Ecuador and the Galapagos Holidays

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One of Latin America’s smallest countries, Ecuador makes up for its diminutive size with plenty of character. Sandwiched between Peru and Colombia on the Pacific Coast, Ecuador’s biodiversity extends to diverse microclimates such as volcanoes, jungle, verdant highlands and the wildlife-rich archipelago of the Galapagos Islands.

Ecuador’s mainland is split between three distinct regions: the Andean highlands (the Sierra) running down the spine, the Amazon rainforest (the Oriente) to the East and the Pacific coastal area (La Costa) to the West. Ecuador is a great year-round holiday destination; due to its proximity to the Equator, there is little temperature variation. The only notable seasonal variation is that of the rainy season; more evidently in the highlands from October through to May. The highlands usually offer a fresher, cool temperate climate whereas the coast can be sultrily humid, with dense mists clinging to the cliffs, similar to the trees of the Amazon.

Ecuador’s capital, Quito, is the second-highest capital city in the world (after La Paz, Bolivia), set at an altitude of 2,850 metres on the side of an active volcano. Surprisingly green, Quito is ringed by soaring mountain peaks often concealed from view by dense afternoon mists. On a clear day spot the snow-capped cone of Cotopaxi, one of the Andes highest volcanoes, from a variety of viewpoints around the city. Though modern tower blocks, concrete suburbs and tangled traffic show Quito’s contemporary side, the city has a firm grasp on its traditional past, with markets, healers, hat makers and food stalls emphasising Ecuadorian Sierra culture.

Outside of the capital, the most popular destination for Ecuador holidays is the wildlife haven of the Galapagos Islands. Known as ‘Darwin’s living laboratory’ thanks to the naturalist’s extensive research here, the islands are home to many endemic species, some found only in the archipelago. Because the human footprint is kept to a minimum, it’s possible to swim with Galapagos penguins, sea lions and seals, and get tantalisingly close to the islands’ giant tortoises.

Mainland Ecuador has plenty to see too, from colonial towns to the incredible Avenue of Volcanoes, where rugged cones graze the clouds. The best way to see the interior is on a train journey through the spectacular Andes, cloud forest and jungle. Tren Crucero is such a journey, a four-day expedition through the country’s most incredible landscapes.

For first-hand inspiration and travel advice on holidays to Ecuador, call our Travel Specialists today.

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M/C Seaman Journey
Hotel
Ecuador and the Galapagos Galapagos
    A first-class expedition catamaran, the M/C Seaman Journey carries up to 16 passengers and boasts elegant, contemporary décor. Featuring just eight co...
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La Pinta
Hotel
Ecuador and the Galapagos Galapagos
    The La Pinta yacht offers guests a top-quality experience – with luxurious cabins, gourmet cuisine and plenty of amenities – alongside real adventure....
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Alya Cruise
Hotel
Ecuador and the Galapagos Galapagos
    The Alya Catamaran is the ideal choice for those who want to explore the Galapagos Islands in true comfort. This state-of-the-art boat which is as sm...
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Scalesia Galapagos Lodge
Hotel
Ecuador and the Galapagos Galapagos
    It is true that many of the iconic Galapagos moments come during time spent on the water, cruising between islands while observing the mesmerising mel...
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Hotel del Parque
Hotel
Ecuador and the Galapagos Guayaquil
    Set amidst the lush gardens of Guayaquil’s Historical Park, the Hotel del Parque is a relaxing oasis in the city of Guayaquil. The hotel - just ten m...
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Oro Verde
Hotel
Ecuador and the Galapagos Guayaquil
    Centrally located in the downtown business area, the Oro Verde hotel offers 230 well-appointed rooms set over eight floors. Rooms are contemporary an...
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Casa Gangotena
Hotel
Ecuador and the Galapagos Quito
    A newly restored historic mansion situated in Quito’s historic centre overlooking the Plaza San Francisco, Casa Gangotena is the best-in-town boutique...
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La Casona de la Ronda
Hotel
Ecuador and the Galapagos Quito
    Located on the picturesque cobble-stoned street of La Ronda in Quito’s old town, La Casona de La Ronda is an ideal base to explore the highlights of t...
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Mashpi Lodge
Hotel
Ecuador and the Galapagos Northern Ecuador
    Voted by National Geographic as a “Unique Lodge of the World” and starring on the BBC series “Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond the Lobby”, eco-friendly Mas...
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Hacienda Zuleta
Hotel
Ecuador and the Galapagos Northern Ecuador
    Superbly located in a picturesque valley, this family-run hacienda offers guests plenty of history, authentic Andean culture and comfortable accommoda...
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