If you’re the type of traveler who chases thrills and lives for the most heart-pounding adventures, you need to plan an Ecuador adventure tour. With volcanic valleys, tropical islands, and more, the landscapes of Ecuador are the perfect playground for people who want to cross as many bucket list experiences off the list as possible.
Spending one to two weeks in Ecuador is plenty of time to do just about anything you can imagine. Thanks to the compact size of this country, travelers can be in the Galapagos Islands one day, the Amazon rainforest the next, and dive into the Pacific coast before heading up into the Andes. Such biodiversity in such close proximity is unique, so you’ll want to take advantage of the opportunity for one of the most varied itineraries ever. To help inspire your trip, here are five of the best activities to look forward to on your Ecuador vacation.
– Go Trekking In The Mindo Cloud Forest
Nestled up in the Andes Mountain range, you’ll find one of the most ethereal places on the planet: the Mindo Cloud Forest. The small town of Mindo draws travelers from around the world not because of the city itself, but because of the awesome natural landscapes that surround it. The Cloud Forest is a rare natural ecosystem where dense clouds linger close to the ground and make it appear as if you’re living in the sky.
Not only is this region an incredibly beautiful and peaceful place to explore, but it is also one of the most fascinating habitats for birdwatching, butterfly spotting, and studying different types of fauna in the wild. An adventure here promises raw splendor as you hike through the various trails that weave around the mountain.
Mindo is an exceptional destination for adventurers who love trekking. You’ll learn all about Ecuador’s unique ecosystem while climbing through the cloud forest. If you want to spend your afternoon chasing waterfalls, head to the Nambillo ecological reserve and set off to see seven of Mindo’s most picturesque scenes. You can also opt for something a little bit more heart-pounding with a night walk tour, looking for the nocturnal inhabitants of the cloud forest.
– Swim With Turtles In The Galapagos Islands
Take a few days to explore the evolutionary wonders of the Galapagos Islands, just a short flight off of Ecuador’s coastline. Researchers like Charles Darwin have been coming to this archipelago for centuries to study the amazing wildlife that thrives here since so many of the species cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
One of these rare species is the Galapagos green sea turtle, one of the largest turtle species in the world. These slow-moving specimens grow up to 700 pounds on average and can live up to 60 years old. Although these turtles have been spotted in a few different parts of the world, the Galapagos is the only place they lay their eggs. Getting a chance to swim with these creatures in their home is a magical experience every traveler will love.
Spend a day snorkeling with these sea turtles if you want an adorable yet active experience while visiting these islands. Snorkeling tours are one of the best ways to find sea turtles, and learn all the incredible facts about these animals and their habitat! As you dive underwater to explore, watch how their small but powerful finds propel them through the waves with ease. Just remember not to touch the turtles to make sure they stay safe and healthy.
– Hike The World’s Highest Active Volcano In Cotopaxi
Some may think of hiking as a somewhat boring excursion – after all, you’re just walking right? Well, not in Cotopaxi! Ecuador’s impressive volcano is still technically active today, but that does not stop climbers, hikers, trekkers, and travelers from braving the giant mountain for an unbelievable hike.
Cross “climbing a volcano” off your bucket list when you embark on your Ecuador adventure tour. This is the second highest peak in Ecuador, but arguably the most exhilarating as you ascend the peaceful trails of a deceptively quiet mountain. Of course, volcanic activity is observed so your hike won’t be too dangerous, but knowing that this volcano is still rumbling is exciting in and of itself.
The hike does not require technical mountaineering experience, but it is not recommended for first time hikers. But if you’re a frequent trailblazer, you should find the climb to be a welcome challenge. Make sure you spend a few days acclimating to the high altitude of this region before you begin the climb. Altitude sickness is one of the most common reasons people fail to summit the mountain, so remember to drink tons of water and get plenty of rest.
Trekking Cotopaxi can be done in just two days, so it’s a great hike to add to your itinerary without making it the only adventure on your trip. Your expert guide will make sure you follow the safest trails to the summit. Once you’re there, you’ll be rewarded with marvelous views of the Andean mountains that surround you.
Explore The Amazon Rainforest
Lush foliage, strange and spectacular wildlife, and rare fauna blooming in the dense greenery – the Amazon rainforest is one of Earth’s most magnificent regions and needs to be part of any Ecuador adventure tour.
Baños, also known as the “gateway to the Amazon,” is the perfect place to start your journey. The town is known for exceptional food, exciting adventures, and easy access to the rainforest. Before you brave the wilds of the jungle, spend a day exploring all the fun within Baños. Take a trip to the iconic Casa de Arbol and enjoy swinging at the end of the world. This experience is an excellent photo moment to remember your Ecuador adventure, but it’s also a heart-pounding activity. You’ll literally be swinging over what feels like the edge of the earth, soaring over the green cliffs below.
This town is also very close to some amazing thermal baths, a great place to rest your muscles if you’ve been enjoying all the other thrills this country has to offer. Or, if you prefer waters that have a little more excitement to them, go white water rafting down the Rio Pastaza for shriek-worthy sailing through class 3 and 4 rapids.
After you’ve explored Baños and enjoyed the fun that this town has to offer, it’s time to head into the Amazon Rainforest. Take a peek at these incredible jungle lodges in Ecuador’s Amazon that are just a few hours away, so you can experience the beauty of the region while still enjoying some luxury accommodations. Many of these lodges have excellent wellness and spa treatments to indulge in after your days of exploration. Go on wildlife walks, sail the river looking for piranhas and pink dolphins, or head up into the treetops for a canopy tour! There are plenty of unique adventures waiting in the Amazon, you’ll have an abundance of fun to choose from.
If you’re ready to start planning the details of your Ecuador adventure tour, let us know which of these experiences are calling out to you and we’ll help organize all the details! In between every thrilling excursion, we’ll also make sure you have an amazing place to rest every night and plenty of local recommendations for what to do in your free time.
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