The Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in the South American continent. It shares its border with Peru on the east and south, Colombia on the north and the west is covered by the Pacific Ocean. Spanish is the most spoken language of the country, almost 94% of the people speak Spanish, other languages include Shuar and Quichua and eleven other native lingos. Without a doubt, Ecuador is one of the most beautiful places in the world today, and the Galapagos Islands which belong to Ecuadorian Republic too, come under UNESCOs world heritage sites.
So, such a fine country should be a beehive for tourists’ right? Absolutely! Until 2011 over 1,141,000 people have visited the country as tourists. This alone tells how famous of a tourist destination this country is. Just like any other destinations, even Ecuador has its own set of places that are famous attractions. Below mentioned are the five most illustrious targets in the country,
Montañita (Little Hill): This is a petite seaside town situated in the prefecture of Santa Elena, which is somewhere around a 180 kilometers northwest of the Guayaquil city. This little town became very famous recently. Back in the old days, it was only known as a surfing spot, and had just a few rusty old fisherman houses, and a few surfing tents here and there during the summer. It was until 1960, the city got a little recognizable. It was linked to many foreign people who started the hippie movement and decided to settle down permanently in the city. Thanks to them, the city became a hotspot for surfers from around the globe, who still consider this beach as one of the best on the South Coast of the Country.
New Cathedral of Cuenca: Cuencais the third largest city of the country, this city gained popularity for two reasons, one its pleasant climate all year and two, because of the New Cathedral. The blueprint of this cathedral was drawn out by a German born contemplative, Juan Bautista Stiehle who came to the city from Alsace in 1873 on Bishop Leon Garrido’s orders. He lived from 1829-1899. The work began in 1885 and took almost a century to be completed. The cathedral has three main domes. They are made up of white and striking blue glazed tiles brought from Czechoslovakia. This magnificent structure was born after nearly a hundred years of intense labor, and is also the reason why it’s so famous.
Otavalo Market: If you want to experience the flavor of local art, this is the right place for you. The local artists of the country put up their clothing, arts and crafts for sale. The art is so beautiful that this city became famous all over the world, because of the homegrown handiwork of the Otavalos (the local community of the town). The city’s Plaza de Ponchos holds the sales of a variety of stone and wood carvings, woven clothing and jewelry every Saturday. Every tourist coming to Quito never forgets to add Otavalo Market on his tour list.
San Francisco Church of Quito: It’s obviously the church located in Quito’s old town. The building process began in the year 1550 in a place where the Incan ruler Atahualpa‘s Palace stood, back in the day.It’s famous because it’s not just a church, it’s a whole complex of the Minster, which covers two blocks and has a museum connected to it. This church holds the position of being one of the most important cultural hubs of Latin America.
The Galapagos Islands are the only reason behind the fame of the whole country. If you step into Ecuador, you shouldn’t ever come back until you see this place. It has become a hub spot for travelers around the world also, because Galapagos offers a wide range of tour packages and Scuba Diving as well as Snorkeling sessions around. You can even call it as Mother Nature’s paradise of living organisms. Now this is not just one single islet but a whole bunch of them, situated in the Eastern Pacific. Reason behind this popularity is their unadulterated condition since centuries. These islands and very remote and were untouched by human hands until the mid 1500s, until they were discovered accidentally. Charles Darwin, the man who wrote the theory of Evolution got his inspiration from the unusual animals which lived on these isles.
These strips of land masses are famous because of their ecosystem, it has the richest marine life on the planet and over 97% of the land is a national park. The isles have remarkable animals such as Sea Lions, Giant Tortoises, aquatic Iguanas, penguins and a variety of birds. What can be a better way to spend the holidays than a visit to Ecuador, especially the Galapagos Islands to witness the beauty of nature at its best?
Author Bio: +Samantha is a travel freak from San Diego who now resides in Quito, Ecuador. She loves visiting new places and exploring everything she can. Deeply influenced by the evolution of the human race, she now works with Nature Galapagos & Ecuador as a travel informant and loves sharing knowledge about the unique species found in this amazing country.