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Reasons to Go

Top Four Reasons to Explore Mainland Ecuador

Reasons to Go

Top Four Reasons to Explore Mainland Ecuador

When some travellers think of Ecuador, visions of the Galápagos Islands’ sunbathing sea lions and dozing marine iguanas spring to mind. But there’s far more to Ecuador than Darwin’s old offshore stomping grounds — mainland Ecuador promises a host of exciting reasons to come ashore and explore.

Margarita Sanchez, As Told to A&K Staff Writer Bob Whiting | August 28, 2023

Americas Ecuador El Cajas National Park Mountains

1. Natural Wonderland

Nature lovers shouldn’t pass up one of my favorite places in Ecuador, El Cajas National Park. Located an hour from Cuenca amid the golden grasslands of the southern highlands, the park spans a vast paradise of evergreen cloud forests, cascading waterfalls and glacial lakes harboring species such as Andean condor, giant hummingbird and raccoon-like coati. I am always struck by the tranquil, shimmering waters of these lakes. This enchanting wilderness affords endless opportunities to hike, fish, ride horseback and just plain explore.

Americas Ecuador Cuenca Cathedral Domes

2. Confluence of Cultures

If cultural immersion is more your speed, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed cities of Quito and Cuenca welcome you to dive into a treasure trove of art and architecture. Here, historic colonial churches mingle amid daring contemporary homes by award-winning international architects. I also love how the city’s museums blend collections of old and new, offering something for art lovers of every inclination.

Americas Ecuador Ingapirca Ruins

3. Rich Historic Legacies

History buffs can easily lose themselves in the tales of Ecuador’s rich indigenous, maritime and colonial legacies. In Cuenca’s Ingapirca archeological complex, I like to retrace the footprints of the Canari and Inca civilizations. Further afield, the seafaring exploits of Sir Francis Drake and the epic saga of King Louis XV’s Geodesic Mission lie waiting to be explored.

Americas Ecuador Cooking Experience

4. World-Class Cuisine

For the foodies among us, Ecuador thrills the palate with one of the hottest emerging culinary scenes on the planet. Having recently visited celebrity chef Quique Sempere’s latest restaurant, Aura, and tasted the world’s rarest cacao at the To’Ak Chocolate Experience, I can say that Ecuador has the put the Old World’s old-guard gourmets on notice.

Ready to dive in? Nothing reveals Ecuador’s mainland and island wonders quite like an A&K Small Group Journey or our latest private journey, Tailor Made Ecuador & Galápagos by Land. Check out abercrombiekent.com to learn more about this inspiring destination and the many ways to experience it with the leader in luxury travel.




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