A little land, Ecuador is too often forgotten. Although, there are many beautiful countries to visit in South America, it holds marvelous wonders for being small. Inconspicuously located south of Columbia, the country is most notable for its contribution to Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, as he traveled there for his studies. Most specifically, he found himself off the beautiful Galapagos Islands. Retrace his steps by observing the copious amounts of wildlife and the breath of unadulterated nature.
If you would like a once-in-a-lifetime, unbelievable experience, you must visit the famed Cotopaxi Volcano, an actual active volcano. Also known as The King of the Andes, it is open to the public and accessible by car, when it is not ‘too active’.
There are still spaces to trek off of the grid; a lot of these trails are filled with rough terrain and have rigid edges, only suitable for advanced hikers. Although it may not be for the faint hearted, if you are able, the views are breathtaking. Highly recommended, Quilotoa Lagoon is a beautiful mineral-filled, turquoise lagoon that sits in a volcanic crater.
If want to chill out on the beach, there are beautiful coastal towns along the western part of the country. Montanita is known for its hippie lifestyle, which is quite the contrast to Ecuador’s traditional culture. Here, topless bathing is alright, reggae music is a staple, music festivals are a regular occurrence, same-sex couples can openly embrace and marijuana is smoked openly and frequently. Ecuador is a place for maximal exploration, in various realms.