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Spotlight on...Ecuador

In last week's newsletter I introduced the idea (in case it had not occurred to you) that an outdoorsy, environment-centric, tropical rain-forest vacation for nature lovers can be commingled with creature comforts, luxurious accommodations and haute cuisine, should that be the journey of your dreams and thought it impossible. Actually my plan was to make it the journey of your dreams ( á la "you are getting very sleepy") by merely suggesting it. In fact the accompanying Wanderlist helps you do just that.

In the process of writing that article, I realized that one of the countries featured, Ecuador, was not one of my most requested destinations. So if you've ever woken up and thought, "I think I'll add Ecuador to my list of things to do", this one is for you.

Ecuador is a small country located in South America known for its beautiful landscapes and rich cultural heritage. Traveling in Ecuador can be an exciting and enriching experience. Some of the must-see destinations in Ecuador include the Galápagos Islands, the Amazon rainforest, and the Andean mountain range, all known for their incredible diversity of plants and animals, stunning views and opportunities for outdoor activity.

In addition to its natural beauty, Ecuador also has a rich cultural heritage, with a blend of indigenous, Spanish, and African influences. You can explore the country's vibrant cities, such as Quito and Cuenca, and visit historical sites and museums to learn more about Ecuador's history and culture.

Wonderful wilderness is not all that Ecuador offers. Pause in Ecuador’s capital for colonial cloisters, architect skyscrapers, and elevated cuisine. Known to travelers as the gateway to farther-flung adventures in the Galápagos, Quito, a sky-high capital with its head in a cloud forest, warrants a longer look. Founded in 1534, when the Spanish resettled an ancient Inca city in a narrow Andean valley, Quito sits on the slopes of the Pichincha volcano. The world’s second-highest capital, at 9,350 feet, it’s also the oldest capital in South America, with a wealth of colonial architecture, from the gold interior of the baroque Compañía de Jesús church to the sprawling cloisters of the San Francisco monastery. And it’s the first city (along with Kraków) to be named a UNESCO World Heritage site, in 1978.

Whether you consider Quito the gateway to or from your Andean, Galápagos or Amazon adventure, you'll be able to enjoy traditional Latin fare, contemporary takes on classics, craft breweries with artisanal cervezas, high-altitude grown coffee beans, and fine chocolate. Purchase pottery, textiles, and artworks. Stay at the lovely Casa Gangotena, an "exquisitely transformed" 1920s mansion for your Virtuoso benefits. Explore cobblestone streets, ornate churches, plazas, shops, cafés, and markets. Views of the Andes Mountains accompany visitors around every corner.

But is Ecuador for you? I'll step out on a limb and say 'yes'. The partners I collaborate with to curate your vacation in Ecuador are experts at accommodating your wishes, whether you're a solo traveler, a couple, a family, or a much larger group of friends enjoying the splendors of the world together. Here is a Wanderlist to get you started on your Ecuadorean dream. If the thought of a vacation to Ecuador has never crossed your mind, you are getting...very...sleepy.

'til next week.


Did you miss any of my articles? They are all here.

Contact: GLOBAL EXOTIC ADVENTURES - Juliet Weller, Founder

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