Located in northwest South America, Ecuador is neighbors with Colombia and Peru. Many who take a jet charter to Ecuador do so for the incredible biodiversity. From the highland Andes to the Galápagos Islands, this country is a natural site unlike any other in the world.
Ecuador also boasts a rich history that makes for quite an interesting visit. Ancient Incan tribes inhabited the land for hundreds of years, until the Spanish conquered the empire in 1532. Today, the population comprises a blend of ethnicities hailing back to Spain, Africa, and the indigenous tribes that came centuries before. Take a jet charter to Ecuadorto see its fascinating culture for yourself.
Must See: Ecuador's biggest draw for travelers are hands down the Galápagos Islands, which can be reached by plane from the Guayaquil and Quito airports in Ecuador. The islands are where Charles Darwin carried out his revolutionary research on biological species. Darwin discovered that each island in the Galápagos archipelago was home to its own unique species of finches, now known as Darwin's finches.
This variety among finches reflects the overarching array of life on the islands. Visit the Galápagos upon your jet charter to Ecuador, and you'll have the chance to see blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas, enormous cacti, huge tortoises, and more exotic wildlife.
Ecuador is also known for its colonial history, most easily seen in the city of Cuenca. This southern town is home to about 450,000 locals and comfortable weather year-round. Spanish architecture, cobblestone roads, outdoor markets, and world-class restaurants make Cuenca a quaint destination.
Lodging: Ecuador has seen a rise in eco-tourism, and as a result many Eco Lodges are available in the more natural parts of the country. Renovated haciendas also offer an eye-opening lodging option. These historic, colonial buildings were constructed after the Spanish Conquest, and many of them offer farm activities, such as cattle round-ups or horseback riding. Travelers who would rather stay in luxurious accommodations will find plenty of sophisticated hotels and resorts in all the big cities.
Ground Transportation: The easiest way to experience all four regions of Ecuador is with the guidance of an official Tour Operator. The four regions include the Amazonian rain forest in the east, the coast in the west, the highland Andes in the middle, and the Galápagos Islands off the west coast.
If you prefer to guide your own exploration of Ecuador, you can take taxis, buses, or a car with a hired driver. Ecuador recently invested in its transportation infrastructure to provide safe, well-built roads throughout the country.
Recommended Books: Galápagos, Kurt Vonnegut (1999). Set approximately one million years in the future, Vonnegut's fictional novel takes you back to 1986 when a small tour group ends up stranded in the Galápagos Islands. As Vonnegut explains how the group's Gilligan-esque experience came to be, he also reveals the history of Ecuador and describes the country's amazing biological variety. Both an informational look into Ecuador and a mind-expanding look at evolution, Galápagosis the perfect read before taking a private jet charter to Ecuador.
Currency: The United States dollar is the local currency in Ecuador.
Calling Code Ecuador: 011 + 593 + phone number (land lines are 8 digits with area code, cell phones are 9 digits)
Best Travel Dates and Packing Tips: Weather in Ecuador varies by the region, but once you choose one, you can expect a stable climate with a dry season and a wet season in each area. Most tourists visit Ecuador between June and early September, which is generally the dry season in all regions. Weather is cool and overcast during these months, but much less rainy than the wet season.
Overall, Ecuador has a subtropical climate, so it's important to pack lightweight clothing for the jungles, along with a good pair of hiking boots. If you plan to spend time in the highland region, be sure to bring warmer clothes as well.