9 Things To Do in Ecuador Besides the Galapagos

Ecuador is one of the most beautiful countries in the world and it’s jam-packed with things to see and do. What with the highlands, the coast, the avenue of volcanos, and the jungle – you’re spoiled for choice! Here are my top 9:

Explore the Amazon jungle. Learn about the Quechua traditions, make chocolate from scratch, see exotic wildlife, dig for gold, go canyoning, and swim in the Rio Napo.

Rio Napo in the Amazon

Rio Napo in the Amazon

See Quilotoa, an amazing emerald lagoon inside a volcano crater. You’ll walk down a steep, slippery hill to get the basin, so make sure you’re wearing adequate footwear.

Quilotoa Lagoon

Quilotoa Lagoon

Go to Banos, the adventure capital of Ecuador and home to a range of activities. Try hiking, whitewater rafting, zip lining, paragliding, mountain biking, swinging at the end of the world, rock climbing, buggy driving, thermal bathing, horseback riding, bridge jumping, waterfall touring, or hop on a night bus tour to see the active Tungurahua volcano.

Swing At The End of The World, Banos, Photo Credit: Ifindkarma/Flickr

Spend time in the busy beach town of Montanita. Learn to surf. Go for a drink (or two) in cocktail alley. Don’t miss the dancing bartenders at the first stall on your left. And, don’t miss out on that delicious cider at the Micro-Brewing Company. And, don’t miss out on those street empanadas!  Mmm…

Montanita, Photo Credit: Viva Tropical

Relax at Los Frailes beach, about an hour away from Montanita. It’s rarely crowded due to its location so take advantage of the peace and quiet. Swim in the Pacific and walk up to the viewpoint for a great view of the coast.

Los Frailes Beach

Tour Cuenca’s historic city center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit the cathedrals and drop by one of the many museums to learn about the Incas.

Cuenca, Photo Credit: Alex Proimos

Mountain Bike on Cotopaxi. Take a day trip to one of the world’s tallest active volcanos. There’s no better place to get your adrenaline pumping than at this breathtaking (literally) location. Grab yourself some coca tea to ward off attitude sickness.

Cotopaxi Volcano, Photo Credit: Riobamba Official Tourism Guide

Cocoa Tea

Coca Tea available in the rest area

Visit Quito, the second highest capital in the world. Attend a game in the stadium, ride the Teleferico, and have lunch in the popular La Mariscal. Explore the old town and end the day with mulled wine and live music in La Ronda.

The Old Town, Quito

The Old Town, Quito

Straddle the equator, which is only a 40-minute car ride from Quito. Make sure you visit the real site at the Museum of Intinan.

The middle of the world

Have fun!


2 thoughts on “9 Things To Do in Ecuador Besides the Galapagos

  1. I have a friend who is originally from Ecuador and she did invite me to come and visit. But I’ve waited too long…now she lives in Spain! Oh well. The country looks beautiful though. I’ll add to my bucket list 🙂


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