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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.
Ecuador is the most perfect pocket-sized country in Latin America. Nothing is too far away, the diversity is extraordinary and you can get a real feel for the place and the friendliness of its people without requiring too much time. You may find that you can avoid taking any internal flights at all, but only if you can’t resist the lure of the Galapagos and the depths of the Amazon, then you’ll need to get airborne. On our tailor made itineraries, you will experience colonial Quito, cruise on board MV Santa Cruz in the Galapagos islands or head North to the Andes where a stay ona hacienda will show you a different way of life. You can also combine a stay in Ecuador and The Galapagos Islands with visits to the fascinating Inca ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru.
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.
Treasures of Ecuador
Quito, Mindo Cloud Forest, Amazon, 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. Discover the pristine cloud forest, 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 14 night 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 cloud forest, where over 300 bird species can be found and orchids and bromeliads thrive. Then you will head to the stunning Amazon rainforest, where you can mix with local communities and explore on a canoe. Travel along the dramatic Avenue of Volcanoes and experience a wealth of traditional culture, see active volcanoes and mix with the locals in picturesque villages.
Days 1 - 3 : Quito, Ecuador
Stay at Patio Andaluz for 2 nights
On arrival in Quito you will be met and transferred 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.
Days 3 - 5 : The Cloud Forest, Ecuador
Stay at El Monte for 2 nights
This morning private transfer to your eco-lodge in the Mindo Cloud Forest. The views as your descend into this ecosystem on the two and a half hour journey are spectacular!
Mindo is world famous for having over 300 different species of birds, as well as spectacled bears, and an amazing profusion of bromeliads, epiphytes & orchids. Explore the beautiful gardens, visit waterfalls, swim in crystal clear pools, hike along numerous trails in search of colourful birds, and learn about some of the medicinal plants that grow in the cloud forest. All meals are included during your stay.
Day 5 - 6 : Quito, Ecuador
Stay at Patio Andaluz for 1 night
Enjoy the morning at leisure before transferring back to Quito in the early afternoon.
Days 6 - 9 : Amazon, Ecuador
Stay at Napo Wildlife Centre for 3 nights
Join the jungle community and discover it's extraordinary wildlife and vibrant local culture. A stay at Napo Wildlife Centre provides a jungle experience like no other. Perched on the banks of a river in the Yasuni National Park, the lodge is designed for nature lovers and you can spend your days canoeing, visiting the parrot clay licks, meeting local villagers or birdwatching from the canopy tower.
Days 9 - 12 : Otavalo, Ecuador
Spend the next few days exploring the beautiful Ecuadorian countryside. Take to the Imbabura Volcano for horse-riding with an experienced bilingual guide or simply relax and enjoy the library. Mountain biukes 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, so it's also a must-visit!
Day 12 - 13 : Chilcabamba
Stay at Chilcabamba Ecolodge for 1 night
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 13 - 14 : 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 14 - 16 : Cuenca, Ecuador
Today embark on a exhilarating train journey down the 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 and overnight in Hotel Victoria.
Day 16 - 17 : Guayaquil, Ecuador
Stay at Oro Verde for 1 night
This morning transfer to Guayaquil via the stunning El Cajas National Park. Covering 70,000 acres, the park encompasses everything from cloud forest to rocky lunar landscapes, and over 200 lakes scattered among jagged peaks. Exploring the park, you stand a good chance of seeing the wild llamas aswell as a large number of birds, including hummingbirds, toucans, and Andean condors. The park’s other animal inhabitants, such as the spectacled bear, puma, and tigrillo, are more elusive. After your visit continue your journey to Guayaquil where you will be dropped off at your hotel.
Day 17 - 18 : 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 $7778 per person
All accommodation and breakfasts
Other specified meals
Guided tours in English
Transfers with baggage assistance
Galapagos entry fees