The Best Instagram Spots in Ecuador

South America might be my favorite continent in the world. The liveliness of Colombia, the mountains of Peru, the parties of Brazil… But Ecuador? It took me my fourth go-around in South America before I finally decided to hit up one of South America’s smaller countries. Upon arriving, it didn’t take me long to realize that I made a mistake skipping it so many times prior.

My original two-week itinerary in Ecuador evolved into a 43-day expedition that took me from mountain summits to dense jungles to bustling cities and everywhere in between. I learned quickly just how underrated and overlooked Ecuador is as a travel destination. Here are some of that can’t-miss photo opportunities in Ecuador.

Quito

Quito was an unexpected gem of a city. I usually breeze through Latin American capital cities in favor of less hustle and bustle but Quito turned out to be both beautiful and exciting. With an abundance of historical sites in the city and gorgeous nature just outside, Quito has a perfect mix for the adventurous photographer.

Basilica del Voto Nacional

basilica del voto nacional quito

Teleferico de Quito

Mitad del Mundo (The Equator)

Cotopaxi Region

As an avid hiker and photographer, I was itching to get out into the mountains. From Quito, the quickest way to find yourself among nature is by going to the Cotopaxi Province. This province is home to towering volcanoes, endless rolling hills and farms, cloud forests, and jaw-dropping sights like a lagoon inside a volcano and unbelievable canyons.

Laguna del Quilotoa

laguna del quilotoa hike ecuador

Black Sheep Inn, Chugchilan

Volcan Cotopaxi

volcan cotopaxi

Secret Garden Cotopaxi

Cañon del Rio Toachi

Baños

Widely regarded as Ecuador’s adventure capital, Baños is home to an astonishing array of activities. Paragliding, zip-lining, canyoning, white water rafting, and plenty of hikes for those who prefer to keep their feet on the ground. Nestled on a canyon, surrounded by mountains, lush jungle everywhere you look, and home to hundreds of waterfalls, Baños can feel like a fairy-tale sometimes.

Swing At The End Of The World, Baños

swing at the end of the world banos ecuador

Pailon del Diablo, Baños

pailon del diablo banos ecuador

Mirador Bellavista

banos ecuador

Puente San Francisco

banos ecuador

Ecuador’s Pacific Coast

You don’t really hear Ecuador pop up too much when people discuss ocean getaways and beach vacations. Maybe that should start changing. Ecuador’s Pacific Coast is popular among surfers, whale watchers, divers, and more. However, it is still relatively unknown internationally, making it a prime spot to get that secluded beach getaway that you deserve.

Hotel Poseidon, Manta

hotel poseidon manta

Playa Montañita, Montañita

things to do in montanita ecuador

The Complete Travel Guide To Montañita

Sendero el Faro, San Lorenzo

san lorenzo el faro sendero

Isla de la Plata

isla de la plata without a guide

Puerto Lopez

Parque Nacional Machalilla

Guayaquil

Most people will tell you to skip Guayaquil as it is just another big city. However, this city proved me wrong. It’s warm temperatures, exotic greenery, and beautiful location along some rivers and right on the coast make it as scenic a city as any.

Guayaquil Lighthouse

Cerro Santa Ana

Malecon, Guayaquil

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Cuenca

Cuenca quickly became my favorite city in all of Ecuador. The three-hour drive from Guayaquil to Cuenca was one of the most scenic I have ever seen. One minute, it felt like we could be in Bali, then all of a sudden we were driving through the jungle, followed by a stunning drive through Parque Nacional el Cajas. Between the mountains, rivers, and stunning architecture, there is no shortage of photo opportunities in Cuenca.

Parque Nacional El Cajas

cajas national park without a guide

Nuevo Catedral de Cuenca

Plaza de San Francisco, Cuenca

free walking tour cuenca ecuador

Mirador el Turi, Cuenca

best viewpoints in cuenca ecuador

El Chorro del Giron

Vilcabamba

I planned on leaving Ecuador after Cuenca but I felt like Ecuador needed one last hurrah. We drove down to Vilcabamba which proved to be another stunning drive. This small town held a lot of big adventures. From epic hikes to horseback rides and waterfalls, Vilcabamba is a perfect spot for hikers and those who love the outdoors.

Izhcayluma Loop

izhcayluma loop vilcabamba ecuador

Waterfalls

Parque Nacional Podocarpus

horseback riding vilcabamba ecuador

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9 thoughts on “The Best Instagram Spots in Ecuador

  1. you have so many amazing spots there. I know my grandmother used to talk about how beautiful it was there when she went. I would just be in awe of that Basilica. The architecture is just astounding.

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