagos Islands by Boat
Set sail in the wake of Darwin and The Beagle on a voyage to the Galapagos. An archipelago comprising 21 islands some 900 km off the Pacific coast of Ecuador, it’s a place you’ll likely visit just once so be sure to do it well. We’ll provide the best guides on board the finest vessels as you discover the islands and islets of this remarkable region. Geographically isolated for millennia, local wildlife has evolved along unique paths.

As you hike, snorkel, dive and kayak, we can pretty much guarantee that you are going to come face to face with creatures you’ve never seen before including giant tortoise, marine iguana and the Galapagos penguin, which are found nowhere else on Earth.
Hero Image Exterior Of Lodge Mashpi Lodge Andean Cloud Forest Otovalo
2. Bird Watching in the Cloud Forest at Mashpi Lodge
In the Ecuadorian Cloud Forest, your inner birder will come alive as the morning air echoes with birdsong. You’ll set out to explore the forested mountains with an expedition leader, excited to share their vast avian knowledge and experiences with you. There are over 350 species in this unique environment, 36 of which are endemic to the region.

Mashpi Lodge proudly works with local communities and conservation teams to make sure this paradise remains unspoiled. After a sunrise coffee on the rooftop observation terrace, take to the skies on a canopy gondola or aerial bicycle to find the Crimson-rumped Toucanet.
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3. Snorkelling in the Galapagos Islands
Any lover of underwater wildlife will find snorkelling around the Galapagos islands unforgettable. Crystalline waters invite you to jump right into the action as you wonder at rays and docile sharks, say hello to friendly sea lions and turtles and swim amongst schools of stunning reef fish and seahorse.

Whether from the shoreline or cruise boat we will arrange the right itinerary, with the best gear. If you are experienced, there is world-class diving available too
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4. Visit Cotopaxi National Park
The monumental Cotopaxi stratovolcano dominates the landscape of the Cotopaxi National Park. One of the world's highest active volcanoes, it commands your attention! The park’s vast Andean landscape has so much to offer, including wildlife, as you hike past wild horses to the foot of the volcano and gaze upon Cotopaxi’s reflection in the glacial waters of Limpiopungo Lagoon.

If you have the time, follow your experienced guide to the Jose Rivas Refuge, the climbers base camp at 4500 metres above sea level and the spectacular Cotopaxi Glacier.
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5. Touring the Panama Hat Factories of Cuenca
A fascinating way to spend an afternoon in Cuenca is to learn about the famous Panama Hat. Your guide will accompany you to the Homero Ortega factory. Here you can watch these iconic straw hats being woven by hand, followed by a visit to the Barrancos Panama Hat Museum where you delve deeper into the accessory’s intriguing history.

Find out why they are called Panama Hats but born in Ecuador!
People
6. Wander the Otavalo Market
In our experience, Saturdays and Wednesdays are the best times to explore the indigenous Otavalo Market. As a throng of vendors gather to sell fine woven products and artisanal wares, the streets are a blaze of rich colour and texture: ponchos, wall hangings, handicrafts and more.

Each Otavalenos trader is dressed in traditional clothing as they proudly maintain their culture and identity.
Bird Chestnut Mandiblled Toucan Ss By Ondrej Prosicky
7. Venture into the Amazon Rainforest for Amazing Wildlife Viewing
The Amazon Rainforest covers almost half of Ecuador, lovingly protected by four national parks. From your luxurious forest home you will head out with expert naturalist guides, trekking through the forest or taking to the rivers in a dug-out canoe. Lush vegetation surrounds you, as does the Amazon’s wildlife.

Spot coppery tamarin monkey, giant otter and boa constrictor as macaws fly overhead, or, look out for monkeys and toucans from the highest branches of a giant kapok tree. Try creek paddling, rafting, and tree climbing, or simply sit still and watch the exotic birds.
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8. Visit the Papallacta Hot Springs
Nestled in a picturesque valley of the Andean moor, Termas de Papallacta is committed to offering a healthy dose of escapism from city life. Indulge your senses in the SPA pool circuit; hydro massagers will soothe away tension as you immerse yourself in the varying temperatures of the water.

After using the excellent spa facilities, take a seat at the restaurant and order something delicious to eat, and end with a guided stroll around the breathtaking natural pathways.
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9. Hiking in Quilotoa
Every perspective of Quilotoa Lake changes its breathtaking hues of blue and green as you hike around the edge of its volcanic crater. The 7.5 mile Quilotoa Loop trail comes with some challenging terrain but it is well worth the effort. Look up from your position atop Ecuador’s most westerly volcano and you will find yourself mesmerised by the breathtaking Andean landscape.

Look down and you’re gazing into one of the most spectacular lakes in the world and beyond, across a patchwork quilt of farmland, home to the indigenous Kichwa community.
Cuenca Ss By Alan Falcony
10. Walk the Cobbled Streets of Cuenca
Charmed cobbled streets gently lead you through Cuenca’s old colonial quarter with an invitation to slow down and really appreciate the mix of Romanesque and Gothic architecture.

This UNESCO World Heritage Site truly deserves its status. Markets, mansions, museums and cathedrals will captivate you before you indulge in a spot of people watching over coffee in Plaza de los Geranios Colgantes.
Bird Plate Billed Mountain Toucan Ecuador Ss By Martin Mecnarowski
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