Ecuador is a very beautiful country which is rich in natural wonders, ranging from the hot springs of the national parks and the volcanoes to the beaches of the coast and the mangroves. There are countless things to do in Ecuador and the favorite attractions and activities in this country are the shops, nightclubs, museums, parks, coffee shops and many more. Here we will discuss about the main tourist attractions in Ecuador.
1. Galapagos Islands National Park and Marine Reserve
The Galapagos Islands is best known for the wildlife which was studied by naturist Charles Darwin. The islands are a remote volcanic archipelago. The national park and marine reserve are formed by about 97 percent of the islands and surrounding waters and it attracts tourists from everywhere. The islands are only accessible by boat or plane and the help of an official guide is needed. Diving has become a very popular activity in the Galapagos and the area is frequently haunted by manta rays, iguanas, and whale sharks.
2. Quito Old Town
The Quito Old town is located 9,350 feet above the sea level in Pichincha province and it was one of the first cities to gain UNESCO World Heritage listing. A majority of the mud-brick houses are built in the Spanish or Moorish style and are often covered by stucco or plaster. The religious and public buildings are very detailed featuring arched windows and statue-decorated exteriors. There are quite a few notable religious buildings here that include the Church and Jesuit College of La Compania and the monasteries of Santo Domingo and San Francisco, where you will find blended Spanish, Moorish Italian and indigenous style of architecture.
3. Cotopaxi National Park
The most visited National Park in Ecuador is the Parque Nacional Cotopaxi and it has the world's highest active volcano at its center. Located at a height of 19,350 feet above sea level, the site offers excellent climbing and hiking opportunities along with a small museum and facilities of camping and picnicking. Here you also can spot condors and deer. For those who wish to climb the volcano, there is the facility of an overnight mountain but on the snow line. It is best to climb the volcano during December to April.
4. El Mitad del Mundo
El Mitad del Mundo (or the middle of the world) is a complex of museums and shops which were built to mark the equator, the line from where the country has got its name. The focus of the square is the 96 feet high Equator Monument which is topped by a brass sphere that represents the world. A painted line stretches out on either side of the brass sphere marking the Equator that bisects the world into northern and southern hemispheres. Also there is an anthropological museum that has displays of Equator's populations and their customs, and at the top there is a scenic lookout.
5. Plaza de la Independencia
Also known as Plaza Grande, this square is the heart of the city and is the perfect place for sitting and people watching. Around the center of the square are the most notable municipal and religious buildings in the city including the Cathedral and the City Hall. The cathedral which is the oldest church in South America, is among the city's most magnificent historical and architectural sites.
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Scott Archer is a professional content writer and blogger from the UK who shares his travel experiences. His hobbies include travelling, trekking and cooking and he is currently working on a project Esta which helps in visa assistance.