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The Best Cities & Hotels In Ecuador


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Anett Greiner



Welcome to Ecuador, a beautiful country located in South America known for its stunning landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and warm hospitality. From vibrant cities to picturesque natural wonders, Ecuador offers a diverse range of experiences for travelers to enjoy.


With its stunning Andean mountains, pristine beaches, lush rainforests, and fascinating wildlife, Ecuador is a paradise for nature lovers. The country is also home to charming colonial towns filled with history and architectural gems, making it an ideal destination for history buffs and culture enthusiasts.


As you plan your trip to Ecuador, it’s important to choose the right cities and accommodations to make the most of your experience. In this article, we will guide you through some of the best cities and hotels in Ecuador, helping you to create unforgettable memories on your journey.


Whether you’re interested in exploring the historical treasures of Quito, indulging in the vibrant nightlife of Guayaquil, or immersing yourself in the natural wonders of the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador has something for everyone.


From luxury resorts to budget-friendly options, Ecuador offers a wide range of accommodations to suit every traveler’s needs. Whether you prefer to stay in the heart of the city or in a remote eco-lodge nestled in the rainforest, there is an abundance of choices available that will ensure a comfortable and memorable stay.


In the coming sections, we will delve deeper into each city’s highlights and recommended hotels. So grab your passport, pack your bags, and get ready to embark on an incredible adventure in Ecuador!



Quito, the capital city of Ecuador, is a destination that seamlessly blends history, culture, and natural beauty. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is located high in the Andes Mountains, offering breathtaking views and a vibrant atmosphere.


Start your exploration of Quito in the historic center, known as “Old Town.” Here, you’ll find beautifully preserved colonial buildings, cobblestone streets, and ornate churches, such as the iconic Basilica del Voto Nacional and the breathtaking Iglesia de la Compania de Jesus.


For panoramic views of the city, head to the TeleferiQo, a cable car that takes you up the Pichincha Volcano. At the top, you’ll be rewarded with stunning vistas of Quito and the surrounding mountains. Another must-visit attraction is the Middle of the World Monument, located just outside the city. Stand on the equator and snap a photo with one foot in each hemisphere.


When it comes to accommodations, Quito offers a range of options to suit every budget and preference. If you’re looking for luxury, consider staying at the historic Hotel Plaza Grande, which offers elegant rooms and impeccable service. For a more budget-friendly option, Hotel San Francisco de Quito provides comfortable rooms and a central location in the heart of Old Town.


Quito is also renowned for its gastronomy scene, offering a wide variety of traditional Ecuadorian dishes and international cuisine. Don’t miss the chance to try a bowl of hearty locro soup or indulge in the flavors of ceviche, accompanied by a refreshing glass of chicha, a traditional fermented corn beverage.


Whether you’re captivated by its rich history, mesmerized by its stunning architecture, or simply enchanted by its vibrant atmosphere, Quito is a city that will leave a lasting impression on every visitor.



Situated on the banks of the Guayas River, Guayaquil is Ecuador’s largest city and a bustling hub of commerce and culture. With its modern skyline, vibrant markets, and vibrant food scene, Guayaquil offers a unique blend of old-world charm and contemporary urban life.


Start your exploration of Guayaquil at the Malecón 2000, a waterfront promenade stretching along the Guayas River. Stroll along the boardwalk, take in the stunning views, and stop by the iconic La Rotonda monument, commemorating the meeting of South American liberators Simon Bolivar and Jose de San Martin. Don’t forget to visit the Parque Seminario, also known as the Iguana Park, where you can observe these reptiles in their natural habitat.


For history enthusiasts, the Barrio Las Peñas is a must-visit. This picturesque neighborhood is filled with colorful colonial houses, art galleries, and cafes. Climb the 444 stairs to the top of Cerro Santa Ana, the neighborhood’s iconic hill, to enjoy panoramic views of the city.


Guayaquil offers a range of accommodation options to suit all budgets. If you’re looking for luxury, the Hotel del Parque is a top choice. This beautiful boutique hotel is set within a historic building and offers elegant rooms and a tranquil garden. For a more budget-friendly option, Ibis Guayaquil provides comfortable rooms and a convenient location near the airport.


As the economic and culinary capital of Ecuador, Guayaquil offers a thriving food scene that will satisfy any palate. Don’t miss the opportunity to try traditional coastal dishes such as ceviche, encocado (coconut-based seafood stew), or encebollado (fish soup). For a taste of international cuisine, head to the Urdesa neighborhood, which is known for its trendy restaurants and cafes.


With its vibrant culture, lively markets, and stunning riverfront, Guayaquil is a city that offers a unique blend of history, modernity, and gastronomy.



Cuenca, located in the southern highlands of Ecuador, is a charming colonial city known for its well-preserved architecture, cobblestone streets, and rich cultural heritage. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cuenca offers a glimpse into Ecuador’s colonial past and is renowned for its artistic and artisanal traditions.


Explore the historic center of Cuenca, characterized by its narrow streets, beautiful plazas, and iconic buildings. Marvel at the breathtaking Catedral de la Inmaculada Concepción, also known as the New Cathedral, with its incredible blue domes and elaborate interior. Visit the Museo del Banco Central, housed in a former colonial mansion, to discover fascinating exhibits showcasing Ecuadorian art and history.


Cuenca is also famous for its ceramics, and a visit to a traditional ceramics workshop is a must. Watch skilled artisans craft handmade pottery using ancient techniques and take home a unique piece as a souvenir. The city’s markets, such as the Mercado 10 de Agosto, are also worth exploring for their vibrant local produce and crafts.


When it comes to accommodation in Cuenca, you’ll find a variety of options to suit different budgets and preferences. The Mansion Alcazar is a beautifully restored colonial mansion-turned-hotel, offering luxurious rooms and excellent service. If you’re looking for a more affordable option, La Casona Hotel provides cozy rooms and a central location near the historic center.


Cuenca is also known for its delectable cuisine, with traditional Ecuadorian dishes taking center stage. Don’t miss the chance to try cuy (roasted guinea pig), a regional specialty, or indulge in a warm bowl of delicious hornado, a slow-roasted pork dish. For a sweet treat, try the famous ‘helados de paila,’ traditional Ecuadorian ice cream made in copper pots.


With its picturesque streets, cultural heritage, and vibrant artisan scene, Cuenca offers a captivating experience that will enchant visitors seeking a taste of Ecuadorian history and creativity.


Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands, located in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Ecuador, are a true natural wonder and a paradise for wildlife lovers. This unique archipelago is world-renowned for its extraordinary biodiversity and the inspiration it provided to Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.


Visiting the Galapagos Islands is like stepping into a wildlife sanctuary. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to witness the incredible diversity of species that call these islands home, including giant tortoises, marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, and playful sea lions. Explore the islands on guided tours and cruises, where expert naturalists will provide insights into the fascinating ecosystems and the conservation efforts in place.


Each island in the Galapagos has its own distinct features and wildlife. Islas Santa Cruz and San Cristobal are two of the most popular islands to visit. Discover the famous Giant Tortoise Reserve on Santa Cruz, where these gentle giants roam freely in their natural habitat. On San Cristobal, visit the Interpretation Center to learn about the archipelago’s history and fragile eco-systems.


When it comes to accommodations in the Galapagos Islands, you have a range of options to suit every preference. From eco-lodges that blend harmoniously with the surrounding nature to luxury resorts offering stunning ocean views, there is something for every traveler. For an unforgettable experience, consider staying on a live-aboard boat, allowing you to explore different islands and dive sites while enjoying all the comforts of a floating hotel.


While exploring the Galapagos Islands, indulge in the incredible seafood cuisine, with freshly caught fish and seafood dishes taking center stage. Try the delicious ceviche made from locally sourced ingredients or savor grilled fish paired with traditional sides like rice, plantains, and fresh salads.


Remember that the Galapagos Islands are subject to strict conservation regulations, so it’s important to respect and protect the fragile ecosystems while enjoying the unique experiences these islands offer.


With their unparalleled natural beauty, diverse wildlife, and awe-inspiring landscapes, the Galapagos Islands are a destination unlike any other, where every moment in this real-life Eden is sure to leave a lasting impression.



Nestled in the Andean highlands of Ecuador, Otavalo is a charming town known for its vibrant indigenous culture and bustling markets. Famous for its exquisite textiles, traditional handicrafts, and breathtaking landscapes, Otavalo offers a unique glimpse into Ecuador’s rich cultural heritage.


The highlight of a visit to Otavalo is undoubtedly the famous Otavalo Market. This bustling market takes place every Saturday and is one of the largest indigenous markets in South America. Here, you can browse through a vast array of colorful textiles, intricately woven rugs, handcrafted jewelry, and traditional garments. Don’t forget to bargain with the friendly vendors to secure the best prices.


While in Otavalo, take the opportunity to explore the surrounding area. Visit the serene Laguna de Cuicocha, a volcanic lake with stunning turquoise waters. Hike along the crater’s rim and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. You can also visit the Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve, a natural haven that boasts diverse flora and fauna.


Accommodations in Otavalo cater to various budgets and preferences. For a unique experience, consider staying in one of the local haciendas, traditional Andean estates that offer comfortable accommodations and a glimpse into the region’s history. For a more budget-friendly option, there are also cozy guesthouses and hotels in the town center.


Indulge in the local cuisine of Otavalo, which features flavorful dishes made from fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Try the traditional dish of “cuy asado,” roasted guinea pig, which is a local delicacy. Don’t forget to sample the delicious “empanadas de morocho,” a type of corn and cheese turnover that makes for a tasty snack.


Beyond the markets, Otavalo provides opportunities for cultural immersion and learning. Interact with the local indigenous communities, such as the Otavaleños, who proudly preserve their traditions and crafts. Visit workshops to witness the intricate process of textile weaving, and perhaps even take part in a weaving class to create your custom souvenir.


With its rich cultural heritage and stunning natural beauty, Otavalo offers a delightful escape into the traditions and beauty of Ecuador’s indigenous culture.



Tucked away in the heart of the Andes, Baños is a small town in Ecuador that is known for its breathtaking natural beauty and thrilling outdoor adventures. Surrounded by lush mountains, cascading waterfalls, and thermal springs, Baños offers a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure.


The town gets its name from the numerous thermal baths scattered throughout the area. Immerse yourself in the healing mineral waters of the hot springs, which are believed to have rejuvenating properties. Whether you choose a public bathhouse or a private spa, a soak in the warm waters is a must to unwind and recharge.


For adrenaline junkies, Baños is a haven for adventure sports. With the Tungurahua volcano as a backdrop, the town offers opportunities for activities like hiking, mountain biking, white-water rafting, and canyoning. Take a ride on the popular “Swing at the End of the World,” where you can dangle over a cliff and swing above the vast valley below.


Waterfalls are abundant in the area, and they make for stunning sights and exhilarating experiences. Pailón del Diablo, one of the most famous waterfalls, is accessible via a short hike and offers a dramatic display of cascading water. Another must-visit waterfall is the Manto de la Novia, where you can take a cable car ride to a viewpoint and admire the beauty of the falls up close.


Accommodations in Baños cater to all budgets, ranging from cozy guesthouses to luxurious spa resorts. Many of the accommodations offer stunning views of the surrounding landscapes, including views of the majestic Tungurahua volcano.


When it comes to dining, Baños offers a range of options, from traditional Ecuadorian cuisine to international dishes. Don’t miss the chance to try the local specialty called “cuy,” roasted guinea pig, which is a unique culinary experience. For a sweet treat, indulge in “melcocha,” a traditional candy made from sugar cane.


With its beautiful landscapes, thrilling adventures, and relaxing hot springs, Baños is a place that will leave you invigorated and in awe of Ecuador’s natural wonders.



Located in the cloud forests of Ecuador, Mindo is a small town that offers a serene escape into nature. With its lush rainforests, pristine rivers, and diverse wildlife, Mindo is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.


Mindo is renowned for its incredible birdwatching opportunities. The region is home to over 400 species of birds, including toucans, hummingbirds, and the elusive Andean cock-of-the-rock. Explore the numerous trails and lookout points in the area, and don’t forget to visit a nearby hummingbird sanctuary to witness these tiny creatures in action.


The town is also famous for its adventurous activities. Embark on a thrilling zipline tour, where you can soar above the forest canopy and enjoy breathtaking views. If you’re in the mood for a more leisurely adventure, hop on a tubing excursion down the river and float through the pristine landscapes.


Mindo is a hub for outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and horseback riding. Explore the trails that lead to stunning waterfalls, such as Nambillo and Seven Cascades, and take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters. For a unique experience, hike to the Mindo Lago, a beautiful lake surrounded by lush vegetation, where you can go kayaking or paddleboarding.


Accommodations in Mindo range from eco-friendly lodges nestled in the rainforest to comfortable guesthouses in the town center. Many of these accommodations offer opportunities for birdwatching and exploring the surrounding nature.


After a day of adventure, indulge in the local gastronomy of Mindo. The town offers a variety of restaurants that serve traditional Ecuadorian dishes made with fresh local ingredients. Enjoy tasty dishes like “trucha” (trout), “ceviche de chochos” (chocho beans ceviche), and “maito” (fish or chicken wrapped in banana leaves and cooked over coals).


Mindo’s tranquil setting, abundant wildlife, and outdoor activities make it a perfect destination for those seeking a peaceful getaway immersed in nature’s beauty.



Situated on Ecuador’s Pacific coast, Montañita is a vibrant beach town known for its relaxed atmosphere, world-class surfing waves, and lively nightlife. This popular destination attracts travelers from around the world who come to enjoy the sun, sand, and an eclectic mix of cultures.


Montañita’s main attraction is its stunning beach, where you can soak up the sun, take a refreshing swim, or try your hand at surfing. This town is a surfer’s paradise, with consistent waves that cater to both beginners and experienced surfers. Join a surf school or rent a board to catch some waves and enjoy the thrill of riding the Pacific swells.


In addition to surfing, Montañita offers other water activities such as paddleboarding, kayaking, and snorkeling. You can explore the nearby Isla de la Plata, often referred to as the “poor man’s Galapagos,” where you can spot an abundance of wildlife including blue-footed boobies and sea turtles.


When the sun sets, Montañita comes alive with its vibrant nightlife scene. The town is known for its beachfront bars and clubs, where you can dance the night away to live music or DJ sets. Join in on the lively atmosphere and embrace the party spirit that Montañita is famous for.


The town offers a variety of accommodations to suit different budgets and preferences. From beachfront hostels perfect for budget travelers to boutique hotels with stunning ocean views, you’ll find something to suit your needs. Many establishments also offer surf lessons and equipment rental for those looking to hit the waves.


Don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in the mouthwatering seafood that Montañita has to offer. From fresh ceviche to grilled shrimp, you’ll find an array of delicious dishes highlighting the flavors of the sea. There are also numerous international cuisines available, from Italian pasta to Mexican tacos.


Montañita embraces a laid-back surfer vibe and offers a unique blend of beach relaxation, thrilling water activities, and vibrant nightlife. Whether you’re seeking adventures on the waves, a lively party scene, or simply a place to unwind by the beach, Montañita has it all.



Nestled in the heart of the Ecuadorian Andes, Riobamba is a picturesque city known for its stunning mountain views, rich cultural heritage, and proximity to the majestic Chimborazo volcano. This charming destination offers a blend of natural beauty, historical significance, and adventure.


Start your exploration of Riobamba in the city’s historic center, where you’ll find beautifully preserved colonial buildings and churches. Marvel at the grandeur of the Cathedral of Riobamba, with its ornate facade and impressive interior. Take a stroll along the quaint streets and soak in the charming atmosphere of this historic city.


A trip to Riobamba wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the breathtaking Chimborazo volcano. This snow-capped peak is the highest mountain in Ecuador and offers an unforgettable hiking experience. Take a guided tour to the base camp or even attempt to summit the volcano for a truly remarkable adventure.


For a more tranquil experience, visit the nearby community of Guamote, known for its vibrant indigenous market. Explore stalls filled with colorful textiles, handicrafts, and fresh produce while immersing yourself in the local culture. Marvel at the skill of the weavers and even have the opportunity to purchase unique handmade souvenirs.


Accommodation options in Riobamba cater to various budgets and preferences. From comfortable guesthouses nestled in the historic center to modern hotels boasting panoramic mountain views, there is something to suit every traveler. Many accommodations also offer breathtaking views of Chimborazo, allowing you to wake up to the beauty of the Andean landscape.


When it comes to cuisine, Riobamba offers a variety of traditional Ecuadorian dishes to delight your taste buds. Don’t miss the chance to try “llapingachos,” delicious potato pancakes topped with cheese, or “cuy asado,” roasted guinea pig, which is a local specialty. Complete your culinary journey with a cup of “canelazo,” a warm spiced drink made with sugarcane alcohol.


Riobamba’s mix of history, natural beauty, and cultural traditions make it a captivating destination in the Ecuadorian Andes. Whether you explore the city’s colonial charm, venture to the heights of Chimborazo, or immerse yourself in the local markets, Riobamba promises a memorable experience.



Located in the southern region of Ecuador, Loja is a charming city known for its rich colonial heritage, vibrant music scene, and proximity to stunning natural landscapes. Nestled in the Cuxibamba Valley, Loja offers a mix of historical landmarks, cultural experiences, and outdoor adventures.


Explore the city’s historic center, filled with well-preserved colonial architecture and picturesque plazas. Visit the impressive Loja Cathedral, known for its intricate artwork and stunning stained glass windows. Take a stroll along Calle Lourdes, a vibrant street lined with cafes, shops, and bustling markets.


Loja is renowned for its music and is often referred to as the “Music Capital of Ecuador.” Experience the vibrant sounds of traditional Andean music at Casa de la Cultura Benjamin Carrion, a cultural center that hosts frequent concerts and performances. Immerse yourself in the melodious melodies and rhythms that flow through the streets of Loja.


Surrounded by breathtaking landscapes, Loja offers numerous opportunities for outdoor adventures. Explore the Podocarpus National Park, a biodiverse reserve known for its cloud forests, crystalline rivers, and diverse wildlife. Take a hike along the trails, and keep an eye out for rare bird species and stunning orchids.


Accommodation options in Loja cater to different budgets and preferences. From quaint guesthouses in the old town to modern hotels with panoramic views, you’ll find a comfortable place to rest and recharge. Many accommodations also offer easy access to the city’s main attractions and cultural landmarks.


Indulge in the local cuisine of Loja, which showcases the flavors of southern Ecuador. Don’t miss the opportunity to try “cecina,” thinly sliced and seasoned pork, or “tigrillo,” a dish made from green plantains mashed with cheese and served with fried eggs. Wash it down with a cup of traditional Loja coffee, known for its smooth and rich taste.


Loja’s mix of history, vibrant music scene, and stunning natural surroundings make it a captivating destination in southern Ecuador. Whether you’re exploring the city’s cultural heritage, immersing yourself in the local music scene, or discovering the wonders of the nearby national park, Loja offers a unique and enriching experience.



Ecuador is a country that offers a multitude of experiences for travelers of all interests. From the historical treasures of Quito to the vibrant nightlife of Guayaquil, the charming colonial town of Cuenca to the natural wonders of the Galapagos Islands, each city in Ecuador has its own unique flavor and attractions.


As you explore Ecuador, you’ll encounter a diverse range of landscapes, from the Andean mountains to the pristine beaches, from the lush rainforests to the volcanic islands. These natural wonders provide opportunities for adventure and outdoor activities, such as hiking, surfing, birdwatching, and exploring incredible biodiversity.


Throughout your travels in Ecuador, you’ll also have the chance to immerse yourself in the country’s rich cultural heritage. From indigenous markets to artisan workshops, from traditional festivals to culinary delights, Ecuador offers an authentic and vibrant cultural experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression.


Accommodation options in Ecuador cater to every budget and preference, ensuring a comfortable stay whether you choose to indulge in luxury resorts, embrace the local culture in charming guesthouses, or opt for budget-friendly hostels.


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So, whether you’re seeking adrenaline-pumping adventures, tranquility in nature, cultural immersion, or simply relaxation on beautiful beaches, Ecuador has it all. It’s time to uncover the wonders of this diverse and enchanting country and create memories that will last a lifetime.