The inspiration for Darwin's theory of evolution, Ecuador is a tropical paradise. Home to some important colonial cities, Ecuador is also surrounded by several active volcanoes. In the capital, Quito, several historic buildings are UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the bustling city also has a very lively nightlife. Surfers will feel well catered for in the quaint and welcoming city of Montañita. It’s a great place for those looking for some rest and relaxation, away from the usual beach crowds. One of the trademark dishes is cuy—a roasted guinea pig. It’s also popular in Peru, among communities that live in regions near the Andes mountain range.

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