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At a glance:
- The Galapagos Islands is one of the most bio-diverse places on the planet
- Explore historical cities on foot
- Admire views of the soaring Andes everywhere you go
Why we love Ecuador
- The markets at Otavalo – we always come back with heaps of locally made art, clothing and jewellery.
- Exploring the Galapagos Islands by private sailboat. Okay, we may be a little spoilt, bit this place is one of our absolute favourites – the array of animals we see never fails to impress!
- We love the stunning churches of Quito’s Old Town district. One of the most important cultural hearts of the country, the Iglesia ‘Church’ de San Francisco is one of our favourites in the continent.
Have you ever seen a blue-footed boobie in the wild? Perhaps a marine iguana, or a huge, lumbering tortoise? If the Ecuador customs stamp isn’t in your passport, then you most definitely haven’t – this is the only country in the world you can see these kinds of wildlife. But Ecuador is so much more than the mind-bending Galapagos Islands. Think historical cities full of cobblestone streets, the Amazonian rainforest, indigenous Kichwa villages and the soaring Andes. It’s all here, packed into a country the same size as Germany.
The Galapagos Islands, made famous by Charles Darwin then by David Attenborough, lie a short flight from the Ecuadorian coast in the Pacific. These isolated islands are incredibly bio diverse, and the human footprint is kept to a minimum. While some are home to beautiful beaches – Tortuga Bay on Santa Cruz Island comes to mind – many are devoid of vegetation and look a little like the moon. A cruise is the best way to experience all that the Galapagos Islands have to offer.
Ringed by the Andes, Ecuador’s capital of Quito is dramatically beautiful. The jewel of the city is the ‘Old Town’, a World Heritage Site teeming with architectural treasures and cobbled streets. Beautiful plazas, churches and markets make it a great place to stroll on a sunny day. At sunset, head to the Mariscal – a compact part of town home to colourful nightlife and sophisticated restaurants.
Visiting the Galapagos Islands is, for many of our team, an absolute stand-out travel memory. Let one of our travel designers help you enjoy the best of Ecuador as part of your South American holiday.