Why you should visit Ecuador

It is not a question one can give only one answer. Let’s imagine to talk to our referral traveller. He/She is a person that while travelling a foreign country tries to be aware of what happens all around: loves nature and living in it, sometimes as a job; loves the colours, the smells, the sounds of nature and dislikes when the Nature is not respected and makes his/her best to help Natural Conservation, for example planting trees in front of his house, not cutting them.
While travelling tries not lo leave too many tracks of  his/her passage and avoids those tourist initiatives which damage the natural and social environment or impact on them too heavily.
We are dealing with a Responsible kind of Traveller.
And so, the question above could sound: why such a kind of traveller should visit Ecuador?
 Everything arises from the morphology of the country. Ecuador is a vertical country, that explains its deep biodiversity. In a few hours one can go from Cotopaxi on Andes, 5000meters above sea level , to the Ocean of Esmeraldas. One leaves Quito, the capital at more than 2800 meters above sea level, and after a couple of hours is in the Cloud Forest of Reserva Ecologica Pachijal, 1000 meters below on sea level, that is four or five Ecosystem below. One day bus trip takes you from Quito to Amazonia.
In the Cloudforest leave thousands of species of birds, orchids, bromelias, insects, butterflies and…more (frogs, for example).
Such a biodiversity could only lead to a cultural diversity spread on a small territory. Are thirteen the indigenous nationalities survived after centuries of external pressure. And are alive and proud of their language and culture. In the province of Esmeraldas the afro community. And everything quite easy to visit without the trip becoming too heavy or long or dangerous.
In the area of our Reserve lived Los Yumbos, a people that connected the Coast of Ecuador with Sierra, transporting any kind of goods along the old trails, the Culuncos. When digging is easy to find rests of their stay (potteries for example). Five kilometres far from our Reserve one can visit Tulipe, a Ceremonial Site now managed by the local Community.
Have been the Spaniards here, too, and for a long while. They left many rests, some of them terrible, and the history has already judged them, others not so bad. Let’s mention the Colonial Center of Quito, the coloured roofs of Cuenca and many colonial haciendas all over the country converted to hotels.
 Once I was walking along the Malecon in Guayaquil, I was with an indigenous from Amazonia and one from Chimborazo (we were waiting for a plane to Europe that didn’t want to arrive) and when we reached the point with all the statues of heroes of the Conquer and after, the Amazonian guy said, with subtle irony  – Look, it seems that nobody lived here before the arrival of Spaniards – and bursted laughing.
Yes! Ecuador is a country with many contradictions.

And then there are the Galapagos Islands. They are there, in the middle of Ocean, many people ignore that they belong to Ecuador. They have some magic all around them, thousands come from all over the world for a visit. But many are the dangers…The new President of Ecuador, Correa, announced the will to enforce protection.  We all are glad to believe him and hope…

Renato Gregorini
Reserva Ecologica Pachijal