Ecuador is split into three contrasting regions – the Amazon rainforest to the east, Andean cloud forests, snow-capped mountains and volcanoes running through the centre and the lowlands and beaches along the Pacific coast to the west. Six hundred miles out in the Pacific Ocean lie the unique Galapagos Islands.
Over hundreds of years, Ecuador’s lush geography has attracted Inca settlers and Spanish invaders alike and today such a colourful history is prevalent in it’s towns and cities as well as the the hilltops of the Sierra.
The charming colonial haciendas in the highlands offer cultural
experiences taking their guests to explore the indigenous villages coupled with organising guided walks in the National Parks, climbing volcanoes and riding in the hills.
The Amazon Jungle is only a 30 minute flight away from Quito making it an easy destination to include a rainforest adventure. The lodges are all small and are run extremely well by the local people.
A sailing trip to the Galapagos tends to be the highlight of any holiday to Ecuador. It’s a once in a lifetime destination and the key is to choose the right boat that suits your style and comfort needs.
WHEN TO GO: Mainland Ecuador can be visited all year round however expect more rain between January and March. Often combined with a week sailing around the Galapagos Islands which can also be visited all year round. The highlands are drier from June to October when there can also be a garua mist. December to April are the warmest months but do expect the occasional rainfall. The flora and fauna in the Galapagos are active all year round.
WHO FOR: This is a destination for the outdoor and nature lover. If budget allows, a week on a boat in the Galapagos is a must – either charter a small sailing boat with friends and family or otherwise sail in a bit more comfort on a mid-range boat like La Pinta or the Eclipse.
TYPE OF HOLIDAY: Riding Safari, Trekking and Mountain Climbing, Nature and Wildlife, Boating, Honeymoon with a difference.
CURRENCY: US Dollar
FLIGHT TIME: 14.5 hrs from UK (in-direct from UK)
VISA: Not needed for UK passport holders
TIME DIFFERENCE: GMT – 5 hours
COMBINES WELL WITH: Peru