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Ecuador’s mega-diverse wildlife includes 15% of the world’s bird species. It’s home to the Galapagos Islands, Amazonian Rain Forest, and “the best-preserved, least altered historic centre in Latin America” in Quito (UNESCO). The country is considered to be divided into four regions: the jungle, which is east of the Andes and covers part of the Amazon basin, the altiplano, or up in the Andes, including historic Quito, the low coastal area west of the Andes, including the city Guyaquil, and lastly, the Galapagos, which are mostly visited by tourists, who generally fly in and stay on boats just offshore.

There are pre-Incan ruins in Ecuador, in the large complex Ingapirca (built by the Cañari people, and later inhabited by the Inca), as well as in smaller sites throughout the Andes, including one that is within the city limits of the colonial city of Cuenca, in the mountains. Also in the Andes, there are many trekking, hiking and skiing possibilities, including scaling Chimborazo, which is an inactive volcano and Ecuador’s highest peak. The varied climatic and geographical features give rise to several distinct culinary styles, which in the Andes feature quinoa, a giant corn kernel called mote, potatoes and yuca, which is often boiled, mashed, stuffed with cheese and fried into patties called llapingachos.

From mountain climbing to finding out how you can contribute to conservation of Ecuador’s rainforest, Matador articles on Ecuador can be read below.

Photo by Mitch Anderson.

Puyo's position in the Amazon keeps the wild around it eminently accessible.
Real theater makes this drag bar unlike any other I've been to.
Mission #1: Help construct a clean-water well in the Chimborazo province.
The Gypsies embark, despite having never held an iceaxe or worn crampons before.
The Gypsies get a quite thorough, semi-nude blessing in preparation for Cotopaxi.
Matador is stoked to bring you their story in its entirety, beginning with the trailer.
They weave, sew, carve, collect, and create traditional instruments from local resources.
Twice in my life I've nearly drowned, or thought I would.
Stalking the water-going creatures of the Galápagos.
Exploring the dwarf forests, clear lakes, and rolling tundra of Andean Ecuador.
According to Pete, those of us standing with Daniel were now on the 'bad tourist' side.
Donatello is my travel talisman and patron turtle of lateral thinking and creativity.
This is the perk of our work: a tradition known as the familiarization trip.
Nómad-A is an on-fire example of what travel journalism can be.
They're fighting for the most important source of life on Earth – water.
Even a biological bird-brain like me can appreciate the diversity of avian life.
Rom Srinivasan shares 16 colourful shots from a trip through the jungles and mountains of...
Explore Ecuador with two adventurous Aussies.
The experience of getting terribly sick in an equatorial-region hostel dorm room and...
The government of Ecuador announced it has green-lighted plans to build the world's first...
Nearly half a century ago, this part of the rainforest was the home of five indigenous...
MatadorU student Hope Nardini sidesteps Quito's backpacker ghetto to check out the rest...
Here’s some weekend wanderlust inspiration for you. Get out and explore.
"Hours spent traveling on buses: 168 Nighttime bus hijackings: 1"
"And like every other Thursday and Friday since he was 15, he will go up the mountain...