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Enchanting and diverse, this small sliver of South America boasts a wealth of unique environments, from abundant cloud forest reserves to remote volcanic islands.
Despite its relatively small size, Ecuador does not fall short in comparison to its South American neighbours when it comes to variety. One moment you could be watching tree-swinging monkeys in the Ecuadorian amazon; the next could see you exploring the UNESCO World Heritage streets of Quito's old town. For wildlife enthusiasts, the Galapagos Islands are undeniably the most coveted jewels of the region, a natural haven of endemic species including the Marine Iguana and the Galapagos Penguin. Yet, whilst it may be tempting to pass over Ecuador and head on straight to the Galapagos Islands, the best way to really make the most of your tour is to combine both destinations.
Our Top Ecuador and Galapagos Experiences
Best Time to Visit
Weather variations in Ecuador and Galapagos are generally mild and the result of regional differences, however, is it worth noting the highlands endure a drier season from June to September. Outdoor, cultural and wildlife exploration, however, can be enjoyed all-year-round.
Go on the wildlife adventure of a lifetime to Ecuador, visiting the Amazon, a cloud forest and the coveted Galapagos Islands...
Founded on the ruins of an Inca city in the 16th century, visiting Ecuador's historic capital city, Quito can be likened to travelling through the ages with its fascinating contrast of modern architecture and dense concentration of historic colonial structures. Awarded UNESCO World Heritage site status in 1978, Quito cradles one of the most well-preserved historic centres in all of Latin America in Plaza de la Independencia.
Constructed in the early 20th century, the Nariz del Diablo Railtrack was built to accommodate travel across the steep and narrow paths of the Devil's Nose mountain ridge. Today, a train ride across the tracks offers the best seat in the house to view the majestic Andes mountains.
Located North of Cuenca, the Ingapirca site is Ecuador's largest and best-preserved Inca structure. Situated atop a hill, the site contains a fascinating selection of ancient architectural features, particularly the Temple of the Sun, an elliptically shaped structure formerly used as a ritual site. The site houses a small Cañari museum where visitors can learn more about the culture, or you can head to the nearby village of Cañar and witness the living culture today.
Nestled on the western slopes of the Andes, the Mindo Cloud Forest Reserve is a top Ecuadorian ecotourism site, boasting a breathtaking landscape populated with lush tropical vegetation, rolling green mountains, waterfalls, rivers and hundreds of streams. The perfect setting for adventure, visitors can enjoy watching out for local bird species, embarking on hikes, zip-lining through the forest and much more.
Residing on the Galápagos Island of Isabela, Sierra Negra is one of six volcanoes that form the body of the island. Sitting 1124m above sea level, the volcano is characterized by its expansive caldera, recognized as the second largest in the world, and the unusual landscapes that huddle around it. A hike to Sierra Negra will require a guide, however, with panoramic views of Isabela at the summit and a birds-eye view of the impressive crater, we think it's worth a climb!
Named after the resident colony of sea lions that inhabit it, Isla Lobos is a small, flat-island situated just off the coast of San Cristobal. The distance between the islet and San Cristobal is often characterised by its optimal marine exploration conditions, calm and teeming with marine life.
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Best Time To Travel:
December - April