If we asked you to guess the destination often described as a ‘South America in one country’, chances are you’d go for one of the giants of the continent: the expansive land mass of Brazil or the stretched out climes of Chile. But it’s quality not quantity that matters here, and in our minds there’s a clear winner – Ecuador. From surf-swept beach to highest mountain and deepest jungle, the eco-systems that Ecuadorians call home are indeed a true summary of all that we love about South America.
With such an accolade to its name, it’s only right that we offer you a chance to explore the best of Ecuador’s many faces.With this in mind, you’ll begin in the vibrant colonial capital of Quito. There’s loads to explore in this quintessential Latin city, from art galleries and buzzing cafes to the legendary Otavalo Market and the breathtaking Avenue of Volcanoes. It’s a difficult place to leave, but hold on, it’s time to take to the skies.
High Above the Amazon
A 45-minute flight over the rugged peaks of the Andes and you’re in the Amazon basin, at the port town of Coca to be precise. From here a motorised canoe will whizz you down fifty miles of the Napo River, the largest and most impressive in Ecuadorian Amazonia. Now who said airport transfers were boring? But the best is yet to come when you step ashore at Sacha Lodge, simply one of the most beautiful rainforest lodges in the world.
Get Active or Chill Out
This lush haven is perfect whether you’re in search of adventure, wildlife or just after a great escape. For 5 days you can immerse yourself in a variety of tailor-made experiences.Sunset kayaking is a firm favourite, but we’re also dedicated fans of the guided safari and love to potter about the rainforest between refreshing dips in the river (no piranhas here, we promise). There’s no doubt about it – these are simple, natural pleasures at their very best.
Best of all, this small but glorious country has done such a good job of flying below the travel radar in recent years, that it really is an escape and it’ll undoubtedly be the best discovery you’ll make in 2010.
All Year Round
Disclaimer: Pins in map may not be accurate if Google Maps cannot find the exact address. In this case an approximation is made.
Ecuador, Quito, Otavalo Market, Andes.