The Costa – 2000 km Pacific coast

The coast has an extent of up to 200km in width, so at the height of the country’s largest city, Guayaquil. North of the metropolis, a coastal low mountain range with heights of up to 800 m but in the end, it is totally flat.

What to visit? In the coast you have many possibilities. From North, the famous Atacames beach, this part of the Costa counted until the late 1970s, the most attractive beaches in South America: fine white sandy beach with an infinite number of coconut palms.

Or Puerto López and La Isla de la Plata, the town has become as the center and administrative headquarters of the Machalilla National Park (Isla de la Plata) established in 1979, gradually become one of the main tourist destinations on the coast.

And what about Montañita? El dorado of water sports. For a lot of backpackers and surfers, the small but restless place is the Mecca of the boards. It is the ultimate rendezvous of long waves and short nights.

The Sierra -The Volcano Avenue

The Andean mountains of Ecuador form two high-mountain ranges that run almost parallel in a north-south direction: the western and eastern Cordillera. Between the ridges, formed by 30 volcanoes, several highland ponds are lined up like a trench. Here we can see some of the highest volcanoes in the country, such as the Cotopaxi 5897 m (the highest active volcano in the world). Due to the geographical location of Ecuador, the Chimborazo is considered to be the closest point from Earth to the Sun. The reason for that is the location of Ecuador, it is in the middle of the planet and if you measure the Chimborazo from the equator, it is 2000 meters higher than the Everest. What can you visit in this area during your trip? Just a lot.

The National Park Cotopaxi

Cotopaxi in the language Cayapa also means “neck of the moon” and in the langua of the pre-Inca pasaleos “Fire Maw”. Since 1742, the chroniclers record the devastating catastrophes of its eruptions, which alone buried the 35 km distant city of Latacunga several times under the ashes of Cotopaxi.

The more than 33,000 km2 large national park Cotopaxi is characterized by quite barren to botanically diverse Páramo landscape. Only in less high altitude areas in the west you can find continuously planted pine forests and quarries.

Chimborazo Reserve

The Chimborazo 6310m is located in the western Cordillera of the Andes, in the province named like it. The majestic summit of Chimborazo rises 2500 m from the approximately 3500 to 4000 m high plateau surrounding it. Its diameter is about 20 km at the base. In ideal conditions, usually in the winter months (December-April), the peak can be seen from the coastal town of Guayaquil. The Chimborazo is located within the Chimborazo Nature Reserve, which serves to protect the habitat of the camelid vicuña, lama and alpaca native to the Andes.

The Selva – headwaters of the great Amazon

At the foot of the Eastern Cordillera, Ecuador’s area of around 120000 km2 is expanding into the Amazon basin. Although the country has not been a direct Amazonian since 1942, its rivers Rio Napo and Rio Pastaza are among the most important suppliers of Amazonas river. The largest part of the Selva is a flat to hilly landscape of more than 300 m in height.

What can you visit? Cuyabeno Conservation. In cuyabeno live seven small indigenous communities of five different ethnic groups: the Cofanes, Sionas, Secoyas, Kichwas and Shuars. According to the current state of biological research, it is one of the most species-rich forests in the world, with around 400 different tree species, occupies only 1 ha of primary forest and the highest diversity of orchids, epiphytes and climbing plants. Within the reserve live about 500 species of birds and over 100 species of mammals, including pumas, jaguars, ocelots, capybaras, tapirs, etc.

The Galápagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands are of volcanic origin. The tectonic plate (Nasca plate) on which the islands are located moves through a hot spot, which still causes volcanic activity on the islands of Isabela and Fernandina and left its mark on the Caribbean even before that. The islands are older in the southeast, but overlap the dates of the rocks of each island, as they were not caused by singular volcanic events. On the island Fernandina the volcano Cumbre broke out last in April 2009, on Isabela the wolf in May 2015. Some rocks of the Galapagos Islands originated before 89 Ma under the hottest temperatures of the Phanerozoic.

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