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My last visit to this remarkable country, Ecuador was in May, I decided to concentrate on exploring more of the mainland and uncovering some of this country’s undiscovered secrets.

The highlight of my visit was undoubtedly the markets, which can only be described as an explosion of colour. I can honestly say Ecuador’s flower markets are home to the most amazing roses I have ever seen.

During my visit I was continually impressed with the standard of accommodation available, ranging from large hotel chains through to the smaller locally owned operations ensuring that every visitor is catered for. My personal favourite was the small but ever so charming Hacienda called San Augustin del Callo, boasting incredible views of Cotopaxi Volcano and consisting of just eight rooms; the attention to detail is outstanding as each room is hand-painted with it’s own unique wall mural.

When visiting Ecuador I highly recommend staying in Cuenca, the cobbled streets and colonial architecture enhance this city’s beauty, as the production centre for Panama hats no visit would be complete without getting your own made as a souvenir to take home! The city of Guayaquil was a revelation, as Ecuador’s largest city my initial impression was that it would be characterless however I couldn’t have been more wrong, a city tour opened my eyes and transformed my opinion.

My trip ended with a visit to the Galapagos Islands which I would highly recommend as there truly is nowhere else on earth that offers such a unique experience and opportunity to view unique flora, fauna and wildlife.

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