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

Top deals in Ecuador

Departing Days Price USD
11 Dec 2014 Galapagos Venture 9 $1430
2 Jan 2015 Peru & Ecuador Adventure 36 $3600
17 Jan 2015 Active Galapagos 10 $3030
26 Jan 2015 Highlights of Ecuador 9 $915
14 Feb 2015 Active Galapagos 10 $2755

All our Ecuador trips

Active Galapagos

10 days from
USD $2,755
CAD $2,985
AUD $2,933
EUR €2,016
GBP £1,637
NZD $3,262
ZAR R29,279
CHF FR2,435

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

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Galapagos Panorama - Northern Islands - Australian Geographic Society

10 days from

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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Galapagos Panorama - Northern Islands

10 days from
USD $3,146
CAD $3,202
AUD $3,325
EUR €2,306
GBP £1,988
NZD $3,941
ZAR R30,264
CHF FR2,852

Look for green turtles nesting on the white beaches of Las Bachas, scan the water for pods of dolphins off Isla...

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Galapagos Escapade - Northern Islands

7 days from
USD $2,124
CAD $2,152
AUD $2,236
EUR €1,557
GBP £1,340
NZD $2,653
ZAR R20,356
CHF FR1,918

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

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Glimpse of Galapagos - Northern Islands

6 days from
USD $1,902
CAD $1,935
AUD $2,008
EUR €1,392
GBP £1,203
NZD $2,366
ZAR R18,340
CHF FR1,714

Fly to the Galapagos where the Nemo III catamaran is waiting to take you on an amazing adventure. Take in Genovesa,...

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Ecuador Amazon Extension - 4d (Sacha Lodge)

4 days from
USD $1,775
CAD $1,830
AUD $1,795
EUR €1,235
GBP £1,037
NZD $2,000
ZAR R17,967
CHF FR1,495

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Ecuador Amazon Extension - 5d (Sacha Lodge)

5 days from
USD $2,100
AUD $2,125
NZD $2,367
CAD $2,167
EUR €1,462
GBP £1,227
ZAR R21,270
CHF FR1,770

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Ecuador on a shoestring

8 days from
USD $560
CAD $605
AUD $595
EUR €410
GBP £330
NZD $660
ZAR R5,955
CHF FR495

Set off on an adventure through stunning Ecuador. Travel through the Amazon Jungle, visit laidback Banos and discover...

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Galapagos & Peru Adventure

24 days from
USD $5,960
CAD $6,160
AUD $6,043
EUR €4,366
GBP £3,497
NZD $6,722
ZAR R60,429
CHF FR5,285

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

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Galapagos & Peru Adventure

24 days from
USD $5,830
CAD $5,920
AUD $6,143
EUR €4,146
GBP £3,677
NZD $7,262
ZAR R55,984
CHF FR5,105

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

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Ecuador and Peru explorer

16 days from
USD $1,140
CAD $1,180
AUD $1,160
EUR €790
GBP £670
NZD $1,290
ZAR R11,585
CHF FR965

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

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Galapagos & Inca Trail Adventure

17 days from
USD $4,500
CAD $4,645
AUD $4,563
EUR €3,136
GBP £2,637
NZD $5,077
ZAR R45,624
CHF FR3,795

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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Galapagos Venture

9 days from
USD $1,430
CAD $1,527
AUD $1,750
EUR €1,161
GBP £951
NZD $1,856
ZAR R14,456
CHF FR1,433

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

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Galapagos Venture

9 days from
USD $1,870
CAD $2,025
AUD $1,993
EUR €1,366
GBP £1,112
NZD $2,212
ZAR R19,899
CHF FR1,655

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

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Highlights of Ecuador

9 days from
USD $915
CAD $985
AUD $970
EUR €720
GBP £540
NZD $1,080
ZAR R9,670
CHF FR875

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

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Quito to Cartagena

19 days from
USD $1,875
CAD $2,031
AUD $2,012
EUR €1,370
GBP £1,141
NZD $2,221
ZAR R19,931
CHF FR1,657

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

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Rio to Quito via Ushuaia

112 days from
USD $11,031
CAD $11,952
AUD $11,901
EUR €8,065
GBP £6,814
NZD $13,069
ZAR R117,278
CHF FR9,760

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

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Quito to Lima

20 days from

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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Quito to La Paz

41 days from

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

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Quito to Rio via Ushuaia

112 days from
USD $11,850
CAD $12,837
AUD $12,767
EUR €8,665
GBP £7,288
NZD $14,046
ZAR R126,001
CHF FR10,483

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

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Cartagena to Quito

19 days from
USD $1,875
CAD $2,031
AUD $2,012
EUR €1,370
GBP £1,141
NZD $2,221
ZAR R19,901
CHF FR1,657

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

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Ecuador Amazon Jungle - 5 days

5 days from
CHF FR1,130
CAD $1,270
AUD $1,320
EUR €920
GBP £790
NZD $1,565
ZAR R12,015
USD $1,195

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Ecuador Amazon Jungle - 4 days

4 days from
USD $1,092
CAD $1,127
AUD $1,105
EUR €760
GBP £637
NZD $1,230
ZAR R11,060
CHF FR920

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Cartagena to Lima

38 days from
USD $3,525
CAD $3,666
AUD $3,741
EUR €2,649
GBP £2,238
NZD $4,296
ZAR R34,667
CHF FR3,138

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

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Galapagos Santa Cruz and around

7 days from
USD $2,530
CAD $2,615
AUD $2,566
EUR €1,763
GBP £1,484
NZD $2,855
ZAR R25,663
CHF FR2,135

Travel from Quito out to the gorgeous Galapagos Islands. Sail pristine waters, be awed by the friendly wildlife and...

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Galapagos Isabela Island

7 days from
USD $2,085
CAD $2,220
AUD $2,305
EUR €1,605
GBP £1,380
NZD $2,730
ZAR R20,980
CHF FR1,975

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

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Lima to Quito

20 days from
USD $1,650
CAD $1,787
AUD $2,000
EUR €1,207
GBP £1,014
NZD $1,954
ZAR R17,509
CHF FR1,458

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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Galapagos Panorama - Southern Islands - (Nemo III) Twin

10 days from
USD $5,155
CAD $5,333
AUD $5,238
EUR €3,595
GBP £3,030
NZD $5,820
ZAR R52,339
CHF FR4,354

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

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Galapagos Encounter - Central Islands (Queen Beatriz) Standard Twin

6 days from
USD $3,170
CAD $3,274
AUD $3,216
EUR €2,210
GBP £1,862
NZD $3,575
ZAR R32,149
CHF FR2,677

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

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Ecuador Highlights

9 days from
USD $1,540
CAD $1,665
AUD $1,635
EUR €1,250
GBP £910
NZD $1,820
ZAR R16,350
CHF FR1,510

Throw yourself into the energy of the Ecuador experience and get a dramatic overview of this fascinating country from...

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Galapagos Escapade - Northern Islands - (Nemo III) Twin

7 days from
USD $3,355
CAD $3,460
AUD $3,395
EUR €2,335
GBP £1,960
NZD $3,780
ZAR R33,985
CHF FR2,830

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

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Grand Galapagos - (Queen Beatriz) - Standard Twin

17 days from
USD $8,275
CAD $8,544
AUD $8,381
EUR €5,765
GBP £4,847
NZD $9,330
ZAR R83,849
CHF FR6,977

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

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Galapagos Escapade - Southern Islands - (Nemo III) Twin

7 days from
USD $3,465
CAD $3,579
AUD $3,516
EUR €2,415
GBP £2,032
NZD $3,910
ZAR R35,154
CHF FR2,927

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

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Ecuador Community Stay

6 days from
USD $582
CAD $602
AUD $590
EUR €405
GBP £340
NZD $657
ZAR R5,905
CHF FR490

Get way out of town and head into the Amazon on this unique Ecuador community experience. Learn about local life, see...

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South America Sojourn

36 days from
USD $10,255
CAD $10,580
AUD $10,375
EUR €7,140
GBP £5,995
NZD $11,555
ZAR R103,850
CHF FR8,640

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

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Glimpse of Galapagos - Northern Islands - (Nemo III) Twin

6 days from
USD $3,070
CAD $3,174
AUD $3,116
EUR €2,140
GBP £1,802
NZD $3,465
ZAR R31,149
CHF FR2,592

Fly to the Galapagos where the Nemo III catamaran is waiting to take you on an amazing adventure. Take in Genovesa,...

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Galapagos Discovery- Hotel Based

11 days from
USD $4,210
CAD $4,565
AUD $4,475
EUR €3,080
GBP £2,485
NZD $4,985
ZAR R44,795
CHF FR3,725

From Quito to the gorgeous Galapagos Islands, discover dramatic island scenery, thriving wildlife, intriguing...

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Classic Galapagos - Southern Islands (Queen Beatriz) Standard Twin

10 days from
USD $5,355
CAD $5,533
AUD $5,438
EUR €3,735
GBP £3,145
NZD $6,045
ZAR R54,339
CHF FR4,519

Travel to the Galapagos Islands and embark on a sailing adventure around southern islands that serve as a paradise...

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Glimpse of Galapagos - Central Islands - (Nemo III) Twin

6 days from
USD $2,960
CAD $3,055
AUD $2,995
EUR €2,060
GBP £1,730
NZD $3,335
ZAR R29,980
CHF FR2,495

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

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South American Explorer

83 days from
USD $9,085
CAD $9,370
AUD $9,190
EUR €6,325
GBP £5,310
NZD $10,235
ZAR R91,980
CHF FR7,655

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

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Inca Empire

55 days from
USD $6,130
CAD $6,325
AUD $6,205
EUR €4,270
GBP £3,585
NZD $6,910
ZAR R62,075
CHF FR5,170

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

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Classic Galapagos - Central Eastern Islands (Queen Beatriz) Standard Twin

10 days from
USD $5,355
CAD $5,533
AUD $5,438
EUR €3,735
GBP £3,145
NZD $6,045
ZAR R54,339
CHF FR4,519

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

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Best of South America

67 days from
USD $7,765
CAD $8,010
AUD $7,855
EUR €5,405
GBP £4,540
NZD $8,750
ZAR R78,625
CHF FR6,545

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Classic Galapagos - South Eastern Islands (Queen Beatriz) Standard Twin

10 days from
USD $5,245
CAD $5,414
AUD $5,316
EUR €3,655
GBP £3,072
NZD $5,915
ZAR R53,169
CHF FR4,422

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Complete Galapagos - (Daphne) Lower Deck Twin

10 days from
USD $4,345
CAD $4,480
AUD $4,395
EUR €3,025
GBP £2,540
NZD $4,895
ZAR R43,995
CHF FR3,660

Travel from Ecuador’s striking capital to the Galapagos Islands. Explore the archipelago’s rich history, dazzling...

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Grand Galapagos - Escorted by Annie & Woody (Queen Beatriz) - Standard Twin

17 days from
USD $9,830
CAD $10,149
AUD $9,956
EUR €6,845
GBP £5,757
NZD $11,085
ZAR R99,614
CHF FR8,287

Join Polar Expedition Leaders Anne Inglis and David Wood as they host their fifth season in the Galapagos. Your...

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Galapagos Family Holiday

8 days from
USD $2,985
CAD $3,085
AUD $3,033
EUR €2,081
GBP £1,757
NZD $3,372
ZAR R30,309
CHF FR2,520

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

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Classic Galapagos - Central Southern Islands (Queen Beatriz) Standard Twin

10 days from
USD $5,355
CAD $5,533
AUD $5,438
EUR €3,735
GBP £3,145
NZD $6,045
ZAR R54,339
CHF FR4,519

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

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Galapagos at a Glance - Southern Islands - (Daphne) Lower Deck Twin

6 days from
USD $2,465
CAD $2,545
AUD $2,495
EUR €1,715
GBP £1,440
NZD $2,780
ZAR R24,975
CHF FR2,080

Travel to the Galapagos Islands and see the unique Scalesia cloud forest, myriad birdlife of Isla Española and...

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Peru & Ecuador Adventure

36 days from
USD $3,600
CAD $3,730
AUD $3,655
EUR €2,520
GBP £2,115
NZD $4,070
ZAR R36,580
CHF FR3,045

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

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Cuzco to Cartagena

54 days from
USD $5,635
CAD $6,105
AUD $6,076
EUR €4,118
GBP £3,473
NZD $6,675
ZAR R59,889
CHF FR4,984

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Galapagos Explorer - Southern Islands (Queen Beatriz) Standard Twin

7 days from
USD $3,565
CAD $3,684
AUD $3,616
EUR €2,485
GBP £2,092
NZD $4,020
ZAR R36,154
CHF FR3,007

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Galapagos Adventure - Northern Islands - (Daphne) Lower Deck Twin

7 days from
USD $2,970
CAD $3,069
AUD $3,016
EUR €2,070
GBP £1,747
NZD $3,355
ZAR R30,149
CHF FR2,507

Discover the natural treasures of the Galapagos Islands. Snorkel with sea lions in the waters of Santa Fe, visit the...

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Cartagena to Cuzco

54 days from
USD $5,635
CAD $6,105
AUD $6,076
EUR €4,118
GBP £3,473
NZD $6,675
ZAR R59,439
CHF FR4,944

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Galapagos Explorer - Central Islands (Queen Beatriz) Standard Twin

7 days from
USD $3,565
CAD $3,684
AUD $3,616
EUR €2,485
GBP £2,092
NZD $4,020
ZAR R36,154
CHF FR3,007

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

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Complete Galapagos - Central Islands - (Daphne) Lower Deck Twin

10 days from
USD $4,455
CAD $4,599
AUD $4,516
EUR €3,105
GBP £2,612
NZD $5,025
ZAR R45,164
CHF FR3,757

Come face-to-face with the extraordinary central islands of the Galapagos. Snorkel with sharks off Isla Bartolome,...

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Anchorage to Ushuaia

207 days from
USD $15,565
CAD $16,865
AUD $16,535
EUR €11,385
GBP £9,190
NZD $18,460
ZAR R165,510
CHF FR13,775

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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Galapagos Panorama - Northern Islands - (Nemo III) Twin

10 days from
USD $4,935
CAD $5,095
AUD $4,995
EUR €3,435
GBP £2,885
NZD $5,560
ZAR R50,000
CHF FR4,160

Look for green turtles nesting on the white beaches of Las Bachas, scan the water for pods of dolphins off Isla...

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Galapagos Encounter - Southern Islands (Queen Beatriz) Standard Twin

6 days from
USD $3,170
CAD $3,274
AUD $3,216
EUR €2,210
GBP £1,862
NZD $3,575
ZAR R32,149
CHF FR2,677

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Ecuador trip reviews

Our Ecuador trips score an average of 4.77 out of 5 based on 84 reviews in the last year.

Galapagos Isabela Island , June 2014

Galapagos Venture, June 2014

Articles on Ecuador

Five of our favourite things about Ecuador

Posted on Wed, 19 Nov 2014

Sure, Ecuador doesn’t have the famous ruins of Peru or the culinary draw of Argentina, but it still belongs on your ‘go to’ list for a South American adventure.

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The Galapagos Islands: where wildlife abounds

Posted on Wed, 6 Aug 2014

Over 1000km west of the mainland of Ecuador you'll find something special and it's called the Galapagos Islands.

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Saving the Galapagos

Posted on Mon, 10 Mar 2014

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

Posted on Fri, 7 Feb 2014

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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About Ecuador

At a glance

Trips Available: 13
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

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

Citizens of the Republic of China, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan and Somalia, require an appropriate visa to enter 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: [site:intrepid_insurance_link]
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

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.

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

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