• Colombia!

    Colombia: Caribbean Sea coast. Go Now!

    Although most of the people live inland, Colombia also has its share of coastline along the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea (pictured). Go Now!

  • Ecuador!

    Ecuador: Sally Lightfoot Crab. Go Now!

    The Galapagos Islands and Ecuador are home to incredible wildlife, such as the famous Galapagos Turtle and the lesser known, but more common Red Rock or Sally Lightfoot crab (pictured). Begin Your Journey!

  • Chile!

    Chile: Torres del Paine National Park. Go Now!

    The Andes dominate much of Chile, including the breath-taking Torres del Paine National Park (pictured). However, the country also hosts the world's driest desert and a thriving metropolis. Begin Your Journey!

  • Venezuela!

    Venezuela: Los Roques. Go Now!

    Rooted in Europe, Venezuela boasts an impressive history, culture, and beauty, including the Caribbean Coast (pictured). Explore Venezuela!

  • Bolivia!

    Bolivia: Salt flats. Go Now!

    This hidden gem is full of surprises, from the impressive salt flats (pictured) to the migrating flamingos. It also clings to the most historic indigenous culture on the continent. Explore Bolivia!

Architecture of Ecuador

The earliest architecture in the region of Ecuador came in many forms, but primarily as wood-based housing. None of these original structures remain from the pre-Columbian times, but even today many of the indigenous people live in simple wooden structures. A more famous and impressive architectural style from Ecuador's early years comes in the form of the Incan ruins. These structures were made of stone and the remains of many of these buildings survive today, including those at Ingapirca, which are perhaps the most impressive in the country.

With the arrival of the Spanish the architecture changed dramatically as it mimicked the architecture of Spain. Like many Spanish buildings, many buildings in Ecuador were constructed in the Baroque style at the time, which was popular in Europe. This is especially true of churches, palaces, and government buildings.

The best places to see colonial Spanish architecture is in Quito and Cuenca. In the city of Quito a number of churches retain their original look and feel including the Baroque churches of La Compania de Jesus, Iglesia de San Francisco, and Iglesia de Santo Domingo. Likewise, the most impressive Baroque buildings in Cuenca are also churches including the centrally located La Inmaculada.

At this same time most houses and other structures remained basic in style and design. Most houses were whitewashed and had a verandah, a typical style for South America at the time. Few of these houses have survived, although in some historic neighborhoods of Quito and Cuenca they can be found. Many new houses also copy aspects of this colonial style.

In the 1800s, after Ecuador gained independence, there was little money for architecture but new buildings, particularly government buildings, were constructed and many of these used the neo-Classical style, which was popular at the time in Europe.

In more recent times modern and post-modern architecture has arrived to Ecuador, especially in the cities of Quito and Guayaquil. As the capital, Quito has a modern downtown that resembles the architecture in many world capitals today. Guayaquil received its modern facelift after much of the city was burned down in 1896, destroying much of the city's colonial architecture and failing to be re-built for some time.

This page was last updated: February, 2013