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Top 50 in Ecuador for future adventurers


You cannot miss the ecuadorian amazon. Photo: Mintur.

By Lauren Horning

I studied abroad in Ecuador in the spring of 2014. During my five month stay, I planned some trips, but many adventures happened spontaneously. I cherish the stories and memories I now have, so I wanted to share my list of top things to experience in Ecuador. I feel like my identity is a mixture of my home (the United States) and my beloved second home (Ecuador). This list sums up the motto “Ecuador Love life”.

Ecuador Tourism

1. Drink “batidos” (fruit shakes) in a market – alfalfa with naranjilla, coco, and guanábana are the best

2. Spray foam during Carnaval (Popular holiday)

Fiesta Mayor del Carnaval en Guaranda, provincia de Bolívar, Ecuador.

3. Eat shawarma at street restaurants

4. Play soccer

5. Eat an ‘almuerzo’ (lunch) with ají (chili)

6. Eat yogurt with ‘pan de yuca’

Curiosidades de Ecuador

7. Eat ‘plátano maduro con queso’

8. Eat pitahaya fruit

9. Drink oregano tea when you get sick

10. Eat ‘helado de paila’

Comidas Ecuador

11. Eat ‘tres leches’ dessert

12. Buy a dozen roses for USD $1 for a friend on Valentine’s Day

13. Chew on fresh sugar cane

14. Go to Tiputini (Orellana) and eat the plant that turns your tongue blue

15. Go caving in the rainforest’s Jumandy water park (Napo)

16. Go hiking in the rainforest (with a guide is preferable)

17. See monkeys in the rainforest

What to do in Quito and Pichincha

18. Take pictures in front of La Basílica at night

La Basílica del Voto Nacional de noche. Foto: Mintur.

19. Go canyoning in Mindo

20. Eat breakfast in the Iñaquito Market

21. Take the Teleférico and climb Pichincha, rent a horse at the top

22. Drink ‘vino hervido’ and canelazo in La Ronda

23. Go to El Panecillo

La virgen de El Panecillo. Foto: Mintur.

24. Have dinner in Guápulo and enjoy the view of Cumbaya

25. Go to Papallacta and jump in the river, eat dinner at a place with fresh trout afterwards with hot chocolate and cheese

26. Take a picture with one of the large Quito signs

27. Go to a butterfly sanctuary in Mindo, put banana on your finger, and let a butterfly sit in your hand

28. Climb to the top towers of the Basílica and take a picture of the Panecillo

29. Go to the real Mitad del Mundo and balance an egg on a nail

30. Walk through the forest of eucalyptus trees in Parque Metropolitano

What to do in the Andes highlands

31. Buy otavaleño pants (Otavalo, Imbabura)

32. Eat chugchucarra en Latacunga (Cotopaxi)

33. Go to Bosques de Polylepis (Carchi), take pictures with the massive hedges in El Ángel on the way.

34. Eat cuy in Cuenca (Azuay)

35. Eat a fritada in any popular market

La fritada tiene pedazos de cerdo fritos junto a una rica guarnición. Foto: Ivanna Zauzich.

36. Hike Quilotoa – down and back up (Cotopaxi)

37. Hike the Cotopaxi volcano to the refuge

38. Go shopping in the Otavalo market

39. Visit Cotacachi, the kingdom of leather (Imbabura)

40. Visit the waterfall of Peguche in Otavalo

41. Rent a bike in Baños (Tungurahua) and bike to the waterfalls, take the truck back to town.

42. Go to Pailón del Diablo, at the waterfalls route in Baños, and walk down the steps

43. Go on the longest zipline in Ecuador in Baños

44. Do bungee jumping in Baños

Puenting. Photo: Roberto Ochoa.

45. Swing at the Edge of the World and camp on top (Baños)

46. Party on a chiva at night – particularly the one in Baños

What to do in the Pacific Coast

47. Visit the beaches on La Ruta del Sol (Pacific Coast)

48. Eat ceviche at the beach

Ceviche Ecuador

49. Visit Los Frailes (Manabí) and hike to the mirador, then go to the beach on the other side

50. Go to Montañita for Carnaval