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Ecuador - Leisure, Entertainment and Sport

Sport is very popular in Ecuador and like many South American countries football is the national sport. There are several professional teams that the football enthusiast can go to watch live or on television. Amateur games take place all over the country and visitors are welcome to join in although the rules may be slightly different.

Other games that are enjoyed are tennis, basketball and volleyball and even bullfighting at professional level is practised in Quito. Bullfighting is a popular spectator sport although it is limited to festivals.

The choice of sports that can be tried is very wide and although many will need equipment it is possible to hire equipment until you decide how keen you are. Other sports that need no equipment are also available such as waking, hiking and climbing. There are plenty of areas in the country which attract enthusiasts for all of these activities, although in some places it is recommended to retain the services of a guide.

Water sports are very popular and there are plenty of opportunities for swimming and diving as well as sea kayaking and snorkelling. When taking part in water sports it is important not to do anything may cause damage to the environment. Surfing is popular at coastal resorts such as Montanita and Ayampe which have been developed as surfing centres. Many visitors make the trip to the Galapagos Islands to observe the wildlife and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

For extreme sports enthusiasts there is bungee jumping, hang gliding and paragliding and it depends which part of the country you are in as to which one you may be able to try. Mountain biking, motor cycling and dirt biking are all popular across Ecuador as well as motocross.

The Guayaquil marathon is held on the first Sunday in October. Most of the race is run on the flat and passes through many of the important parts of the city. Those who enjoy golf will find that there are several golf courses in Ecuador most of which have the most beautiful surroundings and facilities that are ideal for all the family. If you do not have your own clubs with you it is possible to hire some. As well as the normal 18 hole courses there are also several 9 hole courses for people who prefer a shorter game.

Sports are not the only leisure pursuits available. Some of the major towns and cities have excellent shopping facilities and the low cost of living means that you can get much more for your money. The restaurants represent most of the world’s cuisines and a family can enjoy an evening out for a very low cost.

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