A welcoming blend of colonial European and traditional South American culture
With cities such as Quito and Cuenca that are packed full with influence from Spanish colonialism, the Galapagos Islands far off the Pacific coast, and the remote reaches of the rainforest, there might be too much in Ecuador to see it all. The country is divided by the ridges of the Andes, which on its own has small villages scattered throughout overlooking valleys and lakes. Head to the coast and take a surf lesson in the Pacific, or down the mountains to the east where you can take a guided rainforest tour.
While exploring the cities left behind by Spanish colonialism, you'll immediately notice the European influence, with beautiful plazas and cobblestone infrastructure. Look ahead of you and you'll likely see an impressive church staring back at you, with an old mansion perched on the hill in your peripheral. When you venture out to the smaller villages you can't help the colorful textiles of the local traditions, and you might even stumble upon an ancient Incan ruin.
Ecuador has a range in different dishes, from more standard dishes like rice and chicken or shrimp, to common traditional foods such as llamingachos to options for the more adventurous such as cuy. Head down to the beach for some ceviche, or grab some choclo as you pass a vendor on the street. No matter how much exploration you're looking to do regarding your meals, you'll be able to find something that brings an Ecuadorian flare to your day.
As is common in Latin American cultures, the people hardly need to find a reason to have a parade or festival, filled with drums, singing, and the most vibrant colors you can imagine. This lively way of life reflects clearly the warm, joyful, passionate, and loving personalities of the Latino population.