You may be surprised to learn this, but it is possible for you to be freezing while you are near the equator. Such is the topography of Ecuador, a country that straddles the equator. Ecuador is essentially three countries rolled into one. There is La Costa, the low elevation region next to the Pacific Ocean. There is El Oriente, the region in the eastern part of the country that comprises the Amazon rainforest. And there is La Sierra, the high altitude strip of land that runs north to south along the Andes in the center of the country. This is where you might experience a tropical chill so fierce it will penetrate your bones.
Three distinct regions, one distinct country. For the traveler, the diversity of Ecuador's geography offers a varied way to see the country. You can soak up the sun and play in the surf along the coast. You can scale high altitude mountains and hang with indigenous people in the Andes. You can explore the dense rainforest of the Amazon in the east. No matter where you go you will find that the people of Ecuador are as warm and as inviting as any you will find in the world.
Where to go
There is one other part of Ecuador that attracts the attention of a lot of visitors. The Galapagos Islands are 965 kilometers (600 miles) from the mainland and despite the influx of tourists they remain almost as pure as they were back in the day of Charles Darwin. Not everyone agrees with the notion of spoiling the beauty by visiting, but those who do choose to visit will find a one of a kind habitat.
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