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.
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…
Treasures of Ecuador
Otavalo, Amazon, Quito, Avenue of Volcanoes, Cuenca, Guayaquil
Best for: Spectacular scenery, Highlights, Off the beaten track
This in-depth journey into Ecuador allows you to uncover the country's dazzling array of natural wonders and cultural sites. Discover the pristine nature of the Amazon rainforest, majestic cities of Quito and Cuenca and see the dramatic Avenue of Volcanoes.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8942
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This two-week itinerary gets under the skin of mainland Ecuador and is packed with some of the country's most spectacular highlights. Explore the majestic cities of Quito and Cuenca, World Heritage Sites full of history and colonial architecture. Experience the country's natural wonders by heading to the enchanting Amazon rainforest, where you can mix with local communities and explore on a canoe as you keep your eyes peeled for wildlife. Travel along the dramatic Avenue of Volcanoes through the Andes mountains and experience a wealth of traditional culture, see active volcanoes and mix with the locals in picturesque villages.
Days 1 - 4 : Otavalo, Mainland Ecuador
Stay at Las Palmeras Inn for 3 nights
Arrive into Quito and head straight out into the beautiful Ecuadorian countryside, staying in Otavalo and exploring the highlights of the region. Take to the Imbabura Volcano for horse-riding with an experienced bilingual guide or simply relax and enjoy the library. Mountain bikes are also available for rent, and you can go hiking with the whole family on the natural trails nearby. The town of Otavalo is renowned for its spectacularly colourful and traditional market which is also a must-visit during your stay.
Days 4 - 7 : Ecuador Amazon, Ecuador
Stay at Sacha Lodge for 3 nights
From the highlands, head into the depths of the Amazon Rainforest, staying at Sacha Lodge where all meals and activities will be included. Sacha Lodge boasts beautiful accommodation and has fantastic facilities, including a swimming pool on the edge of the river and some of the most impressive canopy towers for observing the resident wildlife. Paddle through blackwater creeks in search of giant river otters and monkeys, and walk along trails through the dense trees as you learn all about this unique environment.
Days 7 - 9 : Quito, Ecuador
Stay at La Casona de la Ronda for 2 nights
Return to Quito and check in to your hotel located in the old town. During your time here, enjoy a unique tour around Quito where you will visit a pre-Columbian art museum, explore the popular street of “La Ronda” and visit a number of workshops, where you will meet with local craftsmen who will share their expertise. Visit “Chez Tiff” a production and elaboration of chocolate, using the best Ecuadorian cacao. You will also visit other workshops that focus on the elaboration of arts such as paintings, ceramic, and pottery. This tour will allow you to get under the skin of Quito and see it from a more local perspective.
Day 9 - 10 : Chilcabamba
Stay at Chilcabamba Ecolodge for 1 night
As you head into the Andes, you'll spend the night at one of our favourite lodges in the Avenue of the Volcanoes. Known for its picturesque location, families and couples will love the activities on offer including walking and horse riding. Explore waterfalls and visit local communities to see how they continue to live in the traditional way as their ancestors did. At the end of the day, return to the lodge and enjoy dinner family-style in the cosy restaurant.
Day 10 - 11 : Riobamba, Ecuador
Stay at Hacienda Abraspungo for 1 night
Transfer to Riobamba and on route explore one of the Indian markets in the villages of Saquisili, Pujili or Latacunga. Afterwards visit a rose plantation where you will learn about the production of roses, as well as other products that are exported around the world from Ecuador. All meals are included during your stay.
Days 11 - 13 : Cuenca, Ecuador
Stay at Hotel Cruz del Vado for 2 nights
Today embark on a exhilarating train journey down the famous Devil's Nose. The railroad was originally built to connect the Andes with the coast, and the route goes up and down steep slopes, along river valleys and has to negotiate a wall of rock called Nariz del Diablo- the Devil's Nose. After the train journey, continue south to Ingapirca which is an Inca astronomical observatory and fortress. This is the most important Inca site in Ecuador, where the king and his entourage would rest during trips to this northern part of the Inca Empire. Finish the day in Cuenca, a beautiful colonial town recently declared a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. During your time in Cuenca, explore the highlights of the city on a walking tour with a private guide.
Day 13 - 14 : Guayaquil, Ecuador
Stay at Hotel del Parque for 1 night
This morning transfer to Guayaquil for one final night at the beautiful Hotel del Parque, located within one of the city's vast parks which is rich in birdlife. Use the time to relax and explore the surrounding forest or simply enjoy the hotel's facilities before connecting with you flight back home. You could also add on time in the Galapagos from here, with easy flight connections departing from Guayaquil.
Days 14 - 16 : Guayaquil, Ecuador
From Cuenca, drive through the barren landscapes of Cajas National Park and admire the scenery as you head from the Andean highlands to the tropical lowlands of Guayaquil. Here you will spend two nights at Hacienda la Danesa, a working dairy farm with luxurious accommodation. A number of activities are included in your stay so you can explore walking trails through tropical forest, embark on river tubing adventures and even explore the hacienda grounds on horseback.
Day 16 - 17 : Return Flight Home
Morning at leisure. Afternoon transfer to Guayaquil airport for your flight home.
When to go
All year round destination. Due to its position on the equator and its altitude, the temperature in the Ecuadorian highlands 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 $7548 per person
International economy class flights and airport taxes from the UK
All accommodation and breakfasts
Other specified meals
Guided tours in English
Transfers with baggage assistance
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.