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…
Isabela Island, Galapagos Islands
Best for: First time, Wildlife, Honeymoon
Situated on the slopes of a volcano on the sun-drenched island of Isabela, this modern and luxurious safari-style tent resort is surrounded by over 40 acres of lush flora and fauna and has magnificent views of the Galapagos national park.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8942
The lodge offers cosy yet deluxe safari tent accommodation as well as day tours to other islands. Located almost 400m above sea level, the main lodge is reminiscent of a luxury treehouse, with unparalleled views of the surrounding forest and Pacific ocean in the distance. The 16 safari-style tended accommodation is dotted around the 16 hectares of pristine forest land and all have proper door frames, mosquito protection and wooden flooring. Each tent has a shower room with glass and wooden fittings.
Scalesia has been designed to seamlessly blend in with the natural surroundings and enjoys a minimalist design in order to allow guests to focus on the beauty of the area outside. With wrap-around decking and an expansive restaurant with floor-to-ceiling windows, the views can always be enjoyed.
A stay at Scalesia Lodge includes a number of activities such as a visit to the Tortoise Breeding Centre, Los Tuneles boat trip with a chance to see blue-footed boobies, Sierra Negra and Snorkelling time. You'll see just as much if not more wildlife than on a cruise including sea lions, penguins, turtles, flamingos, iguanas, frigates, finches, manta rays and reef sharks! Guests also have the option to go biking, kayaking or bird-watching at an additional cost. The staff themselves run the day trips, so you can be sure to receive the same level of high quality service throughout your stay, whether on-site or not.
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 and Galapagos Islands
Explore the colonial city of Quito before embarking on an unforgettable tour of the Galapagos. Hopping between the islands, discover the iconic wildlife and stunning scenery on extensive day trips to some of the islands most beautiful locations.