Ecuador

Picturesque colonial centers, Kichwa villages, Amazonian rainforest and the breathtaking heights of the Andes – Ecuador may be small, but it has a dazzling array of wonders.
Whenever people tell me they want to visit South America, but don't know where to begin, I recommend Ecuador. This is a country that seems to have it all: Andean peaks, Amazon rainforest, indigenous markets, colonial towns, sun-drenched beaches – not to mention a rather famous chain of volcanic islands full of fascinating wildlife. Adding to the appeal is Ecuador's (relatively) small size and its ease of travel (good roads and an easy-to-remember currency). But best of all are the Ecuadorians themselves: kind-hearted, generous and proud of the great strides they've made in the last decade, they are in fact the nation's greatest treasure.
Regis St Louis, Writer

Ecuador in planning

Ecuador has far more than its fair share of geothermal unrest. But it's the wealth of volcanoes – on both the mainland and out in the offshore Galápagos Islands – that make the country what it is: dramatic, fiery and full of explosive adventures.
The Galápagos Islands may just inspire you to think differently about the world. The creatures that call the islands home, many found nowhere else in the world, act as if humans are nothing more than slightly annoying paparazzi.