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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.

Ecuador Articles

10 places to see before they disappear

by Morgane Croissant

11 places to swim with whale sharks [PICS]

by Keph Senett

The amazing flora and fauna of Ecuador’s Cloud Forest (PICS)

by Karin-Marijke Vis

This is what you can look forward to on a trip to the Galápagos [pics]

by Hal Amen

The rainforest is not a Big Mac (and other lessons learned in Puyo, Ecuador)

by Bani Amor

Matador’s 12 trips to save for in 2012

by Kristin Conard

Dionisios: The only drag bar in Quito, Ecuador

by Kate Sedgwick

Quilombo: The best little Argentine restaurant in Baños, Ecuador

by Kate Sedgwick

A visual journey through the street art of Cuenca, Ecuador

by Gilda Selis

Mesmerizing marine and terrestrial wildlife of the Galápagos [PICS]

by Karin-Marijke Vis

13 signs you were born and raised by an Ecuadorian mother

by Jess López

How to piss off an Ecuadorian

by María del Pilar Cobo

10 powerful portraits from the Ecuadorian Amazon

by Alex Goff

A song of oil in the Amazon

by Mitch Anderson

What it takes to restore land fouled by oil spills in the Amazon

by Alex Goff

Hunting in the Amazon with the Waorani [pics]

by Alex Goff

14 legendary natural wonders of South America

by Hal Amen

Lessons learned from 200 hours teaching English abroad

by Flora Baker
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