The Natural and Cultural History of Ecuador

by on Friday, 11 May 2012

Rafting the Pastaza River in Ecuador with incredible rainforest scenery (c) used with permission by ISV

ISV opened Ecuador, the “jewel of South America,” as a program destination in 2006.

Ecuador is one of the few countries in the world that are called “Mega-Diverse.”  This title has been given to Ecuador not only because of the high biodiversity that it holds, but also because of the multiple ecosystems that it encompasses.

In a country that covers 0.15 % of the world’s total land mass, you can travel from the unique tropical dry forests areas of the Pacific coast, clear across some of the highest mountains of our continent, and down into the lush forests of the Amazon basin with their infinity of resources.

But this is not all that Ecuador has to offer.  The variety of indigenous groups inhabiting the country’s different areas provide for an experience filled with an extensive array of color. The background of these cultures and their ability to develop in some of the harshest habitats, give us a clear idea of the capacity of humans to adapt to just about anything.

Ecuador has a number of indigenous groups with unique languages and cultures.

The history of Ecuador is a very interesting one, combining the simplicity of some indigenous cultures with the complexity of colonization. The impact of Spanish expansion, along with the power of the Catholic Church is evident, painting a clear image of what the “discovery” of the Americas meant throughout our continent.  But the influence of pre-colonial cultures as significant as that of the Incas has marked this land as well.

All in all, Ecuador can provide you with a glimpse of the past at the same time it gives you some of the most impressive views of the Andes, and marks the significance of conservation of habitats and the species that live in them.  Visiting Ecuador will provide you with memories that will live with you for the rest of your days.

Learn more about ISV’s awesome Ecuador programs with optional excursions to the Galapagos and Peru by clicking here.

Daniel Fernandez

ISV Ecuador Tour Director

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