The small country with the big heart, Ecuador, straddles the equator on South America’s west coast, and its diverse landscape includes Amazon rainforest, Andean highlands and the extraordinary Galápagos Islands.
Squeezed between Colombia, Peru and the Pacific Ocean, Ecuador has Kichwa villages, renowned for their colourful textiles and sprawling markets, and picturesque, 17th century Spanish colonial towns, such as the capital, Quito, and Cuenca. Exploring the old colonial city of Montecristi or the streets of Manta on the local, colourful ‘Chivas’ bus reveals a host of ancient treasures.
Food has been a big deal in Ecuador since the time of the Incas, and mealtime is when its people come together. Ecuador puts its own twist on South American favourites, alongside some unique dishes of its own: local specialities include chorizo, guinea pig and delicious seafood harvested fresh from the Pacific. [ReadMore]
It’s Ecuador’s diversity that makes it such a stunning cruise destination. A hike in the Andes delivers wonderful views; the country is home to the world’s largest tropical dry forest, Machalilla National Park; the mysterious volcanic Galápagos Islands with their giant tortoises, iguanas, sea lions, and a host of unusual species. All these make Ecuador an unmissable natural wonder.