Ecuador is small by South American standards, but nonetheless rich in treasures – perfect for an adventure or luxury holiday. In a day you could watch the dawn break over jungle, have lunch in the high Andes, then watch the sun slip into the Pacific Ocean.
The capital city, Quito, is a colonial feast with a spring-like climate year-round, while Otavalo in the north is a gem, full of indigenous textiles and crafts. To the south is the impressive mountain spine of the 'Avenue of Volcanoes', to the west the unspoiled expanse of the Amazon jungle, full of jungle lodges and the opportunity for river cruises and wildlife spotting.
A trip to the Galapagos Islands – 1,000km west of the mainland – is an unforgettable experience for nature lovers, as are the lush cloud forests closer to the capital.