Ayampe

Ayampe is not like other destinations at the Ecuadorean coast. It has more to offer than a pretty beach and fresh seafood.

The area inland is spectaculair. Mangroves and other spectacular natural areas are just a little ride away (you can arrange horses in the village). The inhabitants of Ayampe are making an effort to preserve the beautiful mangroves by offering guided tours.

Cuenca

Cuenca is one of the largest cities in Ecuador and possibly the most beautiful one. Unesco already put the old city center of Cuenca on their Cultural Heritage list, considering it an important representation of colonial architecture in Latin America.

Being in Cuenca is a treat for any traveller. Eventhough it is a large city, Cuenca won't overwhelm you with busy traffic and a hectic metropolitan atmosphere.

Guayaquil

Guayaquil is the largest city of Ecuador. Eventhough it is one of the two cities in Ecuador with an international airport, not many tourists tend to stay in the harbour city for longer than they have to.

Over the years Guayaquil has been considered an ugly and dangerous city, not exactly the type of place to enjoy your holiday. However, the past two or three years the Guayaquilenos have made Guayaquil a nice to place to visit. It's still a bit rough around the edges, but some of the areas downtown have been cleaned up and are worth a visit.

Inga Pirca

These are the largest known Inca ruins in Ecuador. The most significant building is the temple of the sun, an elliptically shaped building constructed around a large rock. The building is constructed in the Inca way without mortar in most of the complex. The stones were carefully chiseled and fashioned to fit together perfectly. The temple of the sun was positioned so that on the solstices, at exactly the right time of day, sunlight would fall through the center of the doorway of the small chamber at the top of the temple. Most of this chamber has fallen down.

La Tolita is a small community surrounding a harbour in the riverdelta of Rio Santiago. The habitants of La Tolita make their living by fishing and agriculture and are strongly influenced by the African culture. This is easy to recognize, not only becuase of their appearance, but also by their music, traditional clothing and religion.

The national park Cotocachi-Cayapas is te Chachis, who are trying to preserve their traditional lifestyle and haven’t integrated with the black community.La Tolita has a school and a museum and electicity is available in the village. Up to the moment of writing, running water remains unavailable.

Quito

Quito, the capital of Ecuador, was founded in the 16th century on the ruins of an Inca city and stands at an altitude of 2,850 m. Despite the 1917 earthquake, the city has the best-preserved, least altered historic centre in Latin America. The monasteries of San Francisco and Santo Domingo, and the Church and Jesuit College of La Compañía, with their rich interiors, are pure examples of the 'Baroque school of Quito', which is a fusion of Spanish, Italian, Moorish, Flemish and indigenous art.

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