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Why travel in ECUADOR
Are you interested in ecotourism and responsible travel? What if you went to discover Ecuador and meet the Ecuadorians!
Between Colombia to the north and Peru to the south, it is located at the crossroads of several exceptional ecosystems. The destination has so many assets that it was elected “ecological destination of the world” in 2013.
From the Andes to the Amazon rainforest, from the Pacific coast to the many active volcanoes, Ecuador is full of fantastic natural sites. And what about the Galapagos Islands? This archipelago lost in the middle of the Pacific is home to exceptional fauna and flora. It is a true preserved paradise that has evolved mostly and historically in isolation.
In order to protect the existence of this remarkable natural heritage, Ecuador has created 11 national parks. This decision has also been made to enable the development of responsible tourism, which is more respectful of the precarious balance. The first national park was officially launched in 1959 and concerns the Galapagos Archipelago.
Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Galapagos Islands are a veritable Noah’s Ark of extreme fragility. The biodiversity there is exceptional. Species have evolved there far from any interference and the rate of endemism is extremely high on these volcanic islands. You can observe sea turtles, rays, dolphins, sea lions, iguanas, albatrosses and the famous Darwin finches. This unique ecosystem is threatened by the import of other domestic mammals and rats that have arrived unexpectedly by boat.
The Ecuadorian authorities are very vigilant to restore the previous balance. To do so, the number of visitors is limited, as are all activities that could affect the precarious balance of these islands. Only certain sites are accessible and visits must be supervised by park guides.
Back on the mainland, we head for the “Avenue of the Volcanoes” and the Andes. Ecuador is home to the highest active volcanoes in the world, starting with Chimborazo, which rises to almost 6,300 metres. During treks or hikes, you will discover the Cotopaxi volcano and its superb ice cone. Apart from the spectacular nature of these giants, you should remember that many of them are very active.
Another very spectacular volcano to discover is Quilotoa. Inactive, it is charachterised by the presence of huge lagoon within its crater. There are many trekking routes around these volcanoes wich allow you to discover the full extend of these giants of fire.
Another atmosphere in the Yasuni National Park in the middle of the Amazon! Declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO, this park is also home to exceptional biodiversity.
This park was threatened for a time by deforestation linked to oil exploitation. Fortunately, a conservation plan has been put in place to further protect the park’s ecosystem. Keep your eyes peeled for over a hundred species of amphibians, birds, reptiles and several hundred mammals!
Amongst the most spectacular species, you may be lucky enough to see pink Amazonian dolphins, jaguars, caimans and armadillos.
To add an extra dimension to your trip to Ecuador, you can choose to experience real community immersions. This is a form of sustainable tourism that is quite developed in Ecuador. There are 17 identified peoples in Ecuador with their own traditions or customs. In the middle of a lush nature, you can share the daily life of local communities.
For example, after having contributed to the preparation of the ceremonial meal, you will participate in a shamanic ceremony of the temazcal (sweat lodge). In villages on the edge of the Amazon, you’ll learn about farming and indigenous crafts. The more adventurous can learn the basics of hunting with a blowpipe.
During your immersion stay, you will stay directly with the locals. Share moments of celebration and dance with your Ecuadorian hosts. The days and nights spent in the homes of the locals will be an opportunity to interact with the people, whether in the Galapagos, in cities such as Quito, or in the Andes and Amazon. Authentic and rare moments of sharing that will remain engraved in your memories in a lasting way!
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