'La costa' means 'the coast' and includes the low lands in the west and the Pacific coastline. 'La sierra' is the mountainous highland running from north to south down the centre of the country. 'La Amazonia' (also known as 'El Oriente') comprises the Amazon rainforest in the east of the country while the 'region insular' comprises the Galapagos Islands lying 700 miles or so west of the country in the Pacific Ocean.
Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands are home to a great diversity of flora and fauna; it is quite incredible that so many species can be found in such a small country. Any day spent in one of the various nature parks will have you encountering the animals and observing the richness of the plant species. Ecuador is home to a thriving population of sharks, giant turtles, pumas, jaguars and iguanas.
The richness of Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands is not only found in its fauna and flora, but in its cultural heritage, architecture, painting, sculpture and religion. The museums of Cuenca and Quito exhibit some very interesting collections.
No holiday is complete without a visit to the major tourist monuments to better understand the history of the country. And Ecuador has history in spades!
The Galapagos archipelago, a veritable kingdom of fauna and flora, is made up of 19 islands of which only four are inhabited. Apart from the inhabited parts, most of the territory is considered a protected area. These islands are therefore rich in wildlife encounters and in different landscapes.