Ecuador & Galapagos Nature and Wildlife
For such a small country, Ecuador is one of the most species-rich countries in the world. As a tropical nation, Ecuador naturally hosts a greater diversity than temperate countries, however, it is the varied ecosystems found in the country that make it a haven for so many species. These ecosystems include the peaks of the Andes mountain range, cloud forests, the Amazon rainforest, mangroves, coastal regions and a tropical dry forest. Therefore Ecuador is not only a haven for species, but also for nature lovers.
A paradise for birdwatchers, Ecuador boasts some 1,500 species with the Andean Condor being the most commonly associated with the country. Hummingbird populations are abundant throughout the land with approximately 120 species. The benefit of birdwatching in Ecuador is that conditions are excellent year round and with so many landscapes, every area travelled offers something unique.
Ecuador is home to some 300 mammal species and the most diverse of these mammals are bats with more than 100 different species found in the country. Monkeys are common in Ecuador and visitors can expect to come across howler monkeys, spider monkeys, capuchin monkeys and more. In the lowlands, deer and rabbits are common while llamas and vicuña are commonly associated with the Andes. Anteaters, sloths, capybaras and otters are also often seen. Other exotic animals, particularly large cats like pumas and jaguars exist in the country but are rare and much harder to find.
There are over thirty protected areas in Ecuador which account for approximately 17% of the national territory. These protected areas include eleven national parks, nine national ecological reserves, ten national wildlife refuges and four national biological reserves. The variety of landscapes that are preserved in Ecuador is simply remarkable and many of the areas are remote and undeveloped offering few services for tourists, yet that only adds to their appeal. Other parks and reserves in the country provide easy access to nature and wildlife.
Perhaps the most famous wildlife destination in Ecuador is the Galápagos Islands, an archipelago of volcanic islands on either side of the Equator in the Pacific Ocean. The islands are also a national park and marine reserve. In 1978 the area was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site and in 1985 it became a biosphere reserve. The islands are an ecological wonderland populated with fearless and incredible wildlife. The largest living tortoise species, the Galápagos Tortoise is famous for its long lifespan and can weigh over 400 kg (880 lbs). Besides unique wildlife, there are also excellent beaches that welcome swimming, diving and surfing. A visit to the Galápagos Islands is a truly spectacular experience that continues to attract tourists from around the world.
Ecuador Travel Information
At Goway we believe that a well-informed traveller is a safer traveller. With this in mind, we have compiled an easy-to-navigate travel information section dedicated to Ecuador.
Learn about the history and culture of Ecuador, the must-try food and drink, and what to pack in your suitcase. Read about Ecuador's nature and wildlife, weather and geography, along with 'Country Quickfacts' compiled by our travel experts. Our globetrotting tips, as well as our visa and health information will help ensure you're properly prepared for a safe and enjoyable trip. The only way you could possibly learn more is by embarking on your journey and discovering Ecuador for yourself. Start exploring… book one of our Ecuador tours today!
Extend Your Trip
After your Ecuador vacation packages, why not consider another of Goway's Latin America tours. These include a large selection of other exciting countries in Central and South America. We offer Chile vacation packages and Easter Island tours, Peru vacation packages which include Machu Picchu tours and Brazil tours including Iguassu Falls tours among many others.
Book your Ecuador tour with Goway!
LATIN AMERICA by Goway is an exclusive division that specializes in planning and organizing Ecuador tours and experiences. Choose from a simple city stopover, a cruise to the Galapagos Islands, a Holiday of a Lifetime tour, a small group tour and much more. We want to be your first choice when next you go globetrotting to Ecuador.
Get a Trip Quote Order a Brochure