First of all, Ecuador is a great country to visit - freindly and fun.
There are the obvious atractions “Galapagos-Amazon-Andes-Beaches”. However one of the best trips we did there was the Quilotoa loop - its a 3 day rout between some small villages in the low mountains half way between Quito and Banos - great small villages, great views and great places to stay - you can iether do it by foot, by horse (easy to find when you get there) or by "public" transportation over 7 years ago
Awesome things about Ecuador.
Otavalo market (don't go for the day, come up the day before). Also, there's an amazing condor park up there (AMAZING!) and lots of walking, such as Quilotoa.
Jungles, especially going kayaking or rafting in the jungle. Go to Tena or the Quijos valley, probably steer clear of the Domingo area.
Mountains. Where else can you climb a 6000 metre peak without any mountain climbing skill at all (although fitness definitely helps)
Beaches. Where the best food is. Food in ecuador is crap, but the seafood is great.
You need to take buses. Make sure your bag is manageable so you can look after it yourself. Watch it be put on the bus and keep an eye on it, normally the drivers will lock the tourists bags separately from everyone else, but keep an eye on it.
Be aware of scams and pickpockets. Don't walk around Quito at night, there's lots of violent crime.
Some spanish definitely helps!
Find out what the locals pay (especially for taxis) and go for that, they won't like it but a taxi will take you at the local rate if you bargain.
Maybe bring two completely different sets of clothes and ditch one set in Quito. The jungle, south and beaches vary from warm to stinking hot. The mountains vary from cool but pleasant to really cold. Ditching some stuff means you have a lighter bag. SAE in Quito will let you store stuff or some hostels will as well. The Crossroads Hostal in Quito is quite good and they definitely store stuff.
Overall it's a really sweet country.
harry over 7 years ago