Ecuador Tours 5 Places in Ecuador chosen World Hereitage Sites by UNESCO
Ecuador is a beautiful country that deserves your visit. Although it has 5 World Heritage sites, each region is magic and justifies a touristic holiday. Discover here why all the Places in Ecuador are worth of your presence!
The only countries that can be considered for a World Heritage are those ones that have signed UNESCO’s World Heritage Convention. This certificate aims to protect not only their culture, but also their natural resources and places. In this article we will show you the five World Heritage Sites you cannot miss when you travel to Ecuador:
1. City of Quito
Even when its origins as a Kingdom are found in the first millennium (987 AD), the capital city of Ecuador was founded in 1534, after being colonized by the Spaniards.
- In 1541 Quito was declared a city, and in 1556 it was given the title “Very Noble and Loyal City of San Francisco of Quito” (“Muy Noble y Muy Leal Ciudad de San Francisco de Quito”). This era was the beginning of its urban development.
- Quito is the closest capital city to the equator line, and it was declared a World Heritage Site in 1978 due to its historic center, the largest and best preserved city in the entire continent.
2. Historic Centre of Santa Ana de los Cuatro Ríos de Cuenca
This is the capital of the Azuay Province, and it’s better known as Cuenca.
- Its origins remain in the Cave of Chopsi, in the year 8060 BC, but it was founded with its Spaniard name in 1557.
- It is an inland colonial town (entroterra), and it is considered the country’s third city for being one of the most important agricultural and administrative centres.
- It was declared World Heritage Site in 1999 for preserving its traditions and architecture for more than four centuries together with its urban planning of the Renaissance of the Americas.
3. Qhapaq Ñan (Andean Road System)
The Inca Road System is the largest road communication made by the native Incan populations, and it includes several South American countries: Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador. It has more than 30,000 km and was built by the Prehispanic Andean communities during many centuries.
- This road was built with defense, trading and transportation purposes, and many parts of it were considered “Camino Real” (The Royal Road) by the Spanish colonizers.
- After 400 years, this road is in good condition. It became a World Heritage Site in 2014.
4. Galápagos Islands
This archipelago, formed by 19 islands, is listed as a worldwide “living museum and showcase of evolution” due to its marine reserve full of endemic species that inspired Charles Darwin to write his theory on the evolution of species in 1835.
- It became a World Heritage Site in 1978 due to its history and environmental development, one of the most endangered on Earth.
5. Sangay National Park
Located in three provinces of Ecuador (Morona Santiago, Chimborazo and Tungurahua), it has two active volcanoes and varies from tropical rainforests to glaciers.
- 1983 was the year for this national park to be declared World Heritage Site, but illegal poaching, grazing and unplanned road construction have made it enter the list of World Heritage in Danger in 1992. Fortunately, in 2005 it was removed from UNESCO’s list of endangered places.
- Rare species can be found here: from mountain tapirs to pumas and Andean species such as foxes and condors.
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