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Ecuador sits astride the Equator, where 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 are fringed with exuberant vegetation pulsating with wildlife.

The Galápagos Islands, which also form part of Ecuador’s territory - are located a couple of hours flight from Ecuador's coast. Born from volcanoes thrusting their way through the surface of the waters, the clutch of alternately sun-baked and misty islands of twisted lava, jagged cliffs and scrubby forest seem an unlikely habitat for wildlife. But a phenomenal array of trusting bird and reptile species, not to mention undersea marine animals, have settled and evolved here, to the delight of visitors from Darwin onwards. 

Mainland Ecuador is compact and easy to get around. Roads are invariably scenic and journeys are of a comfortable length. Short domestic flights and a recently refurbished railway complete the transport network. It 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 and Quito is  a most impressive colonial city. Ecuador is especially attractive if you are looking to take part in outdoor activities, visit local communities, enjoy breathtaking nature and relax in country farms or haciendas in exquisite scenery.

Experience Ecuador on its own or combine it with a wind-down on a sunlit chalk-white beach in the balmy Galápagos islands or a Galápagos cruise.

Our holidays to Ecuador & Galapagos Islands

View all holidays
Blue Footed Boobies

Signature Ecuador and Galapagos: Volcanoes to the ocean

16 days from £6788pp

Machu Picchu

Luxury Peru and Galapagos: Machu Picchu and the Enchanted Islands

15 days from £8361pp

Weavers in Cuenca

Signature Ecuador: Volcanoes to the ocean

10 days from £2782pp

Galapagos Sealion

Family Ecuador and Galapagos: Amazonian tribe and wildlife encounters

13 days from £4952pp

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Essential information



Time Difference

GMT -5 hours

Key events

Semana Santa (Easter)
Todos los Santos

More essential information

Our insider tips for Ecuador & Galapagos Islands


Isabelle Mazille

Hike around the skirts of Mount Cotopaxi, the most satisfyingly conical of the ice-cream cone volcanoes: or even climb up to the snow line. 


Margot Chard

Discover the incredible wildlife in the enchanted Galápagos archipelago on a island-hopping adventure or a 4-15 day expedition cruise.

Ben Line

Ben Line

Sit 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. 

Alex Walker

Alexandra Walker

Browse the artisan and produce markets of the highland village communities and find a lovely leather bag, an embroidered shawl or a carved figurine.

What our experts say

I spent three months living in Ecuador and loved every minute of it.  It’s a small and eye-catching country, easy to get around and a great introduction to Andean culture and landscapes. As a student, I was working in Quito during the week and would escape at the weekend to visit the markets, the cloud-forest and the surrounding towns and cities. I was keen to pack in as many experiences as I could: the week I spent at the hippy, surfers’ paradise Montañita on the coast stands out as did my birthday dinner in La Boca del Lobo, a whacky yet cool restaurant near the centre of Quito.


Isabelle Mazille

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