Ecuador is the ideal Green Travel Destination
It is not for no good reason that Ecuador has been awarded with the World’s Leading Green Destination for two consecutive years. During the international 2016 World Travel Awards, Ecuador managed to earn the title yet again, beating Norway, Costa Rica, Perú among others.
Well, just so you don’t miss them, here’s our ultimate list of some of the best Ecuador ecotourism destinations you should definitely come to visit. These spots are not only awsome, but they are also quite accessible. Check them out!
1. Las Latas Cascades – Misahualli
Located at aprox. 8 km out of the ideally small town of Misahualli (in the direction of Tena), this spot is perfect for submerging into nature and breathing clean air. A big sign signals the entrance to the cascades where mild trek (1 hr) will lead you the awesome spot where you can catch a sight of butterflies, birds and jungle vegetation, and even take a well-deserved dip in the cascade. By the way, its quite cheap to get there and perfect for slef-organized excursions.
2. Baños and its awsome rivers
The small town of Baños de Agua Santa is located on hot spot in the Andean region of Ecuador. Famous Tungurahua Volcano gives birth to healing thermal baths and breed a fertile land. Baños is also home to more than 60 waterfalls, Pailón del Diablo is featured above. High-adrenaline outdoor activities, as well as easy access to Llanganates National Park or to the Jungle. A great spot for ecotourism and adventure!
Mindo Lindo (Beautiful Mindo) indeed! This spot is no only one of the most diverse ecosystems on earth (caught between two of the most biologically diverse regions in the world, Chocoan lowlands and the Tropical Andes), it is also conveniently located at a 2 hr. drive from Quito. Mindo is home to infinite bird species and charming plant life and now a great spot to practice adventure sports. Mindo is favored by youngsters and seniors alike. Mindo make an ideal day-trip from Quito, extended trip with Mindo lodges are also a great option.
4. Yasuni National Park
Yasuní’s location nurtures its abundant wild life and fertile lands. The park sits at the intersection of the Andes, the Equator, and the Amazon region. Typical tropical jungle weather rules with daily showers combined with sunlight, warmth, and moisture. Sounds promising, doesn’t it? Yasuní is also home to two indigenous nations each with deep cultural practices which bond to the land, the Kichwa and the Waorani. An amazing site to explore! Given that Yasuní is sucha delicate and virgin ecosystem, specialized Jungle Lodges arrange escorted tours to this location, which keeps tourism regulated.
5. El Cajas National Park
Breathtaking Cajas is actually easily accessed to, as the main highway from Cuenca to Guayaquil crosses right through the park. The vast wilderness of El Cajas encompasses a unique mix of biodiversity — from high-alpine páramo to cloud forest and humid wetland. The name of the park comes from the Kichwa word cassa, meaning “gateway to the snowy mountains,” or simply caxa: “cold.” Sounds existing to explore, right?
6. San Rafael Waterfall
Perhaps one of the most iconic images of the Ecuadorian Rainforest, the San Rafael Cascade is a magnificent display of natural beauty and power. Located between the borders of Napo and Sucumbíos Province at only 25km from Tena City. The cascade has a drop of over 150 meters, formed by the descent of the Coca River. A must see on your trip to the Ecuador Amazon.
7. Galapagos – Bartolome Island
Though not as accessible as other spots mentioned here, there is no doubt this small island is a perfect site for ecotourism. Actually, once in Galapagos, getting to Bartolomé Island is quite easy on a 2 hr. motor-yacht ride. This volcanic islet is much more than just a pretty picture of Galapagos, it is home to an amazing underwater world with penguins, marine turtles, white-tipped reef sharks, and other tropical fish. The bay is one of the most awesome places to go swimming in the archipelago.
8. El Coca and it surrounding Rinforests
The beauty of Coca, aka. Puerto Francisco de Orellana, lies on its strategic location. Settle just at the junction of the Rivers Coca and Napo right in the middle of the jungle. Hotels can be found by the riverfront as it is the starting point for most excursions into the jungle, specially the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve, featured in the pic above. Tours to this area are also carried by jungle lodges.
9. Pululahua Geobotanical Reserve
This protected area around dormant Pululuhua Volcano is conveniently located at 17 km north of Quito. The fertility of this area is due to its unique microclimate caused by the volcanic crater and lava dome. It supports cloud forests and many orchids and other types of plants on the crater walls and the peaks of the central lava dome, as well as the fertile farmland below. It is an astounding location as offers plenty of ecotourism: camping, hiking and mountain biking.
10. Peguche waterfall
Located just outside of Otavalo, small village of Peguche supports weaving and farming and talented musicians. After a short hike, the Peguche Waterfall is not only rewarding to the senses, as it is surrounded by the eucalyptus, but it also has that special quality of a sacred location. Since the Inca times the site has been used for pilgrimage and for the Inti Raymi Festival. Peguche has it all, natural beauty and historical value. A day-trip to Otavalo from Quito can be customized with a visit to Peguche waterfall.
So now you know it. Don’t forget to visit this awsome spots on your next trip to Ecuador.