Culture & Relax

Culture & Relax Extensions

One of Ecuador’s most interesting features besides its amazing nature, is the cultural diversity of its ethnic groups. There are several indigenous communities that strongly preserve their cultural identity, which can be observed at any of the indigenous markets of the country. The two most accessible for their proximity to Quito, are Otavalo and Saquisili markets. They are great places to discover some of the different Andean traditions and to do souvenir shopping during or after your expedition. These cultural tours can be done as an extension to your itinerary.

Another cultural option is to visit the city of Quito. Few cities in the world can match the setting of Quito, a city of two halves: the Old City and the new town. We offer a tour of the city where you can admire its architectural beauty and unique traditions.

Alternatively, a visit to the Papallacta hot springs is always comforting. You can relax there for a day after an expedition admiring the beautiful nature, or if you wish, stay overnight in a lodge enjoying the private thermal baths and fine cuisine.

For more information, click on the images below:

Indian Markets

Quito City Trip




Cultures of Ecuador

Ecuador is a home of many cultures. Although the majority of the population is mestizo, of mixed Spanish and Indian blood, many native people maintain their own cultural identity and belong to a number of different ethnic groups. There are also Afro-Ecuadorians, who are descendants of slaves brought from Africa in the seventeenth century.

The Inter-Andean region was historically the most heavily populated in the country, dating back to pre-Inca times. Today it is home to the highest proportion of native people, with a common language (Quichua) inherited from he Incas. These natives live mainly in rural areas throughout the Sierra, and their typical dress and hats vary from one region to another. Highland native groups with a distinct cultural identity include the Otavaleños, Salasacas, Cañaris and Saraguros. You are sure to meet some of the mountain people along your treks.

The coastal plain is the most densely populated region, with just over half of the country’s people. There you find the Montubio, a generic term for coastal country’s dwellers. The northern coastal province of Esmeraldas has the highest concentration of Afro-Ecuadorians. There are also a small number of coastal native people such as the Awas, Chachis and Tzachilas or Colorados.

Although the Amazon lowlands (El Oriente) account for less than four percent of the country’s population, this has been the area of fastest population grow in terms of percentages. The most numerous of Amazon native groups are the Quichua, a group distinct from highland Quichua speaker. Smaller groups include the Shuar, Achuar, Huaorani, Cofan, Siona, Secoya and Zaparos. As a result of increased contact with colonist and oil workers, cultural assimilation among rainforest people is running high.