Whereas films are few and far between, Ecuadorian music and literature is easily found in the UK Music and books - a great introduction to prepare for your Ecuadorian adventure.
It was in the 20th Century that Ecuadorian music saw a massive rise in popularity, with the emergence of several artists on the music scene. New styles appeared alongside established musicians such as Sixto Durán María, Francisco Paredes Herrera, Carlos Brito and Carlos Ortiz, with his pure, Ecuadorian musical style. These musical influences were as varied as can be - Pasillo, Yaravi, Sanjuanito, Pasacalle, Bamba and Marimba beats began to hit the dancefloor. There's a wide choice As for the current generation you should check out albums by Olimpo Cárdenas, Nicasio Safadi, Carlos Rubira Infante, Segundo Cueva Celi, Ruben Uquillas and Julio Jaramillo, the Ecuadorian 'Elvis' for want of a better word. During your trip to Ecuador, you'll hear reggae, merengue, salsa, cumbia and reggaeton music being played on the airwaves. The musician of the moment is Delfín Quishpe. A favourite with fans of his self-styled 'Andean techno-folklore'.
There's no shortage of reading material and you'll have plenty to keep you busy. Whether you're planning a day's hike or prefer longer outings, Trekking In Ecuador by Robert and Daisy Kunstaetter lists 30 amazing treks, aimed at all levels. Another must-read is a book by Larrie D. Ferreiro In Measure of the Earth he recites the story of Charles Marie de la Condamine and the French Geodesic Mission, an 18th-century scientific expedition to map the Equator. Anthony Smith has also written some great reads including The Lost Lady Of The Amazon. In the same vein, Voyage Along The Amazon by Charles Marie de la Condamine retraces his adventures along the legendary river to Cayenne. If you understand Spanish, pick up any book by José de la Cuadra, if not then read The Human Tradition in Latin America: The Twentieth Century by William Beezley and Judith Ewell - it has some fascinating insights into Ecuadorian social issues. If you like novels and romances you can pick up The Old Man Who Read Love Stories by Luis Sepulveda, The Quito Man by Jorge Icaza, Benito Cereno by Herman Melville and Cristobal's Gold by Albert T'serstevens. Finally, there's the Charles Darwin classic A Naturalist's Voyage Round the World,, where you can follow his discovery of species across the Andes and Galapagos Islands.