Cities and Places in Ecuador

Cities and Places in Ecuador


The capital of Ecuador, Quito, was founded by the Spaniards in 1534 and has retained the appearance of a Spanish colonial city to this day. It is located at 2,850 m in a high basin and is the second highest city in the world after La Paz in Bolivia. The city and its 1.4 million residents are dominated by the Pichincha volcano (4,776 m), which is now considered extinct. In the 16th and 17th centuries, however, it destroyed large parts of the city. Quito is considered the oldest of the capitals of South America, the old town has been placed under monument protection and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. About 60 kilometers south of Quito are the Cotopaxi volcano and the national park of the same name. Climbing the highest free-standing active volcano on earth is one of the greatest experiences Ecuador has to offer. Visit handbagpicks for Ecuador – Marvel At Animals and Nature.

Calle Chile in Quito


The port city of Guayaquil is the largest city in Ecuador. With almost 3 million residents in the entire metropolitan area, it is almost twice the size of Quito. Most of the exports take place in Guayaquil. The city received a major boost from the oil boom; 80% of the country’s industrial companies are now based here. Due to the expansion of export companies, it was necessary to relocate the port about 10 km away. The old port facilities are now being restored and expanded into a strolling and entertainment district that is intended to attract national and international tourists. There are also various museums that document the different phases of development of the city from early to modern times. B. the Museum of Anthropology, the City Museum and the Museum of Modern Art.


The Indian city of Guapondelig once stood where the city of Cuenca with its approximately 350,000 residents is located at an altitude of 2,500 m. This is where the great battle between the Incas and the Kañaris took place, in which the Indian tribe was defeated. The Incas built their city of Tumipampa on the remains of the Indian city, but it was destroyed during the war of succession between the half-brothers Huascar and Atahualpa. In 1557 the Spaniards founded Cuenca in the same place. The two churches of La Concepción and El Carmen de la Asunción, the old university and the town hall still bear witness to the colonial style. In recent years the population has increased and it is now the third largest city in the country. Also Cuenca was because of the beautiful old town with countless churches.


In the heart of the Andes, with its snow-capped volcanic giants and thousand-year-old indigenous cultural landscape, is Otavalo. The city, which is about 110 km (about 2 hours by bus on the Panamericana) north of Quito, is particularly worth a visit because of the world-famous Otavalo Indian market. However, the location alone is responsible for the fact that the city has become the most popular tourist destination in northern Ecuador. When the weather is nice, it offers a wonderful view of the valley and the surrounding volcanoes Cotacachi, Imbabura and Cayambe. The most popular of them is the Cotacachi, at the foot of which is the Cuicocha volcanic lake. The pristine paramo landscapes are perfect for wandering along the beautiful crater lakes, which are home to two small islands. Another special feature of the area is the magnificent, legendary waterfall of Peguche. This waterfall is a special spiritual place for the Otavalo indigenous people.


Riobamba is the center of an agricultural region and a major transport hub in Ecuador. The city is located in the central sierra in a basin of the Andes in the valley of the Chambo river. The area around today’s Riobamba was the center of the Puruhá culture, which was subdued by the Incas after long battles. The city has a long and turbulent history. After the city was first destroyed by the Spanish conquistadors and about 200 years later by an earthquake, it now has comparatively few buildings worth seeing. The beautiful location of the city makes up for that. Since a total of five volcanoes can be seen from the city, the city is also known by the locals as the “Sultana of the Andes”. The Chimborazo National Park is located near Riobamba. The Chimborazo is the highest inactive volcano in the world. At an altitude of over 4,800 m you can enjoy the idyllic landscape and see wild vicuñas (family of llamas) every now and then.

Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands also belong to Ecuador. The archipelago consists of 13 large and over 100 smaller to tiny islands. They are located on the equator approx. 1000 km west of the Ecuadorian coast, but are not a typical tropical paradise. The sights of the Galapagos are primarily of a scenic nature and the extraordinary flora and fauna that live there are even part of the UNESCO World Heritage. In addition, the history of the islands is unique and fascinating. Originally they were a dream destination for biologists, but over time they developed into an economic area through tourism and fishing. Today they are protected by the Galápagos Islands National Park. The archipelago is made for nature watchers, but lovers of active holidays can also find their way around here! Whether by kayak over water.


About half of the total national area of ​​Ecuador is covered with jungle. The Amazon region is also called “Oriente” here. In hardly any other South American country is the jungle so well developed and so wonderful to explore as in Ecuador. The tropical, humid and warm climate provides the perfect living conditions for the residents of the forest. Countless tropical animal and plant species are at home here, and another rare species is waiting at every corner. The beauty of the sight when individual rays of sun make their way through the dense, lush green tree tops and the flowers of the exotic plants shine in all colors , while colorful, iridescent birds glide through the air, can hardly be described. But the rainforest offers much more: the residents of the Indian tribes living here are happy to convey to their guests the customs and traditions that have been passed on in their villages since prehistoric times and are happy to provide an insight into their life and everyday life. In addition, a canoe or white water trip on one of the Amazon tributaries is a very special experience and many eco lodges are available to visitors in the jungle to rest and relax after an eventful expedition, wildlife or bird watching. Several reserves, national parks and protected areas in the Ecuadorian Amazon are also worth a visit or just like the Cuyabeno wildlife rearing station.

Cities and Places in Ecuador