When you think about the middle of the world, you probably think about Ecuador. A tiny country in South America, it neighbors the important tourist destinations of Colombia and Peru.
Ecuador might be known for its Galapagos Islands for those into nature and exotic destinations. An archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, where evolution is at first sight, and nature is the jewel. However, Ecuador is more than that. Indeed, it’s more than its advertised four worlds.
Do you want to know why? Keep reading, and you’ll find it out!
The Four Worlds of Ecuador
Don’t worry if you haven’t heard about Ecuador’s four worlds until now!
Ecuador has four central regions, very different among them that offer an array of natural experiences.
The first one is Amazonia, which surprisingly borders the Andes Mountains range. The Amazon rainforest is pristine, less explored, and less tourist exploited than the Brazilian, Colombian, and Peruvian rainforests. Yet, it offers high-class services mainly developed and/or operated by the local indigenous communities, such as luxury and community-based lodges and river cruises.
The second one is the Andes which divides the mainland and crosses the country’s middle from north to south. A region surrounded by massive volcanoes that travelers can sight in the Avenues of Volcanoes. Quito, the capital city, and the cultural Cuenca are two of the central Andean cities that any traveler must visit. Both are UNESCO’s World Heritage Cities with astonishing historic city centers that are must-sees for any visitor.
The third one is the Pacific Coast, where the economic capital of Guayaquil is located. The Coast is ideal for experiencing sun and sand destinations, an array of ecosystems such as dry forests, mangroves, and a sneak peek of the Galapagos’ fauna.
Last but not least are the Enchanted Islands or the Galapagos Islands, from which we have talked several times in our articles such as:
Ecuador is a gastronomic destination!
A country with such diversified regions is also ideal for food lovers. Why so? Because each area has its tasteful and unique way of cooking that results from a mixture of cultures, mainly between the indigenous of each part and the Spaniard’s traditions that have evolved over the centuries.
Travelers can expect to taste and delight their senses with various dishes prepared with plantain, shrimps, cassava, potatoes, aromatic herbs like the Guayusa, or the unique touch of the fine aroma of cacao.
Moreover, depending on the season and the festivities, travelers can taste some of the most delicious dishes prepared for that celebration, such as the “Fanesca” or the sweet “Colada Morada and Guaguas de Pan” that are made for the Day of the Dead.
Ecuador is as smaller as bigger in…
Resulting in geographical and climatic convergences in such tiny countries as Ecuador, which is 35 times smaller than the US and around the same size as Nevada; it is one of the megadiverse countries in the world. Thus, Ecuador has a variety of ecosystems that are ideal for-minded travelers looking for a nature-based travel experience with an immersion in local culture and customs.
Indeed, the country is easy to discover and quickly passes from one region to another in just a few hours of driving.
Could you imagine being in the Andes, just around four hours after crossing the mountains and volcanoes, at the Amazon jungle entrance? That’s precisely what Ecuador can offer to visitors.
Ecuador is the pinnacle for nature lovers
Not in vain, the country of the Middle of the World is ideal for those nature lover travelers. Indeed, due to its variety of ecosystems, Ecuador is a global tourist destination with seven biosphere areas declared by UNESCO.
For example, Ecuador ranks 12 in the top 20 countries with the most volcanoes in the world. Not in vain, worldwide climbers have Ecuador on their bucket list to climb the Cotopaxi (5,897m / 19,347 ft), the highest active volcano in the world, or the Chimborazo, the highest in the country (6,263m – 20,548 ft).
On the other hand, Ecuador confluences the cold and warm air and water currents. The Andean mountains are a natural barrier to them. Thus, they have helped the country develop many microclimates that harbor a high concentration of biodiversity and an array of endemic species on a small earth’s surface.
Did you know Ecuador has more than 10% of the Orchids worldwide, around 4,200 species, of which almost half are endemic, meaning that they are only found in a specific location in the country?
For those reasons, many travelers into birdwatching, orchids, plants, climbers, or hikers decide to come to Ecuador every year.
If you want to know more about specific destinations, journeys, or best ways to discover Ecuador on a land tour, let us know in the comment or drop us an email at [email protected]