Above: Pikaia Lodge on Santa Cruz Island in the Galápagos

Periodically, I feel a need to retreat from civilization. The remote becomes irresistible, and I long for the tranquility of unspoiled nature. Two ecolodges recently gave me the perfect excuse to decamp toEcuador, a small country with an extraordinarily rich diversity of natural wonders that includes the tropical Amazonian jungle, the temperate cloud forests of the Andean highlands and, of course, theGalápagos archipelago.

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