In just a few hours from rainforest to coast

Posted by Marianne Salmans

“La Costa, La Sierra, La Selva, Galápagos…  a diversity found nowhere else on the planet”

With landscapes that stretch from a warm coast with a dry desert climate through the volcanic highlands of the Andes to the tropical Amazon, you can experience an unprecedented variety of nature in just a few days travelling. Ecuador divides its mainland into three very different zones: La Costa, La Sierra and La Selva. In addition, the Galápagos Islands are of course also part of Ecuador. All these areas together provide a wide range of impressions, a diversity that you won’t find anywhere else in the world!

La Costa

The coastal plain (La Costa) is approx. 20 to 150 kilometres wide and runs from tropical rainforest in the north via mangrove forests, extensive plantations and beautiful beaches to a desert landscape bordering Peru in the south.

La Sierra

Towards the west, the Costa ends on the slopes of the imposing Andes Mountains. Two giant mountain ranges cut through Ecuador from north to south: the Cordillera Occidental and the Cordillera Oriental. Where the Andes rises  tropical cloud forest emerges on the slopes of the mountains. Further up you reach Avenida de los Volcanos, an avenue of volcanoes with breathtakingly beautiful views. Mountain peaks with gigantic glaciers dominate the landscape. The Chimborazo, permanently covered in snow, is the highest mountain in Ecuador, standing at 6,267 meters tall. Cotopaxi (5,897 meters) is the highest active volcano in the world. You travel through the Savannah on the plateaus called Páramo. The Andes Mountains have an unmistakable beauty in contrasts. The hardness of the rocks under the deep blue sky. The silky appearance of snow and glaciers against the brown and reddish hues of the slopes. In addition to spectacular nature and views, there are two important colonial cities, Quito and Cuenca, situated in this region.

La Selva

Further east, the mountain ranges drop down and merge with the Amazon rainforest. The Ecuadorian jungle is eternally hot and humid. The home of a large number of indigenous peoples; it has an extremely varied flora and fauna. The area is crossed by major rivers, Río Napo Río Putumayo, Río Curaray and Río Pastaza that drain the water to the most powerful river in Latin America, the Amazon. In this area are two well-known national parks Cuyabeno and Yasuni. You can stay here for days In beautiful lodges to explore this wonderful world.

Las islas Galápagos

Around 1,000 km off the coast of Ecuador lies this famous gem in the Pacific Ocean . These volcanic islands are famous for the animal life that knows no fear of humanity. Giant tortoises, penguins, marine iguanas and blue-footed boobies come together; the only place in the world where these species can survive together. Nowhere in the world will you be this close to nature, a visit to these islands is moving and inspiring.

Interested to explore this beautiful country? Contact us and we will be happy to put together your journey of a lifetime!

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