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Vilcabamba

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.

Important dates in Ecuador

January 1 – New Years Day

February 27-28 – Carnival

April 14 – Good Friday

April 16 – Easter Day

May 1 – Labour Day

May 24 – Anniversary of the Battle of Pichincha

July 24 – Simon Bolivar Day

August 10 – Independence Day

October 9 – Independence of Guayaquil

November 2 – All Souls Day

November 3 – Independence of Cuenca

December 6 – Foundation of Quito Day

December 25 – Christmas Day

 

To research more about a specific holiday or to find out the next calendar year’s holidays, click here.

Ecuador

South America

Spanish

Ecuadorian Centavo Coins, United States Dollar

Interesting facts

  • 

Ecuador is one of the only two countries that does not share a border with Brazil.

 

  • Ecuador’s Mount Chimborazo is the closest point on earth to the sun. This is due to the location of the mountain on the earth’s equatorial bulge. This also means Ecuador is the closest country to space.

 

  • The first UNESCO World Heritage Sites were in Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands, followed by the City of Quito.

Good to know

Citizens of most countries do not require a visa for tourist visits of up to 90 days.

 However, there is a list of countries that will need a visa to enter the country. The list, along with more details about what documents you will need for travel, click here.

Fashion and Culture in Ecuador

With an existing, influential Native culture, some Incan languages are still spoken today. While nearly everyone will speak the official language of Spanish, the sustenance of the native tongue preserves parts of the culture that would have otherwise been lost. Afro-Ecuadorians show their roots by continuing to play their ancient marimba music in the streets, at festivals, at family gathers, and parties.

Every city in Ecuador differs in style and taste but to over-simplify, Ecuadorians dress up in comparison to many other cultures.

 Casual dress does not appear often in the most tradition Ecuadorian culture, especially for women. Generally, many dress up whenever they leave the house.

Along with dressing nice, most women would never leave their home without having their 

hair done, make-up done, and ears and arms of accessories. They wear heels nearly everyday, avoiding tennis shoes, unless they are going to the gym. Of course, this may be too much for the average travelers who is unaccustomed to this lifestyle. 

However, you should always embrace your individuality as this is merely a guide to make you aware of what to expect.

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