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Ecuador sits astride the equator. Its relatively tiny size belies its staggering geographical diversity, from a battalion of snow-smothered Andean volcanic peaks to luscious Amazon rainforests. The wild Pacific beaches, unjustly neglected, are fringed with exuberant vegetation pulsating with wildlife. The Galápagos Islands also form part of Ecuador’s territory. Mainland Ecuador is compact and easy to get around. Roads are almost invariably scenic and journeys are of a comfortable length. Short domestic flights and a recently refurbished railway complete the transport network. 

Ecuador is one of the continent’s most traditional countries; there’s a strong indigenous tradition in the highland villages, with cottage crafts and hand-woven textiles piled high in the lively markets. It’s a country which is wide open to visitors looking to take part in outdoor activities, visit local communities and relax in lovely country farms or haciendas in exquisite scenery.

Our insider tips for Ecuador

Hiking around the skirts of Mount Cotopaxi, the most satisfyingly conical of the ice-cream cone volcanoes: or even climbing up to the snow line or, for the ambitious, the peak at 5,897m…

Browsing the artisan and produce markets of the highland village communities, and finding a little gem among the mountains of craft work:  a lovely leather bag, an embroidered shawl, a carved figurine.

Abigail St Quinton

Sitting beside the fire at one of the restored patrician haciendas in the chilly uplands, after an exhilarating day out walking or riding across the plains.

A cup of coffee and a cake under the arches of an arcade in sunny colonial Cuenca, the city’s most delightful and graceful city.
Ben Line

Riding the newly reinstated train service down the Andean spine, a stopping service chugging along at the leisurely pace of Andean rural life.

Getting close up and personal with the friendly Huaorani Indians, at the eco-lodge they conceived and run themselves in Ecuador’s Amazonia.
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Client Comments

  • Great holiday in Ecuador

    "Ecuador was a fantastic adventure: welcoming friendly people, beautiful landscapes and amazing wildlife. To fit in two cities, the Andes, the Amazon, the cloud forest and the Galapagos Islands into a 16 day trip on a seamless itinerary was a fantastic solution provided by Sophie at JLA and we enjoyed every aspect.”

    GE, Glasgow | June 2012
  • Loved it

    "Ecuador is perhaps a most underrated country for a great visitor experience. The people are great and helpful and, for anyone with an interest in the natural world, there is so much variety to see and enjoy."

    IB, Kendal | June 2013
  • Excellent service

    "From the moment we were picked up, (on time) from our hotel in Quito, to the moment we were left at the departure lounge in the airport in Baltra, the organisation and punctuality of everything was impeccable. As residents in South America this was a very pleasant surprise!”

    TP, Lima | June 2013
  • Briliant

    "It was all brilliant, we expected the Galapagos to be the highlight, but all the other trips were as good in different ways. All the Ecuadorians encountered at hotels, restaurants, shops, etc could not do enough to help, and they did it with a smile."

    AH, Eastleigh | June 2013
  • Surpassed expectations

    “We had a wonderful time… we thought the guides we had were among the best we have known anywhere; we went for the Galápagos and would admit to mainland Ecuador being a bit of an “add on”, but we thought it was fabulous and would return - Quito was so much better than we expected.”

    PW, Lambeth | January 0001
  • "Two parts: Seeing cotopaxi and the surrounding area for the first time, and stepping off the boat onto floreana and having to avoid sea lions and iguana, magical."

    HT, Conwy | November 2014 | 65 and over
  • "Waking up at Hacienda Porvenir and being able to see the sun rising near Cotopaxi. Being in the Galapagos once again and seeing all the wildlife - such a unique experience."

    JB, Edinburgh | July 2014 | 65 and over
  • "Avenue of the Volcanoes was superb plus swimming with sea lions and penguins."

    JK, Sheffield | February 2015 | 65 and over | With Partner
For advice on travelling to Ecuador
Speak to an expert on 0203 432 9175 or enquire online

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