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 holiday deals in Ecuador

Departing Days Price USD
1 Aug 2016 Active Galapagos 10 $3457
13 Aug 2016 Active Galapagos 10 $3457
15 Aug 2016 Active Galapagos 10 $3457
20 Aug 2016 Active Galapagos 10 $3457
22 Aug 2016 Active Galapagos 10 $3457

All our Ecuador trips

USD $3,325
CAD $3,669
AUD $3,909
EUR €2,721
GBP £2,009
NZD $4,221
ZAR R36,200
CHF FR2,772
Amazing wildlife, both on land and underwater, is the drawcard of the remote Galapagos Islands. Tour the Galapagos'...
USD $3,204
CAD $3,522
AUD $3,769
EUR €2,611
GBP £1,932
NZD $4,054
ZAR R34,779
CHF FR2,673
Come face-to-face with the extraordinary central islands of the Galapagos. Snorkel with sharks off Isla Bartolome,...
USD $2,175
CAD $2,485
AUD $2,629
EUR €1,778
GBP £1,363
NZD $2,852
ZAR R24,517
CHF FR1,815
USD $6,512
CAD $7,144
AUD $7,645
EUR €5,294
GBP £3,923
NZD $8,222
ZAR R70,523
CHF FR5,420
Visit South America and travel to the Galapagos Islands, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia. Visit Quito, San Cristobal, Lima,...
USD $3,324
CAD $3,792
AUD $3,982
EUR €2,707
GBP £2,061
NZD $4,366
ZAR R37,443
CHF FR2,772
Travel from Ecuador’s striking capital to the Galapagos Islands. Explore the archipelago’s rich history, dazzling...
USD $2,433
CAD $2,685
AUD $2,869
EUR €1,989
GBP £1,469
NZD $3,089
ZAR R26,492
CHF FR2,032
Travel to the Galapagos Islands from Quito, Ecuador. Tour the Galapagos' highlights from Isla San Cristobal to Isla...
USD $5,508
CAD $6,032
AUD $6,456
EUR €4,472
GBP £3,316
NZD $6,804
ZAR R59,504
CHF FR4,576
Discover the lush beauty of the Amazon, the elegance of Buenos Aires and the awe-inspiring history of the Incas in...
USD $1,070
CAD $1,190
AUD $1,269
EUR €883
GBP £648
NZD $1,367
ZAR R11,727
Experience the Galapagos without breaking the bank. Visit the islands of Isabela, Santa Cruz and San Cristobal and...
USD $2,235
CAD $2,463
AUD $2,632
EUR €1,825
GBP £1,350
NZD $2,830
ZAR R24,306
CHF FR1,866
Discover the natural treasures of the Galapagos Islands. Snorkel with sea lions in the waters of Santa Fe, visit the...
USD $5,800
CAD $6,672
AUD $7,004
EUR €4,809
GBP £3,633
NZD $7,681
ZAR R65,855
CHF FR4,921
Travel to the Galapagos Islands and embark on a sailing adventure around southern islands that serve as a paradise...
USD $4,253
CAD $4,897
AUD $5,138
EUR €3,532
GBP £2,664
NZD $5,633
ZAR R48,338
CHF FR3,611
Sail the aquamarine waters of the Galapagos’ central southern islands taking in Mosquera, Cerro Dragon, Isla Rabida,...
USD $7,808
CAD $8,544
AUD $9,148
EUR €6,336
GBP £4,696
NZD $9,836
ZAR R84,320
CHF FR6,484
Prepare yourself for the ultimate South American adventure starting in Ecuador. From the dizzying heights of the...
USD $2,832
CAD $3,262
AUD $3,423
EUR €2,352
GBP £1,772
NZD $3,754
ZAR R32,210
CHF FR2,407
Take to cerulean waters to explore the beautiful Galapagos Islands. See huge populations of animals and experience...
USD $4,253
CAD $4,897
AUD $5,138
EUR €3,532
GBP £2,664
NZD $5,633
ZAR R48,338
CHF FR3,611
Travel to the Galapagos Islands and sail around the central eastern islands, witnessing amazing wildlife and visiting...
USD $2,948
CAD $3,228
AUD $3,456
EUR €2,392
GBP £1,768
NZD $3,640
ZAR R31,844
CHF FR2,448
Experience the best of Ecuador and Peru: the Amazon Jungle, street food in Cusco, Andean family homestays at Lake...
USD $1,809
CAD $2,073
AUD $2,173
EUR €1,480
GBP £1,122
NZD $2,377
ZAR R20,430
CHF FR1,515
Travel to the Galapagos Islands and see the unique Scalesia cloud forest, myriad birdlife of Isla Española and...
USD $1,995
CAD $2,355
AUD $2,470
EUR €1,745
GBP £1,280
NZD $2,695
ZAR R8,420
CHF FR1,795
Venture into Ecuador's lush Amazon rainforest in search of monkeys, caimans, pumas, sloths and birdlife. Stay in a...
USD $1,720
CAD $2,015
AUD $2,115
EUR €1,495
GBP £1,095
NZD $2,320
ZAR R33,290
CHF FR1,530
Journey deep into the Amazon and spend three days in the jungle searching for wildlife, walking around Pilchicocha...
USD $2,535
CAD $2,923
AUD $3,066
EUR €2,107
GBP £1,586
NZD $3,358
ZAR R28,832
CHF FR2,155
Explore the central islands of the Galapagos on this startling adventure that highlights the best of the San...
USD $630
CAD $740
AUD $775
EUR €545
GBP £400
NZD $850
ZAR R7,285
Set off on an Digital Detox adventure through Ecuador. See the Amazon, visit Banos and discover historic Quito on...
USD $652
CAD $720
AUD $765
EUR €531
GBP £391
NZD $810
ZAR R7,078
Set off on an adventure through stunning Ecuador. Travel through the Amazon Jungle, visit laidback Banos and discover...
USD $5,840
CAD $6,528
AUD $6,851
EUR €4,753
GBP £3,551
NZD $7,513
ZAR R64,371
CHF FR4,956
Travel to Ecuador and the wildlife-rich shores of the Galapagos Islands. Then visit Peru and embark on an Inca Trail...
USD $1,810
CAD $2,376
AUD $2,329
EUR €1,631
GBP £1,199
NZD $2,503
ZAR R21,902
CHF FR1,683
Take an exciting overland trip through Colombia. Travel from Quito to Cartagena, visiting Los Nevados NP, Cali,...
USD $11,175
CAD $14,617
AUD $14,405
EUR €10,098
GBP £7,408
NZD $15,492
ZAR R134,276
CHF FR10,870
Visit South America and travel through Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador. Follow the Inca trail and...
USD $1,875
CAD $2,460
AUD $2,405
EUR €1,689
GBP £1,242
NZD $2,590
ZAR R22,585
CHF FR1,836
Visit South America and travel through Ecuador and Peru on a tour from Quito to Lima. Explore the Amazon Jungle, Rio...
USD $11,205
CAD $14,657
AUD $14,445
EUR €10,128
GBP £7,428
NZD $15,532
ZAR R135,269
CHF FR10,953
Visit South America and travel through Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile and Brazil. Follow the Inca trail,...
USD $1,800
CAD $2,363
AUD $2,316
EUR €1,622
GBP £1,192
NZD $2,489
ZAR R35,816
CHF FR2,938
Take an exciting overland trip through Colombia. Travel from Cartagena to Quito visiting Mompos, Medellin, Manizales,...
USD $1,032
CAD $1,210
AUD $1,270
EUR €897
GBP £657
NZD $1,392
ZAR R11,940
Embark on an unforgettable journey into Ecuador's Amazon Jungle. Search for local wildlife, float downriver by raft...
USD $1,830
CAD $2,400
AUD $2,355
EUR €1,649
GBP £1,212
NZD $2,530
ZAR R21,500
CHF FR1,746
Travel Overland from Lima, Peru, to Quito, Ecuador. Hit the beach in Punta Sal, get daring in Banos and go camping in...
USD $2,232
CAD $2,616
AUD $2,747
EUR €1,939
GBP £1,424
NZD $2,953
ZAR R18,407
CHF FR1,985
Travel from Quito out to the gorgeous Galapagos Islands. Sail pristine waters, be awed by the friendly wildlife and...
USD $2,832
CAD $3,262
AUD $3,423
EUR €2,352
GBP £1,772
NZD $3,754
ZAR R32,210
CHF FR2,407
Take to cerulean waters to explore the beautiful Galapagos Islands. See huge populations of animals and experience...
USD $3,395
CAD $3,912
AUD $4,104
EUR €2,819
GBP £2,128
NZD $4,496
ZAR R38,590
CHF FR2,886
Explore the Islands of the Galapagos on this startling adventure that highlights the best of Isabela, Floreana and...
USD $525
CAD $615
AUD $645
EUR €455
GBP £335
NZD $695
ZAR R8,930
Get way out of town and head into the Amazon on this unique Ecuador community experience. Learn about local life, see...
USD $3,365
CAD $3,944
AUD $4,142
EUR €2,318
GBP £2,144
NZD $4,450
ZAR R33,202
CHF FR2,991
Take your family on a holiday with a difference to the Galapagos Islands. Snorkel with sea lions at Isla san...
USD $15,205
CAD $20,545
AUD $19,600
EUR €13,680
GBP £10,165
NZD $21,080
ZAR R183,070
CHF FR15,235
Travel the length of the Americas from North through Central and to the very tip of the South. From Anchorage to...
USD $10,010
CAD $11,507
AUD $12,079
EUR €8,289
GBP £6,263
NZD $13,246
ZAR R113,595
CHF FR8,486
Take an in depth cruise through the beautiful Galapagos Islands, exploring islas Isabella, Floreana and Espanola,...
USD $4,253
CAD $4,897
AUD $5,138
EUR €3,532
GBP £2,664
NZD $5,633
ZAR R48,338
CHF FR3,611
Sail through the clear waters, meet the unique animals and soak in the beautiful and unusual landscapes of the...

Ecuador trip reviews

Our Ecuador trips score an average of 4.63 out of 5 based on 531 reviews in the last year.

Classic Galapagos - Southern Islands (Queen Beatriz) Deluxe Double , July 2016

Craig Lineham

Galapagos Island Hopping , June 2016

Elba Cruz

Articles on Ecuador

Traveller stories: an Amazon adventure at Shiripuno Lodge

Posted on Tue, 5 Jul 2016

There's only one place you need to stay to experience the real Amazon. This is it.

Read more

Traveller stories: 5 times technology ruined my trip

Posted on Thu, 2 Jun 2016

Technology has changed the way we live our day-to-day lives and (for worse or for better) it’s also changing the way we travel...

Read more

We sent an internet addict on a trip without phones. This is what happened

Posted on Thu, 5 May 2016

No phone. No internet. No cheating.

Read more

The best (and worst) times to visit the Galapagos Islands – infographic

Posted on Wed, 6 May 2015

When to go and what to see in the Galapagos Islands.

Read more

About Ecuador

At a glance

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

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: 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:

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:

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The World Health Organisation

also provides useful health information:
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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!

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