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…
The Finch Bay Eco Hotel
Best for: Family, Wildlife, Diving
Finch Bay Eco Hotel is an award winning hotel, nestled in a tranquil bay close by to Puerto Ayora's only beach. It is the perfect place for those who don't want to cruise or desire some relaxation pre or post cruise.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8942
Located on the south side of Santa Cruz Island on a small, tranquil beach, the Finch Bay Eco Hotel is one of the islands’ most stylish accommodation options in the Galapagos. Ideally located by the town of Puerto Ayora, Tortuga Bay, the Charles Darwin Research Centre and close to Las Grietas, one of the best snorkelling sites in the Galapagos, it serves as the perfect base from which to explore the island of Santa Cruz.
Finch Bay offers twenty one garden view rooms and six ocean view suites, available with twin beds or kings. Rooms are kept simple, light and airy, with flashes of colour from the bedding and the art found on the walls, and all are air-conditioned and have a private bathroom with an unlimited water supply, as the hotel has its own desalinization plant. The ocean view suites boast a spacious private terrace, with seating and hammocks, which is the perfect place to relax after a days' exploring.This ecologically oriented hotel also boasts innovative ecological techniques and takes great care to look after the delicate flora and fauna of the Galapagos, so much so it has been recognised as the World's Leading Green Hotel in 2014 by the World Travel Awards.
In the main area you will find the bar, lounge and swimming pool. Gourmet meals created by a Cordon-Bleu gastronomy director, using the freshest ingredients. Cuisine is locally sourced, growing as much of their own fruit and vegetables as possible. Expect freshly caught seafood, as well as local and international dishes. The stunning swimming pool deck and hammocks throughout the property are especially pleasant places to relax after all your activities.
Finch Bay provides an excellent land-based alternative for enjoying the Galapagos Islands and can be booked as “hotel only” or as “land & sea packages” – the latter offering choices of 3, 4 and 7 nights in carefully planned itineraries which combine day trips to the nearby islands with explorations and activities in Santa Cruz Island. Booking the hotel only, the hotel staff will work with you individually to determine the best activities and daily boat excursions to suit you. You can combine a stay here with day cruises on the Sea Lion yacht —which the hotel owns—or day tours that include snorkelling, diving, sea kayaking, hiking, mountain biking. The highlands show a different side of the Galapagos. On kayaking trips behind the hotel you get a close-up look at sharks, sea turtles, rays, and a variety of birds. For those with an interest in diving, dependent on your expertise a range of packages are also on offer.
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 Galapagos 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.
A Day on Bartolome Island
Enjoy a day trip exploring the Bartolome Island and some of the best views in the Galapagos.
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 the Galapagos Islands
Embark on a Galapagos voyage, where you will discover the Galapagos' most iconic wildlife and most recognised island landscapes. See the best of these volcanic islands and experience a trip like no other to Darwin's wildlife wonderland.
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.