Five March picks for nature enthusiasts in Ecuador

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Photographs: Jorge Vinueza

Let us continue showing you the Ecuadorian-claim-to-fame goods: fabulous natural destinations to discover and explore throughout our country.

From natural stone ‘cathedrals’ to islets in open ocean where whales and manta rays come to mate and breed… here is our March selection dedicated to all you nature lovers!

(for our February selection, click here)

Las Orquídeas Botanical Garden

PASTAZA

In the forested surroundings of the city of Puyo, this botanical garden is much more than an ‘orchid house’. It’s a living museum of biodiversity, presided by biologist Omar Tello, a wise connoisseur of Amazonian flora who has created a spectacular garden lush with unique species, many threatened: a fascinating walk stroll in nature. Read more…

Omar Tello shows us the details of a tiny orchid in his Botanical Garden Las Orquídeas de Puyo.

Ayangue and El Pelado Reserve

SANTA ELENA

Ayangue is a busy beach. A beautiful beach, as well: powdery-white sand, deep turquoise waters under sunny skies. It certainly gets crowded on weekends. Can we call it a place to absorb nature in its purest form? Not so much, at first glance. But from these shores you can access the El Pelado Marine Reserve and its islet, an area full of life that you can visit thanks to local tourism operators such as Ray Aguila. El Pelado islet receives very rare seabirds (including the one-and-only Inca Tern) and, under the water, a spectacular aquarium home to manta rays and, in August and September, humpback whales! Read more…

Punta Pitt

GALAPAGOS

On the easternmost corner of the island of San Cristóbal, reach the deserted Punta Pitt by yacht from town. Also known for being one of the few places to visit on the islands where the three booby species: Red-footed, Blue-footed, and Nazca, it is probably its geology that gives you the goosebumps. If you visit Galapagos and stay in San Cristobal, be sure to organize a trip here. The landscapes are fabulous and the feeling of being on the edge of the world in absolute solitude, facing the largest sea on our planet, unforgettable! Read more…

The fabulous contours of the extreme ‘east’ of the Galapagos archipelago: Punta Pitt.

Jerusalem Park

PICHINCHA

A very short distance from Quito, explore the Andean dry forests of Parque Jerusalem, a unique rural park that offers a peek at an ecosystem you can’t easily come by elsewhere in the country. A beautiful environment of carob trees full of moss and arid climate vegetation (such as cacti and agave) mixed with species from more humid areas such as kishuar trees or bromeliads, this large nature park is full of trails, viewpoints, and even interpretive billboards for those interested in learning more about the biology and ecology of the place. A great morning outing from the city of Quito! Read more…

Trails galore at Jerusalem Park, along the ‘Hidden Route’, just 40 minutes from Quito.

The Altar

CHIMBORAZO

Considered the most sculptural of Andean summit, also known for its beautiful lakes, El Altar is an adventure for all tastes. One can consider it one of the most difficult peaks to climb; a several-day trek along its base, a one-night camping trip, or a day-trip to admire the volcano from afar and tour the eastern rural flanks of the city of Riobamba and its magnificent natural treasures. Read more…

PH: Jorge Vinueza

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