Ecuador Tours & Travel

Ecuador means “equator,” and no visit to this Latin American jewel is complete without a visit to Mitad del Mundo, the famous point near Quito dividing the two hemispheres. But the glories of Ecuador go far beyond your GPS. Native Indian markets, a corridor of active volcanoes, Amazonian rainforests, the oldest Spanish colonial churches in the Americas, wildlife preserves on the Galapagos Islands, as well as the vibrant coastal culture of Guayaquil, the country’s main port: all of this combines to make this small Andean nation one of South America’s—no, the world’s—most beautiful places. Experience it by land or sea with one of our Ecuador Tours & Travel Packages.

“Everything was great. Ecuador as a country was beautiful and all your tour guides were excellent.”

Alka Patel

Featured Ecuador Tours

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10 Best Ecuador Tours for 2021-2022

Tour Name Price Duration Description
Quito and 4 Day Manatee Amazon Explorer Cruise $2,619 7 Days Explore Ecuador’s Amazon Basin on this four day cruise aboard the Manatee Amazon Explorer. Starting in Quito, enjoy a city tour and visit to the…
Quito and 5 Day Anakonda Cruise $3,879 8 Days Experience the Ecuadorian Amazon on this five day cruise aboard the luxurious Anakonda. Starting in Quito, you will have a city tour and then visit…
Quito and 4 Day Galapagos Legend Cruise – Eastern Islands $2,709 7 Days Experience Quito and the Eastern Galapagos Islands on this wondrous tour of Ecuador. In Quito, the country’s capital and a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site…
Quito and 5 Day Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel $3,589 8 Days Discover the endemic wildlife and volcanic landscapes of the Galapagos Islands on this tour. With the Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel as your base for five…
Otavalo, Chaski Route Train, and 4 Day Galapagos Legend Cruise $3,229 9 Days This popular tour begins in Quito, the first city to be included on UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage list due to its art and architecture. It…
Otavalo, Avenue of the Volcanoes, and 5 Day Galapagos Legend Cruise $4,889 13 Days Combining the Highlands of Ecuador with the Galapagos Islands is a great way to experience the cultural and natural wonders of this small Andean country…
Galapagos, Machu Picchu, and the Amazon $4,999 16 Days Galapagos, Machu Picchu, and the Peruvian Amazon are three of the most popular destinations in South America. Your tour will begin in Quito, which has…
Luxury Galapagos and the Amazon $7,319 12 Days Embark on this journey to explore the Galapagos Islands and Ecuador’s Amazon Basin. The tour begins with a city tour of Quito and excursion to…
Galapagos and Machu Picchu with 7 Day Santa Cruz II Cruise $7,889 15 Days Galapagos and Machu Picchu are two of the most popular destinations in South America. Your tour begins in Quito, which has a well-preserved colonial…
Luxury Galapagos and Machu Picchu $10,379 13 Days Treat yourself to the finest accommodations in Ecuador and Peru on this fabulous journey. In Quito, you will stay at Casa Gangotena, a boutique luxury…

Ecuador Travel Guide

When is the best time to travel to Ecuador?

Due to its mild climate, Ecuador is a year-round destination. High season is mid-December through January and June through August. See all Ecuador FAQ.

The Best Places to Visit in Ecuador

Ecuador means “Equator,” and when you visit, you’ll doubtless end up snapping selfies at Mitad del Mundo, the huge tourist complex through which (supposedly) the Big Line itself passes. Geographic abstractions apart, however, this small Andean nation blows nearly everyone who visits it away with its sheer diversity. Soaring cordilleras, smoking volcanoes, lush rainforests: South America’s second-smallest Spanish-speaking country crams bewildering territorial variety into a package the size of Nevada. No wonder choosing the best places to visit in Ecuador can be so challenging.

1. The Galapagos Islands

Ecuador’s top attraction needs no introduction. Ever since Charles Darwin first visited in 1835, this isolated archipelago has been renowned for its pristine wildlife and volcanic landscapes. Today, cruise ships and dinghies let you meet the uncowed animals up close, while the Galapagos’ sustainable infrastructure…

2. Quito

The first city on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites, Ecuador’s gorgeous capital has been called the “Florence of the Andes” for its stunning baroque churches. But Quito is more than gold-plated cupolas and colonial convents. The city’s TelefériQo ski lift whisks visitors up the towering slopes of Mt. Pichincha…

3. Otavalo

Otavalo’s weaving traditions date back centuries, well before the time of the Incas. Today, however, its Saturday market is chaotically modern, full of peasant blouses, scarves, fruits, alpaca sweaters, Andean flutes, hammocks, tagua-nut jewelry, and ponchos. Many of the artisans’ workshops are on site…

4. The Ecuadorian Amazon

Unbeknownst to many, Ecuador is an Amazon country, and the activities on tap in its nearly 40,000 square miles of rainforest called El Oriente are near infinite. Curious about indigenous medicines? Visits with the Tagaeri and Taromenane tribes are available. Want to see pink dolphins? Riverboat cruises…

5. Cuenca

“Cuenca the beautiful”: this jewel of an Andean town more than lives up to its moniker. Cobbled streets, historic churches, and perfect weather make for an aesthetic experience that’s unrivaled—and a UNESCO World Heritage site to boot. In the market for a Panama hat? Don’t buy that Caribbean ticket just yet…

6. Baños

Addicted to adrenalin? Baños will give you your fix. Situated at the base of the Tungurahua Volcano, at the gateway to the Amazon, this popular town is a jumping-off point for paragliding, ATV riding, canyoning, zip-lining, rafting, you name it. There are also jungle odysseys and cable-car flyovers of the local waterfalls…

7. Guayaquil

Ecuador’s biggest city is rapidly becoming its most dynamic. Recently refurbished, the cosmopolitan port lures strollers, foodies, and pleasure-seekers with its mile-long Malecón 2000, a waterfront promenade full of museums, shops, and restaurants. At night, head to lovely Cerro Santa Ana, where the hillside streets…

Top Ecuador Travel Experiences

Ecuador Travel Articles

Ecuadorian Food: A Boom Waiting To Happen?

It’s Holy Week in Quito, and that means Alberto Alava is looking serious. The dark, mustachioed chef has his cap tilted back, concentrating intently on his work. That work includes peeling a multitude of different grains (including fava beans and chochos, a thick-skinned legume typical of the Andes),…

In Ecuador’s Avenue Of The Volcanoes, Hiking Through A Ring Of Fire

I’m standing on the brink—the very brink—of the volcano’s crater. Below me, in the carbon-rich lake, dark patches streak the green waters, which glisten with minerals. A lone sheep grazes nearby, impervious to the keening wind. Overhead, smokelike clouds, moving in off the late-afternoon peaks…

The Galapagos Islands

The Main Galapagos Islands and Visitor Sites

Marine iguanas that skitter up to you on seaside rocks, eyes darting. Frigatebirds, their crimson pouches inflating as they roost in bushes. Whitetip reef sharks, gliding past you as you snorkel in calm waters. Sound inspiring? It was to Charles Darwin, whose awe at the boldness of the Galapagos Islands’ wildlife…

Baltra Island / Bartolomé Island / Chinese Hat Islet / Eden Islet / Española Island / Fernandina Island / Floreana Island / Genovesa Island / Isabela Island / Mosquera Islet / North Seymour Island / Rábida Island / San Cristóbal Island / Santa Cruz Island / Santa Fe Island / Santiago Island / South Plaza Island

Galapagos Wildlife: 15 Iconic Species

Darwin was the first to recognize it: Galapagos wildlife is one of the true wonders of our planet. Blue-footed boobies and giant tortoises, sea lions and magnificent frigatebirds: the islands in this archipelago are aswarm with astounding species, many found nowhere else on Earth. Walking in their midst, one catches a glimpse…

American Flamingo / Blue-Footed Booby / Flightless Cormorant / Frigatebirds: Great and Magnificent / Galapagos Fur Seal / Galapagos Giant Tortoise / Galapagos Hawk / Galapagos Penguin / Galapagos Sea Lion / Land Iguana / Marine Iguana / Nazca Booby / Red-Footed Booby / Santa Fe Land Iguana / Waved Albatross

Top Galapagos Activities by Land or by Sea

So: you’ve deplaned at Baltra Island’s airport, been carted down to the docks on your shuttle, and just stepped off the barge onto Santa Cruz Island, the Galapagos’ main tourist hub. Congratulations—but don’t flop back in your hammock just yet. With 18 main islands, 107 islets, and 116 authorized visitor sites…

Galapagos Packing List: What To Bring On Your Trip

From wildlife-spotting cruises to climbing an active volcano, or snorkeling amid a rainbow of tropical fish—a visit to the Galapagos is always an adventure. But with its unique climate, remote location, and abundance of land and sea activities, it can be hard to know what to pack. Don’t worry; our Galapagos packing list…

Galapagos Wildlife Calendar

In the Galapagos Islands, wildlife is the main attraction. Below is a Galapagos Wildlife Calendar indicating what you can expect to see during each month of the year while on a Galapagos Cruise or Galapagos Land-Based Tour…

The Best Places For Snorkeling In The Galapagos

The Galapagos Marine Reserve is the second largest marine reserve in the world, and the largest in a developing country. Due to its protected status, many areas of the marine reserve are off-limits to snorkelers and divers. But there are plenty of sites open to visitors, where with just some basic snorkeling equipment…

How Darwin’s Findings in Galapagos Contributed to His Theory of Natural Selection

In 1835, not long before arriving at the Galapagos Islands, Charles Darwin wrote a letter to his friend and mentor John Stevens Henslow. “In a few days’ time,” he wrote, “the Beagle will sail for the Galapagos Islands. I look forward with joy and interest to this, both as being somewhat nearer to England…

Quito

Ten Things To Do In Quito, Ecuador

Snow-capped volcanoes…Whitewashed Spanish colonial houses…Narrow cobblestone streets that mount steeply upward, then just as steeply descend…A fantastic labyrinth of hidden passageways and noisy markets…Brilliant white sunlight that gives way in late afternoon to swirling mists off dark mountain peaks…Soaring church interiors drenched in gold…

Old Town Quito: A Walking Tour

Walking in Quito, Ecuador is a truly marvelous experience. Part of it is the visible presence of the past. As one of the two hubs of the Inca empire, and the second major city founded by the Spanish after their conquest of South America in the 1530s, Quito, with its winding cobblestone streets…

La Ronda: A Stroll Down Quito’s Most Beautiful Street

“Ten years ago nobody dared to buy a house around here. Miguel Mafla is gesticulating with his keys as he talks. At 73, the white-haired proprietor of one of Quito’s best-loved restaurants is vigorous and effusive, his conversation becoming especially animated when he talks about La Ronda…

Otavalo

Textiles And Tradition: Otavalo’s Great Market

A line of weaver women works steadily, tugging with their beaters at multicolored tapestries that slowly blossom from their backstrap looms. Hatmakers iron the brims of their creations with hot stones, leaving a silky-smooth nap. In the streets, hawkers cry out alongside rows of umbrella-covered stalls…

Ecuador Tours – Additional FAQ

What currency is used in Ecuador?

Ecuador’s currency is the U.S. Dollar. Their coins are in the same denomination as their U.S. equivalents.

What is the exchange rate?

One U.S. Dollar = one Ecuadorian Dollar.

Can I use banks, ATM machines, and credit cards in Ecuador?

Some banks in Ecuador close early, so it may be best to use ATM machines to withdraw cash. Credit cards are widely-used and we recommend them.

What is the transportation like in Ecuador?

All international flights in Ecuador fly in and out of either Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO) in Quito or Jose Joaquin de Olmedo Airport in Guayaquil (GYE), and there are domestic flights to all other major cities. Taxis and buses are widely available in most locations. Motorized canoes are used on the major rivers of the Amazon. Expedition cruise ships, small boats, and catamarans are used to travel in the Galapagos. Ecuador’s train system is being restored and several lines are used for tourist routes, including The Devil’s Nose and Tren Crucero. The Quito Metro is currently under construction.

Can I drink the water in Ecuador?

Tap water is generally safe to drink in Ecuador. However, as a precaution for tourists, we recommend that you drink bottled water. Ask for agua sin gas for uncarbonated water and for agua con gas for carbonated water.

What are the most popular foods in Ecuador?

Some of the most popular dishes are locro de papa, cuy asado, llapingachos, ceviche, and bolon de verde. Street foods such as empanadas de viento and salchipapa are also popular.

Beverages: Pinol, colada de avena, café negro, and fruit juices.

Alcoholic Beverages: Canelazo, aguardiente, and beer.

Desert: Helados de pailla and espumilla.

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