We've put together a guidebook with everything you need to know about Ecuador and Galapagos. Written by our specialists, it details destination information, a wildlife guide, some suggested itineraries and plenty more to inspire your holiday. Fill in the form below and if you live in UK, your guidebook will arrive by post within the next couple of days. For those who live abroad, we will send you a copy by email.
The Ecuador Mainland is often overlooked by those heading straight to the Galapagos Islands, yet this little explored country is a destination made for travel. Home to soaring Andean peaks, Amazon wilderness, jagged coastline and cobbled colonial towns, Ecuador boasts all of South America’s allure, and more. Galapagos Islands aside, here are a few of our recommended wonders which highlight Ecuador as a mini South America.
Join our exclusive Imagine Latin America Small Group Tour, fully escorted by a local Tour Leader and Galapagos Naturalist Guide to experience the very best of Ecuador and the Galapagos’ prolific wildlife and spectacular landscapes. Enjoy scenic walks in Cotopaxi National Park and around the Sierra Negra Volcano, gain an insight into the Ecuadorian culture and spend six days discovering the wonderful wildlife of the Galapagos Islands.
Quito is Ecuador’s charming capital city, perched high in the Andean mountains in the shadows of the Pichincha volcano.
Latin America Specialist Sam re-lives his recent stint in Otavalo, a place known for its beautiful landscape and talented weavers and crafts...
Latin America specialist Sam has travelled the length of Ecuador in search of unique, characterful, and sustainable lodges and hotels to ensure we can offer you the best experiences possible. Read on to find out how he got on, and fall in love with the idea of exploring jaw dropping scenery and learning about the Ecuadorian way of life.
Ecuador’s stunning Andes region is famous for its outstanding trekking opportunities. We’ve handpicked five of our favourites to get you started!
Packed with cultural heritage, colonial charm and situated in the middle of the world, Quito is a fascinating capital. Offering a wealth of unique things to see and do, Imagine Latin America have conjured up their top five favourite experiences to enjoy in this fascinating city.
Horse riding has been a way of life in Ecuador’s sierra region for many centuries, with Ecuadorian horses famous for their strength and ability to trot up steep slopes at high altitudes. Horse riding is one of the best ways to get in touch with traditional Ecuadorian culture, as well as being a great way to soak up the country’s mesmerising landscape.
Latin America specialist Sonia left us all green-eyed with tales of her incredible trip to Ecuador and Galapagos, one of the most exciting and varied destinations to visit. Read on to find out what she did and where she stayed…
An Introduction to Ecuador and the Galapagos
Quito, Cloud Forest and the Galapagos Islands
Best for: Highlights, Luxury, Wildlife
This eleven night itinerary is a fine introduction to some of Ecuador's most special wonders. Wander the cobblestone streets of Quito, soak up the and jaw-dropping scenery in the cloud forest and swim with sea lions in the Galapagos.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8942
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Begin in the colonial gem of Quito and check into the quaint Casa Gardenia. Experience the old town of the city and explore beautifully preserved architectural treasures and picturesque plazas. From here, travel to Mashpi Cloud Forest Reserve and stay at the strikingly beautiful Mashpi lodge, an area rich in tropical forest, hidden waterfalls and pristine streams. Revered as a bio-diverse hotspot, it's home to over 500 species of birds as well as a plethora of plants and other wildlife species. Finish in the unique and splendid Galapagos Islands on board the Seaman Journey, and spend your time exploring the archipelago and getting up close to a wide array of fearless and curious creatures.
Days 1 - 3 : Quito, Ecuador
Stay at Patio Andaluz for 2 nights
On arrival in Quito transfer to your elegant hotel. During your time in this urban jewel, experience a scenic tour and explore the colonial quarter, the largest and best preserved of South America and also one of the first UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Days 3 - 5 : The Cloud Forest, Ecuador
Stay at El Monte for 2 nights
Transfer to the enchanting El Monte lodge, located in the heart of a tropical reserve. Home to cloud forest, rainforest and a wealth of biodiversity, the area is a birding paradise where over 400 species of birds have been recorded, including 32 species of hummingbird. Howler monkeys can be seen swinging from treetops, butterflies flutter in the canopy and the croaks of vibrantly coloured frogs come alive at night. During your time at this wonderful eco-hideaway all meals and activities are included, and time is spent wandering various nature trails with a naturalist guide who will point out a wide array of wildlife species and open your eyes to the ecology and conservation of the forest. Swim in secluded waterfalls, zip-line across the forest canopy or glide down the river on a tube.
Day 5 - 6 : Quito, Ecuador
Stay at Patio Andaluz for 1 night
This morning, enjoy one last activity and hike to the stunning Copal waterfall, where you will be rewarded with beautiful scenery which includes moss-coverd trees, orchids and bromelias everwhere. In the early afternoon transfer back to Quito, where you will be dropped off at your hotel.
Days 6 - 9 : Galapagos, Ecuador
Stay at Galaven Expedition Yacht for 3 nights
Today, fly to the Galapagos and embark on your sophisticated Galapagos yacht, which will be your home for the next four nights. Your itinerary offers complete immersion into the best of the Galapagos Islands, where you will spend your days getting up close to its fearless creatures and discovering the unique geology of each island, through a mixture of hiking. Meet with giant tortoises, observe blue footed boobies diving into the water, snorkel with playful sea lions and have the chance to see penguins and white-tipped sharks in the clear waters.
Day 9 - 10 : Guayaquil, Ecuador
Stay at Oro Verde for 1 night
Disembark your yacht and transfer to Baltra Island for your flight back to Guayaquil. On arrival in Guayaquil, transfer to your hotel.
Day 10 - 11 : Flight Home
Today, transfer back to the airport for your overnight flight back to the UK.
When to go
There's never a bad time to visit the Galapagos. The peak season lasts from mid-June through early September and from mid-December through mid-January. The national park limits the number of visitors to each island and coordinates each ship's itinerary, so the Galapagos will never feel like Disney World. But if you visit in the summer, you are less likely to feel a sense of solitude and isolation.
From December through to May the water and the air are warmer, but this is the rainy season. It drizzles almost daily for a short period of time. Ironically, this is also the sunniest time of year.
June through November, the Humboldt Current makes it way up to the Galápagos from the southern end of South America. The current brings cold water and cold weather, but it also brings water rich in nutrients and plankton, which attracts fish and birds. During this season there always seem to be clouds in the air, but it rarely rains. It's also quite windy, and the seas tend to be rougher.
All year round destination. Due to its position on the equator and its altitude, Quito’s temperature varies greatly between night and day. Daytime temperatures average 23-25ºC, while at night temperatures drop to around 10ºC. In general, days are clear in the morning and cloud over in the afternoon, with rain common in the afternoon. The drier season runs from the end of May to the end September, with another brief summertime in early December (which coincides nicely with the city’s fiestas).
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8942
From $4061 per person
All accommodation and breakfasts
Other specified meals
Transfers with baggage assistance
Galapagos entry fees
Ask our specialists for prices excluding flights from the UK. This price is as a guide only. The actual price is influenced by fluctuations in exchange rate, time of year, travel class of flights and the use of private versus shared excursions. Single supplements are likely to apply.