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…
The Cloud Forest, Ecuador
Mashpi Lodge is a quaint cloudforest lodge in the pristine Mindo highlands three hours from Quito. Sleek and luxurious, Mashpi Lodge offers a relaxing nature retreat and an incredible experience of Ecuador’s cloudforest birds, butterflies and plants.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8942
Mashpi Lodge, built with the latest techniques in sustainable building, has been designed to blend beautifully with its surroundings. It features contemporary, minimalist decor, mixing warm earth tones, notes of bright colour, clean lines and striking angles and vistas to form a luxury cocoon in the cloudforest. The settings provide an ideal place for contemplation and relaxation. Mashpi has an intimate feel, and accommodates a maximum of 44 guests in luxurious rooms and suites, all with floor to ceiling windows that seem to interact directly with the forest outside. It's a bit like being in a capsule, observing life beyond from the comfort of your bed. Open the window, and the sounds of bird and frog calls wash over you.
The restaurant is dramatically designed, and features dishes conjured up with herbs, spices, a wide variety of chillies, and leaves and fruits from the surrounding rainforest. An outdoor wellness space features a Jacuzzi framed by eye-catching carved wooden panels, open to the breezes and sounds of the forest, perfect for relaxing after hikes. There is also a yoga deck here for morning movement. Specialized massages and treatments using natural local ingredients such as earth, stones, herbs and leaves from the Reserve are given in an adjoining room, leaving guests refreshed and revived. Close to the lodge, the Life Centre is a place for learning and discovery, but also where you can disconnect, contemplate the views, lie back in a hammock, read a book, and enjoy a fresh fruit juice or a brew of locally-grown coffee. Guests can learn about the butterflies, orchids and bromeliads of the area, and inspect the nursery of medicinal and culinary herbs. There is also a laboratory, open to guests for them to observe and enjoy all of the work that the lodge's scientific team have achieved.
The biological wonders at Mashpi Lodge will delight the most jaded nature lover. Perched at 900 metres above sea level, and surrounded by lower montane rainforest and cloudforest, the lodge is surrounded by a profusion of plant species, from ferns and bromeliads to hundreds of orchid species, many newly-discovered. An incredible 500 species of bird, including 36 endemics, call the surrounding forest home, while monkeys, peccaries and even puma also inhabit the reserve. Mashpi is a great place to spot hummingbirds with 22 species present. For many, the highlight of a visit to Mashpi Lodge is the Dragonfly cable carriage, which glides you over 2 km through and above the forest canopy, and a series of trails loop around the reserve, taking you to waterfalls, cock-of-the-rock leks, and right into the heart of the forest. There is also a sky bike for those who want to explore the canopy more actively. The observation tower is a superb place to watch the comings and goings of toucans, woodpeckers, barbets, tanagers and parrots.
When to go
Mashpi is in the heart of the cloudforest, so although there is a lot of rain, you will usually find sun each day as well. Daytime temperatures average 25-28ºC, while at night temperatures drop to around 16ºC. 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.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8942
Holiday ideas including a stay in this property
Quito, Mashpi Cloud Forest, Galapagos Islands
Delve into Ecuador's cultural capital, cool cloud forest and gorgeous Galapagos Islands on this twelve-night adventure. Visit the highlights of this beautiful country, discover it's wildlife and colourful culture and enjoy it's gems.
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.