A country the size of the U.S. state of Nevada (or slightly smaller than Italy), Ecuador must be the world’s most concentrated repository of biological, geographical, and ethnic diversity. The country boasts 10 peaks greater than 5,000 meters (16,400 feet) in elevation. The highest of them all is Chimborazo, which rises to 6,268 m (20,564 ft) and is perpetually covered in snow and glaciers. Due to the Earth being fatter at the equator than at the poles, the peak of Chimborazo is the furthest point on Earth from the center of the globe.
The eastern 45% of the country lies in the Amazon lowlands while the Andean spine of the country represents 20% and the western lowlands 35%.
The Amazon rainforest of Ecuador is very moist and species-rich, but almost all of it is subject to subsistence or market meat hunting. The forest is mostly intact but the wildlife watching is far better at our favorite lodges in the southern Amazon of Peru and Brazil. Thus, for guests who wish to visit Ecuador for the Galapagos or for Spectacled Bears but also want to sample Amazon rainforest, we recommend including the rainforest of southeastern Peru.
The main reason why SouthWild sells trips in Ecuador is to showcase two global exclusives: guaranteed Spectacled Bears and the Galápagos Islands. One of the most attractive and harmless of the world’s eight bear species, the 110-kilo (243-pound) Spectacled Bear is especially arboreal, but it is devilishly-difficult to see in any of the other four countries of its range, which includes restricted portions of the mountains of all the nations of the tropical Andes.
The other main reason for wildlife-lovers to visit Ecuador is to marvel at the unique wildlife, scenery, and scientific history of the Galapagos Islands. We differ from most tour operators on the best way to see the Galapagos, Our minority opinion is based on detailed, inside information from our extremely-prominent, quadrilingual, Ecuadorian ecotourism consultant, who has lived for 15 years in the Galapagos.
There is a great variety of stylish lodges and hotels in Ecuador to delight you. Speak with our specialists for details.