In Ecuador, holidays are as varied as the country itself, which expands from the Andes to the rainforest, as well as counting with a stretch of Pacific coastline. Travellers will experience incredibly diverse cultures, landscapes and superb wildlife. Add the Galapagos to your Ecuador tour and you will have the trip of a lifetime.
Ecuador is the smallest of the Andean countries, making it an ideal location to move around between its incredible travel highlights. It is perfect for active travellers, wildlife enthusiasts and families looking to maximise their Andean experience in this welcoming holiday destination.
Top of the list of your active Ecuador holiday are surely the majestic Andes, with their impressive snow-capped giants in the Avenue of the Volcanoes. It’s a trekkers paradise, with fantastic lodge-to-lodge multi-day treks, or scenic day hikes in the foothills of mighty volcanoes. Stay at a working hacienda, enjoying the remote beauty of the Andean highlands. Those wishing to challenge themselves may decide to scale said volcanoes, with great opportunities for novice and experienced mountaineers to climb Cotopaxi, Cayambe and Chimborazo.
Wildlife enthusiasts will want to include some days in Ecuador’s rainforest. Some eco-lodges are on the periphery of the Amazon basin and offer a quick and easy escape into its humid woodland. Others require a short plane journey but will take you further into a wildlife-rich rainforest. Here you have excellent opportunities to spot monkeys, macaws, caimans, otters and other mammals.
Ecuador tours also offer white-water rafting, whale watching and surfing on the Pacific coast, as well as some excellent horse riding and biking for anybody seeking thrills and action. Those travelling with young families will find plenty of softer adventures, too, and a network of roads that make travel easy while keeping distances small.
The Unesco World Heritage Old Town of Quito is a place to soak up the atmosphere with its cobbled streets and busy squares, its colonial churches and remains of a rich Inca and pre-Inca past.
Near Quito, you will find colourful indigenous markets and small, traditional towns – the most famous being the Saturday market at Otavalo. Within an hour you reach the equator line, Mitad del Mundo, as well as Andean landscapes and volcanic crater lagoons. Beautiful traditional costumes and vibrant colours can be seen everywhere as you travel the countryside in our Ecuador tours.
Venture just a little further, a mere 2-hour drive, and base yourself at one of the fantastic eco-lodges in the cloud forest. Here you will find a forest at a higher altitude of around 2000m, home to a network of trails and a myriad of birds – and famous for its hummingbirds. Come here in bear season, and you are in for a special treat as you spot the Spectacled Bear foraging amongst orchids.
Leave Ecuador’s mainland behind and board a plane to the Galapagos islands. Join a Galapagos Cruise or explore the Enchanted Islands as part of an island-hopping land-based trip. You will find an incredible amount of wildlife in this archipelago, famous for its giant tortoises, tame sea lions, blue-footed boobies and Galapagos iguanas to name a few. The bird life is a dream, the underwater world a paradise waiting to be explored on daily snorkelling trips. Getting close-up to incredible wildlife will be a memory cherished forever – all in a setting of stark, iconic volcanic landscapes.
Don’t forget to read our Ecuador Travel Highlights Guide, discover our Ecuador tours or contact us for more.
Raft and Kayak
Below you will find a few of the many attractions Ecuador has to offer for your holiday.
Cotopaxi National Park is dominated by the almost perfect cone shape of Cotopaxi (5,897m/19,347ft), an active volcano and the second highest mountain in Ecuador after Chimborazo.
The national park is well worth a visit for trekking in the foothills, climbing smaller peaks like Ruminahui, downhill mountain biking, horse riding or just enjoying the National Park itself.
The surrounding páramo is good for bird watching – you may see condors soaring above.
There are lots of lovely hacienda and mountain refugios to stay at in and around the park, and from which there are a variety of walks, horse rides and bike rides for all levels.
Ecuador’s cloud forest covers its rolling hillsides as they descend from the high Andean plateaus into the rain forest or down to the Pacific coast.
Most of this tropical forest lies between 1,200-2,700m/3,937-8,858ft above sea level, an evergreen, lush and moist forest, teeming with bird and insect life.
Much of the cloud forest is readily accessible from Quito making it perfect a 2 or 3-day stay.
There are many lodges with virgin forest, home to a dazzling variety of hummingbirds, refreshing waterfalls for swimming, zip lining and wildlife walks.
The humming birds, Cock of the Rock and the chance of spotting larger mammals such as the spectacled bears are just some of the attractions of spending some time in this amazing ecosystem.
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FANTASTIC! The trip was magical, magnificent and great fun and much of that is credit to you for helping us build such a wonderful holiday.
All of our guides and drivers were excellent but of course some were more exceptional than others. The driver who took us around on our last day in Cusco was better than most guides.
Coral I, Galapagos – On Galapagos we had 2 absolutely brilliant guides.
The boat was excellent and although the itinerary had changed slightly we had a fantastic array of experiences on many different islands. The accommodation was good and we are very pleased we upgraded. Being downstairs helped on those nights that the boat was moving in choppy waters as it only has a 2m draught and so can sway quite heavily.
Food was unbelievably good and plentiful given the limited resources. Extra snacks were provided when we came back from swimming/snorkelling and hot drinks were available 24 hours.
We had a memorable holiday and we thank you for all you did to make it work so well.
In summary, it was terrific and we have already, and will continue to sing the praises of Andean Trails.
D Levy, UK, 2017
» Coral I & II Galapagos Cruise Yachts
It has been the perfect trip. The accommodations were really nice excluding Banos (but I think that the town has not much more to offer).Your partner volcano climbing agency has provided a really outstanding service (precise,accurate,friendly) thanks to Rami and Wil the climbing guides (a real nice guy).On our side we have been very happy to achieve a 100% success rate in our climbing activity despite despite some very nasty weather on Cotopaxi. At the final end I have to make you my best compliments for the excellent service you provided us.Talk you soon
A. Fotti , Italy, 2010
» Chimborazo & Cotopaxi Climb
Students Study Food Insecurity & Climate Change in Peru University of Edinburgh students and teachers report back from Peru, where they learned how traditional farming techniques could help prevent climate change and reduce food insecurity. The team visited coastal Lima, the Cusco Highlands, and the cloud forest. For Andean Trails and our local team, it was a chance to showcase a side of Peru that many visitors may not see when passing through. It went so well that the University has already signed up its team to another Food Security tour in the spring of 2024. Learning About …
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