15 Top Cities of Ecuador - Best travel and holiday destinations

15 Top Cities of Ecuador - Best travel and holiday destinations

Updated 28 Jan, 2020
location_on Ecuador

Ecuador is located on the west coast of South America. The country is a beautiful tourist destination due to the amazon jungle and incredible beaches here.

From historical cities to lovely beach islands, the country of Ecuador is truly a magical place! So do not miss this gem of South America! Here are some magnificent cities of Ecuador.


location_on Ambato

Surrounded by mountains and the Ambato River flowing through it, the city had been drastically affected by earthquakes in the past but still remains a top tourist attraction.
Things to do-

  • Parque Provincial de la Familia: a gorgeous sightseeing place with lots of local stalls to shop.
  • La Catedral de Ambato: a wonderful cathedral in the city.
  • Casa y Mausoleo de Juan Montalvo: a very historic and interesting monument in the center of the city.

Popular restaurants-

  • RUTA 87: amazing gourmet burgers.
  • El Rey del Burrito Ambato: lovely and spicy Mexican cuisine.
  • Las Gallinas de Pinllo: a great place to try some amazing Ecuadorean delicacies

How to get in and around the city-
one can get to Ecuador by bus or rental cars. Getting around town can be
done by taxi or bus.

Bahia de Caraquez

location_on Bahia de Caraquez

A lovely place to go sail boating on a pleasant airy evening.
Things to do-

  • Isla Corazon Mangrove Reserve: a Very clean and eco-friendly island. A lovely place to walk.
  • Museo Bahia de Caraquez: the museum was re developed due to the earthquakes and is beautiful.
  • Playa la Bellaca: an amazing rock beach. Very picturesque and magnificent.

Popular restaurants-

  • Puerto Amistad: a great shack restaurant on the beach and good food.
  • El Muelle Uno Parrillada: a local Ecuadorian restaurant.
  • H Cafe Bar: a sweet and simple café well known for its brilliant breakfast.

How to get in and around the city-
one can get here by bus or car from major cities like Quito and Guayaquil. You can get around town by taxi or public buses.


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Banos is famous for the huge and marvelous waterfalls but apart from this the city has some lovely things to
Things to do-

  • Pailon del Diablo (Devil's Cauldron): an incredible waterfall, truly amazing and blissful.
  • Ruta de las cascadas: another beautiful waterfall. An impressiven site with lovely walking trails.
  • La Casa del Arbol: a wonderful place to click lovely pictures of the incredible view this site has to offer.

Popular restaurants-

  • Avo Burrito shop: excellent Mexican restaurant with a good range of dishes to order on the menu.
  • Gringos café: an American restaurant that serves superb cheese burgers.
  • Carpe diem de verde: this Mediterranean restaurants serves brilliant seafood.

How to get in and around the city-
You can get to Banos by bus that departs from major cities like Ambato and Cuenca almost every day. The most convenient way to get around this town can be done by walking or getting a taxi.


Known for its lovely churches, the city has super friendly locals and amazing restaurants to try the authentic Ecuadorian cuisine.
Things to do-

  • El Cajas National Park: surrounded by mountains you will spot plenty Llamas in this stunning national park.
  • La Catedral de la Inmaculada
  • Concepcion de Cuenca: a beautiful and interesting historical cathedral of Cuenca.

Popular restaurants-

  • Tiesto's: a beautiful and lively fine dining restaurant with delicious Ecuadorian cuisine.
  • El Mercado: European and Latin cuisine, friendly and helpful staff.
  • Restaurante el Jardin: an excellent European fine dining restaurant.

How to get in and around the city-
the city has its own domestic airport, one can get here from Quito or Guayaquil. There are bus services available too. Apart from city buses and cabs tourists can get to places by foot.


location_on Guayaquil
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This gorgeous city that is known as the gateway to the Galapagos Islands and pacific beaches has beautiful festivities that place in the city all year round.
Things to do-

  • Malecon 2000: a broad walk along the riverside with lovely cafes and souvenir stores.
  • Parque Seminario: historic park with interesting sculptures and a pavilion. Here you can see a lot of Iguanas roaming around.
  • Guayaquil historical park: this lovely park has a small cathedral and some fabulously designed historical homes.
  • Guayaquil metropolitan cathedral: this is a major cathedral of the city where mass takes place every Sunday and is visited by tourists as well as locals daily.

Popular restaurants-

  • Embarcadero 41: the restaurant has lovely exotic Peruvian delicacies and classy seating.
  • Casa Julian: great place to enjoy Ecuadorian cuisine.
  • Mercado del Rio: not a very big restaurant but the food here is delicious. They serves brilliant Ecuadorian dishes and sea food.

How to get in and around the city-
one can fly to the city’s international airport that is elected as the best South American airport José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport. There are non-stop flights from New York, Miami, Buenos Aires and many more international cities. You can also get to the city by car or bus. There are buses, taxis and cars available to get around town. There is also a speed bus; Metrovia that can take you around town.


location_on Loja
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Things to do-

  • Parque Nacional Podocarpus: it is best to go here when the weather is pleasant. The national park is lovely with great trails.
  • Puerta de la Ciudad: this is like a dummy castle that holds lovely art exhibitions.
  • Parque Recreacional Jipiro: you can see world famous monuments from Paris Russia and many more countries here. A great place for kids.

Popular restaurants-

  • Mama Lola: Ecuadorian restaurant with Latin cuisine as well.
  • Salon Lolita: this beautiful restaurant has helpful staff and tasty Ecuadorian dishes.

How to get in and around the city-
there is an airport 40 minutes by bus from Loja. There are buses as well as taxis to get to places around the town.


location_on Manta
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A great beach city in Ecuador. Unique architecture and super friendly locals.
Things to do-

  • Playa Santa Marianita: a serene and calm beach.
  • Playa el Murcielago: another beautiful beach in the city. There is a line of great restaurants at the beach.

Popular restaurants-

  • Finisterre: The plating of food at the restaurant is stunning. The seafood here is brilliantly cooked and flavored.
  • Restaurante Las Velas: a lovely restaurant, the seating is in the open with a wonderful view of the beach and delicious seafood.

How to get in and around the city-
located on the outskirts of the city is the Eloy Alfaro International Airport. Apart from this there are bus services available from other cities of Ecuador. You can get around town by taxi, bus or car.


location_on Otavalo
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The city is famous for its population that are immigrants travelling around the world selling their handicrafts.
Things to do-

  • Otavalo Market: the most famous market in the city. Great souvenirs to shop for.
  • Condor Park: great views of the mountains. A lovely demonstration of birds.

Popular restaurants-

  • Mi otavalito: pure authentic Ecuadorian cuisine.
  • Arbol de Montalvo Restaurant: lovely meals and good dining.
  • Buena Vista: a cozy ambience with great staff and food.

How to get in and around the city-
you can get here from Quito in a 2 hour bus or car drive. Walking is the easiest way in this town.

Puerto Ayora

location_on Puerto Ayora

This town has lovely infrastructure and beautiful restaurants and stores.
Things to do-

  • Reserve el chato: a great tortoise reserve.
  • Las Grietas: an adventurous trail leads you to the wonderful swimming spot.
  • Charles Darwin Research Station: a beautiful wildlife park.
  • El Garrapatero: this place is a great picnic spot on a pleasant day.

Popular restaurants-

  • Rancho El Manzanillo: one can have a brilliant meal alongside watching the tortoises.
  • Almar: brilliant Ecuadorian restaurant in the city.

How to get in and around the city-
you can get here by plane, boat or private yachts. It’s a small place so you can get around by foot.

Puerto Baquerizo Moreno

location_on Puerto Baquerizo Moreno
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This town is named after the former Ecuadorian president, Alfredo Baquerizo Moreno. The city has a lovely architecture.
Things to do-

  • Kicker rock: there are snorkeling activities and lovely waters. Every tourist should go to this paradise, it is a must visit.
  • Cerro Tijeretas: The place is incredible, you can swim take part in some water activities and spot lovely sea animals.

Popular restaurants-

  • Fresco café: the café has delicious smoothies and Mediterranean dishes.
  • Muyu Galapagos: great seafood restaurant with a brilliant view of the beach.

How to get in and around the city-
you can get here by plane, bus or car. Walking around town is a good option. You can also take a taxi.


location_on Quito
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The city that’s surrounded by gorgeous mountains is the capital of the country and has tons of historic sites and cathedrals. The city also has lovely colonial architecture.
Things to do-

  • Teleferico Quito: a lovely ride and view in this cable car.
  • Museo Templo del Sol Pintor Ortega Maila: a great view of the mountains.
  • Quito old town: incredible feeling to walk around the old town of Quito.
  • Fundacion Iglesia de la Compania: a magnificent church and lovely architecture.

Popular restaurants-

  • URKO cocina local: lovely interiors and beautiful plating of the food.
  • Zazu: brilliant Latin seafood restaurant.

How to get in and around the city-
the busiest airport in Ecuador is the Quito airport, Aeropuerto Internacional Mariscal Sucre. There are taxis and buses available to get in and around as well.

Riobamba (sultan of the Andes)

location_on Riobamba

Riobamba is one of the most touristic and top tourist destination in the country.
Things to do-

  • The devil’s nose train ride: an incredible train ride and lovely views.
  • Altar Mountain: Great Mountain views along the river.
  • Pro Bici: beautiful biking rides down the mountain of Chimborazo.
  • Tren Crucero: a marvelous train ride through the mountains.

Popular restaurants-

  • Bonny restaurant: South American restaurant and great place to enjoy your meal.
  • Baltimore bar cafeteria: a fast food restaurant and bar and great drinks.

How to get in and around the city-
you can get here by bus or train. There are lots of taxis available to get around town.


location_on Salinas

A lovely beach resort located very close from Guayaquil.
Things to do-

  • Playa de Chipipe: a very popular beach and lovely clean waters.
  • La Loberia: another lovely beach to catch some great surfs.
  • Playa las Salinas: a magnificent beach, not always crowded so one can sunbathe, read a book and enjoy.

Popular restaurants-

  • Luv n oven: amazing seafood.
  • Café jazz: this amazing café has great food.

How to get in and around the city-
since Guayaquil is very close to this city, one can get here by rental car.

San Cristobal

location_on San Cristobal
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Known as one of the oldest cities. Beautiful location and the weather is mostly pleasant throughout the year. It is a part of the Galapagos Islands. The islands are marvelous and beautiful.
Things to do-

  • Puerto chino beach: great waves and lovely white sand.
  • Cerro brujo: an incredible rock beach.
  • Playa Mann: this is the closest beach to the city. There are fun activities that take place here.

Popular restaurants-

  • El decanso marinero: mouthwatering Ecuadorian sea food dishes.
  • Rosita: this lively restaurants has a wide range of menu with Ecuadorian cuisine, the food quality is amazing.

How to get in and around the city-
you can get here by flying to Quito and taking a bus. There are speed boat services available too.


location_on Tena

Tena is a part of the Amazonian jungle of Ecuador.
Things to do-

  • Laguna Azul: an incredible place to relax. You can also swim in the pond and just have a fabulous time.
  • Amazoonico Animal Rescue Centre: An animal rescue centre.
  • San Rafael Waterfall: huge waterfalls and a lovely view.
  • Jumandi caves: an adventurous place, you can go exploring these magnificent caves. Always a fun experience to go visit caves.

Popular restaurants-

  • Café Tortuga: international and South American cuisine. Great seating.
  • Guayusa Lounge: the restaurant has some amazing salads and lovely vegan food as well.
  • El Vagabundo: The restaurant has delicious Mexican as well as German cuisine.

How to get in and around the city-
there are buses as well as rental cars available from Quito. You can get around town by taxi.


  • Arroz con pollo:Latin style chicken, prawns and rice in a cooker in a broth of tomatoes, onions, garlic, celery, pepper and spices.
  • Carne colorada: Ecuadorian beef marinated in beer, onion, garlic, cumin and oregano.
  • Chaulafan de pollo: an authentic chicken fried rice of Ecuador with pork, chicken and some vegetables.
  • Enocado de pescado:a coastal dish. The fish is seasoned with squeezed lemon juice and lovely traditional spices. It is cooked in cilantro sauce with onions, tomatoes and coconut milk.
  • Fritada de chancho: a fantastic pork dish cooked in orange juice.
  • Menestra de porotos: a stew made of beans and some vegetable sauces.
  • Hornado de chancho: roasted pork leg marinated with beer and garlic.

Best time to visit the country.

**The coastal part of the country is mostly visited by tourists during the months of December and January or April to May are the best time to visit.

Since it is vacation time during mid-June to September in most of the European and American countries it is best for travelers to visit the other parts of the city.**

Average hotel prices in Ecuador.

In Ecuador average 4 to 5 star hotel prices range up to 125 euros/ 140 USD onwards.
The options of renting Airbnb’s are very convenient and reliable.