There are many places in Ecuador where you can take Spanish courses. At the same time the country offers you great travel opportunities. Ecuador is a small country but very versatile. You can visit one of the many colorful markets and get acquainted with the Indian population of the Andes. Or visit the ethnic groups in the Amazon.
In addition, Ecuador offers so much variety in nature. There are over thirty volcanoes (some active!), the snow-covered tops of the Andes, jungle, beach, and don’t forget the Galapagos Islands. The Republic of Ecuador owes its name to its location right on the equator. The backbone of the country is the Andes mountain region where most of the Indian population still lives. To the east of the Andes lies the jungle of the Amazon. To the west side lies the pacific coast. Visit the village of Otavalo, where one of the biggest artisans market of South America takes place on Saturdays. It’s absolutely worth it!
You can take a journey on a train straight through the jungle. Or climb the Cotopaxi, one of the highest active volcanoes in the world. For an absolutely unforgettable experience visit to the world-famous Galápagos Islands in the Pacific Ocean, about 1000 kilometers from the Ecuadorian coast. This is where Darwin developed his theory of evolution. You can come into close contact with various animals. For example, you can swim in the sea with seals while at the same time penguins rush past you. A visit to the Galápagos is costly but an incredible experience. Ecuador is the country for those who, besides their Spanish course, want to see and experience many things in a short time.
- Mountain biking, river rafting and horsebackriding.
- Climb volcanoes: the highest volcano is the Cotopaxi (5897 m.).
- Salsa dance courses.
- Take a trip upon a train straight through the jungle for example from Alaui.
- Visit the jungle from Misahuallí.
- Go to an Indian market in an Andean town.
- Visit the Galapagos islands if your budget permits it.
- Go to the lesser known but because of that more original Indian villages.
- Volunteer work: if you are willing to work there are so many meaningful things you can do here.
Quito is rich in history. It has been both the capital of the mighty Quitu people as well as the legendary Incas. Current day Quito is divided into two parts. In the west, you will find the old colonial part of town, El Centro. Here the original Spanish building style is still very visible. There are impressive churches, squares, and narrow streets with typical markets. “Quito Moderno” is the new part of town located in the east. There are many outdoor cafe´s, which you don’t see often in any other part of South or Central America, and many restaurants. The business center is also located here. El Centro and Quito Moderno are separated by the Ejido-park. Here, on Sunday, many Ecuadorian families get together for a game of volleyball. This Indian saleswoman (see photo) we met in the Ejido park, with fishnet stockings and mega high heels! Yup, Ecuador is developing at a very fast pace. Quito has almost 1.5 million inhabitants. A nice hotel in the center of Quito in the trendy district of La Mariscal is Hostal Posada del Maple.
Activities in Quito
- Visit the old colonial part of Quito with its monastery, cathedral and churches.
- Climb ´El Panecillo´ (small sweet bread) and you will get an amazing view over Quito and the surrounding volcanoes.
- Visit Parque Ejido where on the weekend local families get together for a game of volleyball or to eat.
- Volunteer work.
The picturesque surfing village Montañita is located at the Pacific coast of Ecuador in the Guayas province. It is known under backpackers as a surf town: a lot of young people, very relaxed atmosphere and of course a lot of bars. The nightlife is great in Montañita! It is the perfect place to learn Spanish and chill at the same time. Not far from here you can find Isla de la Plata, also known as ‘the Galapagos of the poor’. From May through October whales pass Montañita on the way to Isla de la Plata where they spend their mating season. In those months you can see the whales even from the beach. Albatrosses circle the ocean in groups throughout the year looking for fish. The beach of Montañita has a yellow gold color. Various bars and restaurants with thatched roofs offer excellent food and refreshing drinks. For a beach destination Montañita is very cheap.
Activities in Montañita
- Visit the national park.
- Go whale spotting near the island Isla de la Plata in the season from May to September.
- Horseback riding.
- Mountain biking.
- Montanita is the place for watersports like surfing, kitesurfing, bodysurfing and scubadiving.
- Get up early and go to the beach to see the fishing boats come to shore and see the lively trade on the beach as it takes place.
- Enjoy the sunset from a hammock at the beach while sipping on a cocktail.
- Excellent night life: there are a few simple but very nice discotheques on the beach.
- Watersports as surfing, kite surfing, wind surfing, water skiing you can do in abundance in Manta.
- Visit Bosque de Parroche, a park with howler monkeys and other animals.
- In season you can go whale spotting near Isla de la Plata May through October.
- Visit Panama hat factories in Monte Cristi.
- Visit national Park Machalilla.
- Go to the beach Santa Marianita where they do kite surfing.
Cuenca is located at an altitude of 2534 meters above sea level and has 500.000 inhabitants. It is the third biggest city of Ecuador but it still feels like you are in a small village. Cuenca has a lot of colonial buildings and small streets. It is about 3 hours away from Guayaquil in bus and a 30 minute flight from Quito. The city is situated in a wide valley and surrounded by the tops of the Andes. The city is known for its crafts, culture and traditions.
Activities in Cuenca
- Visit the national park Las Cajas.
- Located at the Plaza Abdon, you will find the new cathedral, worth a visit!
- The river Rio Tomebamba divides the old and new part of Cuanca.
- Visit the museum and archeological park Pumapungo.
- Visit the zoo: Amaru.
- Go to Ingapirca, the famous Inca excavations just outside of Cuenca.
- Visit the orchid farm, Ecuagenera.
- Visit the 70 meter high waterfalls of Giron.
- Just outside of Cuenca you can go horseback riding, bird watching and rock climbing.
Go back to the homepage to see how our site is build up into Spanish Courses, volunteer work, and travel with or without Spanish courses.
Or go back to the page with the description of Spanish courses in the different places in Ecuador.
- General: Lonely Planet Ecuador en Galápagos eilanden
- Map: Ecuador
- Vaccinations: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/ecuador
Online free Spanish Lessons:
Ecuadorian Newspaper (English):
We offer in Ecuador:
- Spanish classes
- Spanish & Adventure Trip
- Travelling Classroom Ecuador
Go back to the Homepage to see the different possibilities of learning Spanish in Central and South America or combining your Spanish course with free volunteer work.