Bordering Columbia, Peru and the Pacific Ocean, Ecuador lies on the Equator (hence the country's name). With its tropical climate and varied terrain, Ecuador is one of only 17 countries in the world classified as megadiverse in terms of its biodiversity. Over twenty-five thousand species of plants have been recorded and catalogued. The Galápagos Islands are a part of Ecuador, and offer truly diverse plant and animal life, where animal species have developed unafraid of man because of the geographical separation.
Cut flowers and bananas are 2 of Ecuador's biggest exports. Spanish is the offical language in Ecuador and the capital is Quito.
The main interest for garden tourists in Ecuador is in the Flower Plantations which develop multiple types of flowers for export, as the number of pleasure gardens is limited. Some of the most beautiful opportunities, however, are at the old Haciendas; the homesteads that date back, in some cases, hundreds of years and are tied to Flower Plantations.
Organising access to these plantations can be difficult for the independent traveller, so visitors may find it easier to book a floral tour, which will offer extensive and exclusive tours to plantations.Brightwater Holidays offers a 12 night tour led by Chris Bailes of RHS Rosemoor. The next departure is 2nd May 2015 - see Ecuador's Orchid Trail.