Ecuador Travel Guide

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Ecuador Information

Population:

Time Zone: GMT - 5

Driving side: Drivers drive on the right side of the road

Languages: Quechua, Spanish

Religion: 90% Roman Catholic
small minority of other Christian denominations.

Emergency #: All Emergencies: 911

Ecuador Popular Destinations

Quito- The capital of Ecuador is one of the most beautiful cities in South America. Vistas in Quito are dominated by mountains, with several snow-capped volcanoes standing guard in the distance. Quito has plenty of colonial treasures and the old centre is full of white-washed houses, red-tiled roofs and colonial Churches. Quito was declared a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1978. There are a number of museums, impressive plaza's and the 16th Century Monastery of San Franciso, Ecuador's oldest Church and the El Panecillo, a hill with fabulous views of the town and an enormous statue of the Virgin of Quito.

Cuenca - Founded by the Spanish in 1557, Cuenca is the third largest city in Ecuador and one of its prettiest. The old centre has churches and homes dating back to the 16th and 17th Centuries lining its cobble-lined streets.

Otavalo - Is famous for its Saturday Indian market which dates back to pre-Inca times. The market is a vivid, festive affair and those that host it, do so in their traditional dress. Most of the Indians live in villages just outside Otavalo and only come in for the market. There are three main plazas on which to see the market, with the Poncho Plaza the main one for crafts, woollen blankets, scarves, poncho's and tapestries.

Avenue of Volcanoes - This long valley is flanked by two parallel mountain ranges containing some of the country's wildest scenery and nine of its ten highest peaks. The area is peppered with isolated Indian villages, where lifestyles haven't changed much and each community displays distinct styles of traditional dress.

Moving Around Ecuador

It has an efficient air transportation system and is relatively cheap by virtue of it being a small country. Buses are the most popular means of transport, although taxis and trucks can be hired for a long journey, but you need to negotiate a fee beforehand. Foreigners pay more for train travel than locals, but you are permitted to ride on top of the carriages on some trips.

National festival and holidays

All Soul's Day - 2 November. A number of wreath-laying ceremonies brighten the countries cemeteries.

Corpus Christi - a moveable festival in June and combines with traditional harvest fiestas in many towns.

Simon Bolivar's - ( the "founder" of modern Ecuador) birthday - 24 July

Useful Ecuador Links

My Quito!
Huge travel resource for visitors to Ecuador -reviews of each region -Andes, Oriente, Pacific Coast and Galapagos plus trekking, rafting, scuba diving, learning spanish and eco tourism.

A good alernative for Ecuador Information
This site offers a different perspective about Ecuador and its most beautiful attractions. Check it out!

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