Travel to Ecuador – Episode 695

categories: south america travel

Places to Visit in Ecuador | Ecuador Vacation (Podcast)

Hear about places to visit in Ecuador on your Ecuador vacation as the Amateur Traveler talks to Keenan Ennis about this country that he now calls home.

Keenan moved to Ecuador after graduating college to do a 2-month internship in a remote tropical forest at Jama-Coaque. He ended up moving to Ecuador where he has lived for a few years. 

Keenan says, “One of the spectacular things about the country is all the landscapes packed into such a small area. It is such a small country. It has beaches. You’ve got mountains. 33% of the country or more is the Amazon rainforest. There’s a lot of activities to keep you busy, and you can do them all without having to travel too far.”

We start in the capital city of Quito, which is at 9,350 feet (2,850 meters). So even though the city is almost exactly on the equator, the climate is not as hot as you might expect. You will need your sunscreen. Quito has an old colonial center built around the Plaza de la Independencia. Walk La Ronda street, which is where you will find nightlife, including the popular hot alcoholic drink of Canelazo. 

Keenan recommends stops at the Plaza de la Independencia, the Church and Monastery of San Francisco and the Casa Museo Guayasamin. Oswaldo Guayasamín is sometimes called the Ecuadorean Picasso.

You can take a half-day trip from Quito to the indigenous market at Otavalo. Keenan is particularly pleased with the alpaca sweaters he picked up there.

No trip to Ecuador is complete without seeing some of the wildlife. Keenan recommends a visit to the Amazon rainforest and the Galapagos Islands. For the Amazon, he recommends the city of Baños de Agua Santa. There you will have a number of adventure travel activities, including canyoning, bird watching, butterfly gardens, nature tours, nocturnal hiking, village visits, and ziplining. There are a number of spectacular waterfalls in Ecuador, and several of them are near Baños, including Pailon del Diablo (Devil’s Cauldron).

Ecuador has a number of volcanos, including some that you can climb (with sufficient preparation). Keenan has hiked Cotopaxi after a month of training at altitude. Chimborazo is also “stunning and majestic”. Chimborazo is the tallest mountain in the world when measured from the center of the Earth.

Keenan recommends at least 5 days in the Galapagos if you are going to visit because two of the days will be traveling. The islands are one of the most unique places on the planet to see wildlife. 

Ecuador also has surfing beaches, so whether you want to see wildlife, history, or spectacular scenery, this may be the destination for you.

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Skylight Frame

This episode is sponsored by Skylight Frame which is an easy to use smart frame. Get it for mom for mother’s day and the whole family can keep it updated with new photos just by sending an email. Get $10 by going to and using the code traveler.

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Show Notes
Ecuador Waterfalls
Guide to Buses in Quito Ecuador – Amateur Traveler
City of Quito – UNESCO World Heritage Centre
Baños de Agua Santa
Galápagos on a Budget – DIY Guide
Plaza de la Independencia
Casa Museo Guayasamin
Guayasamin: The Picasso of the South | Ecuador Travel and Tours
Guinea pig
Otavalo (city)
Otavalo market: 5 things to shop for, plus tips – Wanderbus Ecuador
Amazon river dolphin
Termas de Papallacta
Pailon del Diablo (Devil’s Cauldron)
Ecuador Waterfalls – The Stunning Waters of Ecuador
Playa de los Frailes
Historic Centre of Santa Ana de los Ríos de Cuenca – UNESCO World Heritage Centre
Travel to the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador – Episode 351
Travel to the Galapagos Islands – Episode 89
Quito Altitude Sickness – Symptoms & Treatment


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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

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