If you have the country of Ecuador on your bucket list to visit, you are in for a real treat of rich culture, history, delicious food, and a rewarding experience.
The weather in Ecuador is always warm and the diversity in culture and even wildlife is unmatched compared to a lot of places.
While you are building your itinerary for your trip, make sure you include as many of the landmarks in Ecuador below so that you get a well-rounded perspective of Ecuador.
Famous Landmarks in Ecuador
Located in the infamous Andes Mountains, Cotopaxi is a stratovolcano in the area that is still considered to be active. It is known to have erupted over 80 times, creating the valleys you see rolling around the Andes Mountains.
Cotopaxi is a haven for those who want to climb the summit and take advantage of mountain guides to help them reach their destination safely.
Also Read: Famous Landmarks in Colombia
If you do book a tour to climb Cotopaxi, you can expect it to take a couple of days and the cost for the guide and gear will be required upfront.
You can also walk around Cotopaxi at the ground and take pictures of the equatorial glaciers.
2. Quilotoa Lake
One of the best views in Ecuador is found overlooking Quilotoa Lake, which is a lake that was formed out of a crater. The town of Quilotoa depends on tourism to the area from international visitors.
Expect to pay an entry fee of $2 USD to enter the city and get close to the summit. It is also located down from Cotopaxi, so while you are out visiting this area, make sure you book a day tour.
If you book your trip in advance, you can take advantage of a bus tour that will allow you to see all the sights that Quilotoa Lake has to offer.
While there, make sure you plan to stay a night or two and hike the Quilotoa Loop surrounding the lake.
An inactive volcano, Chimborazo is further away in the Cordillera Occidental part of the Andes mountains. It hasn’t erupted in over 1500 years according to predictions by experts.
If the day is clear and no clouds are found, you can enjoy the views of Chimborazo from Riobamba, the closest city to the point. The area surrounding Chimborazo belongs to the Chimborazo Wildlife Reserve which is home to a cousin of the llama, the vicuna.
There are four peaks on Chimborazo and you can take on a variety of different recreation options in the National Park.
You can do mountain biking to parts of the mountain, as well as mountain climbing and trekking through nature to get an up close experience.
4. Middle of the World City
If you go just 26 kilometers above Quito, you will find the Middle of the World City or Ciudad Mitad del Mundo.
At the monument, you will find a small tract of land that marks the location of the equator in Ecuador.
A cool fact about this monument is that this area was surveyed again recently since that monument was placed, and the equator is not exactly on the monument line as predicted, but about 250 yards away from the monument.
This monument has been placed in this location since it was measured in 1736. The monument that is currently at the location is meant to memorialize the local geographer Luis Gudino.
Middle of the World City is an important landmark for those who visit Ecuador because it represents something that only a handful of places can claim on the planet.
5. Bartolomé Island
Located in the Galapagos Islands, Bartolome Island is a volcano in the area that is smaller than some others in the area. This is a fairly easy hike to the top, making it a pretty popular spot for tourists.
Swimming and snorkeling are also some fun activities that visitors enjoy right off the island’s coast to enjoy the ocean life of the area and cool off.
The volcano on the island is extinct and can be accessible by boat easily for a daily tour.
Keep in mind that the boat ride is two hours from the Itabaca channel, and then two hours to return after the day visit. If you are prone to seasickness, you may need some medication before taking this tour.
6. North Seymour Island
Another island in the Galapagos is North Seymour Island which is great for taking small tours and watching the wildlife in the area.
Those who visit North Seymour truly enjoy taking on bird watching as they eat and nest in different places.
This island is not inhabited, so when you visit, plan to leave the same day. It is completely natural and not meant for tourists beyond a few hours.
Like the other islands, you can expect to have a ride out for at least a couple of hours to the island and then a couple of hours back. It pairs well if you are also visiting Bartolome Island while out in the Galapagos.
7. Basílica del Voto Nacional
Right in the heart of historic Quito is the Basilica del Voto Nacional church. The gothic architecture found in this Basilica showcases the influence that was made on Ecuador in the 19th century.
This church is the largest of its kind in both Central and South America, with large towers, clocks, and specific detail along every corner of the church. While it is a historic building, you can still visit the church and attend mass.
There is no admission fee to enter the church and take a tour. If you do decide to go to the church during established services, however, it is expected that you remain aware of the proceeding and do any in-depth touring until after services are over.
8. Church of the Society of Jesus
Another large church located in Quito is the Church of the Society of Jesus is one of the oldest churches still standing in Ecuador and even South America.
The construction of this church began in 1605 and was completed over a century later. The foundation of this church is made from volcanic rocks found nearby and has some of the most decorated and impressive gold sheets lining the interior of the church.
The richness of this church is a reflection of the invaluable heritage of Ecuadorians throughout the country. As you tour the halls of the church beyond the sanctuary, you will find artwork and portraits of different people mentioned n the Bible.
The Church is open every day, and you are welcome to stop in and be mesmerized by the richness and beauty in one single building.
9. Rabida Island
One of the larger islands in the Galapagos is Rabida Island, and it is a habitat for the wildlife in the area, both on land and in the sky.
This is a great place for cruise tours to stop when they are out and take a tour of the Galapagos. It is one of the stops that you have on the Galápagos Island day tours that are offered.
If Rabida Island is on your itinerary to stop, make sure you give yourself a couple of hours to explore and enjoy the island when you get off the boat.
While there is some wildlife in the area, most of this island is full of vegetation and a variety of native plants that thrive on the conditions of the Galapagos Islands.
10. South Plaza Island
Depending on the time of year you are visiting Ecuador, you can find lots of bright colors and sea lion colonies along this small island. South Plaza Island is one of the smallest in the group and also does not have residents living on the island.
What is unique about this island is the population of iguanas that have developed and created a habitat o this island.
There is lots of walking on this island to see everything, so give yourself two hours at a minimum for the hike on South Plaza Island. There is a cactus forest that has developed over the years on the island and it is in bloom for a good part of the year.
You can also enjoy some red-billed tropic birds building nests and maintaining them on your hike. A cool fact about South Plaza Island is that it was formed from lava during the last eruption that came up from the bottom of the ocean.