The Galapagos Islands have no equivalent in the world. The volcanic islands are located 1000 kms west of Ecuador - with nothing in between. This distance made it possible and necessary for all animal life to adjust to the harsh conditions on the islands. Charles Darwin used this for his evolution theory (that conflicted with Adam and Eve...).
Because of the distance people did not know about the islands and regular visits only exists for a few hundred years... a very short time in nature´s history. Animals are not afraid of humans and just sit there... a strange experience!
Quito is the old capital of Ecuador and a very pleasant place for tourists. There is lots to see and do, including people watching and local markets. Quito was one of the very first cities to be on the UNESCO heritage list!
Guayaquil is the largest city in Ecuador, it's main port and a gateway to the Galapagos, by air and by ship.
Otavalo is known for the colourful market with local people and lots of souvenirs. Be aware of pickpockets!
Cotopaxi is a volcano in the heart of Ecuador. At almost 5900 m is one of the highest in the world. You may see alpacas and other camels here.
Baños de Agua Santa (aka Baños) is a major tourist center in eastern Ecuador. It is known as the "Gateway to the Amazon," as it is the last city still before reaching the jungle in the Amazon River basin.
Cuenca is a pleasant little city, just south of the volcanos. The cathedral is beautiful. It is also nice to see the laundry all spread out near the river.