Study abroad in Ecuador and experience one of the most culturally and geographically diverse countries in the world.
Roughly the size of Colorado, Ecuador has the environmental megadiversity of a much larger country. Four eco-regions—the Amazon basin, the high Andes, the coastal plain, and the Galápagos Islands—offer a wealth of flora and fauna that attracts biologists, botanists, and environmentalists from around the world. These internationally known natural wonders are at your fingertips when you study in Ecuador.
Adventure and learning opportunities will surround you when you study abroad in Ecuador. Snorkel in the Galápagos Islands as you study biodiversity, learn about indigenous culture as you stroll through Otavalo Market, and study environmental science in the Amazon rainforest! To make the most of your time in Ecuador, study abroad is a great opportunity to not only visit, but also learn about this stunningly diverse country.
Cousins Rock is a centrally located diving site in the islands and was recently named “one of the most photographically productive dives in the central islands” by Scuba Diving magazine. Octopi, sharks, sea turtles and sea horses are among the myriad of species seen on a dive in this area.
Charles Darwin Research Station
Established in 1964, the Charles Darwin Research Station is located on the island of Santa Cruz. Scientists conduct research and projects here aimed at preserving the unique marine and terrestrial ecosystems of the Galapagos Islands.
Named after the famous scientist, Charles Darwin, Darwin is the smallest island of the Galapagos measuring one kilometer in area. The highlight of the island is the marine life as the island itself is not open for land visits.
Sierra Negra Volcano
Sierra Negra is a large shield volcano at the South eastern end of Isabela Island in the Galapagos that rises to an altitude of 1124m.
Dragon Hill is one of the best places to view land iguanas and other terrestrial species unique to the Galapagos.
Located in the Plaza de Independencia, the Carondelet Palace has been the home of the Ecuadorian president for more than 300 years. With an exterior designed with neoclassic architecture, the building is ornately decorated inside as well.
La Plaza de San Francisco
Previously the spot for local trading, the Plaza de San Francisco still bustles with activity today. Built on an incline, the Plaza provides beautiful views of Quito.
La Mitad del Mundo
La Mitad del Mundo, located 12 miles outside of Quito, marks the equatorial line. Visitors can discover more about Ecuador's indigenous people at the Museu Etnográfico Mitad del Mundo and experiment with the gravitational pull by testing balance, water flow and resistance.
El Parque Carolina
As the largest park in Quito, El Parque La Carolina boasts an expansive space for recreation including a boating lake, playgrounds, volleyball and basketball courts, and restaurants. It is situated near several shopping centers and is home to art festivals on the weekends.
I think island time is getting to me, it’s taken me almost three weeks to write this post since setting foot on San Cristóbal. With a population of ~5000 here in the town of Puerto Baquerizo things work a little differently than back on the mainland in Quito. Nothing in the town itself is more than 15 minutes away from anything else by bike, and my official address is simply “House of Martha Morales”.
We asked IES Abroad Ambassadors, recent alumni who volunteer to share their study abroad expertise, about the best free things to do in their study abroad host city. So, what was the number one free thing most all of our Ambassadors suggested?