Home to 50 ecosystems, Ecuador is one of the world’s most biodiverse regions. There are countless reasons to visit. You’ll find adventure, amazing beaches, rich culture, and amazing food. Here are the top 11 reasons why your next travel destination should be Ecuador: 11 Unique Reasons to Travel to Ecuador
- Fish for the famous piranha of the Amazon Jungle
Tourists are armed with nothing more than wooden sticks as fishing poles with some raw beef as bait. The piranha, true to their nature, are always sure to go into a feeding frenzy and it is quite a spectacle. Remember, these fish have razor-sharp teeth and trying to handle one that you’ve caught would be a big mistake
See why the Blue Footed Boobies on the Galapagos Islands are so well-loved
These are one of the beloved species from Ecuador, and you’ll see them most frequently on the Galapagos Islands. These land birds have a funny name because of their fascinating turquoise blue feet.
- Try roasted guinea pig
This Ecuadorian “specialty” may not be for everyone but for those who have an adventurous palate, it’s a must-try. Roasted guinea pig is considered a delicacy, particularly in indigenous communities. This epicurean oddity is called cuy. The meat is surprisingly succulent when cooked well. To refuse to eat cuy when offered to you is considered impolite in their culture.
- Ride the Devil’s Nose Train
It’s been said the riding the Devil’s Nose train is more about the experience of the journey than reaching the destination. The trip is 3 hours long, but it filled with spectacular scenery and your opportunity to learn about one of the most impressive rail engineering achievements in the world.
- Participate in the Fiestas de Quito
The Fiestas de Quito is a weeklong period from the end of November to December 6th celebrating its foundation date. During this celebration, there is flamenco dancing, theater shows, and bullfighting at the Plaza de Toros. Expect block parties with live music and bands, even traditional go-kart races.
- Sample authentic cow foot soup
Caldo de Pata is traditional Latin American comfort food made with cow feet, yucca, mote, and cilantro. This is such a delicious dish that it is being cooked all over the world. However, what better place to try it than where it originated from.
- Say you’ve traveled to the “center of the earth.”
The Mitad del Mundo monument marks the “official” equator that divides the Northern and Southern hemispheres. This place is called the “Middle of the World” or the “center of the earth.” You can actually say you are standing at latitude 00°00’00!
Explore the Los Tuneles, Galapagos
On Isabela Island, you will find one of the most spectacular dive and snorkeling spots. The water is shallow and exquisitely clear. You will be able to see geological formations made from lava. It is home to sea turtles, and you will see them everywhere. Los Tuneles is a playground for all sorts of Galapagos marine life and a real treat for all explorers.
- Eat larvae in the Amazon jungle
There are a lot of fascinating things to eat in Ecuador, but a tourist favorite seems to be coconut grubs. Many people are pleasantly surprised by how crunchy, and tasty these larvae are after marinated in wild orange and grilled.
- Celebrate Day of the Deceased
Día de Los Difuntos (“Day of the Deceased”) is celebrated on November 2nd and is one of the most popular holidays in Ecuador. This celebration merges traditional indigenous celebration with Catholic beliefs. Families visit the cemeteries with food and flowers and celebrate the people they have loved and lost. This holiday is filled with colorful food, drink, music and family gatherings.
- Observe giant tortoises in the wild at El Chato Tortoise Reserve, Santa Cruz
It is such an impressive sight to watch the prehistoric looking giant tortoises of the Galapagos. These incredible creatures can live well over 100 years. You don’t need a guide to explore El Chato Tortoise Reserve and you’ll see other wildlife there. Feel free to take a walk and even take a rest in the giant hammocks that you’ll see around the park.