10 cultural tours across Ecuador: From the Amazon to the Andean Highlands


A symphony for the senses, Ecuador cultural tours invite you to engage with the intangible magic of this extraordinary country, its history and its people. There are, for example, the indigenous communities all over Ecuador, from Amazon tribes to the Andean Highlands, some of which you can meet and learn about their way of life. Then too, a dizzying array of colonial towns are studded throughout Ecuador, with evidence of Inca- and European-style architecture clear to see, from Cuenca’s historic cathedrals to Quito’s carefully preserved monasteries, and many more.

Then too, ancient archaeology leaves traces of Ecuador’s rich heritage: from the Ingapirca fortress of the Inca civilization to the Cochasqui pyramids, to name just a few. Thousands of years of history are evident in sites peppered across the country, which simply have to be seen to be believed.

A culture tour in Ecuador might incorporate dance classes, festivals and art galleries; market visits, canelazo tasting or cookery classes for the chance to savor some of the tantalizing flavors that showcase Ecuador’s culinary prowess. After all, this vibrant, versatile, often overlooked country is home to some of the most intriguing cultural highlights.

1. Local market tours: Try your hand at haggling

Almost every town you visit in Ecuador will have a market, bursting with color, intoxicating aromas and local handicrafts. These are stops where you can soak up the atmosphere and enjoy a real taste of Ecuadorian culture as you try out your bartering skills everywhere from tiny townships to sprawling metropolises.

Clearly, the most iconic of these is Ecuador’s Otavalo Market, which continues to hold the title of the most colorful and important in all of Latin America. Though recovering from the pandemic only in terms of foreign…

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