88Ecuador sits astride the equator. Its relatively tiny size belies its staggering geographical diversity, from snow-capped Andean volcanic peaks to remote Amazon rainforests and wild Pacific beaches. The Galápagos Islands also form part of Ecuador's territory (see p102). There's a strong indigenous tradition in the highland villages, with cottage crafts and hand-woven textiles piled high in the lively markets. Ecuador is compact and easy to get around. Roads are almost invariably scenic and journeys are of a comfortable length. Short domestic flights and even the odd train trip complete the transport network. There's a comprehensive range of outdoor activities and some lovely country farm hotels where you can unwind in exquisite scenery.