For many travelers, the South American country of Ecuador is associated almost exclusively with one bucket-list destination: the Galapagos Islands. And while the volcanic archipelago is undeniably amazing, the excitement to get there often causes people to skip mainland Ecuador entirely. But this is a mistake. Ecuador, small as it is, is actually packed with unique things to do and see, from the jungle to the mountains to straddling the center of the earth.
Here are five places worth visiting in Ecuador in addition to the Galapagos Islands.
Most people associate the Amazon Rainforest with Brazil, but the sweeping jungle ecosystem extends into other countries, too – including Ecuador. You’ll find Ecuador’s slice of the Amazon in the country’s northeastern corner, with the towns of Coca, Tena, and Puyo being popular gateway cities.