"Ecuador is like South America in miniature, a nation defined by both the Andes and the Amazon, with a beguiling blend of colonial charm, vibrant indigenous culture and some of the most spectacular wildlife on the planet."

Touring in Ecuador

Ecuador is like South America in miniature, a nation defined by both the Andes and the Amazon, with a beguiling blend of colonial charm, vibrant indigenous culture and some of the most spectacular wildlife on the planet. Named after the Equator on which it sits, it’s a country with a surprisingly diverse landscape, from the jungles and cloud forests of the interior to the snow-capped peaks of the sierra. Cities like Quito and Cuenca typify what makes Ecuador special, fusing beautiful Spanish colonial architecture with bustling Andean markets, while the jungles of the Oriente are home to indigenous communities that still practise shamanism.

Ecuador’s crown jewels are the incomparable Galapagos Islands, the volcanic archipelago that inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. The islands are home to an amazing array of unique endemic species, from the gaudy blue-footed booby to the dinosaur-like marine iguana, the world’s only seafaring lizard. Access to this fragile habitat is carefully controlled so the animals have no fear of humans, allowing you to observe them at close quarters, almost as if you were in your own David Attenborough documentary.

 

Touring Highlights of Ecuador

  • Explore the attractive colonial centre and indigenous markets of Quito, Ecuador’s fascinating capital situated high up in the Andes.
  • Otavalo is renowned for its colourful market, which dates back to before the time of the Incas. The sight of so many people in traditional costume makes this a popular tourist attraction, but it remains an authentic Andean cultural crossroads.
  • Ecuador’s misty cloud forest is a more accessible alternative to the Amazon, rich in wildlife and crisscrossed by walking trails, with some fabulous eco-lodges where you can base yourself for a few nights.
  • The wildlife of the Galapagos is remarkable not just for its diversity, but for the incredible lack of fear that the animals display towards humans.
  • The geology of the Galapagos is equally fascinating, with landscapes that vary dramatically from island to island: you’ll see everything from barren lava fields and vast underwater craters to lush vegetation and white sand beaches.

 

Tour Types in Ecuador


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