A world-class destination. The country has received 21 World Travel Awards nominations, which is the most important event recognizing tourism around the world. The most important nominations include: South America’s Leading Cultural Destination, South America’s Leading Culinary Destination and South America’s Leading Green Destination. This latter was already obtained in 2013.

The country is home to the world’s highest active volcano: Cotopaxi; the greatest concentration of species by area on the planet -covering just 0.17% of the Earth’s surface, but possessing 10% of the world’s biodiversity-; white sandy beaches with extraordinary waves, and countless adventure activities and diversion. Among others, Ecuador has the best tourism project outside of Europe, according to the British Guild of Travel Writers Awards: The Tren Crucero (Cruise Train).

Experts consider the train as one the greatest achievements in railway engineering. The most important railway sections along the tour are driven by early 20th century steam-powered locomotives carefully restored to ensure passengers’ safety and comfort. This year, the Tren Crucero received the World Travel Awards nomination as “South America’s Leading Luxury Train”.

Quito, the capital of Ecuador, is the city with the most awards in the country. It won six tourism awards in one year. It was chosen as “South America’s Leading Destination” by the World Travel Awards. Moreover, National Geographic Traveler Magazine included the city as one of the 20 must-see places in 2013; TripAdvisor distinguished it as one of the 10 destinations to discover in 2013; Quito-Ecuador was also one of the 10 to-be-discovered destinations according to Lonely Planet; South America’s Edition of the World Travel Awards designated it as Latin America’s leading destination; and, The Globe and Mail – Toronto, Canada named it the most exciting city to visit in 2013.

Currently, Quito has the best-preserved historic district in Latin America, which is home to Casa Gangotena, the best hotel in South America and the world’s sixth best hotel, according to TripAdvisor. Due to its monumental and architectural beauty, Quito is among the 28 finalist cities in the “New 7 Wonders” competition.

Ecuador is home to the Galapagos Islands as well, a place that has been chosen by USA Today readers as The Ultimate ‘Bucket List’ Trip, out ranking other paradisiacal destinations, such as Alaska, African safaris, South-Pacific Coasts, Italy and Greece in the Mediterranean, and the Pyramids of Egypt.

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