Ecuador and Peru are two of South America’s most popular travel destinations, each with various natural attractions and cultural draws. With so many similarities – and yet, so many differences – to consider, it may hard to settle on the perfect place for you! We’re here to help you decide and showcase the best each country has to offer.

Ecuador vs Peru

Many are familiar with Peru’s iconic Machu Picchu, as well as the fauna and flora of Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands – but this is not all that sets them apart! We are comparing the Ecuador vs Peru travel destinations but won´t count with Machupichu or Galapagos.

Both boast great climates and beautiful colonial architecture, but it’s worth noting that their respective unique draws make each of these countries one-of-a-kind.


With over 2,200 km of coastline straddling the equator, it’s Ecuador’s beaches that stand out in the region; Whale watching is popular, as are beach activities like snorkeling and diving. The moderately warm climate – thanks to the country’s location on the equator – make enjoying the beaches possible year-round.

Wanting to explore beyond the coast? Lush cloud forests, towering Andes and the impressive Avenue of the Volcanoes might be calling your name. Take a few days to hike the Quilotoa Loop, or a shorter day-trip straight to the Quilotoa crater lake. Quito is the central cultural hub – not mention the capital – of the entire country, and an essential stop for anyone visiting.

Ecuador’s small size actually serves tourists well, making it faster (and easier) to get around to different regions of the country in a short time frame. Though short, affordable flights are available to city-hop, you could easily use public transportation or rent a car to adventure on your own. Another luxury of convenience afforded to American travelers is the nationwide use of U.S. dollars – no currency exchange required!

Click to get more ideas for your perfect trip to Mainland Ecuador.

Quito- Ecuador
La Dialada Ecuador
Laguna Quilotoa
El alter Ecuador


Peru’s large size (predictably) guarantees limitless activities and attractions, ranging from its spectacular ruins of ancient civilizations found all over the country to experiencing the “true” Amazonian jungle, a bio-diverse ecosystem of thousands of animals and a variety of vibrant birds.

Some travelers anticipate a trip to Cusco, home to the Sacred Valley and colorful Rainbow Mountain; this ancient town has been declared a UNESCO world-heritage site and is rich in history. Others come for the unique Peruvian cuisine, which has recently surfaced the West’s trendy “foodie” scene. You’ll find the food here has worldly influences from Europe, Asia and W. Africa, executed with fresh local ingredients native to the region. Adventurous eaters are guaranteed a chance to try something new, while classic ceviche-lovers will get their fill!

There is no shortage of natural beauty, exemplified by the gorgeous binational Lake Tikikaka on the southern border. Located high in the Andes, the picture-perfect lake actually holds deep spiritual significance for the local population; visitors can enjoy it from either Peru or Bolivia (said to be the more scenic side), or experience both by boat tour. Though Ecuador’s volcanoes are arguably unparalleled, Peru also offers various volcanoes to marvel at as well – notably the massive El Misti and Huascarán.

Check out our Peru itineraries.

Cusco Peru
Mountains Peru
Nazca Peru
Tikikaka Peru

Regardless of whether you’re headed for Ecuador or Peru-bound, there is no doubt you’ll have no lack of most memorable experiences to last a lifetime!