The best things to do in Ecuador vary depending on who you ask and what your interests are, but whether you are backpacking for a month or planning a quick visit, there will be certain activities that should always be on the list. From a tour of the Amazon rainforest to exploring the capital city of Quito, your trip to Ecuador will be full of a variety of activities. No matter what your interests are, there are fun things to do in Ecuador.
If you’re interested in food, don’t miss out on the local markets and all of their unique fruits and vegetables. The Otavalo Market, located two hours outside of Quito, is known as one of the most authentic markets where you will find not only produce but also local crafts, musical instruments, tapestries, jewelry and more. Feel free to barter at these markets; it is part of the shopping thrill in Ecuador. Beyond food and shopping, there is much more to do in Ecuador that will expose you to the local culture.
Visiting the smaller towns and cities around the country is one of the most entertaining activities and a great way to get to know the local population. Outside of Quito, cities such as Cuenca, Loja, Banos, and Guayaquil will all have their own atmosphere, food, and array of historic activities. In addition, there are hotels in most of Ecuador’s towns, so if you fall in love with Guayaquil or Riobamba, for instance, it’s possible to stay a while and explore the surrounding area.
One of the best things to in Ecuador if you’re looking for outdoor adventure is to take a train ride on the Devil's Nose Train, where you will be surrounded by snow-capped mountains and lakes. From the seat of the train you can take in the spectacular landscape as well as the indigenous villages. If you’re interested in nature, there is an endless list of fun things to do in Ecuador. Hit the Amazon rainforest for a bird watching tour or explore the twin mountain ranges that make up the Avenue of Volcanoes.
Finally, no trip to Ecuador would be complete with a visit to the Galapagos Islands. Outdoor enthusiasts will be in heaven as they encounter some of the world’s rarest specials of animals while they hike, sail, scuba, and bird watch. Despite all of these appealing options, one of the best things to do in Ecuador is to explore the capital city of Quito. As the cultural center of the country, you’ll love exploring the churches and museums of the capital. Once you discover all of the fun things to do in Ecuador, you might think about extending your vacation a few extra days.