"The land that lies in the middle of the world ..." Top 5 Page for this destination Ecuador by SanguiniA
Ecuador Travel Guide: 5,240 reviews and 19,509 photos
ECUADOR - land of the equator boasts stunning and unexpected variety. The smallest of the Andean countries, Ecuador unfolds around a mountaneous backbone, with snow capped peaks and an avenue of volcanoes. To the east the land drops down, and within lies El Oriente, Ecuador's part of the Amazon Basin. To the west of the Andes lie the lowlands of the coast.
As if this weren't enough, 1000km off the Pacific coast, Ecuador jelously posesses the most prized of natural and wildlife possessions - the GALAPAGOS ISLANDS. These charmed fragments of volcanic rock rise from the ocean and host the earth's most fearless and friendly wildlife. These islands, and particularly their curious inhabitants inspired Charles Darwin's revolutionary "Origin of the Species", and continue to awe visitors to this very day.
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Despite the wealth of natural wonders the country is in dismal shape and plagued with problems. The political turmoil rips through every layer of the society - Ecuador has had 7 presidents since 1996, protests (sometimes seemingly violent) are a common occurrence, corruption is a way of life. Half of the population is very poor and violence is getting out of hand in certain cities. Considering that its neighbour is Columbia, it is no wonder that Ecuador has problems and disputes over drugs and immigrants. The oil industry rapes the Amazon rainforest and leaves little in return to the country. Deforestation is like a disease stripping the country of its former lush vast expanse of forest.
Neverthless, it is an inspiring place to visit. The people brave all the problems with courage and are friendly and helpful to tourists; and what nature is left is truly stunning. Tourism is much needed, both to boost the economy of the country as well as to help preserve nature; and I am glad to have visited as I know I have contributed something, no matter how insignificant; and in return I got wonderful memories of this beautiful corner of South America.
- Pros:Sheer beauty and stunning wildlife
- Cons:Polotical turmoil, violence, crime
- In a nutshell:One of the most captivating places, but plagued with problems.
Backpacks are by far the most comfortable - especially if planning to go to the Amazon and to the Galapagos. Also the... more travel advice
These are the islands that ispired Charles Darwin's revolutionary Origin of the Species Jutting out of the ocean,... more travel advice
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