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Imbabura Ecuador: A New UNESCO World Heritage Site 

  |   Ecuador

UNESCO is a specialist agency from the United Nations based in Paris, France. The renowned acronym stands for ‘United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’. The agency uses their time and power to contribute to the building of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture, communication and information. Learn a little more about Imbabura Ecuador, the latest destination added to the UNESCO list below…

Imbabura Ecuador


What is a UNESCO World Heritage Site?


UNESCO has many different elements in how they work and what they do in order to protect and serve our world. UNESCO world heritage sites just so happen to be a part of their global assortment of fantastic features. To be selected and certified as a UNESCO heritage site a location will be tested to deem its value for cultural, historical or scientific significance. These landmarks and/or areas must already contain a classified landmark, such as an ancient ruin or historical structure, monument or some form of wilderness area. These categories all add merit to the identification of these places. Once selected, these sites are under protection by UNESCO to ensure their quality and longevity. There are currently 1092 locations on the UNESCO world heritage list, with one of the newest to date being the Imbabura Geopark in the Republic of Ecuador. Interestingly, out of the 167 countries with verified UNESCO heritage sites, the country with the most (despite its size and magnitude) is Italy! This is followed closely by China and Spain.

UNESCO World Heritage Site



What is a UNESCO Global Geopark?


For a further spin on sustainable development and preservation, UNESCO have different categories within their world heritage list which allows us to easily define and compare the different places around the world. There are cultural, mixed and natural heritage sites all around us. A Global Geopark is by definition a natural heritage site that contains a unified landscape encompassing matters of geological significance and importance. These sites empower their neighboring communities, giving them a sense of pride and stronger identification to their homelands. The Imbabura is now no exception, as this UNESCO Global Geopark was fully instated as a member of the world heritage list in April 2019. 


This glorious land is situated in the Northern inter-Andean region of Ecuador, near the provincial capital Ibarra, which is scoured by tourists all year long. Imbabura is known for its treasury of lakes and spectacular geological formations such as the remarkable Peguche Waterfalls. The highest point of this summit is elevated 4,944 m (16,220 ft) above sea level, in the Western Cordillera of the Ecuadorian Andes - the Cotacachi Volcano. You don’t have to worry, its completely dormant and can be hiked in just two days! The peak is coated with snow like icing sugar subtly dusted over a very, very, very large cake. This sweet treat is just one of the many exciting items you will find in this goody bag. The epic Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve, Imbabura Volcano and surrounding cantons provide tons of unique culture and ecological gems for anyone planning their travels across Ecuador. Whether you want to haggle for items in the Otavalo Market or marvel at items in the Museo del Banco Central, this new UNESCO world heritage site should be an easy addition to your personal travel arrangements. 

Ecuador Tours

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Here at Rainforest Cruises we offer fantastic vessels traveling throughout Ecuador, specifically the Anakonda and Manatee cruises. Our experts sales team can happily help you organize your trip. If you are interested in booking with us, please contact our team to see what we can offer you; send us an enquiry or call 1-888-215-3555


About Rainforest Cruises

Rainforest Cruises is a boutique travel company specializing in Amazon river cruises, Galapagos Islands tours, and Southeast Asia cruises. We provide you with the finest collection of cruises in Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia, Panama and Southeast Asia. As travel experts we have all the advice you need to help you find and book your dream cruise and an unforgettable adventure.

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