Ecuador Group Package
Ecuador, with its magnificent Andean spine lined with a staggering 30 volcanoes, Amazon Rainforest, colonial cities, colorful Indian Markets, an Inca Heritage, and a lovely coast is a place like no other. Aside from its picturesque landscapes and interesting blend of cultures, Ecuador also has such rare biodiversity making it a nature lover's paradise. Off the mainland is the famed Galapagos Islands, which is part of Ecuador, and is home to many unique and endemic species (found only in that region), therefore adding to the desire to visit this region.
It is estimated that some 25 000 species of plants alone can be found throughout the continental and insular regions of Ecuador. There are 1600 birds found in the country ranging in size from the largest flying bird, the Andean Condor, to the smallest of birds which include the 100 species of hummingbirds. Whether an amateur bird watcher or an ornithologist, Ecuador will prove to be an incredibly rewarding trip for the bird enthusiast!
Close to 400 species of both amphibian and reptile species call Ecuador its home. A collection of frog species can always be observed in Ecuador since they live in vastly different regions throughout the country. Reptiles such as snakes, lizards, tortoises, sea turtles and crocodiles are numerous and similarly to Ecuadorian amphibians, they too can be found in a variety at some point along your journey.
To add to this "biodiverse hot spot," it is estimated that 800 species of fish occupy the Amazonian waters and they share their habitat with an endless number of invertebrates. The number of invertebrates, especially the insects, are unknown but they are the most numerous of living creatures in Ecuador reaching into the hundred of thousands. Most notable invertebrates are the butterflies of Ecuador and there are some 4500 species found in a spectrum of colors sure to impress visitors.
Some 300 species of mammals have been recorded which occupy a variety of habitats in Ecuador. These vary from monkeys in the Amazonian lowlands to the rare Andean spectacled bear in the highlands. The most diverse mammals are the bats, of which there are over 100 species found in this country. Other possible mammal sightings include anteaters, armadillos, agoutis (large rodents), capybaras (even larger rodents, some weighing up to 65kg), peccaries (wild pigs) and otters. River dolphins are occasionally sighted in Amazonian tributaries. Other exotic mammals, such as ocelots, jaguars, tapirs, pumas and the Andean spectacled bear, are rarely seen but native to Ecuador.
The number of species of plant and animals found in Ecuador seems impressive however, much of the flora and fauna making up this biodiverse region are under siege by human interference and are becoming seriously endangered. Many endemic species lost due to habitat destruction are finding it a challenge to recuperate and may soon become extinct. These habitats have become extremely fragile and now, more than ever, will require intervention. Through education, restoration projects and protective laws, these ecosystems may be able to recover and flourish for generations to come.