How are your Ecuador travel plans? Are you looking for great attractions, tips and recommendations? The best cultural and food experiences?
Great – you’ve found the right place!
Since we moved to Ecuador we’ve traveled much of the country (and we are working on the rest of it).
Table of Contents
How We Travel in Ecuador
We write about Ecuador travel from the perspective of a young family. We travel safe and like to sleep in a comfortable bed at night.
And while a little luxury is nice, it isn’t necessary. Sometimes we travel in our own car – other times we let an agency take care of all of the details.
Our goal is to see each place as it really is. To experience the culture and the local flavor. And to take lots of photos/videos.
Our site is for anyone planning on visiting Ecuador. If you are going to live in Ecuador, then you’ll have even more time to explore this amazing country.
As you plan your trip, you’ll want to know about these 23 Ecuador holidays. They can clog public transportation and fill hotels around the country.
Where Do You Want to Travel in Ecuador?
In this article, you’ll learn about the Galapagos, Quito, Cuenca, Salinas, and Guayaquil. At the bottom of the page, we also cover Ecuador’s food and animals.
Ecuador Travel: Galapagos Islands
There is no question that, of everything we’ve done in Ecuador, we have enjoyed traveling the Galapagos the most.
Even though we’ve been there three times – we can’t wait to go back.
There is just so much to experience. And so many things we want to do again. Things like swimming with sea turtles and sea lions, hiking volcanoes, and snorkeling with sharks.
More reading: Travelers Guide to Galapagos Islands Animals
Here are a few of the highlights (thus far):
- What’s the Best Galapagos Airport? (3 Options)
- A Week in the Galapagos Islands
- 6 Breathtaking Reasons to Visit Floreana Island, Galapagos
Check out our set of the top 17 Galapagos books!
Ecuador Travel: Quito
Quito is a modern city located in the northern sierra of Ecuador. Parts of Quito remind me of a North American city (like Toronto) while other sections are more like Cuenca.
Quito is a great landing spot for new visitors to Ecuador. The new airport is modern and there are lots of transportation options into the city.
Is Quito safe? Well, it’s a large city so you need to be careful. We haven’t had any problems but we are still careful – as we would be in any other large city.
Once, we thought that someone stole our camera in Quito. As it turns out, we had a lesson in human kindness and honesty.
Here are a few posts about Quito:
- 11 Things to Know When Visiting Otavalo Market
- See Quito – Ride El TelefériQo (Visit Parque Vulqano)
- Guide to the Best Things to Do in Quito
Something we love about Quito is all of the parks. Specifically Parque La Carolina and Parque El Ejido. You should definitely check them out!
Parque La Carolina in Quito Ecuador (Video)
Ecuador Travel: Cuenca
Of all of Ecuador, we certainly know Cuenca the best. Since we moved here in 2009, we have seen almost all the areas of the city – although there are still lots of restaurants left to explore…
Cuenca is a great mix of the old and the new. It is has a modern airport and a downtown full of old, and (mostly) restored buildings.
Here are some of our favorite posts about Cuenca:
- Annual Weather Chart for Cuenca, Ecuador
- Why I Love Cuenca’s Parque Calderon
- The Cuenca Orchidarium: Orchids in Ecuador (Video)
- Where Are the Dangerous Areas in Cuenca, Ecuador?
Haines Family Casting Video (for House Hunters International)
This is a short video we created to showcase the best of Cuenca.
Cuenca’s Famous Flower Market (Video)
Just off of Parque Calderon is the famous flower market – one of our favorite places in the city.
Hiking in Cajas National Park (Video)
Just outside of Cuenca is the Cajas National Park.
Ecuador Travel: Salinas
Salinas is one of the top beach areas in the country. It is close to Guayaquil airport so it’s accessible by a quick flight (then drive) from anywhere in the country.
Salinas has two beautiful beaches. One right on the Malecon and the other one just past the yacht club (which is more private – but still open to the public).
We love the atmosphere on the beach.
There are food and souvenir vendors walking the beach. We’ve bought fresh seafood from a cardboard box and there are beach chairs and umbrellas to rent for a few dollars a day.
There are lots of hotels and vacation rentals located right on the main road, facing the beach. There are tons of restaurants (serving amazing seafood) and a couple of grocery stores in town.
You might also be interested in the taxi rates for Salinas.
Learn more about Ecuador’s beautiful beaches.
The Beach Malecon in Salinas, Ecuador (Video)
Ecuador Travel: Guayaquil
Guayaquil is the countries largest city – both in terms of population and economic power.
While we have been through Guayaquil many times, we haven’t explored it like we want to. It is on our list and we’ll be covering it in more detail in the future.
Many of the international flights into Guayaquil arrive late at night – and many of the outbound flights (to the US) leave around midnight. Because of this, having a great hotel – with a shuttle – is important. We stay at the Howard Johnson, which is very close to the airport.
Here are some posts about Guayaquil.
- Whats the Guayaquil Airport Like?
- Don’t Miss Iguana Park In Guayaquil Ecuador
- Things to do in Guayaquil Ecuador
Although it can be very hot, Guayaquil is definitely worth exploring. There are many cultural and natural attractions to experience. And the local culture and way of speaking are notably different than in the sierra.
The food in Ecuador is amazing. It’s worth traveling here just to experience it.
The bakeries in Cuenca are incredible. And as a family, we especially love the seafood dishes from the coast.
Here are a few of the highlights of food in Ecuador:
- Encebollado: Fish (Tuna) Soup in Ecuador
- Corviche: Deep Fried Fish and Green Plantain
- Pork and Cuy: Street Food In Cuenca Ecuador
- Cuy in Ecuador: How to Eat Guinea Pig
- Yuca Bread, A Delicious Treat In Cuenca Ecuador
Freshly Made Yuca Bread (Cuenca)
Ecuador is home to many craft towns. Here are some of the best items produced in Ecuador.
Animals We’ve Seen in our Ecuador Travels
During our travels in the Galapagos, we’ve seen marine iguanas, giant tortoises, blue footed boobies and sea lions. We still have lots of photos and videos to publish about our adventures in the islands. Stay tuned!
On mainland Ecuador, we’ve also seen lots of animals. Here are some of them:
- Meet Paddington Bear: 17 Facts About Ecuador’s Andean Bear
- A Hummingbird in Flight at Parque Paraiso, Cuenca
- Don’t Miss Iguana Park In Guayaquil Ecuador
- The Wild Horses of Southern Ecuador
- The Animals of Amaru Zoo, Cuenca Ecuador (Video)
- Ecuador Spiders: Tarantulas and Red Fanged Wolf Spiders in Cuenca
So there you have it – an overview of travel in Ecuador.