For such a small country, Ecuador is incredibly rich in biodiversity, owing to the fact that the country has such a wide range of ecosystems -- from the high Andean paramo to the lowland rainforests of the Amazon basin to the arid tropical dry forests of the southern Pacific coast. And, of course, there are the Galápagos Islands. Whether you come to Ecuador to check 100 or so species off your lifetime list, or just to check out of the rat race for a week or so, you'll be surrounded by a rich and varied collection of flora and fauna. This information is meant to be a selective introduction.

Most casual visitors, and even many dedicated naturalists, will never see a wildcat or kinkajou in the wild. But anyone working with a good guide should be able to see a broad selection of Ecuador's impressive flora and fauna.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.