Ecuador is one of South Americas smallest countries but is jam packed with geographic diversity. The country is divided into three distinct regions, the coastal area, the highlands, and the Amazon rain forest. Quito, the capital, is one of the world highest cities and is an outdoor museum of colonial architecture. Visit the Plaza Independencia with the imposing Cathedral, Convent of San Francisco and the Jesuit Church of La Campania. Outside Quito, visit the town of Otavalo, famous for its Indian Market and Cuenca founded in 1577 and houses fine examples of Spanish Colonial architecture. Guayaquil is the country's largest city and chief port. Visit the Rotonda, Government Palace, and the fortress of La Planchada. The Galapagos Islands are situated 900 miles from the Ecuadorian mainland. The islands are bleak, barren and rocky. Made famous by Charles Darwin's scientific voyage, their unique wildlife include giant tortoises, lizards and iguanas. The islands have been turned into a national park in an attempt to preserve their natural state. Continental Journeys offers both escorted and independent tours to Ecuador. You can customize any independent tour or we can create a tour to fit your wishes.