As one of the smallest countries in Latin America, Ecuador packs a surprisingly big punch. It is among one of the most diverse countries on the planet, from the unique endemic species of the Galapágos Islands to the snow-capped peaks of the magnificent Andes Mountains and the mysterious cloud forest. Ecuador holidays usually begin in the charming capital city of Quito; the historic centre has been restored in recent years and is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, home to colonial relics and glorious architecture. The city is the second highest capital in South America and, despite being just 35km from the Equator, the altitude means it retains spring-like temperatures almost all year round. Travel just an hour south of Quito, however and you’ll find an entirely different setting: the Avenue of Volcanoes. There are many active volcanoes leading south towards Cuenca, where a patchwork quilt of fields creep up steep mountain slopes until they become dusted with snow. The tangled jungle of the Amazon stretches as far as Ecuador, while the coastal lowlands are replete with unspoilt beaches to explore, along with archaeological sites. As a year round destination the best time to visit Ecuador is really based on what you wish to get out of your holiday. The mainland is generally ideal all year however the Galápagos Islands are best outside of July to September, which sees colder waters and choppy seas.
Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands Family Adventure
It would be hard to better Ecuador and the Galapagos for a family holiday to remember. Colonial and Inca ruins, verdant rainforests, mountain-ringed capital cities and towering volcanoes make the mainland a destination to visit in itself, but there are also the Galapagos Islands to consider. Imagine a holiday where your kids can swim with sea lions and penguins, visit coves where pirates once stashed their wares or explore tortoise habitats?
Luxury Ecuador Explorer
Travel to Ecuador and experience luxury in South America, including exclusive accommodation choices. Stay in a mix of boutique hotels, characterful eco-lodges and indulgent tented camps. The highlight of your trip is surely the Galapagos Islands, where you’ll experience the incredible biodiversity that so inspired Charles Darwin all those years ago.
Natural Highlights of Ecuador
There are few places on Earth where you’ll find biodiversity as impressive as the Galapágos Islands. Located a few hours from the coast of Ecuador, the volcanoes, lava cliffs and tangled scrub might appear, at first glance, the last place to expect nature’s bounty, but a surprising array of bird, reptile and marine animal species have evolved to inhabit the archipelago of some 21 islands straddling both sides of the Equator.