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…
Galapagos Seaman Journey
Best for: Cruise, Wildlife, Honeymoon
The M/C Galapagos Seaman Journey is a small expeditionary catamaran with excellent on-board facilities, offering superb value for money. With a maximum of 16 passengers, the Seaman Journey offers an intimate and comfortable wildlife cruise experience.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8942
Recently renovated and featuring teakwood flooring, a wonderful sun deck and outside dining, the Seaman Journey offers some of the best value in the Galapagos. There are just six cabins and two suites aboard, all spacious and including comfortable beds, picture windows that can be opened, air conditioning and en-suite bathrooms with showers. Standard cabins on the main deck have a twin bed configuration, while the two upper deck suites have queen beds. A strong commitment to design makes the Seaman Journey spacious and comfortable, and the dedicated crew is very service-minded. A small library carries books about the Galapagos that complement what you have seen and experienced during the trip.
All meals are included, and include a choice of meat, chicken, seafood and vegetarian dishes, prepared largely using fresh organic ingredients grown on the boat operator's organic farm. There is also a great bar and lounge area. There is a sport platform for diving, as well as free use of snorkelling equipment on board. Sea kayaking and surfing are also available.
The Seaman Journey offers two different week-long itineraries in the western islands and the eastern islands and two shorter itineraries focussing on the north and the south respectively. Typically you’ll have two excursions a day, swimming, snorkelling or walking on one of the Galapagos Islands, travelling from ship to shore in pangas and featuring a combination of dry and wet landings. Led by an experienced naturalist guide, you will be able during your cruise to hike on volcanoes, explore mangrove forests and, of course, have, amazing up-close encounters with the Galapagos’ incredible wildlife such as giant tortoises, penguins, sea lions, land and marine iguanas, whales, blue-footed boobies and much, much more.
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.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8942
Things to do
Sierra Negra and Volcan Chico
Enjoy a full day excursion to the Sierra Negra and Volcan Chico.
Tintoreras & Wall of Tears
Explore the wonders of the Tintoreras before heading to the fascinating Wall of Tears.
Itabaca Channel Kayaking & Giant Tortoise Reserve
A fitting introduction to the Galapagos: enjoy adventure activities and wildlife encounters along the Itabaca Channel before meeting the archipelago’s most famous inhabitant, the giant tortoise.
Cerro Mesa & Kayaking at Garrapatero
Spend the day hiking through the Cerro Mesa reserve for amazing views over the south of Santa Cruz before kayaking off of El Garrapataro beach.
A Day on Floreana Island
Today you will travel to Floreana Island to explore the home of the first, and smallest human population in the Galapagos.
Lava Tunnels & Breeding Centre on Isabela Island
Enjoy a day snorkelling off the cost of Isabela Island and learn about some of the conservation efforts in this area.
Tortuga Bay & Charles Darwin Station
Enjoy a day spent walking Santa Cruz Island, visiting Las Grietas, the Charles Darwin Research Station and Tortuga Bay.
Highlights of Puerto Ayora: Coffee Farm, Sugar Cane Mill & Charles Darwin Research Centre
Enjoy a day exploring the main highlights on land around Puerto Ayora, including a visit to an organic coffee farm and the Charles Darwin Research Centre.
Exploring the Floreana Highlands
Spend a full day exploring the amazing views of the Floreana highlands.
Galapagos Bird Life, Marine Life and Land Exploration of San Cristobal
Enjoy a day of hiking and snorkelling around San Cristobal Island.
Visit South Plazas Island
Head to the beautiful South Plazas Island, known for its diverse range of flora that makes for a fascinating and vibrant landscape.
Puerto Chino and El Junco Lagoon
Enjoy a full day exploring the delights of San Cristobal, from shore to highlands.
Holiday ideas including a stay in this property
Quito, Galapagos, Bogota, Coffee Triangle & Cartagena
This all-encompassing itinerary combines the best bits of Colombia with the Galapagos Islands. Discover lush dramatic landscapes, colonial charm, and an array of incredible wildlife, all whilst staying in boutique and characterful accommodation.
Lima, Cusco, Aguas Calientes, Quito, Galapagos Islands
Discover the highlights of Peru and combine the culture of Lima, history of Cusco and scenery of Machu Picchu on this incredible tour before cruising the Galapagos and witnessing Darwin's wildlife wonderland.
Quito, Otavalo, Galapagos
Explore the diversity of mainland Ecuador, enjoying adventures in the Andes mountains and Mindo cloudforest, before heading to the Galapagos, an incredible natural playground for kids and adults alike where you can interact with incredible unique wildlife.
Quito, Mashpi Cloud Forest, Otavalo, Galapagos Islands
This honeymoon takes you on a trip of a lifetime and combines the perfect mix of relaxation and adventure whilst you explore the highlights of Ecuador and the Galapagos. Packed with culture, wildlife, dramatic landscapes and romance, this trip has it all.