Ecuador Tours

Most famous for the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador tours also showcase the mainland’s spectacular scenery, wildlife, history and rich Andean culture.

When visiting South America, travellers could easily spend all their time in just Ecuador – so diverse are the landscapes. Straddling the equator which inspired its name, tiny Ecuador is easy to explore, from the Pacific Coast to the towering snow-capped volcanoes of the Andes and then back down again into pristine rainforest.  The towns of Quito and Cuenca are treasure troves of historic architecture, with beautiful churches, convents and museums.  

The UNESCO World Heritage city of Quito, famous for its beautiful colonial buildings, is often the starting point of any itinerary. From Quito discover a stunning rainforest lodge or cruise the Amazon by luxury riverboat, before exploring the towering Andean mountains or exquisite Galapagos Islands. 

The crowning jewel, the Galapagos Islands are a magnet for wildlife enthusiast and adventurers alike. Remote and starkly beautiful, this precious archipelago is filled with some of the earth’s greatest wonders from unique species to incredible landscapes. Made up of 13 main islands and countless small rocks and islets, a cruise by small ship or yacht is the best way to discover its many treasures.     

For information on the Galapagos Islands, please click here.

Best places to go in Ecuador

Santa Ana de los Ríos de Cuenca

The historic centre of Santa Ana de los Ríos de Cuenca (Cuenca for short) is one of the country’s most beautiful cities.

Colonial Cuenca

Colonial Cuenca

Canoeing down the Amazon

The Amazon is the world’s largest tropical rainforest, roughly 5.5 million square kilometres in size and incredibly rich in biodiversity.

Amazon Eco Lodges

Amazon Eco Lodges

View of the towers of the Basilica in Quito, Ecuador

Ecuador’s historic capital, Quito was founded in the 16th century on the ruins of an Incan city

Quito

Quito

Featured

Best Ecuador holidays

Galapagos Extravaganza

This 15 day/14 night itinerary combines the very best of the southern, north and central islands exploring Floreana, Espanola, San Cristobal, Santa Cruz, South Plaza and North Seymour islands.

Recommended

Best places to stay in Ecuador

Casa Gangotena

Situated on Plaza San Francisco in the heart of Quito’s historic centre, Casa Gangotena is the city’s leading luxury hotel.

Finch Bay Hotel

Located on the south side of Santa Cruz Island, this stunning hotel is positioned in the heart of the Galapagos archipelago.

Mashpi Lodge

Hidden amongst pristine cloud forest in the Andean foothills, Mashpi Lodge is Ecuador’s premier eco-lodge.

Pikaia Lodge

Perched on the edge of an extinct volcano this remarkable lodge boasts some of the most spectacular views in the Galapagos Islands

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Talk to one of our South America Experts

Taleen Gaidzkar

Senior Destination Specialist

Natasha Redondo

Destination Specialist

When is the best time to visit Ecuador? 

Generally, Ecuador has two seasons, wet and dry; however local weather patterns vary greatly depending on geography. In the highlands, the dry season is June-September and December, but there are many places where you can get all four seasons in one day. As for the country’s cultural attractions, Ecuador’s cities can be explored year-round along with the Amazon – which can experience rainforest-like conditions (intermittent rain) at any time.   

Generally the coolest and wettest period of time in Ecuador. The Galapagos Islands are still very popular at this time of year (yet not at their peak) as the waters are at their warmest and clearest – ideal for snorkelling. On the mainland rainfall is often in the form of afternoon showers.     

The direst months in Ecuador are generally between June and September with blue skies and warm days not infrequent, and therefore a popular time to travel. If travelling to Ecuador at this time of year, consider combining a visit with neighbouring Peru. June to September is one of the busiest (and best) times to visit top sights such as Machu Picchu.

The most popular time to visit Ecuador, particularly over December and early January during school holidays. The waters around the Galapagos Islands begin to warm up at this time of year.    

Ecuador FAQ’s

Ecuador has a number of extremely luxurious riverboats that offer guests a chance to explore the remarkable Amazon Rainforest on either 4, 5 or 8-day itineraries. These itineraries offer in-depth exploration in total luxury and style.

Ecuador offers visitors a chance to explore a small section of the Amazon Rainforest. There are a host of exclusive ecolodges in Ecuador’s Amazon Rainforest where guests can explore on foot, by canoe or in tall observation towers. Ecuador also has a few ultra-luxurious riverboats that act as the perfect base to explore the rainforest.

When visiting Ecuador, it is easy to combine the Galapagos Islands and the Amazon Rainforest. Both destinations offer luxury cruises or lodge-based accommodation options. They are easily combinable, ideally with a stay in the historic capital Quito to break up your journey.

Ecuador Overview

What is the best thing to do in Ecuador?
Ecuador offers an incredible array of experiences within its borders; from heritage-rich colonial cities and luxurious rainforest lodges to opulent Amazon River cruises and exciting rail journey’s – there is something for everyone to enjoy. Most compelling of all is the wild beauty and unique fauna of the Galapagos Islands.

Ecuador Culture
From Amazonian frontier towns and Pacific fishing villages, to colonial cities and country markets, Ecuador is a blend of a many cultures. The country is famous for its excellent handicrafts, whilst Afro-Ecuadorians are known for marimba, a lively form of traditional music and dance.

What can I combine Ecuador with?
Mainland Ecuador can be easily combined with a cruise through the beautiful Galapagos Islands, located just under 1000 kilometres off the coast. Neighbouring Peru is the other county most easily (and best) to combine with Ecuador. Top highlights include Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley and historic Cusco.

How do you get to Ecuador?
Ecuador’s capital Quito, and the country’s largest city Guayaquil, are the major hubs for flights into the country. Both cities are serviced by a number of airlines directly such as KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, American Airlines, Air France and United. Latam Airlines (primarily based in Santiago, Chile), is the major airline in South America and offers direct flights to number of US and European cities. The Galapagos Islands are a 2 hour flight from Quito or 1.5 hour flight from Guayaquil.

US – Ecuador is very easy to fly to from the United States. There are plenty of direct flights to either Quito or Guayaquil from a number of US cities. Airlines that fly between the countries include United Airlines, American Airlines and Latam Airlines.

Europe – There are a number of countries that operate direct flights into Ecuador from Europe including France and the Netherlands. Alternatively Latam fly to European countries such as Germany and Spain.

Sample

Ecuador Itineraries

Our selection of suggested tours in Ecuador include city stays, overland tours, rail journeys, rainforest eco-lodges, haciendas and Galapagos small ship cruises. Choose from one of our featured itineraries or let us custom design a tour to suit your to suit your interests, style and budget. To find out more about the type of Ecuador experience we can put together for you, please download pages below.

Quito & Cuenca

City Stays – Quito

Spirit of the Andes

Pathway Through The Andes

Ecuador Eco-Lodges

Ecuador Eco-Lodges

Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Islands

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