Visit Ecuador

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See Ecuador

Explore Ecuador by traveling. There are so many wonderful destinations in Ecuador. Places for every type of traveler — including adventure seekers, nature lovers, and cultural enthusiasts. The following places can be inserting, ordered by distance from our Finca see below. Click in to the map for description:

Destination by Distance From The Finca PermaTree

Province Zamora-Chinchipe

Yantzaza

20km, 30min drive from PermaTree

Yantzaza is located near the Zamora river and has a population of about 15’000. is perfect for watersport fans. If you like kayaking or tubing, Yantzaza is the place for you. There are wide range of species of flora and fauna. It is common also to see many different species of fruit trees, mainly in the wild as guava, quince, passion fruit, peanuts, grapes, among others. There are very few tourist here so people are very relaxed. The name Yantzaza is often seen writen on buses as Yanzatza – someone mixed it up.

Our recommendation:
Yantzaza is the next city from our farm PermaTree and for us more like a big town. There is a big market on Sundays with fresh food and the city it selfs offers a lot of shopping possibility and ATM‘s.

Province Morona Santiago

Gualaquiza

55km, 60min drive from PermaTree

Gualaquiza is spread against a gently sloping hillside surrounded by dense jungle, colonial Gualaquiza is the southern Oriente’s most appealing settlement. It is of touristic interest because it is rich in flora and fauna, abundant in nature. Gualaquiza is just awaking from a long hibernation where tourism is concerned. The main activity is gawking at (or bathing in) the waterfalls around town. There is a place which sells the best Guarapo (sugar cane juice) in the region. For adventure travel options you can consider: Wild water rafting, Canoeing and Abseiling. There are some interesting small Shuar villages to visit in the area as well. The local people will tell you more about their culture, and will show you around the forest to tell you more about medicinal plants and other ways they have been using the forest as a resource for several generations.

Our recommendation:
Gualaquiza has a big market in the center, which is open all days. It’s a bit more expensive to buy food there. In town more up the hill you can find the “Hostería Señorial Del Churo” a Hotel, probably the only one, which we can recommend. Down the main street, direction El Pangui, there is also a military airport with rarely flights. If you follow this street, after the big curve, you will find the best place where they sell Guarapo (sugar cane juice) on the right side. Worth try!

Macas

220km, 4 hours drive from PermaTree

The town of Macas was once known as “Sevilla del Ora” which, when translated, means “Golden Seville”. Macao servers as a base for a plethora of ecotourism, hiking, and other adventure activities. You can take an excursion to Sangay National Park, home to three volcanoes, including Sangay volcano. This Volcano is the 7th largest in Ecuador and is currently one of the more active world volcanoes and sits at an elevation of 5250 mt. continuously spewing ash, stones and fumes.

Our recommendation:
Cute little city with there own Virgin Statue on the top of a little hill. The market once a week is worth to visit which is a bit further the city and not to be confused with the market in the center. Weekly flights take you from Quito to Macas. The little airport is located near the center. There is a chinese restaurant we can recommend and Margit’s Airbnb. She has a lovely house and likesto be surrounded by people! With direct view on to the Sangay Volcan.

Province Loja

Loja

120km, 2.5 hours drive from PermaTree

Loja is a city located at 2100 meters above sea level in the Cuxibamba valley in the south of the Andean Highlands region of Ecuador. Loja’s historic downtown, while not as nice as Cuenca’s, is still worth a visit. At night, Loja is one of the more lively destinations in Ecuador, with a range of cozy bars, restaurants and thumping dance clubs. The Podocarpus National Park is an extraordinary park to visit if you have a love for birds. It has approximately 800 different bird species, of which some have just recently been discovered while still others are waiting to be found.

Our recommendation:
The busy and big city of Loja has there own lovely places and square to visit. It’s pretty cold up there so bring your thermal clothing. Loja’s airport is outside the city in the district of Catamayo. Loja is a trade hub for all kinds of products but mainly, it’s all about food.

Vilcabamba

175km, 3.5 hours drive from PermaTree

The pueblo of Vilcabamba aka Valley of Longevity is an excellent jumping off point to do some hiking in the surrounding mountains, and acts as a gateway for travelers planning to use the inland border crossing with Peru. Apart from Baños and Cuenca, Vilcabamba is the one of the most touristic place of Ecuador. You can meet many expats there mainly Americans.

Our recommendation:
Vilcabamba was once on our list to visit, but then Cuenca came in between. So we can’t recommend anything there but it seems like a town of opposites. Either you love it or hate it.

Province Azuay

Cuenca

190km, 6-8 hours drive from PermaTree

Cuenca is located at 2,500 meters in elevation, the weather can vary greatly throughout the day. Cuenca is noted for its many old colonial buildings. Filled with dozens of churches, and one monumental cathedral, Cuenca is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site due to the preservation of its historic buildings.

Our recommendation:
Cuenca is one of the nicest city in Ecuador. There just building up a tram trail which should be finished in 2017. There is this huge covered market in the center. The city offers a lot of historical buildings and a river to chill. Many expats live in Cuenca maybe because of the fact that is comfortable to fly in from America. For VISA application you have to visit the “Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Movilidad Humana” in Azogues, province of Cañar, which is about 40min from the center of Cuenca.

Province Chimborazo

Riobamba

360km, 6 hours drive from PermaTree

Riobamba, a city in the Andean highlands, is notable for a couple of reasons. One is its proximity to Chimaborazo, Ecuador’s highest mountain that stands 6,268 meters (20,564 feet) above sea level. It’s popular with hikers who often begin the trek at 1 a.m. in order to watch the sun rise. Secondly, it’s the starting point for the spectacular train ride to Nariz del Diablo (Devil’s Nose) that passes through both mountains and cloud forests. Riobamba hosts a market on Saturdays that is more authentic than other markets in Ecuador because it’s aimed at locals.

Province Tungurahua

Ambato

450km, 8 hours drive from PermaTree

40 days before easter, the highland city of Ambato celebraits there so called; “La Fiesta de la Fruta y las Flores”, or the Festival of Fruit and Flowers. The chosen Reina, King becomes the centerpiece for the largest parade of the Fiesta – the Desfile de las Frutas y Flores. This parade is an all day spectacle that highlights the beauty queens from nearby cities and towns and even a representative queen from the Ambateños who live abroad in the United States. The dolled up girls ride on floats fashioned out of fruits and flowers and little bread loafs (bread in Ecuador is usually prepared in single serving rolls – each town has their own recipe). On the floats with the beauty queens ride small children, representing the fruit beside the flowers. Amidst the floats are the dancers. Source

Baños

450km, 8 hours drive from PermaTree

Banos is a small town in the middle of the mountains with quite a few activities and sights to enjoy. It is located at at the foot of the active volcano Tungurahua. Named after the hot springs fed by the thermal waters of the volcano, Baños is one of the most popular places to visit in Ecuador. The big attraction is are the hot springs — and there are plenty of them, some complete with gyms and spas. All of the baths are fed by the hot springs coming from Tungurahua, the adjacent active volcano, and all are within walking distance of the center of town. Baños has plenty of bars as well as both international and local restaurants. Another attraction is the to ride a swing on the Edge of a Cliff in Baños – Casa del Arbol in Banos Ecuador.

Province Pichincha

Quito

600km, 10 hours drive from PermaTree

Quito, formally San Francisco de Quito, is the capital city of Ecuador, and at an elevation of 9,350 feet, 2,800 meters above sea level. It is the highest official capital city in the world. The historic center of Quito has one of the largest, least-altered and best-preserved historic centers in the Americas, and is undoubtedly one of the cities main tourist attractions.  Quito, along with Kraków, were the first World Cultural Heritage Sites declared by UNESCO in 1978. A monument and museum marking the general location of the equator is known locally as “Mitad del Mundo” (the middle of the world). Quito is an excellent city in which to learn Spanish before heading off to other places in South America.

Our recommendation:
Quito has a lot to offer. Parks and sightseeing, church, cathedrals and buildings. But the historic center is a real beauty a must see. “Wok to Walk” we had the best take away food and in the Park La Carolina enjoy the green or visit the botanical garden there.

Mindo

660km, 12 hours drive from PermaTree

Mindo offers environmentally conscious travelers the best of two biodiversified ecosystems: the tropical Andes and the Chocoan lowlands. Here, visitors will see cloud forests, farmlands, three major rivers and hundreds of streams. Mindo is the birding paradise! Many tourist attraction from river rafting to butterflys watching. Town is mostly full on weekends.

Our recommendation:
There are two shops in Mindo, where they sell vegetables. Sometimes they aren’t really fresh so you better ask where the retirement home is if you can buy some vegetables from there own garden – once a week. There is also a woman with a black car driving around once a week selling organic avocados and more. Visit the restaurant El Quetzal a bit up the hill. Nice coffee and chocolate! For long term vacation, book the tiny house from Julia Patiño Casitas. Rent a bike and ride around. Mindo is often rainy and fresh bring your coat.

Province Manabí

Olmedo

555km, 10 hours drive from PermaTree

If you need a brake from the coast, Olmedo is the best way to do that. Almost untouched place from tourism, outside the big crowd. Pure nature, where people live there simple lifes in bamboo houses. We where lovely surrounded from our host family, which we found over Airbnb. Jacqueline made this delicious traditional Ecuadorian food, she is the best cook! The jung Family, just involved us in all kind of there daly activities and finally we ended up at there children festival in school. We never have been so close to the local people with there warmhearted welcoming.

Our recommendation:
Book a week at Jacqueline Mieles house and let you inspire from there home and town.

Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos are home to unique wildlife not found anywhere else in the world. They’re best known as the site that inspired Charles Darwin to come up with his theory of evolution after visiting there in 1835. Located about 1,000 km (600 miles) offshore Ecuador, the Galapagos are home to such diverse species as giant tortoises, marine tortoises, flightless cormorants, and a variety of finches and mockingbirds. UNESCO declared the Galapagos a Natural Heritage Site for Humanity in 1978, and the Galapagos National Park a Biosphere Reserve in 1984. Later in 2001 UNESCO extended the World Heritage Site designation to include the Galapagos Marine Reserve. Tourist map here

Province Guayas

Guayaquil

370km, 7 hours drive from PermaTree

As Ecuador’s largest city with almost 2.7 million people, Guayaquil is the commercial heart of Ecuador. The Parque Historico Guayaqui offers colonial buildings, lush gardens and animals native to the country; visitors especially like the free admission. Las Peñas is a colorful, old neighborhood with a lighthouse and great views of the city below while Malecon 2000, a boardwalk along the river, is a great place to end the day.