Sitting on the equator between Colombia and Peru, this small South American nation often gets overlooked. Ecuador is actually almost as large as Italy but with such big neighbours, it’s like a middle child overshadowed by its limelight-hogging siblings. Despite its diminutive size, Ecuador offers the whole range of experiences, from Amazonian rainforest and active volcanoes to idyllic islands and historic cities. Ecuador’s unique appeal lies also in the diverse mix of people: it’s their stories you’ll remember as much as the landmark sights.
Where it is
When to go
June to September
Why go there
What to see
The capital in the clouds
Hemmed in by the Amazon basin on one side and Cotopaxi volcano on the other, and perched sky-high in the Andes, Quito is – quite literally – breathtaking.
Islands of adventure
One of the greatest national parks on earth, the Galapagos Islands are home to some of the most remarkable flora and fauna – and Cosa can arrange exclusive tours.
Into the Amazon
The Ecuadorian Amazon teems with life. Seeing sloths, snakes, monkeys and caiman is virtually guaranteed; you might also spot rarer species such as pink river dolphins and pumas.
The northern town of Otavalo is famous throughout Latin America for its colourful open-air market, where age-old artisan practices such as weaving and pottery continue to flourish.
Travel in Ecuador
Get an insight into South America’s best-kept secret with Cosa. We’ll help you discover remarkable Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, from the cobbled streets of Quito to those wildlife-filled remote islands. Barter for indigenous handicrafts in what is possibly Latin America’s best market before immersing yourself in the Amazon. Unlike its continental neighbours, Ecuador is relatively compact and so easy to explore. In essence, if Ecuador isn’t on your bucket list, it’s because you have already been.
Located in the north-western corner of South America, Ecuador is named after the equator. At the Mitad del Mundo monument, you can hop between northern and southern hemispheres, or stand with one leg in each. Ecuador was part of the Inca Empire until Spain claimed it as a Spanish colony in the 16th century. It wasn’t until 1822 that Ecuador became independent, although Spanish continues to be the official language. In 2000, the Ecuadorian currency was abandoned in favour of the US dollar.
about 17 hours from Switzerland