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…
M/V Galapagos Odyssey
Best for: Cruise, Wildlife, Off the beaten track
The Galapagos Odyssey is a 16-passenger eco-friendly expedition yacht that offers more space than any other Galapagos cruise boat in its class, allowing you to fully relax in between all your incredible wildlife experiences.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8942
A cruise aboard the M/V Galapagos Odyssey allows you to experience up-close encounters with the land animals and marine fauna of the Galapagos Islands in comfort and in style. There are eight cabins in total on the main and upper decks, which at 20 square metres are substantially larger than most cruise vessels operating in the Galapagos. All are air-conditioned, and include a small desk, sofa, mini-bar and closet, a generous bathroom with shower, and picture windows which can be opened for fresh air flow.
All interior and exterior areas of the Odyssey have been recently renovated and decorated with the elegant adventure traveller in mind. Local art and hand-carved wooden designs are found throughout the boat, and there are plenty of elegantly relaxing social areas which include a beautiful teakwood sundeck with loungers, a hot tub, library internet access, TV, DVD and bar. Fine cuisine is served on board with the freshest of ingredients and there are al fresco dining options to ensure you have the opportunity to take in the stunning scenery. The crew are experienced and very helpful, and there is 24-hour cruise director on duty to assist you with any special needs you may have.
The Odyssey operates three Galapagos cruise itineraries (one 5-day cruise and two 6-day cruises), which can be combined in various ways to create longer 10-, 11- or 15-day cruises. The archipelago’s beautiful beaches, lagoons and forests are home to a totally unique and fearless array of wildlife, include the impressive waved albatross, giant tortoises and comical blue-footed boobies, and the knowledgeable and passionate guides lead daily visits to the islands and provide a highly informative insight into the wildlife and, geology of the local environment. Visitors truly come face to face with the wildlife, wandering amongst volcanic rocks carpeted with iguanas and snorkelling with marine turtles and playful sea lions.
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 Plaza Island
Head to the beautiful South Plaza 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.