Ecuador

Ecuador might be smaller than its heavyweight South American neighbours, but this audacious land stakes a legitimate claim as the continent's most complete package. Blessed with a bonanza of perfect beaches and the remarkable Galapagos Islands, Ecuador’s wealth of natural riches make it a one-stop shop for incredible real life experiences. Come and indulge in a scoopful of the Amazon rainforest, a generous helping of the Andes and a refreshing glass of colonial Quito - Ecuador makes for a scrumptious serving of South America’s best.

Ecuador Tours & Travel

All our Ecuador trips

Crabs, Galapagos

Active Galapagos

10 days from
USD $2,322.50*
CAD $2,360.54*
AUD $2,451.94*
EUR €1,704.88*
GBP £1,466.56*
NZD $2,905.06*
ZAR R22,317.75*
CHF FR2,102.26*

Travel to the Galapagos Islands from Quito, Ecuador. Tour the Galapagos' highlights from Isla San Cristobal to Isla...

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Deck on the Nemo

Galapagos Panorama - Northern Islands

10 days from
USD $4,375.00
CAD $4,435.00
AUD $4,595.00
EUR €3,195.00
GBP £2,755.00
NZD $5,460.00
ZAR R41,940.00
CHF FR3,950.00

Look for Green Turtles nesting on the white beaches of Las Bachas, scan the waters for pods of dolphins off Genovesa...

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Nemo I

Complete Galapagos - Southern Islands

10 days from
USD $3,790.00*
CAD $3,847.07*
AUD $3,996.61*
EUR €2,779.60*
GBP £2,392.88*
NZD $4,739.16*
ZAR R36,381.82*
CHF FR3,429.28*

Explore the Islands of the Galapagos on this amazing adventure that highlights the best of Isabela, Floreana and Santa...

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Nemo 1

Complete Galapagos - Central Islands

10 days from
USD $3,725.00*
CAD $3,847.07*
AUD $3,996.61*
EUR €2,779.60*
GBP £2,462.88*
NZD $4,739.16*
ZAR R36,381.82*
CHF FR3,429.28*

Spend sun-drenched days exploring fascinating Galapagos highlights including Eden Islet and Isabela, Rabida and...

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Flamingo

Complete Galapagos - Central & Eastern Islands

10 days from
USD $3,790.00*
CAD $3,847.07*
AUD $3,996.61*
EUR €2,779.60*
GBP £2,392.88*
NZD $4,739.16*
ZAR R36,381.82*
CHF FR3,429.28*

Travel to the Galapagos Islands and embark on a sailing adventure through islands that serve as a paradise for nature...

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Lava lizard, Isla Isabela

Complete Galapagos - Central & Southern Islands

10 days from
USD $3,790.00*
CAD $3,847.07*
AUD $3,996.61*
EUR €2,779.60*
GBP £2,392.88*
NZD $4,739.16*
ZAR R36,381.82*
CHF FR3,429.28*

Spend sun-drenched days exploring fascinating Galapagos highlights including Sullivan’s Bay, Espanola and Floreana on...

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Cabin on the Nemo II

Galapagos Panorama - Southern Islands

10 days from
USD $4,485.00*
CAD $4,552.07*
AUD $4,716.61*
EUR €3,279.60*
GBP £2,827.88*
NZD $5,604.16*
ZAR R43,046.82*
CHF FR4,054.28*

Discover the wonders of San Cristobal, Espanola, Floreana and Santa Cruz islands sailing on the Nemo III. See the...

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Deck on the Nemo

Galapagos Panorama - Northern Islands - Australian Geographic...

10 days from
USD $4,475.00
CAD $4,765.00
AUD $4,950.00
EUR €3,445.00
GBP £2,960.00
NZD $5,870.00
ZAR R45,055.00
CHF FR4,245.00

Look for Green Turtles nesting on the white beaches of Las Bachas, scan the waters for pods of dolphins off Genovesa...

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Frigate bird, Galapagos

Galapagos Family Adventure

8 days from
USD $3,200.00*
CAD $3,253.04*
AUD $3,378.19*
EUR €2,351.13*
GBP £2,022.81*
NZD $4,003.81*
ZAR R30,747.75*
CHF FR2,898.51*

Discover the Galapagos’ Isla la Isabela with the family. See the volcano-scarred landscapes, which boasts beautiful...

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The Nemo II

Galapagos Escapade - Northern Islands

7 days from
USD $2,945.00
CAD $2,985.00
AUD $3,095.00
EUR €2,155.00
GBP £1,855.00
NZD $3,675.00
ZAR R28,200.00
CHF FR2,660.00

Visit the Galapagos Islands for the adventure of a lifetime onboard the stylish Nemo III. Discover the history of...

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Onboard

Galapagos at a Glance - Central Islands

6 days from
USD $2,185.00*
CAD $2,262.07*
AUD $2,346.61*
EUR €1,634.60*
GBP £1,402.88*
NZD $2,784.16*
ZAR R21,371.82*
CHF FR1,999.28*

Explore the Islands of the Galapagos on this startling adventure that highlights the best of the San Cristobal, Santa...

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Iguana's

Glimpse of Galapagos - Northern Islands

6 days from
USD $2,460.00
CAD $2,520.00
AUD $2,620.00
EUR €1,820.00
GBP £1,565.00
NZD $3,095.00
ZAR R23,795.00
CHF FR2,240.00

Fly to the Galapagos where the stylish Nemo III catamaran is waiting to take you on an amazing sailing adventure. Sail...

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Sea lions

Galapagos at a Glance - Central & Eastern Islands

6 days from
USD $2,185.00*
CAD $2,262.07*
AUD $2,346.61*
EUR €1,634.60*
GBP £1,402.88*
NZD $2,784.16*
ZAR R21,371.82*
CHF FR1,999.28*

Discover the Galapagos Islands on short-but-sweet adventure visiting the islands of Bartolome, Santa Cruz and Santiago...

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ecuador otavalo market handcrafts

Ecuador on a shoestring

8 days from
USD $401.25
CAD $405.00
AUD $423.75
EUR €292.50
GBP £251.25
NZD $498.75
ZAR R3,840.00
CHF FR360.00

Discover the heart and soul of Andean South America on this adventure tour through Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia, which...

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peru family

Galapagos & Peru Adventure

24 days from
USD $5,650.00*
CAD $5,748.04*
AUD $5,968.19*
EUR €4,151.13*
GBP £3,572.81*
NZD $7,073.81*
ZAR R54,322.75*
CHF FR5,113.51*

Visit South America and travel to the Galapagos Islands, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia. Visit Quito, San Cristobal, Lima,...

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peru machu picchu

Galapagos & Inca Trail Adventure

17 days from
USD $4,070.00*
CAD $4,328.04*
AUD $4,498.19*
EUR €3,131.13*
GBP £2,692.81*
NZD $5,333.81*
ZAR R40,942.75*
CHF FR3,858.51*

Travel to Ecuador and the wildlife-rich shores of the Galapagos Islands. Then visit Peru and embark on an Inca Trail...

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Frigatebird

Galapagos Venture

9 days from
USD $1,710.00*
CAD $1,818.04*
AUD $1,888.19*
EUR €1,311.13*
GBP £1,127.81*
NZD $2,238.81*
ZAR R17,152.75*
CHF FR1,618.51*

Discover the Galapagos Islands on this enchanting adventure visiting the islands of Isabela, Santa Cruz and San...

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Cuenca

Highlights of Ecuador

9 days from
USD $803.25
CAD $816.00
AUD $845.75
EUR €586.50
GBP £505.75
NZD $1,003.00
ZAR R7,696.75
CHF FR726.75

Get to know the culture, people, towns and countryside of Ecuador on this best of Ecuador tour. Visit Banos, Otavalo,...

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ecuador otavalo knitting

Quito to Cartagena

19 days from
USD $1,790.00*
CAD $1,851.51*
AUD $1,896.70*
EUR €1,366.84*
GBP £1,134.63*
NZD $2,247.15*
ZAR R17,265.38*
CHF FR1,624.54*

Take an exciting overland trip through Colombia. Travel from Quito to Cartagena, visiting Los Nevados NP, Cali,...

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Festival, Lima

Quito to Lima

20 days from
USD $1,805.00*
CAD $1,868.58*
AUD $1,968.30*
EUR €1,381.44*
GBP £1,147.50*
NZD $2,276.30*
ZAR R17,447.20*
CHF FR1,643.82*

Visit South America and travel through Ecuador and Peru on a tour from Quito to Lima. Explore the Amazon Jungle, Rio...

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Iguazu Falls

Rio to Quito via Ushuaia

112 days from
USD $11,075.00*
CAD $11,480.77*
AUD $11,791.45*
EUR €8,464.37*
GBP £7,058.75*
NZD $13,980.95*
ZAR R107,311.80*
CHF FR10,112.36*

Visit South America and travel through Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador. Follow the Inca trail and...

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Iguazu Falls

Quito to Rio via Ushuaia

112 days from
USD $11,320.00*
CAD $11,732.20*
AUD $12,052.00*
EUR €8,651.28*
GBP £7,215.00*
NZD $14,287.00*
ZAR R109,688.00*
CHF FR10,332.16*

Visit South America and travel through Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile and Brazil. Follow the Inca trail,...

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peru uros island boat

Quito to La Paz

41 days from
USD $4,430.00*
CAD $4,594.31*
AUD $4,724.35*
EUR €3,387.42*
GBP £2,826.25*
NZD $5,597.85*
ZAR R42,965.40*
CHF FR4,046.67*

Travel from Quito to La Paz and discover the real South America. Explore Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia, trek an Inca trail...

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Nemo II

Galapagos Escapade - Southern Islands

7 days from
USD $3,055.00*
CAD $3,102.07*
AUD $3,216.61*
EUR €2,239.60*
GBP £1,927.88*
NZD $3,819.16*
ZAR R29,306.82*
CHF FR2,764.28*

Begin this tour with a quick exploration of Quito. Travel to Isla San Cristobal, stop by the Charles Darwin Research...

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Tortoise

Glimpse of Galapagos - Central Islands

6 days from
USD $2,570.00*
CAD $2,637.07*
AUD $2,741.61*
EUR €1,904.60*
GBP £1,637.88*
NZD $3,239.16*
ZAR R24,901.82*
CHF FR2,344.28*

Watch sea lions in Santa Fe, explore the hidden bays and coves of Sombrero Chino and observe the peculiar courting...

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bolivia salt flats big shoes

South American Explorer

83 days from
USD $8,795.00
CAD $8,925.00
AUD $9,270.00
EUR €6,450.00
GBP £5,545.00
NZD $10,990.00
ZAR R84,380.00
CHF FR7,950.00

Visit South America and travel through Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Brazil. Visit Machu Picchu...

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peru machu picchu

Inca Empire

55 days from
USD $5,215.00
CAD $5,550.00
AUD $5,765.00
EUR €4,010.00
GBP £3,450.00
NZD $6,835.00
ZAR R52,475.00
CHF FR4,945.00

See the Inca Empire travelling in South America through Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile. From the Amazon...

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peru cusco dancing

Best of South America

67 days from
USD $6,835.00
CAD $6,925.00
AUD $7,195.00
EUR €4,995.00
GBP £4,295.00
NZD $8,530.00
ZAR R65,490.00
CHF FR6,170.00

Visit South America and travel through Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile. Visit the Amazon, Machu Picchu,...

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Couple busking, Ecuador

Cartagena to Quito

19 days from
USD $1,790.00*
CAD $1,851.51*
AUD $1,896.70*
EUR €1,366.84*
GBP £1,134.63*
NZD $2,247.15*
ZAR R17,265.38*
CHF FR1,624.54*

Take an exciting overland trip through Colombia. Travel from Cartagena to Quito visiting Tayrona NP, Tolu, Medellin,...

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Santo Domingo church in Quito

Ecuador Amazon Jungle - 5 days

5 days from
USD $1,195.00
CAD $1,270.00
AUD $1,320.00
EUR €920.00
GBP £790.00
NZD $1,565.00
ZAR R12,015.00
CHF FR1,130.00

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Lava Lizard on Isabela Island, Galapagos

Isabela Island Extension

4 days from
USD $725.00*
CAD $772.66*
AUD $802.77*
EUR €559.43*
GBP £479.16*
NZD $950.78*
ZAR R7,307.66*
CHF FR687.37*

Discover the Galapagos’ Isla la Isabela. See the volcano-scarred landscapes, which boasts beautiful bays, bird-filled...

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Butterfly in Amazon Jungle, Ecuador

Ecuador Amazon Jungle - 4 days

4 days from
USD $990.00
CAD $1,055.00
AUD $1,095.00
EUR €762.50
GBP £655.00
NZD $1,297.50
ZAR R9,967.50
CHF FR940.00

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Bright Salt Flats of Laguna Verde, Bolivia

Cartagena to Lima

38 days from
USD $3,525.00*
CAD $3,645.73*
AUD $3,741.05*
EUR €2,690.98*
GBP £2,238.75*
NZD $4,436.55*
ZAR R34,038.20*
CHF FR3,207.84*

Embark on the ultimate holiday in South America. Travel Overland from Cartagena in Colombia to La Paz in Bolivia, and...

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Frigate bird, Galapagos

Galapagos Isabela Island

7 days from
USD $2,010.00
CAD $2,140.00
AUD $2,225.00
EUR €1,545.00
GBP £1,330.00
NZD $2,635.00
ZAR R20,250.00
CHF FR1,910.00

Discover the Galapagos’ Isla la Isabela. See the volcano-scarred landscapes, which boasts beautiful bays, bird-filled...

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peru lima plaza de armas

Lima to Quito

20 days from
USD $1,805.00*
CAD $1,868.58*
AUD $1,918.30*
EUR €1,381.44*
GBP £1,147.50*
NZD $2,276.30*
ZAR R6,037.20*
CHF FR568.82*

Travel Overland from Lima, Peru, to Quito, Ecuador. Hit the beach in Punta Sal, get daring in Banos and go camping in...

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Bird in Patagonia, Argentina

Cartagena to Ushuaia

101 days from
USD $9,990.00*
CAD $10,348.62*
AUD $10,628.70*
EUR €7,634.84*
GBP £6,362.50*
NZD $12,600.70*
ZAR R96,725.80*
CHF FR9,113.34*

Travel the length of the Americas, from the North through Central to the very tip of the South. From Anchorage to...

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Flamingo

Galapagos Adventure - Southern Islands

7 days from
USD $2,645.00*
CAD $2,687.07*
AUD $2,791.61*
EUR €1,939.60*
GBP £1,667.88*
NZD $3,304.16*
ZAR R25,386.82*
CHF FR2,394.28*

Experience the incredible scenery, wildlife and seascapes of the breathtaking Galapagos Islands. Sail around the...

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View of the Galapagos islands

Galapagos Adventure - Central Islands

7 days from
USD $2,645.00*
CAD $2,687.07*
AUD $2,791.61*
EUR €1,939.60*
GBP £1,667.88*
NZD $3,304.16*
ZAR R25,386.82*
CHF FR2,394.28*

Travel to the Galapagos Islands and embark on an island-hopping sailing adventure, from Mosquera to Santa Cruz. From...

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Quito, Ecuador

South America Sojourn

36 days from
USD $8,860.00
CAD $9,430.00
AUD $9,595.00
EUR €6,815.00
GBP £5,870.00
NZD $11,615.00
ZAR R89,165.00
CHF FR8,400.00

Spend over five weeks travelling through the delights of South America – from the elegant capital of Ecuador, through...

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Blue footed booby

Classic Galapagos - Southern Islands (Queen Beatriz) Standard...

10 days from
USD $4,705.00*
CAD $4,787.07*
AUD $4,971.61*
EUR €3,459.60*
GBP £2,967.88*
NZD $5,894.16*
ZAR R45,251.82*
CHF FR4,264.28*

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Beach, Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica

Anchorage to Ushuaia

207 days from
USD $14,465.00
CAD $14,770.00
AUD $15,075.00
EUR €11,015.00
GBP £9,020.00
NZD $17,870.00
ZAR R137,205.00
CHF FR12,925.00

Travel the length of the Americas from North through Central and to the very tip of the South. From Anchorage to...

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Queen Beatriz vessel

Classic Galapagos - Central Eastern Islands (Queen Beatriz)...

10 days from
USD $4,705.00*
CAD $4,787.07*
AUD $4,971.61*
EUR €3,459.60*
GBP £2,967.88*
NZD $5,894.16*
ZAR R45,251.82*
CHF FR4,264.28*

Travel to the Galapagos Islands and sail around the central eastern islands, witnessing amazing wildlife and visiting...

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Lizard

Classic Galapagos - Central Southern Islands (Queen Beatriz)...

10 days from
USD $4,815.00*
CAD $4,904.15*
AUD $5,093.21*
EUR €3,544.20*
GBP £3,040.75*
NZD $6,038.31*
ZAR R46,358.64*
CHF FR4,368.57*

Sail the aquamarine waters of the Galapagos’ central southern islands taking in Mosquera, Cerro Dragon, Isla Rabida,...

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Sea turtle, Galapagos Islands

Classic Galapagos - South Eastern Islands (Queen Beatriz)...

10 days from
USD $4,705.00*
CAD $4,787.07*
AUD $4,971.61*
EUR €3,459.60*
GBP £2,967.88*
NZD $5,894.16*
ZAR R45,251.82*
CHF FR4,264.28*

Sail through the clear waters, meet the unique animals and soak in the beautiful and unusual landscapes of the...

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Sunbaking local

Galapagos Explorer - Southern Islands (Queen Beatriz) Standard...

7 days from
USD $3,235.00*
CAD $3,287.07*
AUD $3,411.61*
EUR €2,374.60*
GBP £2,042.88*
NZD $4,039.16*
ZAR R31,051.82*
CHF FR2,924.28*

Take to cerulean waters to explore the beautiful Galapagos Islands. See huge populations of animals and experience the...

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Cactus

Galapagos Explorer - Central Islands (Queen Beatriz) Standard...

7 days from
USD $3,235.00*
CAD $3,287.07*
AUD $3,411.61*
EUR €2,374.60*
GBP £2,042.88*
NZD $4,039.16*
ZAR R31,051.82*
CHF FR2,924.28*

Take to cerulean waters to explore the beautiful Galapagos Islands. See huge populations of animals and experience the...

View trip details
Blue footed booby

Galapagos Encounter - Southern Islands (Queen Beatriz) Standard...

6 days from
USD $2,266.00*
CAD $2,313.07*
AUD $2,401.61*
EUR €1,672.60*
GBP £1,428.88*
NZD $2,848.16*
ZAR R21,858.82*
CHF FR2,060.28*

Explore the Islands of the Galapagos on this startling adventure that highlights the best of Isabela, Floreana and...

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Onboard

Galapagos Encounter - Central Islands (Queen Beatriz) Standard...

6 days from
USD $2,805.00*
CAD $2,862.07*
AUD $2,971.61*
EUR €2,069.60*
GBP £1,767.88*
NZD $3,524.16*
ZAR R27,046.82*
CHF FR2,549.28*

Explore the central islands of the Galapagos on this startling adventure that highlights the best of the San Cristobal...

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Queen Beatriz

Grand Galapagos - (Queen Beatriz) - Standard Twin

17 days from
USD $7,505.00*
CAD $7,612.07*
AUD $7,916.61*
EUR €5,504.60*
GBP £4,737.88*
NZD $9,384.16*
ZAR R72,056.82*
CHF FR6,789.28*

Take an in depth cruise through the beautiful Galapagos Islands, exploring islas Isabella, Floreana and Espanola,...

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Cotopaxi National Park

Ecuadorian Haciendas

7 days from
USD $1,075.25
CAD $1,088.00
AUD $1,134.75
EUR €782.00
GBP £680.00
NZD $1,343.00
ZAR R10,319.00
CHF FR973.25

Stay in local Ecuadorian haciendas while getting to know the fascinating people, places and culture of Ecuador....

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Peru & Ecuador Adventure

36 days from
USD $2,505.00
CAD $2,666.25
AUD $2,771.25
EUR €1,927.50
GBP £1,657.50
NZD $3,285.00
ZAR R25,222.50
CHF FR2,377.50

Explore two gems of South America on this adventure tour through Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia, which includes the Inca...

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Articles on Ecuador

Saving the Galapagos

Saving the Galapagos

Posted on Mon, 10 Mar 2014 by Jane Crouch

Just imagine the Galapagos…with no majestic giant tortoise, no quizzical looking blue footed boobies, no sea lions taking over the park benches on the water front, or no dinosaur-like marine [...]

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Swimming with dinosaurs in the Galapagos

Swimming with dinosaurs in the Galapagos

Posted on Fri, 07 Feb 2014 by Katie Olsson

The Galapagos Islands have long been a destination for the most adventurous and curious of travellers. Today, the most common way for people to see the incredible wildlife of this [...]

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Ecuador Highlights

About Ecuador

At a glance

Trips Available:
51
Capital city:
Quito (population 1.5 million)
Population:
14.7 million
Language:
Spanish
Currency:
USD
Time zone:
(GMT-05:00) Bogota, Lima, Quito, Rio Branco
Electricity:
Type A (North American/Japanese 2-pin) Type B (American 3-pin)
Dialing code:
+593

Best time to visit Ecuador

There are two seasons in Ecuador, wet and dry, and they vary depending on the region you are travelling in. For the most part, Ecuador is a sunny, warm country, and even the wet season will bring its fair share of sunny days. The best time to visit is largely dependent on your itinerary, although it should be noted that the Christmas period (December - January) is often the busiest, so be prepared for large crowds. In the Amazon, August and December through March are the driest seasons and April to June are the wettest. In the highlands, the dry season is from June to September as well as December. The Galapagos and coastal regions are mainly influenced by ocean currents. The hot and rainy season runs from January to April. It doesn't rain much, but you can expect some downpours at times. From May to December it can be a bit cooler, with more overcast days. High seasons in the Galapagos (June through August, December and January) are generally determined by holiday trends and not by weather conditions.

Ecuador weather chart

Geography and environment

Pristine beach in Ecuador
Ecuador is one of South America’s smallest countries, tucked away on the continent’s Pacific coastline. Bordering Colombia in the north and Peru in the south, Ecuador contains its own segments of some of South America’s most famous landmarks, such as the Amazon rainforest and the Andes. Adding to Ecuador’s list of natural wonders are the incredible Galapagos Islands, which lie about 1000 km west of the mainland. These volcanic islands are famed for their association with botanist Charles Darwin, who spent considerable time studying their incredible biodiversity. Like many other South American countries, Ecuador’s coastline boasts a large number of pristine beaches. Mantra, Crucita, Canoa and Montanita are among the famous spots, however there are many other national parks and small coastal towns that offer their own variations of beachside bliss. Ecuador’s capital, Quito, is located in the north of the country, and is renowned for its colonial architecture. To the west of the city is Pichincha, one of Ecuador’s many spectacular volcanoes.

Top Picks

Galagagos Island boats Iguana

Top 5 Natural Marvels of Ecuador

1. Volcanoes

Ecuador is a climbing and mountaineering paradise, with some of the grandest (and most active) volcanoes in the world. Just south of Quito lies the ‘Avenue of Volcanos’, which includes the country's highest peak, and no less than nine awe-inspiring volcanos.

2. Beaches

Ecuador is a beach lover’s haven, with a well-earned reputation for supplying some of the most gorgeous spots on South America’s Pacific coast. While there are no shortage of backpacker havens and crowded Ecuadorian holiday spots, those seeking a little more privacy should check out the beautiful Manta and the gorgeous Machalilla National Park.

3. The Andes

Hard to ignore, the Andes form Ecuador’s rocky spine and are home to breathtaking tropical valleys, snow-capped peaks and fresh mountain lakes. A welcome escape from Ecuador’s hot summers, the Andes offer an unforgettable array of high-altitude adventures.

4. The Amazon

Rich in colour and natural diversity, Ecuador is blessed with a sizeable portion of the famous Amazon rainforest. Lying to the west of the Andes, this incredible jungle is home to some of the world’s most fascinating and unique species, as well as being an ideal place to enjoy activities such as canoeing, trekking and bird watching.

5. Galapagos Islands

Journey to a lost world and discover a wildlife sanctuary that continues to inspire visitors and scientists alike. Relatively untouched by human life, the Galapagos is an ecological Disneyland, the jewel in Ecuador’s already glistening crown.

FAQs on Ecuador

Tipping isn't mandatory in Ecuador, but feel free to round up the bill or leave spare change at restaurants and cafes. Some restaurants may already include a 10% service charge, in which case, an extra tip isn't required.
Ecuador's cities and tourist centres have internet access available in internet cafes and hotels. Less internet access is available in rural and remote areas, so prepare to disconnect when leaving the city.
Mobile phone coverage is generally good in Ecuador's cities and metropolitan areas, although expect limited coverage in remote, mountainous and isolated areas. Ensure you have global roaming activated with your carrier if you wish to use your phone while in Ecuador.
Ecuador's toilets are a mixture of flushable toilets and squat toilets, so be prepared to encounter both. Carry your own supply of toilet paper and soap, as these aren't always provided.
Short bus ride = US$0.20
Juice = US$1
Street food snack = US$1.50
Simple lunch = US$3-5
Sit down dinner at a cafe or restaurant = US$10
Travellers should avoid drinking tap water in Ecuador. For environmental reasons, try to avoid bottled water. Ask your leader where filtered water can be found as some hotels provide this. Remember to peel fruit and vegetables before eating and avoid ice in drinks.
Major credit cards are accepted by most large shops, hotels and restaurants, although smaller vendors and market stalls often only accept cash. Be sure to carry multiple methods of payment as credit cards aren't always an option everywhere in Ecuador.
ATMs are easily found in the large cities and airports, although are less common in rural and remote areas. When travelling out of the city, be prepared by having enough cash, as ATMs aren't always available.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of your trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
Jan 1 New Year's Day
Mar 29 Good Friday
May 1 Labour Day
May 24 Battle of Pichincha
Aug 10 Independence Day
Oct 9 Guayaquil Independence Day
Nov 2 All Souls' Day
Nov 3 Cuenca Independence Day
Dec 25 Christmas Day
Dec 31 New Year's Eve

Please note these dates are for 2013. For a current list of public holidays go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/ecuador/public-holidays
ECUADOR TOURIST VISA
Australia: Not required
Belgium: Not required
Canada: Not required
Germany: Not required
Ireland: Not required
Netherlands: Not required
New Zealand: Not required
South Africa: Not required
Switzerland: Not required
United Kingdom: Not required
United States: Not required

Health and Safety

Intrepid takes the health and safety of its travellers seriously, and takes every measure to ensure that trips are safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone. We recommend that all travellers check with their government or national travel advisory organisation for the latest information before departure:

From Australia?

Go to: http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/

From New Zealand?

Go to: http://www.safetravel.govt.nz/

From Canada?

Go to: http://www.voyage.gc.ca/

From US?

Go to: http://travel.state.gov/

From UK?

Go to: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/

The World Health Organisation

also provides useful health information:
Go to: http://www.who.int/en/

Responsible Travel

Ecuador Travel Tips

Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.

Be careful not to disturb wildlife

Top responsible travel tips for Ecuador

1. Be considerate of Ecuador’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.

2. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water.

3. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.

4. When bargaining at markets, stay calm, be reasonable and keep a smile on your face. It's meant to be fun!

5. Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.

6. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.

7. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.

8. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.

9. When on community visits or homestays, refrain from giving gifts or money to locals.

10. If travelling in the Galapagos, respect the biodiversity of this area by not removing anything from the island - except rubbish!

The Intrepid Foundation

The Intrepid Foundation provides travellers with an opportunity to give something back to the many wonderful communities we travel to. By donating to The Intrepid Foundation you can make a difference in local communities - in health care, education, human rights, child welfare and the protection of wildlife and the environment.

In Ecuador, the Intrepid Foundation proudly supports:

The Charles Darwin Foundation

The Charles Darwin Foundation

This vital centre represents and protects fragile species in the Galapagos area by restoring natural environments and increasing habitats for endangered species. Conservation projects work to restore degraded areas, protect precious ecosystems and garner community involvement and support for this important part of the world.

Image supplied by Jane Crouch.

To learn more or donate, go to: www.theintrepidfoundation.org

Further reading

Recommended reading

Title Author
The Ecuador EffectDavid E Stuart
Galapagos at the CrossroadsCarol Ann Bassett
The Queen of WaterLaura Resau and Maria Virginia Farinango
Living Poor: A Peace Corps ChronicleMoritz Thomsen
The Panama Hat TrailTom Miller
Darwin in Galapagos: Footsteps to a New WorldK Thalia Grant and Gregory C Estes
GalapagosKurt Vonnegut