Ecologists have labeled Ecuador one of the world’s ‘megadiversity hotspots.’ The tiny nation is one of the most species-rich countries on the planet. Part of the reason for this is that it’s a tropical country, and the tropics harbor a much greater diversity than do temperate countries. But Ecuador’s astounding biodiversity is also due to the simple fact that there are a great number of different habitats within its borders. Obviously, the cold, high Andes support very different species than do the low tropical rain forests. When all the intermediate areas are included, and the coastal region added, the result is a wealth of habitats, ecosystems and wildlife. The transition zones between the lowlands and the highlands, where much species overlapping occurs, are some of the most biodiverse (and least understood) regions on earth. For nature lovers, this place is a dream come true.