Straddling two hemispheres, Ecuador may be small but it has a dynamic character. Traditional markets, Amazon tributaries, Inca ruins, Andean peaks, colonial churches, and the wildlife havens of the Galapagos Islands… these are the radiant threads that interweave in the tapestry of Ecuador.
Once the Inca Empire’s northernmost territory, it boasts important archeological sites as well as pre-Inca fortresses. In the highland valleys, Quechua-speaking Indians continue the tradition of weaving and selling textiles, and creating artwork and handicrafts using much the same techniques as their ancestors. Some of Ecuador’s established native markets have existed for a millennium.
The beautifully preserved cities of Quito and Cuenca are noted for sumptuous 16th-century art and architecture.
The Galapagos Islands sit some 650 miles west of mainland Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean. Nothing quite compares to the thrill of observing wildlife on these natural volcanic islands, where the animals do not run or fly away when humans approach. It was here that Charles Darwin discovered conditions that helped shape his ideas on evolutionary theory. Life evolved on these islands in isolation, separate from the rest of the world. Distinctions exist even from one island to the next.
From a cloud forest mountain spa, to the backwater streams of the Amazonian rainforest; to a cruise in the Galapagos… a luxury Ecuador tour rewards its guests handsomely.
For a complete list of available Big Five Ecuador & The Galapagos tours, please visit our sister website: www.galapagos.com.
President’s Pick: Mainland Ecuador 13 Days President’s Picks Interest(s): Sustainable Travel, Adventure Travel, Recommended
Starting Price: $7,150
1 in 4 - That is the ratio of people in Ecuador that still have indigenous blood lines, very few of whom live in the Galapagos Islands. This program highlights the rich heritage, the amazing nature and the tremendous beauty of mainland Ecuador. This adventure focuses on the lesser known areas and people such as the Huaorani community deep in the Amazon jungle. Big Five launched its South American division several years ago, beginning with Ecuador, and I believe the future goes through the past.
President’s Pick: Ecuador & Galapagos 14 Days President’s Picks Interest(s): Romantic Getaways, Sustainable Travel, Safari Tours, Adventure Travel, Family Travel, Recommended
Starting Price: $11,200
“Remember 25… That represents roughly the percentage of Ecuador’s population on the mainland who are indigenous. For years, I have been concerned that Ecuador was seen only through the lens of the Galapagos Islands. Virtually all travelers were being funneled into the islands, putting pressure on the island’s resource while bypassing the rest of the nation. Yes, the islands are genuinely amazing and worth exploring, but there is more to the country. The pre-Incan cultures of Ecuador, which were later unified in the interior, all exist in areas outside the few gateway cities. These cultures still exist today, but for how much longer? Many are leaving their communities and often their traditions behind to find work in the cities. This has the effect of disrupting, sometimes permanently, their heritage for future generations. By including these traditional communities in the tourism equation, we create a win-win for all, and help us fulfill our sustainable promise. In the Galapagos, we bring the African experience to the islands using a family-owned luxury tented camp deep inside Santa Cruz National Park combined with a small vessel cruise through the outer islands. What results is a perfect marriage.”
Amazon Rainforest of Ecuador & Peru 11 Days Precious Journeys™ Interest(s):
Starting Price: $3,860
This family exploration of the Amazon Rainforest Basin delves deep into two countries, where you engage with traditional communities to understand how they live in today’s world. Explore the lush jungle and its rich wildlife. Travel rivers by traditional dugout canoe. Children have the opportunity to meet other kids on this remarkable journey.
The Galapagos Islands: Of Fish & Fishermen 7 Days Precious Journeys™ Interest(s): Sustainable Travel, Adventure Travel, Family Travel
Starting Price: $3,450
The Galapagos Islands: Of Fish & Fishermen is geared towards families with young children, and is full of engaging and fun educational experiences for both parents and children. Hand-picked naturalist guides understand the need for flexibility, patience and down time. Experiences include going out with local fishermen to learn about sustainable fishing, snorkeling with some of the marine creatures and spotting wildlife including tortoises, iguanas and blue-footed boobies.
Ecuador: From Machalilla to Zuleta 10 Days Precious Journeys™ Interest(s): Sustainable Travel, Adventure Travel, Family Travel, Recommended
Starting Price: $2,880
This Precious Journeys adventure takes your family into the heart of Ecuador's mainland to experience its landscapes, wildlife and people. Discover the thrill of working with an archeologist on a dig; snorkel and swim in clear waters of Drake’s Bay; and explore Zuleta's culture and search for the endangered Ecuadorian condor.
Private Sanctuaries of Ecuador 14 Days Enrichment Series Interest(s): Sustainable Travel, Adventure Travel, Family Travel, Recommended
Starting Price: $9,580
Explore the old-world city of Quito. Enjoy the peaceful sanctuary of Ecuador's private reserves of Mashpi, Zuleta and the Galapagos Safari Camp. Go bird watching for the endangered condor in the Andean Condor Reserve; and learn about the traditional Zuleta community. Discover the Galapagos Islands on a five-night cruise as well as in the relaxed atmosphere of a luxury tented camp.
Volcanoes of Latin America 19 Days Enrichment Series Interest(s): Romantic Getaways, Adventure Travel, Family Travel, Recommended
Starting Price: $14,790
Born of volcanoes, Guatemala, Ecuador and Colombia feature fascinating landscapes and flourishing cultures to discover. Board a helicopter for an overflight of six different volcanoes en route to Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. Savor a rare experience… glamping at Uaxactun Mayan ruins - an overnight stay in the ruins in the comfort of your own private camp with candle-lit dinner. Explore Colombia's Popayan, known for its beautiful colonial architecture and nearby Purace National Park. Visit the Totumo Mud Volcano, northeast of Cartagena, for a thermal mud bath, both restoring and fun. Take in Ecuador's fabled volcanoes, escorted by a volcanologist, who will help you explore the geology, history and legends of these ancient landscapes
Ecuador’s Classic Cuisine 6 Days Enrichment Series Interest(s): Sustainable Travel, Adventure Travel, Family Travel
Starting Price: $6,350
From colonial capital of Quito to the highland countryside, discover Ecuador's culinary traditions.
Ecuador & Peru Culinary Treasures 16 Days Enrichment Series Interest(s): Romantic Getaways, Adventure Travel, Family Travel
Starting Price: $14,085
These two countries combine to make a fascinating adventure in food and history - from Ecuador's Hacienda Zuleta, a colonial working farm dating from the 16th century, to Peru's Suquillo Market, you are in for an experience that will delight all the senses.
Chile & Ecuador 12 Days Enrichment Series Interest(s): Adventure Travel, Recommended
Starting Price: $12,260
Savor the rich culinary heritage of Chile & Ecuador.
Ecuador Highlands 6 Days Enrichment Series Interest(s): Romantic Getaways, Sustainable Travel, Adventure Travel
Starting Price: $6,350
Explore Ecuador's culinary traditions in this journey to Quito and the highlands.
Ecuador & Luxury Amazon 8 Days Enrichment Series Interest(s): Sustainable Travel, Adventure Travel, Family Travel
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Explore Ecuador's Amazon, one of the world's most celebrated and vital ecosystems during a 4-night cruise aboard a five-star, boutique-style river expedition vessel. Visit a local Kichwa indigenous community to learn how they live and work in this incredible environment.
Ancestor Volcanoes of Guatemala & Galapagos Islands 11 Days Inspired Expeditions Interest(s): Sustainable Travel, Adventure Travel
Starting Price: $8,650
Explore the dramatic volcanic landscapes of these two dynamic destinations and the people and wildlife that inhabit them.
Colombia, Ecuador & Peru 14 Days New Reality Interest(s): Sustainable Travel, Adventure Travel
Starting Price: $4,750
This journey explores South America's pre-Incan societies that over the centuries settled along the Peruvian coast and highlands, the highlands of Ecuador and in Colombia. Visit archeological sites in Colombia’s San Agustín Archeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site encompassing the largest group of religious monuments and megalithic sculptures in South America. Travel to desert coastal zone of Northern Peru to enjoy special access to see the excavations at the pre-Incan site of the Sipan ruins.
Luxury Ecuador with Silversea Silver Galapagos 13 Days New Reality Interest(s): Sustainable Travel, Safari Tours, Adventure Travel, Family Travel
Starting Price: $11,134
Experience Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands on a fascinating journey that includes a 7-night cruise aboard the luxurious Silversea Silver® Galapagos.
Ecuador: Flavors of Ecuador 13 Days Inspired Expeditions Interest(s): Adventure Travel
Starting Price: $7,664
Discover the sights, sounds and flavors of Quito, founded in the 16th century as you explore the historic city center, and take a private cooking class. Meet farmers and fishermen. Enjoy a four-night, land-based exploration of the amazing Galapagos Islands. Snorkel, dive, hike and kayak in these fabled islands.
Custom Ecuador & The Galapagos Tour Varied Days Navigator Series Interest(s): Sustainable Travel, Adventure Travel
Starting Price: $8,450
Ecuador & Galapagos 11 Days Enrichment Series Interest(s): Safari Tours, Adventure Travel
Starting Price: $4,998
The breathtaking Andean scenery of mainland Ecuador encompasses lakes, Indian villages and dramatic mountain landscapes. Experience Otavalo and its market, the biggest Indian handicraft market in South America. Take in the famous islands of the Galapagos in the relaxed atmosphere of a luxury tented camp in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island.
Ecuador Mainland 10 Days Enrichment Series Interest(s): Sustainable Travel, Adventure Travel
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Explore the Ecuador mainland, a region that most visitors never experience dor. Visit Indian weavers, savor a thrilling train ride through remote highlands, past Indian communities; and encounter the traditional Cañari Indians and Ecuador's largest and most important archaeological site at Ingapirca.