In just one day you could see the Amazon Basin, volcanoes, cloud forests and the Pacific coast. You can spend your cash shopping at the indigenous market in Otavalo, or take on some serious treks - like the Quilatoa Loop.
Ecuador exports 8 million tonnes of bananas a year, has had nine presidents since 1997, its residents make a minimum wage of $318/month, and the Panama hat actually came from Ecuador.
Besides all of the wonderful adventures you can have in Ecuador, as with any place you travel, there are always a few things you should know before you go. And what better way to find out, than to ask a bunch of travelers that have been there?
When traveling to Ecuador, a thorough evaluation of your immunization history is important. This goes for children, adolescents and adults.
Routine immunizations can protect you while traveling to South America; and may even save your life.
– Jorge Castillo, Passport Health USA
Dress conservatively if you're bothered by catcalls. It's still a macho culture in Ecuador. When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
So avoid miniskirts and spaghetti strapped singlets, and no matter how athletic you are, take high altitude precautions seriously.
– Kimberly Haley-Coleman, Globe Aware
Don't walk up to the virgin monument in Quito, as people do get robbed on the remote track.
There is a mustard scam in Ecuador, which most commonly occurs in Quito. You'll be walking down the street, and will step on a packet of mustard. One of the locals will come to help you clean the mustard off your pants, and will also clean you out your wallet.
– Trish Sare, BikeHike Adventures
Don't bring anti-malarial medicine. Although there are mosquitoes in Galápagos, none of them are carriers of malaria or dengue fever. Make sure you do bring sunscreen.
The Galapagos gets very hot and sunny. Also consider bringing sea-sickness medicine, or check and see if your cruise has it. A motion sickness medicine called Mareol is available in Galapagos and mainland Ecuador pharmacies.
– Carla Torres, Geovisions
Especially the lesser known parks and mountains, but always consult a knowledgeable and credible local guide on trails and check conditions, take a compass and at least tell someone how long you'll be gone for.
Also, the best thing you can pack is a good rain jacket. The weather is very capricious in the mountains and podocarp rainforests.
– Christina Tunnah, World Nomads
Of course, whenever you're travelling to a foreign country it's always helpful to know a bit of the local language, learn Spanish with our language guide.
What do you wish you knew about Ecuador before you went?
Ecuador is a land of firey volcanoes, lush rainforests and towering mountains. Check out our safety guide to all things thrills and adventure.
This World Nomads guide will help you prepare and protect your belongings plus help you stay safe from petty crime while travelling around Ecuador.