This small and welcoming country has for a long time now been a favorite among travelers, with its mountains waiting for trekkers of all level, jungles for off-road adventurers, Galapagos for animal lovers and a superb country side for perpetual romantics. It is all there and within few hours of the US this should be on your list to go to.
The security is really good everywhere (maybe not at night in Quito but…). The elevation may surprise you if you are not use to it, so if you are planning a trip there make sure to take a day or two to acclimate yourself. Take the bus to pretty much anywhere you want to travel to and try their train, you will love it for sure. Driving around is fairly easy and renting a car should not be a problem (GPS is your best friend, remember that).
The markets of Otavalo still bring the Indians to town and if you love to shop for colorful blanket and other linen you will find plenty there.Go to experience the museum of the Equator (outside of the place supposed to be on the equator) and you will be surprised to see the real effect of the magnetism governing our planet. For the romantics go straight to Baños and stay in the mountain, my favorite place in Ecuador is the Lunar Runtun hotel. Price everywhere are fairly inexpensive and if this is your first South American country you will not be disappointed.
If you are specifically interested in the Galapagos, here are articles I wrote on this Islands.