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Atacames

Tourism is Atacames's primary industry. For its population, Atacames has the highest level of hotels in the whole province of Esmeraldas. It is also easily accessible by bus from Santo Domingo, Quito, and Esmeraldas. Atacames has a busy night life, primarily because weather during the day is extremely hot and humid. Atacames provides services for tourists all year round, but the high season are weekends, Easter, Carnival, Christmas, and some weeks in the summer. Atacames is full of discotheques and dancing clubs that play the most recent hits from different styles of music such as salsa, merengue, and reggaetton. Atacames is also well known for its "caipirinas", a Brazilian drink made from sugar cane alcohol, fresh lime juice and lots of ice. Along most of the beach there are bartenders situated in kiosks along the colorful beach shore that make a variety of local fruit shakes and juices. There is also a covered (though outdoor) line of booths that sell hand made jewelry and handicrafts. Dozens of local women also earn a living by braiding and putting beads in hair.

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Baños

Famous for its natural hot springs and beautiful scenery, Baños is one of the highlights of any Escape to Ecuador. Baños (Baños = Baths in English) is simply amazing. Whether you would like to simply relax or get active Baños has it all. You can unwind in the natural, mineral-rich thermal spring waters surrounded by the beautiful mountains and waterfalls by day and enjoy the nightlife of the cozy yet very active city, or get active with whitewater rafting, hiking or a comfortable downhill bike ride through a majestic valley leading down to the edge of the Amazon just a couple hours west of the city. Baños is a 6 hour ride south from Quito driving through the scenic volcano alley. On the way you will be able to get a great look at Chimborazo Ecuador’s second highest glacier peaked summit.

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Canoa

Canoa is a beautiful beach town located on the coast directly west from Quito. It is a very relaxed and comfortable beach with beautiful scenery. The water is warm and beaches pristine. Sunsets in Canoa are awe-inspiring.The cliffs to the north are a great spectacle and nice short walk from the main stretch of beach. Canoa has a small-town vibe friendliness that welcomes you to enjoy this wonderfully intimate beach. The nightlife is not as expansive as Atacames or Montañita, but the open air clubs will have the party spilling into the streets on the weekends and bonfire parties on the beach are another fun custom to enjoy the cool breezy beach nights.

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Cuenca

Most tourists visit the historic area, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, between the river Tomebamba and the street Gran Colombia to the north, General Torres to the west, and Hermano Miguel to the east. This area's compactness, grid-like layout, and numerous readily identifiable monuments make it easy to navigate. Outside this area the city can be confusing, as there are dozens of narrow colonial streets with similar buildings. Major fiestas of Cuenca come at the time of the "Mass of Children" that is carried out the day of the Arrival of Kings (January 6th - Epiphany Day), or in the commemoration of the independence of the city (November 3rd), during which processions, cultural acts and dances are organized. The nearby Cañar plantation (in the county of the same name) features the biggest Inca ruins in Ecuador.

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The Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos is simply one of the most amazing geological, biological, and ecological experiences in the world. These islands formed by underwater volcanoes are one of the world's most natural wonders. These islands are isolated from the rest of the planet and the presence of humans there is minimal. Wildlife interaction and observation is incredible as animals here, have never had any reason to fear humans. Here animals and humans exist in harmoney and as equals. The Galapagos Islands is where Charles Darwin formed his famous theory of evolution as life evolved on these isolated islands, distinct from the rest of the world. The Galapagos Islands is truly a one of a kind experience as you explore this unique microcosm of our planet.

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Guayaquil

The Malecón 2000 is a restoration project of the historic Simon Bolivar Pier. It will be a symbolic centre of the city, a mix of green areas and shopping. The tall ship Guayas has its home base here. The Palacio Municipal is located in front of the Malecón and holds the political offices of city and provincial officials. Built in a neoclassical style, it is considered one of the most important architectural works in the country. Las Peñas is a neighborhood in the northeast corner of the city centre; is the artistic centre of the city. Many of the area's 400-year-old houses have been converted into art galleries and several notable artists have studios in the area. The Mercado Artesanal is the largest artisan market in the city. The market is housed in a 240-shop building that takes up the entire block of Baquerizo Avenue, between Loja and Juan Montalvo streets. Its many vendors sell indigenous crafts, jewelery, and paintings.

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Mindo

Backpackers, bird watchers, and hikers all flock to this mellow town nestled in the hills in the lush cloud forests a short 2 ½ hour drive from Quito. Mindo makes for a perfect spot to begin your travels from Quito. Keep an open eye when you arrive to this town and you will see some of the 400 plus species of birds, you will see more and more the further you explore this famous cloud forest. Mindo has a variety of activities that allow you to experience the natural ecological and biological diversity of Ecuador. From canopying through the forests, bird watching, butterfly farms, hiking to hidden waterfalls, and tubing the river rapids; Mindo’s unforgettable beauty and convenience make it the perfect weekend getaway.

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Mompiche

Mompiche is located on the northern Ecuadorian Coast just south of Muisne in the Esmeraldas province. It is one of the most beautiful beach areas with impressive waves, beautiful landscapes and exquisite food. Mompiche is covered principally by humid forests and always green low lands, which only reach 300 m of altitude. Mompiche's beaches are the new magnet of the national and foreign tourists. Mompiche is a town of 150 houses of cane and wood. The majority of the settlers devote themselves to fishing, however from 2001 some families overturned this interest for tourism and initiated the construction of cabins and restaurants. Shrimp fishing and tourism are the two most important activities of the community. It is the ideal place for people that love to surf. Mompiche is one of the last humedales-marine woods nearest to the bank of the Ecuador. Mompiche ranks among the most idyllic, unspoiled beaches on the coast, with little more than a sprinkling of huts and fishing boats.

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Montanita

Montañita is simply a beach-lover’s paradise. This popular beach town is located on the famous stretch of coastal highway “Ruta del Sol” (Sun Route) on Ecuador’s southern coast. The beach is expansive with fine sand leading to the iconic bluffs on the northern end of the beach. This beach with its very chill, laid-back culture is a hotspot for surfers as its waves are some of the best in Ecuador. Many surfing competitions are held in Montañita which draws an international crowd. Bars and restaurants along the beach will keep the rhythm strong throughout the day with South American and Carribbean music and provide everything you need so you can be a beach bum comfortably all day long! The main street leading to the beach is lined by artisan vendors selling everything from bracelets, to sculptures, to authentic Ecuadorian clothing. And of course, Montañita cannot be summarized without mentioning the nightlife! On the weekends, the strip in Montañita is definitely the place to be. There are a wide variety of clubs in the main strip playing everything from reggaeton, salsa, electronic and hip hop music. Every full moon there is also a traditional party to celebrate the “Luna Llena” where the party takes to the beach and performers can be found spinning flaming batons and bonfires provide the ambiance for these memorable nights. Make sure to stop at one of the drink stands to enjoy a fresh tropical beverage from coconut smoothies to margaritas and caipiriñahs a popular Brazilian drink.

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Puerto Lopez

Puerto Lopez is another one of our top Ecological hot spots. It is a must see for those who seek to experience all of Ecuador’s splendor of biological diversity. Getting there alone you will experience a plethora of variedvegetation and climates as you descend through the Andean mountains through cloud forests, into subtropical forests and finally the tropical dry forests of the coast. You will literally see this amazing transition in a matter of hours. Puerto Lopez is the main base for trips to the Isla de la Plata a boat ride just off the coast. There you can hike snorkel and spot sea lions, dolphins, and birds including the famous blue-footed booby. The immaculate Los Frailes beach is 10km from Puerto Lopez. Los Frailes is a virgin beach with a perfect crescent shaped water edge and white sand and a great hiking trail up to a peak overlooking the picturesque pacific coast.

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Tena

Tena is famous for the rainforest and rivers that surround it. The jungle, especially if you get outside the city 15 or 20 kilometers, is impressive. First-timers will be changed forever after they lay their eyes on a pristine stretch of Amazon. Moreover, Tena has reached near legendary status with whitewater enthusiasts and boasts the best rafting and kayaking in Ecuador and, some say, the world. The jungle rivers on the Amazon side of the Andes are bigger and have more consistent flows than their west-Andean counterparts. They are also the cleanest and most scenic rivers in Ecuador. You may also want to check out Sumaco Volcano Jatun Sacha Biological Station Misahuallí Cuevas de Jumandy

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Tonsupa

Tonsupa is a destination for the family, you can come to the nice beach with your children and your parents. It has beautiful waves and clean sand. You can eat many dishes of the sea, fish, lobster and "ceviche". The sport to partake in Tonsupa is the snorkelling, since it possesses a beautiful submarine landscape. Also known as the beach of the Quiteños, by its proximity to Quito. It has a broad pier where you can find good restaurants; al fresco, with the best of typical food in the region. Next to the beach, bars offer typical drinks with coconut, water-based mainly.Here the bars never sleep. Ahí nunca se duerme los bares, bars allow you to drink the best exotic drinks that you can imagine and dancing all night without stopping, is ideal music and hear as waves collide with the beach, giving more pace to music, bonfires and hammocks that move at night allow people to see a wonderful show.

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Puyo is the capital of Pastaza, a province in Ecuador. It is also the most important city in the province. Puyo is located by the Puyo River, a tributary of the Pastaza River, which feeds into the Amazon in Peru. Puyo was founded in 1899. It is located betweenBaños, and the Amazonian cities of Tena and Macas. "El Puyo" is a beautiful small city (with a small-town feel) in the east of central Ecuador, and capital of the province of Pastaza. It is the commercial, cultural and political capital of the region. The city is connected by road with Ambato and from there to the central urban area of the country. It also has a small airport situated about ten kilometers to the north. Population of the province is 45,825 inhabitants (year 2000). Puyo has a remarkable climate, with very little seasonal changes: Daytime temps in the 70s and low 80s, with sun and generally short periods of heavy rain daily, year-round.

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Quito is the Capital of Ecuador and the second most populous city in the country. It is the base of Escape to Ecuador’s trips. It is the best city in Ecuador due to its location, diversity, climate, entertainment, and transportation. Quito’s Central location in the Andes Mountains makes it the best place to conveniently escape to the beach, glacier peaks, cloud forests, and the Amazon Rain Forest. You will land in a wonderful climate and a beautiful Andean city. It is famous for its climate of eternal spring. Being on the Equator at this elevation 2,850m, 9,500ft equalizes things to a comfortable spring-like temperature everyday of the year and cool nights. The city sits in a hilly green basin at the foot of Pichincha, a 15,000ft peak. A large part of Quito’s beauty is due to the preservation of its colonial heritage. Among the narrow, hilly streets, the tree-shaded plazas, and the red-tile-roofed adobe buildings of the colonial district, has preserved its cultural heritage. In fact Quito was the first location named to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites.

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Quito also has a modern side. Separated from the colonial city by the large Alameda and Ejido parks, the modern district – Avenida Amazonas and the surrounding streets – is a metropolitan center with high-rise hotels, restaurants, and malls. Quito’s metropolitan area has a population of roughly 2 million and is the political, commercial, and financial center of the country. As is the same with any large city, it is full of places to go and things to experience. There is the Centro Historico which is home to the presidential palace and the most historical churches and museums in Ecuador. The Teleférico, a skylift takes you to the summit of Pichincha overlooking the expansive city as you see for miles and miles across the Andes Mountains.

Another must-see is the hottest bar and club area in Quito referred to as the “Mariscal.” This is the international night escape of the city where you can dance everything from salsa to techno and of course enjoy dollar beers and shots at pretty much every place and paying a cover is rare. “La Mitad del Mundo” (the middle of the world) monument is also just outside of the city where you can stand in both hemispheres at the same time. There is much more to see and do in Quito and throughout Ecuador. What do you want to Escape to?