Ecuador Family Travel: Top 5 Destinations to Visit with Kids
Ecuador is an ideal destination for family travel. Located in the Equatorial line, it’s one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, with tourist hot spots all over its four regions: the Andes, the Coast, the Amazon, and the Galapagos Islands. This makes Ecuador a fascinating place for families to explore.
Ecuador is a relatively small country. For instance, it’s smaller than the states of California and Nevada in the United States, and even Italy. However, it is packed with a variety of options for family travel.
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Why choose Ecuador for your next family vacation?
Ecuador is so diverse, that families have many options when they plan their family tours. Even so, parents can organize a vacation for their children that can be exciting as well as educational. Then, why should you visit Ecuador?
- Different types of outdoor activities
- Relaxing vacation
- Cultural experience
Biodiversity makes Ecuador family travel an exceptional experience
Ecuador is considered the 17th most diverse country in the world. The country has a very high density of natural species scattered throughout its territory. Its biodiversity richness constitutes 6,1% of all species reported worldwide, according to the United Nations.
For example, the Yasuni National Park and the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve are home to millions of species of plants and animals. Throughout the country, wildlife observation is one of the best highlights it has to offer. The country has multi-colored species of birds in its extraordinary natural reserves. Moreover, in only 0,2% of the world’s land area, Ecuador has:
- 8% of amphibian species
- 5% of reptile species
- 8% of mammal species
- 16% of bird species
Ecuador is a tapestry of cultural diversity perfect for family travel
Ecuadorian culture is vibrant, diverse, and very varied. Ecuador is a multicultural country with colonial influences and different ethnic groups with their own customs and traditions.
Cultural diversity is shaped by geography. The four regions also divide the ethnic groups. During your Ecuador family trip, you will find indigenous peoples, as well as Mestizos (mixed-race of Spanish and indigenous descent), Afro-Ecuadorians, and Montubios (Mestizo people who live in the coastal area of Ecuador).
Even though the majority of Ecuadorians consider themselves mestizos, the country has 14 indigenous nationalities. This means that more than one million people are indigenous in Ecuador. Of the total, 24,1% of the indigenous population live in the Amazon, 7,3% are Andean Kichwa, and 8,3% live in the Coastal region, and in the Galapagos Islands.
Moreover, almost 10% of the Ecuadorian population is considered Afro-Ecuadorian. They are a pluricultural population that has shaped the country’s culture through the years. Many of the country’s traditions have derived from the Afro-Ecuadorian traditions, impacting Ecuador’s history, food, music, and art.
Adventure makes Ecuador family travel a unique experience
Ecuador is the ideal destination for adventurous families. The country has dramatic landscapes of volcanoes and mountains, forests, and beaches. If you’re looking for an exciting family vacation, you can choose from many family-friendly outdoor activities.
Hiking is an activity for all the family. On your Ecuador family trip, you can choose paths on the mountains, volcanoes, in the rainforest, around lakes, beaches, and even following the Inca Trail. The best thing about hiking is that it gives you the opportunity to connect with nature.
Ecuador offers a variety of hiking routes for families. Hiking gives tourists the opportunity to enjoy the country’s landscapes as well as its culture and diversity.
If you’re planning your Ecuador family vacation, you should know that the country has multiple snorkeling and diving hot spots. Thanks to its location, Ecuador has amazing places where tourists can enjoy the underwater life.
The Galapagos Islands are a world-class sanctuary, where you can see flora and fauna everywhere thanks to its crystalline waters. The unique marine life makes the Galapagos one of the best spots in the world.
The amazing thing about snorkeling is that you don’t need to be a diver to engage in the amazing underwater experience! Even so, it’s an excellent option for families with kids and teenagers. You only need a diving mask, a breathing tube (snorkel), and swim fins.
When you choose a horseback riding tour, your family will be up to a mind-blowing experience. If you want to discover the Andes, you’ll go through mountain paramos (the moorland), glacier-topped volcanoes, and patch-worked hills. Moreover, if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to see deer, alpacas, lamas, and bulls.
During your Ecuador family travel, you can learn more about the benefits of horseback riding activities. For example, it teaches kids to develop compassion and empathy feelings toward animals. They learn about caring and nurturing for a horse. Also, horseback riding is an excellent physical activity because it helps train coordination, balance, and flexibility.
Biking is an out-of-the-ordinary option for your Ecuador family travel. The country has routes through the Andes, the Coast, the Amazon, and the Galapagos Islands. It’s biking heaven for road bikes, mountain bikes, and even downhill adventures. You can choose from epic mountain routes to rainforest journeys or bikepacking along incredible landscapes. Bikers, and cycling enthusiasts, are always searching for the next big adventure.
Ecuador has multiple scenic rides. For instance, biking at the Cotopaxi National Park must be on your family-friendly bucket list. First, the Cotopaxi volcano is one of the highest active volcanoes on Earth, and the second highest summit in Ecuador. It reaches a height of 5,897 m (19,347 ft).
The park has a natural track where families can find endemic animals, as well as a magical feeling of cruising the Andes. Bikers at Rebecca Adventure Travel recommend wearing sunscreen as well as packing an extra sweater. Also, Cotopaxi National Park is an excellent place for a family picnic!
Ecuador is one of the best bird-watching destinations in the world. Did you know that the country has the highest density of bird species per acre on Earth? Even though it’s such a small country, it has 37 regional endemic species, 133 species of hummingbirds, and 120 species of tanagers.
Families come from all over the world to book bird-watching tours. They want to see a hummingbird flapping its wings at 70 wingbeats per second! You can experience bird-watching activities throughout the country, from the Andes, the Amazon, and the Coast, to the amazing Galapagos Islands.
Discover the best Ecuadorian tours
Where to go for Ecuador family travel?
When you choose Ecuador as your family getaway, you have a combination of adventure, delicious food, culture, historic tourism at traditional haciendas, and wildlife observation, all in one trip. The country has options that fit families with small children, kids, and teenagers. You’ll be surrounded by nature everywhere you go, getting the chance to reconnect with your family!
It’s recommended to book your trip with Rebecca Adventure Travel prior to traveling. That way, your family will have an organized tour with pre-arranged private transfers, local guides, tailor-made tours, 24/7 assistance, and authentic experiences. Ecuador is a year-round destination, so you can visit anytime! Therefore, where to go in Ecuador for vacation?
Did you know that Baños is Ecuador’s unofficial adventure capital? It’s full of outdoor family-friendly activities. Baños is the last big city located in the mountains before getting to the Amazon.
The city has a subtropical climate that makes it perfect for adventurous activities. Do your kids enjoy activities that cause an adrenaline rush? Then, Baños is the perfect place!
In Baños, families can choose a multisport trip. Tours offer rafting trips, bungee jumping, zip lining, canyoning, mountain biking, or hiking. If you want to relax, there’s a thermal pool that the whole family can enjoy. Also, you will love the Ruta de las Cascadas tour (the waterfalls tour). Also, visit the Pailon del Diablo (Devil’s Cauldron) waterfall.
An Ecuador family travel is not complete without a visit to Mindo. Mindo is a small town known for its diverse outdoor activities that reconnect you to nature. Also, it has adrenaline options for kids, teenagers, and adults, such as ziplining on tree tops, hiking to waterfalls, rafting, canyoning, and tubing.
Moreover, Mindo is a wildlife-heaven on Earth. It’s one of the best birding destinations in the world, with more than 500 different species. Even so, it is internationally known for its biodiversity of wild bird species, butterflies, and orchids that can be found in the cloud forest.
If your family enjoys bird-watching, keep in mind that the best moment to visit Mindo is during the rainy season (October to May). From December to April, birds are mating and resting.
3. “Mitad del Mundo”: Visiting the Middle of the World
Ecuador is in the middle of the world, right in the center of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. In Quito, the country’s capital, tourists can find the unmissable Equator line attraction. When you visit Mitad del Mundo, or Middle of the World, your kids can strike a pose in each hemisphere for a cool photo!
At the Equatorial line, you will learn some interesting facts about the country. For instance, did you know that Quito is the nearest city to the middle of the world on the planet? Also, at 6,310 m (20,00 ft), Chimborazo volcano is not only the highest peak on the planet but also closer to the sun than Mt. Everest thanks to the country’s geographical location.
Moreover, in 1736, the French Geodesic Mission visited Ecuador. Thanks to the astronomers Charles Marie la Condamine, Pierre Bouger, and Louis Godin, people know that Earth is not perfectly round. Also, their studies concluded with the modern metric system that is used today.
On-site, tourists can visit museums and the 30-meter-tall monument. There are gardens and restaurants for the whole family. The latitude of the Mitad del Mundo monument is 0º00’08’’, placing it about 200 m south of the equator.
Papallacta Hot Springs is one of the most famous destinations in Ecuador for family travel. The streaming mineral baths in Papallacta have to relax and healing benefits. Moreover, at an altitude of 3.300 m (10.826 ft), the natural hot springs are surrounded by the Andes Mountains.
Kids enjoy the different temperatures in the pools. Some are very hot, while others are freezing cold, making it an experience to jump from one pool to the other.
Even so, when you visit Papallacta, families can hike around the nearby parks. Papallacta has a tundra-like climate, with mountains and lush vegetation. The trails will take you to unique landscapes where kids can enjoy searching for wildlife as well as appreciating the scenic views.
5. Cuyabeno and Yasuni
Cuyabeno and Yasuni are two destinations that should be on your Ecuador family vacation bucket list. Your family will enjoy an adventure out-of-the-ordinary in the middle of flora and fauna heaven. A rainforest is a fascinating place, home to millions of species, in the heart of the Ecuadorian Amazon.
The Amazon is considered one of the most biodiverse places in the world. For instance, in the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve, there are more than 50 different species of birds, 60 species of orchids, 350 species of fish, and about 12,000 species of plants.
Yasuni National Park
On the other hand, the Yasuni National Park is a tropical forest that hosts natural and cultural heritage. Even so, it has been qualified as a “Refuge of the Pleistocene,” because of the biodiversity and richness of flora and fauna.
Within the park live reptiles, birds, jaguars, the anaconda, the harpy eagle, as well as monkeys and many insects. Moreover, activities include hiking, swimming, canoeing, and continuous wildlife sightings. Remember to be on the lookout for river dolphins!
When you stay at a lodge in Cuyabeno or Yasuni, you’ll relax while admiring nature. It’s very difficult to get cell phone signals and wifi. Therefore, your family will enjoy the pleasant temperature of the jungle and the magnificent experience of savoring life in the middle of a boiling and diverse environment.
Start your adventure and explore Ecuador today
When you plan an Ecuador family travel, you book a trip for making memories and gaining a spectacular experience. Adventurous families know that travel teaches children to be independent, self-confident, and develop interpersonal skills. Therefore, explore the country with amazing Ecuador family tours recommended by Rebecca Adventure Travel!
Ecuador is a unique destination for adventurous families who love to travel! If you want to plan your next Ecuador family tour, contact us and one of our Destination Experts will be happy to help you.
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