With over 4,000 different species of orchids, hundreds of which are not found anywhere else on the planet, it’s no mistake that Ecuador is called the Land of the Orchids. Being located on the equator and a consistent climate gives orchids an ideal environment to grow, and these striking flowers are found in three regions of the mainland: the mountain range (home to 66% of Ecuador’s orchids), Amazon, and the coast.
Quito Botanical Gardens
For less than $4, visitors can see a large collection of orchids from all around the country at Quito Botanical Gardens. The gardens have different greenhouses that are adapted to the orchids needs of humidity and temperature. Its accessible location in the middle of Carolina Park in Quito makes it a must-visit is staying for a short period of time.
Quito Botanical Gardens, Pasaje. Rumipamba, Quito, Ecuador, +593 2 333 2516
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
El Pachuma Orchid Reserve
North of Quito is the Cloud Forest of Ecuador. For orchid lovers who want an authentic reserve experience that works hard to protect threatened habitats (and is connected with researchers), El Pahuma is an unbeatable destination. Along with endemic orchids, the reserve also has hummingbirds and other plants to observe.
El Pachuma Orchid Reserve, Quito, Ecuador, +593 2 513 9770
Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve
Not far from El Pachuma is Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve, which features day-long and multi-day tour opportunities from Quito. If traveling alone, the reserve is fairly easy to get to and also serves as accommodation. Enjoy the beautiful surroundings and trails, and students can take advantage of research opportunities.
Bellavista, Km 52 Ruta Quito – Nanegalito, Tandayapa, Ecuador, +593 2 223 2313
Cabañas Armonía y Jardín de Orquídeas
Consider combining checking out orchids with a stay in Mindo. Cabañas Armonía y Jardín de Orquídeas (just two blocks from Mindo’s main square) is worth checking out for either the cabins or the 200+ species of local orchids in the garden.
Cabañas Armonía y Jardín de Orquídeas, Sixto Duran Vallen y Lluvia de Oro, Mindo, Ecuador, +593 2 217 0131
Baños, most famous for its beautiful waterfalls and the swing at the end of the world, is also home to numerous rare species like white and green lady slippers and unique micro orchids, as well as to Phaedranassa tungurahua and Phragmipedium pearcei. This has also made Sir David Attenborough a champion for these species.
With over 2,500 different species, the Azuay region has the largest concentration of orchids in Ecuador. Known as the Gardens of Azuay, Gualaceo allows visitors to observe orchids in the wild. Ecuagenera has a huge greenhouse with thousands of different preserved orchids, as well as a shop with orchids for sale.
Ecuagenera, Calle Cuenca, Gualaceo, Ecuador, +593 7 225 5237
Run by the University of Cuenca, Cuenca Orchidarium has a collection of almost 400 orchids, is a top institute for researching and recovering endangered species of orchids, and is definitely worth a visit in Cuenca.
Cuenca Orchidarium, Orquideario, Av Víctor Manuel Albornoz, Cuenca, Ecuador
Suchipakari is a jungle-lodge 45 minutes from Tena in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Its orchid garden has over 100 different species, and in off season, its trails are lined with photos of the flowers in bloom. The orchids in the Amazon orchids tend to be larger than other varieties because of the high temperature and humid environment, and they can be spotted in the wild through an organized tour or with an ecolodge.
Suchipakari, Pusuno Bajo, Puerto Misahualli, Puerto Napo, Ecuador, +593 9 9271 7038
Santo Domingo’s orchids are found in the wild on the outskirts of the city, between the mountain range and coast where the warm climate and high altitude makes it a good environment for them to grow. Padre Julio Marrero Jardin Botanico, the botanical garden, also has a notable collection of orchids.
Jardin Botanico Julio Marrero, Santo Domingo, Ecuador
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