If you read my last Secret Escape post you know that I am completely addicted to House Hunters International and with finding places to visit after my son graduates from High School (Only a few more years) Ecuador has recently taken the top spot as not only a great place to visit but maybe even retire.1. Four regions in one country: Galapagos Islands, the warm and sunny Pacific coast, the majestic Andes mountain range, the Amazonian rain forest.
2. Ethnic diversity: home to 17 distinct indigenous groups and 27 different ethnic groups, many of which preserve their languages, traditions, and dress to a remarkable degree, Ecuador is a multicultural wonder.
3. Unique and delicious cuisine: in Ecuador you can taste flavors from the highlands "locro" (potato cheese soup) to the refreshing shrimp ceviche of the coast.
4. The Galapagos Islands: home to a stunning volcanic landscape, turquoise waters, and hundreds of endemic species.
5. Cayambe Volcano: at 4690 meters, Cayambe is the highest point in the world to cross the equator. It is also the only snowcapped place that crosses the equator. The hike to the highest peak has been a favorite since 1880.
6. An endless array of adventures: only in Ecuador can you climb the tallest active volcano in the world, kayak the rapids of the Amazon rainforest, and crisscross the Equatorial line on horseback, all in one trip. You can enjoy endless activities that can mix Adventure, Wildlife, Culture, Community in just than 2 hours from the main cities.
7. Tourism: conservation and responsible tourism is a priority in Ecuador, and travelers have plenty of opportunities to contribute to the local economy and be active participants in the growth of ecotourism projects.
8. Eternal spring-like weather: Ecuador enjoys mild spring-like weather conditions year-round, creating an ideal environment for the country’s rich fauna and flora to flourish and its people to enjoy a laid-back lifestyle.
9. Easy to travel to: US and international airlines offer flights of 4 - 6 hours from Miami and New York, the local transportation network is reliable, and English is commonly spoken in major travel destinations.
10. Something for everyone: Ecuador has plenty to offer just about any type of traveler, from adventure seekers to ecotourists, history buffs to honeymooners, families to those looking to learn Spanish in a comfortable environment - Ecuador and Galapagos has it all.
Have you ever traveled to Ecuador? South America? Do tell!