Cuenca, Ecuador holidays

Ecuador Holidays

Ecuador is the second smallest country in South America and yet within its borders you can find a microcosm of the entire continent – hence the joy of an Ecuador holiday. Not surprising then that Ecuador tourist board coined the phrase 'All you need is Ecuador' given that they have mountains and beaches as well as the Amazon. Although the Galapagos Islands attract large numbers of visitors, not so many take the additional time to explore the Ecuadorian mainland. There you can find villages and markets which are truly local and not catering to tourists. It is just a delight.

What to expect on your Ecuadorian holiday

One of the biggest benefits of a trip to Ecuador is that you don't get the same concentrations of visitors that can be found in surrounding countries. Quito, the second highest capital in the world at 2,800m, was one of the world’s first UNESCO Heritage Sites, dates from 900AD and is well worth a visit. Outside the capital you will find small villages with weekly markets where foreign faces are rare and traditional clothes prevail. Culture aside, the landscape is gorgeous and displays the lush green beauty of the tropics with brightly coloured birds flashing in the trees.

Ecuador is small and short distances mean that travelling between the various regions is not complicated or tiring and allows you the opportunity of staying in Amazonian wildlife lodges, walking or riding in the Andes.

Some ideas for an Ecuador holiday

  • Galapagos Islands cruise.
  • Alternatively, stay in one of the luxury lodges for a different Galapagos holiday.
  • Stay in a traditional hacienda and explore rural villages dwarfed by the 200 mile Avenue of Volcanoes.
  • Experience true Amazonian rainforest and learn its secrets while staying in a comfortable jungle lodge.
  • Idle away a few days on the Pacific coast where there is not only delicious food but pre-Columbian ruins to satisfy the restless.
  • Visit the largest craft market in South America at Otavalo.
  • Climb Cotopaxi Volcano.

Beyond the Ordinary

Charter a yacht for your very own Galapagos cruise or spend time with the Huaorani tribe and explore the Amazon through their eyes.

Our Ecuador Holiday Expertise

Although James is responsible for designing holidays to Ecuador, we have various other members of the office who have visited Ecuador on a number of occasions and consider it their favourite country in South America. We know it well and can suggest an Ecuador holiday idea for travellers of any age. 

Ecuador FAQs

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Is travelling to Ecuador safe?
As with everywhere you should take precautions about not walking around at night and avoid certain areas of the city of Quito – your guide will advise you of these upon your arrival. Avoid travel at night as this is a time petty crime can occur. Make sure you only take registered taxis booked by hotels.
When should I travel to Ecuador?
Ecuador is at its best June to November. Travel is possible outside of this time but be prepared for rain. Galapagos is a year round destination with seasonal variations.
What can I expect travelling in Ecuador?
Distances are relatively small within Ecuador and you can expect fascinating culture, great wildlife and incredible scenery.
What is the typical food and drink in Ecuador?
Ecuadorian food is based around meat or fish, plantain and rice and is generally cheap, tasty and plentiful. With many of exotic fruits to hand in this tropical country expect to eat maracuya (passion fruit), naranjilla and guanabana which are served as juices and ice cream.
Are there any festivals I can see during my trip, or spend time with ‘real’ locals?
Ecuador hosts many festivals which generally have a political or religious derivation involving dancing and very authentic markets to visit for all to visit, with Easter celebration being particularly important.
Will I suffer with the altitude?
Quito is at a height of 2,800 metres, so spending your first day there taking it relatively easy is recommended. Staying hydrated and maintaining a lazy pace will help you no end. Also, don’t eat too much in the evenings, because your slowed rate of digestion will keep you awake. Go careful with alcohol too, you will find it affects you quicker up there.
What’s the weather like?
Different all over and very British in its temperamental nature. There are three vertical bands in Ecuador; from west to east- Pacific, Andes, Amazon with varying weather patterns. The driest time to visit the Pacific and Andes regions is June to October. In the rainforest, surprisingly, you should always be prepared for rain – it’s what makes it so magical.

Holidays

Amazon Cruise - Wildlife and Communities with Benedict Allen

wildlife group tour

Amazon Cruise - Wildlife and Communities with Benedict Allen

Swim and kayak with pink river dolphin in the Napo River, camp out on the shores of the Amazon, e...

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Cruise the Galapagos Islands with Liz Bonnin

wildlife group tour

Cruise the Galapagos Islands with Liz Bonnin

Join our exclusive Galapagos holiday travelling with Liz Bonnin, a leading science and natural hi...

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Ecuador - Highlights of Ecuador

Highlights of Ecuador, Highlands & Amazon

This holiday in Ecuador encompasses just some of the highlights on offer in this beautiful and di...

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Ecuador - Amazon, Andes and Galapagos

Ecuador Amazon, Andes and Galapagos

This holiday takes in three distinct regions of Ecuador - Amazon Rainforest, the Avenue of Volcan...

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Ecuador - Andes and Amazon by boat

Ecuador Andes & Amazon by Boat

Explore the Amazon Rainforest from the comforts of a boat. Then, in contrast to the hot...

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Galapagos - Family Holiday in Ecuador and Galapagos Islands

Family Holiday in Ecuador and Galapagos Islands

This two-week family holiday suggestion visits some of the most iconic sights in South America - ...

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Ecuador - Family Adventure

Family Adventure in Ecuador

This nine day Ecuador holiday fits into a half term break and covers two locations that are packe...

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Peru - Peru, Ecuador and Galapagos

Peru, Ecuador and Galapagos Holiday

This holiday encompasses just some of the highlights on offer in Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos ...

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Cruise the Galapagos Islands with Richard Dawkins

wildlife group tour

Cruise the Galapagos Islands with Richard Dawkins

Join our exclusive Galapagos holiday travelling with Richard Dawkins, probably the best known evo...

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Ecuador - Haciendas, Cloud Forest and Galapagos in Style

Ecuador Haciendas, Cloud Forest and Galapagos

Ecuador is a small country but with a diverse mix of landscapes and high end accommodation. This ...

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Inspiration

Mashpi Lodge, Mindo

Mashpi Lodge - Amazing Hotels on the BBC

In episode 2 of BBC2's Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond the Lobby Giles Coren and Monica Galetti travel into the Ecuadorian cloud forest to spend time at the contemporary and luxurious Mashpi Lodge
Both James and Roxy have stayed at Mashpi Lodge and spent time exploring the jungle canopies from the gondola sky bike.
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View from skybike, Mashpi Lodge, Mindo

New Species of Magnolia Found

Discovered in the Ecuadorian Cloud Forest, within the Mashpi Reserve. Named Magnolia Mashpi, this scientific discovery was made much easier through the use of the Dragonfly cable car system at Mashpi Lodge. Weaving more than two kilometres through the rainforest canopies this canopy gondola allows guests at the lodge the chance to truly immerse themselves in the forest. The new species is one of the tallest trees found in the Reserve and produces beautiful spoon shaped cream coloured flowers. 
Huaorani Tribe, Ecuador

Our Last Chance to Save the Amazon

Oil exploitation in the Ecuadorian Amazon is consuming more and more of the pristine rainforest. The Huaorani lifestyle and culture is under threat, but there is something you can do about it.

The Huaorani have created a model to try to sustain their lifestyle through ecotourism. 

There is an opportunity to experience travel unlike anywhere else in the world: delve deep into the Amazon, stay at a first class lodge and experience the culture of the Huaorani people in the middle of the most biodiverse place on Earth.

They are not asking for charity; they are asking for an opportunity to strengthen a sustainable tourism model to help preserve this unique forest culture in one of the world's most priceless ecosystems.

The Huaorani invite you to help make sustainability more profitable than exploitation.

WATCH THE VIDEO ON THE HUAORANI

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Giant Otter, Manu National Park, Amazon, Peru

Giant River Otters at Sacha Lodge

A giant river otter has been spotted from the lakeside dining area for the first time at Sacha Lodge. The otter has decided to stay in Pilchicocha Lake in front of Sacha Lodge and has been joined by a second otter. The pair are now seen daily around the lodge.
The arrival of the otters at Sacha Lodge speaks volumes for the health of the surrounding rainforest: The Giant River Otter is an apex predator, which are usually among the first animals to disappear from an unhealthy ecosystem.
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Client Reviews

La Compania Church, Quito, Ecuador
''The best travel service ...
... we have ever had.''
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Ronald Gilson

Ecuador & The Galapagos Islands
Hummingbird, Ecuador
''As usual all aspects of this trip went like clockwork, even though we were in South America where timings can be different to other parts of the world. 
This we put down to the work done by the travel expert and their knowledge of the country visited.''
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Heather Bronson

Ecuador & The Galapagos Islands
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FLIGHT INFORMATION

16 hours from UK
(via Madrid or Amsterdam)

Holiday Ideas in Ecuador

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