If there is one country in Latin America which packs quite a punch in such a small area, then it has to be Ecuador.
From the lush Amazon, through the Cloud Forest of the Andean slopes, along the Avenue of Volanoes and over the Pacific to the other-worldly Galapagos Islands, Ecuador offers a nature lovers paradise and some of the best travel experiences in South America.
Galapagos cruises are undoubtedly the jewel in the crown of travel to Ecuador. Spending a week cruising the Galapagos and getting so close to the wildlife is one of the world's great travel experiences.
Eco-lodges in the Amazon, bird-watching in the Andean Cloud Forests, shopping for artefacts in Otavalo's colourful market, discovering the twin colonial-era jewels of Quito and Cuenca, or riding the Devil's Nose railway - Ecuador is diverse and surprising and a superb introduction to South America.