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    Is there entertainment in Ecuador?

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    Of course there is!Set your camera to stunning and prepare to be overwhelmed:Avenue of Volcanoes Driving along the Panamericana on a sunny day, youll find yourself surrounded by towering snowcapped volcanoes that invite for a hiking or climbing adventure. The most notable of them are volcanoes Cotopaxi and Chimborazo.BañosThis tourist resort is booming despite having been several times evacuated because of its violent neighbour - the permanently erupting Tungurahua volcano. At night, you can watch from a safe distance how the mountain exhales fumes and lava streaks.CuencaFounded in 1577, Cuenca (www.cuenca.com.ec) is perhaps the best example of a South American colonial city. You are likely to feel the ambience already when checking into your hotel, most of which are located in heritage buildings. The nearby Ingapirca site gives a glimpse of Ecuadors pre-colonial history.Cycling down the AndesA few tour agencies in Quito offer cycling trips that take in the high-altitude paramo at an altitude of 4,000m (13,123ft) down to the lush tropical forests at 1,000m (3,280ft), passing the numerous climatic zones in between.Devils NoseRiding on the trains roof is not forbidden by the local tourist authorities in Ecuador - its more encouraged. The famously precipitous Devils Nose train route takes you from Riobamba to the Alausi station, with most passengers opting to ride on top of the carriage.Equator lineThe huge granite monument marking the equator line is not far from Quito (www.mitaddelmundo.com). Local guides will show how water swirls clockwise and anti-clockwise direction on both side of the line to prove its scientific significance.Galapagos IslandsStraddling the Equator 1000km (622 miles) off the coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands are famous for being the inspiration for Charles Darwins theory of evolution. There are 13 large islands and six small, which were formed by oceanic volcanoes some three to five million years ago. Visitors come to the islands to see the unparalleled variety of wildlife that flourishes due to the remote location and temperate climate. The most famous residents are the giant tortoises after whom the islands are named, although other common species include iguana, dolphins, boobies and cormorants. The animals are so used to human company visitors can even swim with penguins and sea lions. Snorkelling and sailing are also popular.GuayaquilThe long riverside promenade in Ecuadors commercial capital (www.inguayaquil.com) is a masterpiece of modern architecture, with shady gardens and nice restaurants. Nearby, Barrio las Peñas is a former slum converted into a bohemian district, full of galleries, souvenir shops and bars.Hiking in the AndesHigh-altitude walks in the Cotopaxi and El Cajas national parks require some stamina due to the lack of oxygen, but this is your chance to see the stunning scenery of the grass-covered paramo plateaus, surrounded by volcanoes.Indian shoppingIndigenous markets are an ethnologists wonder, but also a cheap and efficient way to stock up on gifts for your friends and families. While the Otavalo market mostly caters for tourists, the market in Saqisili is a authentically local affair.JungleThe wet equatorial forest of the Oriente is teeming with wildlife. Some areas are dotted with eco-lodges from where travellers embark on canoe expeditions through the intricate network of rivers and creeks that form the Amazon basin.LittoralThis narrow coastal belt has several attractive towns, such as Playas Posoria and Salinas, while Esmeraldas, one of the countrys most important ports, is also known for its beautiful beaches. The relaxing island of Muisne is fast becoming a popular destination.QuitoSet at 2,850m (9,348ft), the Ecuadorean capital boasts one of the continents best-preserved colonial downtowns. Its lavishly decorated 16th-century churches are full of exquisite religious art, while its plazas remember marching conquistadores, shackled slaves and Jesuits preaching to the Indians.Scaling volcanoesCotopaxi - the worlds highest active volcano - is one of the best mountains to start your climbing career. The climb doesnt require previous experience, but you need to be very fit and accustomed to high altitude.SurfingThe Pacific coast of Ecuador has sandy beaches that draw crowds of surfers. The village of Montañita has grown into a surfers enclave with plenty of cheap accommodation and active nightlife.

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