Do you know where Ecuador is located? This is the first question I asked my group of students who were about to embark on a 2-week outdoor expedition to the country. It may come as a surprise but many people, especially teenagers in the USA do not know that Ecuador is a country, let alone in South America.
Here are 5 reasons why you should plan to get outdoors in the great country of Ecuador!
1. Short (and cheap) Flights from the USA
– From the Southern Florida city of Miami, Quito, Ecuador is roughly 4 Hours and you can usually get a killer deal on flights. During the off season, you can find flights as low as $200-300 USD round trip. The flights make getting to Ecuador affordable and realistic for all people.
– There are more than 80 Volcanoes in Ecuador. The majority of them run up the spine of the country and Ecuador is commonly referred to as the “Avenue of Volcanoes”. Quito is above 9,000 ft in elevation making it a great city to acclimatize for high altitude trekking and mountaineering.
– Everyone associated the Galapagos Islands with unique bio-diversity and yes, it is what draws most people to the islands. Little known fact is that over 25,000 people inhabit the Galapagos. There are roughly 18 main island and hundreds of small rocks and smaller islands. There is great aquatic activities and good hiking options as well.
4. The Amazon Jungle
– To the East of the “Avenue of Volcanoes” lies the largest jungle in the world, The Amazon! The Amazon is an extraordinary eco-system with wildlife consisting of monkeys, thousands of species of birds, exotic insects, reptiles and amphibians galore. There are many remote tribes, which one can visit should the interest be there. Learn about cultures vastly different from you own. Head out on a canoe trip or take a dip in a pristine swimming hole, the Amazon can entertain for weeks.
5. The Crowds (or lack thereof)
– While there certainly are travelers in Ecuador, the majority of the ones I have encountered are from South America or Europe and are sparse in numbers. The majority of the touristis are in the Galapagos and the Amazon but there are not many travelers in the high country. Why? Maybe it has to do with bucket list locations? Maybe Americans don’t understand what Ecuador has to offer? If you are looking for solitude and an authentic cultural experience, than Ecuador is for you.
If you want an affordable adventure that is close to home with diverse options and minimal crowds, than Ecuador cannot be denied. 4 hour flight from Miami, Massive, snow-capped Volcanoes, the Galapagos Islands, the Amazon Jungle and small crowds of tourists? How can you not sign up immediately. Adios amigos, I’ll catch