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SOUTH AMERICA - DESTINATIONS

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Consultas Ecuador
Ecuador Ecuador Ecuador Ecuador

Officially the Republic of Ecuador, the country also includes the Galápagos Islands in the Pacific, about 965 kilometres (600 mi) west of the mainland. Straddles the equator, from which it takes its name.
Eventhough it’s the smallest of all the Andean countries, holds historical, cultural and natural wonders. Both two worlds - the ancient and the modern – with remnants of past civilizations and Spanish conquests offer the traveller a blend of landscapes and cultures.
From ancient markets, Andean peaks, old churches, Amazon tributaries, Inca ruins, and the wildlife-rich islands, Ecuador boasts an incredible diversity which belies its diminutive size. Indigenous cultures, tropical forests, active volcanoes, and a wealth of animal and bird life are all highly accessible within a matter of hours.

GALAPAGOS ISLAND

The mysterious Galapagos Islands are located 600 miles west of the Ecuadorian Coast. They were declared a World Heritage Site in 1978 and a World Biosphere Reserve in 1985 by UNESCO.
The Islands have a wide variety of amazing animals, such as the different species of giant Galapagos tortoises: red footed, blue footed and masked boobies; flamingos; frigate birds; albatrosses; unique small penguins; non-flying cormorants, and 15 different species of finches.
The Galapagos Islands are also home to an assortment of marine mammals, such as sea lions, whales, and dolphins, as well as many colorful fish and sharks. The Galapagos are volcanic islands, since they were arised as much as 2600 feet above sea level from lava eruptions from volcanos in the bottom of the ocean. Some islands still have active volcanoes. Isolation, climate, altitude and texture of the land on the islands have made their distinct vegetation and animal life materialize. However that is not the only thing you find in the Galapagos. There is a large quantity of museums, shops, art galleries, restaurants and hotels that will provide everybody with plenty entertainment.
Whether your idea of a vacation is to relax with a cocktail on a yacht, enjoy the view from your hotel room, dive with the sea lions, penguins and other marine mammals, or sit arround on the beach, Galapagos will not fail to meet your expectations.
Creatures in these unique "Enchanted Islands" have no instinctive fear of man, allowing travellers to observe them from very close.

AMAZON REGION

The Amazon, located to the east of the Andes, is one of the biologically richest areas anywhere on earth. There are innumerable varieties of flora, including many of Ecuador's 4,500 species of orchids, and many plants with medicinal value. Wildlife such as butterflies, sloths, bats, parrots, monkeys, macaws, river dolphins and caimans are all rather easy to see. The Ecuadorian Amazon offers a wide range of activities, including swimming, canoeing, walks in the forest, bird watching, animal spotting and visits to local jungle communities. Its population are small communities of Indians such as the Cofan, Shuar, Huaorani, and Siona-Secoya who live in jungle villages and still have many of their ancient traditions. The Amazon also has some of the finest white water rafting routes in the country.
Travelers sailing around the islands, one of the greatest diving sites on earth, come unimaginably close to an impressive array of animal and bird life including fur seals, hammerhead sharks, iguanas, boobies, manta rays, penguins, turtles, and tortoises in this, the greatest wildlife sanctuary on earth.

ANDES REGION

Ecuador's Andean region consists of over 30 volcanic cones, many over 5,000 meters and almost a third still active. The snow-capped Cotopaxi is one of these and also one of the world's highest active volcanos. Numerous national parks and protected areas feature a wide variety of microclimates and vast bio-diversity, making the Sierra a paradise for bird watching, for instance. The highlands provide exciting hiking and trekking and there are excellent routes for horse riding and mountain biking. One of the world's best train journeys begins in Riobamba, passing through the famous "Devil's Nose" on the way to the coast. Many inhabitants of the Sierra are Indians, providing the highlands with fascinating indigenous markets and craft centres.
Located in a circle of mountainous peaks, Quito is the world's second highest capital and has one of the finest settings of any city in the world. It is home to outstanding museums, churches, art galleries and its colonial centre, which has been declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
In the Southern Andes, colonial Cuenca near the Inca fortress ruins of Ingapirca is considered by many to be Ecuador's most beautiful city.

PACIFIC COST REGION

West of the Andes lie the coastal lowlands, home to Guayaquil, the largest and economically most important city in the country and said to have the country's greatest nightlife. Characterized by tropical fruit plantations and coffee, quiet beaches and first-rate seafood dishes, the coastal lowlands provide some of the finest white water rafting routes in the country. In the area you can visit Machalilla, Ecuador's only coastal national park, where you can find a tropical dry forest and the island of La Plata, a favoured habitat for whale species including the Humpback, Sperm, Pilot and the False Killer. To the north, in the region of Esmeraldas, the Afro Ecuadorian influence is strong, mainly in the predominance of music such as the marimba.

Glaciers Gourmet Experience

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