The Archipiélago de Colón (Galápagos Islands) are volcanic islands in the Pacific Ocean, roughly 600 miles west of continental Ecuador. The archipelago is known for its large number of endemic species and were studied by Charles Darwin during the second voyage of HMS Beagle.
World Heritage Sites in Ecuador
Quito, Ecuador's capital, sits high in the Andean foothills. Constructed on the foundations of an ancient Incan city, it’s known for its well-preserved colonial center, rich with 16th- and 17th-century churches and other structures blending European, Moorish and indigenous styles.
The Historic Center of Santa Ana de los Ríos de Cuenca is a remarkable example of a planned inland Spanish town that bears witness to the principles of Renaissance urban planning in the Americas. Founded in 1577, it has preserved its original orthogonal plan over four centuries.
With its outstanding natural beauty and two active volcanoes, Ecuador's Sangay National Park illustrates the entire spectrum of ecosystems, ranging from tropical rain forests to glaciers. Its isolation has encouraged the survival of indigenous species such as the mountain tapir and the Andean condor.