Ecuador & Galapagos Tours & Holidays

Small Group Tours & Tailor-Made Holidays

Overview

Ecuador is often described as encapsulating an entire continent in a single country. Straddling the equator on South America’s Pacific coast, and wedged between Colombia and Peru, this small Latin American nation is able to boast landscapes as diverse as the snow-capped peaks of the Andes, Bellavista Cloud Forest, the Amazon Rainforest and the volcanic terrain of the Galapagos Islands.

Considered one of only 17 megadiverse countries in the world, Ecuador is home to a higher ...

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Meet the Expert

Speak to Richard to start planning your trip to Ecuador & Galapagos

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Group tours

Travel to Ecuador & Galapagos with like-minded people on one of our small group tours (usually max size 12), featuring knowledgeable local guides and an expert tour leader.

TAILOR-MADE HOLIDAYS

Whether you want to travel on one of our award-winning itineraries or build your own journey from scratch, our expert consultants will help create the perfect tour for your tastes and budget. Below are a few suggestions of the kind of trips we can offer, all of which can be tailored to you.

SUGGESTED ITINERARIES

HIGHLIGHTS OF ECUADOR & GALAPAGOS

BEST EXPERIENCES

Get up close to Galapagos wildlife

Get up close to Galapagos wildlife

Explore the turquoise waters of the Itabaca Channel via kayak, snorkel or SUP rich in famous Galapagos wildlife such as blue footed boobies, sea lions, brown pelicans, a variety of herons and white tipped reef sharks.

Explore Andean cloud forests

Explore Andean cloud forests

Visit the Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve for guided hiking, nature and bird watching of over 170 species, including the Platebilled Mountain-Toucan. Enjoy panoramic views of the cloud forest jungle.

Summit the Pasochoa Volcano

Summit the Pasochoa Volcano

Take a seven-hour hike to the summit of this extinct volcano and then down through the Pasochoa Wildlife Refuge, home to pumas, unique bird and plant life and one of the last remaining primary Andean forests, finishing at the Chilcabamba Lodge.

Journey to the middle of the earth

Journey to the middle of the earth

Mitad del Mundo, where the Incas celebrated the equatorial equinox, marks the exact ‘middle of the world’ at latitude 0º. Have fun spanning both hemispheres and exploring the scientific experiments that have been set up to show the polarity between them.

Visit an Amazonian community project

Visit an Amazonian community project

Meet with the local Sani community, owners of the Sani lodge. Visit a community women’s project, turtle breeding work, and participate in a cooking class spending time with the Sani women for a special glimpse into their culture and customs.

Visit Quilotoa Crater Lake

Visit Quilotoa Crater Lake

The mysterious and serene green waters of the Quilotoa volcanic crater lake are the inspiration for a 1.7 km hike along the crater's rim and en route visit artist Julio Toaquiza to learn about his inspiration: the Andes, volcanoes, condors and indigenous communities.

Experience a rainbow of butterflies

Experience a rainbow of butterflies

At Mindo you will be surrounded by hundreds of colourful butterflies; observe the four stages of a butterfly’s life and feed one of the 25 different species.

Enjoy a cooking and chocolate class

Enjoy a cooking and chocolate class

Take a relaxed cooking class in colonial Quito and learn to make traditional dishes with an expert local chef before the desert experience; a sumptuous chocolate tasting experience with one of Ecuador’s finest chocolate producers.

Visit the Darwin Research Station

Visit the Darwin Research Station

The Charles Darwin Research Station is the matrix of all the scientific research in the Galapagos Islands. Learn about the conservation and preservation of giant tortoises and marine iguanas and learn about current studies taking place.

TOP PLACES TO VISIT

Cotopaxi National Park

An hour and a half south of Quito, along the Avenue of the Volcanoes, lies the dominant image of the Ecuadorian national psyche: the perfectly conical Cotopaxi Volcano, claiming to be the ...

Ecuadorian Amazon

The Amazon basin, the greatest rainforest habitat in the world, hardly needs an introduction. Covering 7 million square kilometres, it is home to one quarter of the world’s plant and animal species,...

Quito

Ecuador's capital city is considered one of the finest in Latin America and its setting, flanked by volcanic peaks, is simply breathtaking. Divided into the old and new towns, Quito offers a diverse ...

Galapagos Islands

Nothing says “unique” quite like a holiday to the Galapagos Islands. It's an archipelago of twenty-one rugged, volcanic islands, only five of which are inhabited, and the surrounding Pacific ...

The Cloud Forest

Stretching from Quito to Colombia, the Northern Sierra is taken up by 'cloud forest' the name given to a particular type of ecosystem that plays host to vegetation found between 900 and 2,500m on the ...

OUR FAVOURITE PLACES TO STAY

Superior | Lodge

Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve Lodge, Bellavista Cloud Forest

A truly unique place to stay, Bellavista is an ecolodge in an idyllic natural setting. Guests can stay above the forest canopy, some prefer the wonderful four-storey, thatch-roofed geodesic dome while…
Premium | Lodge

Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel, Santa Cruz Island

One of National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World, the Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel is your base for exploring the Galapagos, whether you are island hopping or taking a cruise. Located on the…
Premium | Boutique Hotel

Hotel Mama Cuchara By Art Hotels, Quito

Hotel Mama Cuchara by Art Hotels is a stunning, family-owned property in the historic centre of Quito, within walking distance from Plaza Santo Domingo. Art Hotels display exhibits of Ecuadorian art to…
Luxury | Boutique Hotel

Illa Experience Hotel, Quito

Opened in 2017, the ILLA Experience Hotel is located in the traditional neighbourhood of Marcos in Quito, known for its artists, writers and musicians. The restored building dates back to 1700 and the…
Luxury | Lodge

La Selva Jungle Lodge, Ecuadorian Amazon

A rustic and authentic ecolodge in a remote part of the Yasuní Biosphere Reserve and on the borders of the protected Yasuní National Park, La Selva is one of our favourite options for a wild, authentic…
Luxury | Lodge

Mashpi Lodge, Mindo

Having been shortlisted as one of National Geographic's prestigious 'Unique Lodges of the World', this modern eco-lodge is much more than a five-star hotel. Set in more than 6,177 acres of northern…
Premium | Lodge

Napo Wildlife Center, Napo Wildlife Center

The concept and construction of this ecolodge, located within the protected Yasuní National Park, derive from the local community who own it and it is recognised as a blueprint for community-based…
Luxury | Lodge

San Agustin De Callo Hacienda, Cotopaxi National Park

Luxury, history and nature meet at the 16th century colonial hacienda of San Agustin de Callo; a charming property located one and a half hours south of Quito. This beautiful lodge is built on the site…
Premium | Lodge

Chilcabamba Lodge, Cotopaxi National Park

Chilcabamba is a charming Andean mountain lodge around six kilometres from the Cotopaxi National Park, surrounded by Ecuadorianpáramo. A stay here is authentically warm and inviting, just what is…

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WHEN TO GO

Being situated so close to the equator, Ecuador experiences the same climatic conditions year round, and weather can vary dramatically depending on the region you are in. You WILL encounter rain, but the sun can also be fierce (especially at altitude) and you should be prepared for all eventualities. Quito is quite prone to experiencing all four seasons in one day! The Galapagos Islands enjoy a tropical climate with a warmer, wetter season from December to May and a cooler, dryer season from June to November.

Meet the expert, Richard

Richard is our Latin America expert, who has travelled extensively in the region.

Speak to Richard by calling
1(833) 200-4640

Ecuador’s mainland is South America abridged; an exquisitely compact summary of what makes the continent special. In contrast, Galapagos is nirvana for wildlife lovers, a compellingly gorgeous freak of nature.

USEFUL INFORMATION

Health and Vaccinations 

There are no mandatory immunisations for travellers to Ecuador though you should be up to date with Typhoid, Tetanus, Polio and Hepatitis A. Malaria and Yellow Fever are present in some parts of Ecuador. Please note we are not medical professionals and so we highly recommend you seek advice from your local GP or travel centre as to the correct immunisations and preventative treatments.   

Currency 

In Ecuador the official unit of currency is the US Dollar. Notes are the same, and US coins are also accepted, but the country also mints its own coins that cannot be used outside of Ecuador.  

To check out the latest exchange rate for the places that you are visiting you can go to www.oanda.com

Cultural Sensitivity 

On our tours you will frequently interact with local people, each with their own distinct customs and traditions. We therefore ask you to be considerate and to treat them with respect. Your tour-leaders and guides will always be able to advise you accordingly.  

Although South Americans are very relaxed in comparison to people in other parts of the world, some places (especially up in the Andes) are very traditional and conservative, and your dress and behaviour should respect this. Public displays of affection are considered inappropriate, and when visiting churches and cathedrals, women should cover their heads with a scarf or hat while men should take their hats off.  

Language & Religion  

In Ecuador the major language is Spanish, with several other indigenous languages spoken in the Andes. English is also widely spoken. The main religion is Catholic.  

Time 

Ecuador is 5 hours behind GMT.  

A useful website to check the time zone differences is www.worldtimezone.com.  

Food and drink 

Ecuador is known for its fabulous exotic fruits, high quality fish and seafood, and the countless varieties of Andean potatoes. Across the country you will find a broad spectrum of national and regional dishes, including lemon-marinated shrimp, toasted corn, and pastries stuffed with spiced meats. If you are feeling courageous, you can put your culinary bravery to the test with roasted cuy (guinea pig). Vegetarians or those with special dietary needs can also be catered for; however, in some rural places the type of food may be limited. Please let us know your requirements as soon as possible so we can make any arrangements to cater for your needs.