At the intersection of the Pacific Ocean, Andes mountains, and Amazon rainforest, Ecuador embodies all the richness of South America. The high-altitude capital of Quito thrums with the pulse of everyday life, but escapism into the country’s wild enclaves is never far away—from crater lakes and eucalyptus forests to rushing rapids and placid pasturelands.
Though the volcanic islands of the Galápagos are a province of Ecuador, their isolation plays a starring role in evolutionary and ecological discoveries that continue to unfold into present day. Charles Darwin’s famous fondness for this Pacific archipelago drew attention to its endemic wildlife, including blue-footed boobies and enormous Galápagos tortoise, and increased appreciation for the biodiversity that’s simply a part of everyday life.
Potatoes, pork, chicken, and beef from the Ecuadorian highlands; shrimp ceviche, bolones (green plantains), fish soups, and arroz marinero (seafood rice)
Refreshing cerveza and unusual Equatorial Chardonnay and Pinot Noir