Pick a city in Ecuador. Any city. You can’t go too far wrong.
Quito is the nation’s capital and serves as a nice base for visiting the Mitad del Mundo equatorial exhibit, the famous covered market in Otavalo, and the Cotapaxi volcano.
Guayaquil is the nation’s largest city, with quick access to Pacific beaches. Cuenca is the third-largest city, with beautiful 16th century architecture rimmed by Andes peaks in the distance. From all three cities, you can make arrangements to visit the Galapagos Islands.
For a relatively small country, Ecuador offers a wide variety of landscapes and attractions.
More good news: it’s also among the cheapest countries to visit in South America. Airfares into Quito’s new airport sometimes come at bargain prices. Transportation within the country is relatively cheap, and affordable accommodations abound.