Time travel is possible in Ecuador, whether you’re exploring colonial city centers or traditional indigenous villages. The historic centers of Quito and Cuenca – both Unesco World Heritage Sites – are lined with photogenic plazas, 17th-century churches and monasteries and beautifully restored mansions. Wandering the cobblestone streets amid architectural treasures from Spanish colonial days is a fine way to delve into the past. You can travel further back by contemplating pre-Columbian artworks at museums across the country, or visiting the remains of Inca and pre-Inca ruins. Beyond the cities, life continues much like it has for centuries in Andean indigenous villages renowned for their colourful textiles and sprawling markets. In remote settlements in the Amazon, shamans still harvest the traditional rainforest medicines of their ancestors.