Overview & Highlights
A good value, economical holiday with small-scale, friendly accommodation. Includes Ecuador’s Cotopaxi volcano, the scenic railway to the Pacific coast and a land-based Galápagos Island adventure with activities and time to relax.
- Walking city tour in Quito
- Hike the Pita river canyon
- Latacunga market
- Visit to llama museum in Palacio Real
- Full day trip to South Plaza Island, Galápagos
- Snorkelling excursion to Kicker Rock, Galápagos
This is an economically priced, imaginative and exciting trip where you will visit both the Andean landscapes on the Ecuador mainland and jet off to the wildlife Mecca of the Galápagos for a stay in cheerful family-run hotels on two different islands.
Begin with a guided exploration of the exquisite colonial core of Quito then set off to explore the Avenue of the Volcanoes, where snow-draped mountains pepper a landscape dominated by the perfect cone of Cotopaxi (5,897m). Drive south, with a stop-off for a walk through pretty countryside and visits to local markets and communities, to board the train which makes the spectacular zig-zag descent of a near vertical cliff - the Devil’s Nose - and continues through tropical plantations to the effervescent port Guayaquil on the Pacific coast. Fly to the Galápagos Islands to stay in welcoming oceanfront hotels on two of the larger volcanic islands, linked by speedboat.
You’ll immediately be spellbound by the abundance of trusting wildlife, from sea-lions and iguanas to albatrosses and penguins. With a week there based at conveniently-located accommodation you have plenty of time to go out wildlife spotting, snorkelling and sign up locally for activities such as nature walks and kayaking.
Arrive in Quito; transfer to hotel in the historic centre.
Guided walking tour of colonial Quito.
Drive to Cotopaxi National Park; guided river walk.
Visit an indigenous local market and a llama museum.
Travel by train and road from the Andes to the Pacific coast.
Fly to Baltra in the Galápagos Islands (2hrs) transfer to hotel on Santa Cruz Island.
Boat trip to neighbouring islands.
Day at leisure on Santa Cruz island
By speedboat to San Cristóbal Island.
Snorkelling at Kicker Rock.
Day at leisure on San Cristóbal Island.
Fly to the mainland to connect with your international flight.
Things to do
We proudly offer the widest range of activities, excursions and one-of-a-kind experiences across all our destinations, tried and tested personally by our travel experts.
Browse our unrivalled portfolio of accommodation . Every option has been carefully chosen by our team of travel experts, so you can rest assured that you’ll relax in utter comfort.
Ecuador & Galapagos Islands / Quito
Hotel Real Audiencia
Ecuador & Galapagos Islands / Avenue of the Volcanoes
Chilcabamba Mountain Lodge
Ecuador & Galapagos Islands / Avenue of the Volcanoes
Hosteria la Quinta
Ecuador & Galapagos Islands / Guayaquil
Galapagos Islands / Isabela (Albemarle) / Ecuador & Galapagos Islands
Galapagos Islands / Ecuador & Galapagos Islands / San Cristobal Island (Chatham)
What our clients say
97% of our clients rated their experience with us as Excellent or Good.
Reaching the summit of Machu Picchu Mountain and seeing views that will live with me for the rest of my life ... wow! This was a very special moment.PB, Wareham
The Iguacu Falls were spectacular and most likely the most impressive Falls I will ever see. We were absolutely spellbound by the magnitude, scale and layout. Obviously, Machu Picchu takes your breath away. Nature and man-made wonders at their best!PK, Ashton-Under-Lyne
The trip surpassed our expectations and I have already recommended Journey Latin America to friends and even to people I talked to on a bus in Machu Picchu, one of whom was from the U.S.A.
The first view of Machu Picchu from the watchman's tower, the view from El Alto overlooking La Paz and surrounding mountains and the Iguazu Falls will remain with me always. Also very pleased with the standard of accommodation.
Overall this was the most interesting and varied holiday I have ever been on and was a superb introduction to what was, for me, a new area of the world.PM, Motherwell
Very difficult to chose because every aspect was memorable. I think the Gaucho itinerary was well chosen providing a good exposure to a wide example of interesting places in Argentina and we also liked the initial 2 days in Chile.MB, Sevenoaks
It was an amazing holiday with so many wonderful experiences and stunning scenery. Possibly in the months ahead the images that will stand our are: the Perito Mereno Glacier, Torres del Paine, the Fitzroy Mountain shining in the morning sunlight, the trip on the Beagle Channel and the Iguazu Falls. We were blessed with unusually fine weather which made the trip even more memorable. No wind in Patagonia, and calm waters in the Beagle Channel!JH, Radstock
Would be wrong to say a most memorable. Everyday was amazing. Machu Picchu was my fave. That's because I've always wanted to go there. 100's of memories all good. From places to even just having dinner with the group. Had some one in a million moments.SW, Crewe
The whole trip was excellent and the tour leaders knowledge and personality enhanced it.VH, Torpoint
There were many wonderful memories. Iguacu was amazing and Machu Picchu was intriguing. Landscapes were fascinating & the people were friendly. Lovely to see the colourful costumes & markets.JP, Nottingham
I loved the beauty of the Solentiname Islands and Corn Islands. But my favourite part of the trip was definitely Leon as there is so much fascinating recent history.FW, Leamington Spa
There were many highlights as each area of Colombia visited was very individual and varied giving a good overview of the country - from the well maintained archaeological parks around San Agustin to the friendliness of the local people and hotel staff at the coffee farm we stayed at. Also enjoyed the colonial atmosphere of Cartagena & the boat trip at Mompos. Overall found the country to be very friendly and safe to travel around.SN, Belper
Overall the Nandu tour was a wonderful experience. We have seen some stunning scenery, done some reasonably tough hiking and had some fabulous meals. The JLA staff and their representatives have been first class and the food was excellent. The accommodation was mostly very good too. It is a full-on tour so people going on the tour may want to chill-out somewhere at the end of the tour to relax as we did!VJ, London
This was a truly great experience with JLA and having a local guide with us all the way made it very easy. It was a very relaxed way to see an amazing part of the world.LB, London
Another very interesting and well organised Journey Latin America trip.HM, Nuneaton
"Getting to Machu Picchu after a 50 year dream was amazing. Although the whole of Bolivia was magical stunning scenery excellent guides and a surrealistic landscape."MF, Warwick
There are several experiences we enjoyed on this trip. The lguacu Falls are amazing, couldn't stop taking photos. In the Pantanal the variety of birds was superb and we were lucky enough to see an ocelot. We greatly enjoyed our holiday, we were a small group of two couples so were pleased that the trip still went ahead with these low numbers.JT, Hemel Hampstead
The Eagle tour was one of the best trips I have had. Thank you all!HC, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
There were many highlights: Machu Picchu of course, also the Uyuni salt flats was unworldly, unique. La Paz, crazy city. Lake Titicaca beautiful. Great food almost everywhere. Stunning landscapes.MC, Ely
Overall, the whole JLA experience has been first class. Would have no hesitation in recommending JLA to friends and family.MH, Leighton Buzzard
“One of my favourite moments on the trip was in Trinidad, listening to the music and dancing with the locals – with the tour leader’s guidance or walking around Havana, just taking everything in.”KSM, Luxembourg
Amazing enjoyed every minute i don't usually do group tours and rather travel independently but journey Latin America has changed my mind.SJ, Jersey
A well thought out tour with a good balance of culture, scenery and larger towns. The tour leader was excellent and the local guides were friendly and knowledgeable with great enthusiasm for their subjects. Good value for money and would have no problem with recommending JLA and will almost certainly use the company again.SW, Broxbourne
If anything, Tropicbird was undersold: it is a vibrant, colourful & exhilarating tour. It would appeal to those who visited and loved countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia & Laos, as well as South America, for their people's capacity for optimism, looking forward, valuing their heritage and welcoming curious travellers, regardless of the ravages of recent wars or current poverty. Just go!!FP, Edinburgh
Most memorable experience? "There were too many things but Bolivia in general and the Salt Plains in particular were amazing plus the flamingos. I also loved the night on Sun island. I never expected it to be so beautiful."JS, Leeds
There are two moments that I wish I could return to again and again - watching the sun go down over the jagged rock formations of the Valley of the Moon and walking on the salt flats (the beauty of the place nearly brought a tear to my eye).DK, Dover
This was my second group trip to South America with JLA and it was just as fantastic - seeing the main sites such as Machu Picchu but also less well-known or off the tourist radar such as the inside of an Inca house in Ollytaytambo that added an extra insight to the culture and local way of life.
We were extremely satisfied with our Sandpiper Journey which provided us with a broad view of the Countries visited and the cultures, history, wild life etc. All in all, a great experience and a wonderful holiday.PH, Farnham
Everything went smoothly, the flights were good as were the transfer vehicles. The bus to Puerto Natales was fine as were the minibuses for longer trips. I enjoyed the boat trips and the I really liked the zodiac trip on the Rio Serrano.PM, Wirral
This tour was perfect for first time travellers to the area. It was extremely well organised and the itinerary was well planned with a nice flow of events and very diverse experiences. We were amazed at all the wonderful sites, hikes and activities we had on this tour and will remember it for a lifetime.KP, USA
The train journey from the Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu was amazing - the landscape was breathtaking, and the tour leader explained so much to us on the way.DC, Pinner
The whole trip was well-organised allowing our group to maximise the time we had in beautiful Peru. We covered a large distance, but the pace was just right, and the accommodation was excellent. Thank you for a wonderful experience.
I had travelled on a small group tour to Peru with JLA previously, so was fully expecting to be able to completely relax, safe in the knowledge that everything would be taken care of. I was not disappointed and the tour leader had everything running superbly. My three days extension on my own also worked like clockwork.SP, Aberdeen
Most memorable moment was sailing down the Baker River and then ziplining over it! Gonzalo our driver was one of the best, acting not only as a driver but also as a friend. The tour leader, is one of the best tour leaders I have encountered through my travels with various companies.AF, Enniskillen
Tailor made holiday
Our specialists have been expertly crafting award-winning tailor-made holidays to Latin America for 40 years. We would be delighted to create a truly personalised trip which perfectly matches your wishes and requirements.
Chris Rendell-Dunn - Travel Expert
Anglo-Peruvian Chris grew up in Lima and spent much of his adult life in between London and Cusco as a tour leader, before settling permanently in our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours sales team.
Inspired by this trip
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Real Latin America Experts
Ben Line - Travel Expert
Ben fell in love with Latin America on a six month backpacking trip from Colombia to Mexico in 1995. Since then he has explored most of South America, including living in Peru for a year. He is now Head of Sales.
Mary Anne Nelson - Travel Expert
Born in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, Mary’s insider knowledge and dry sense of humour make her a highly valued member of the Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tour sales team.
Kathryn Rhodes - Travel Expert
Kathryn backpacked across Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru before joining us. She has a degree in Philosophy and French and is a keen netball player.
Hannah Waterhouse - Travel Expert
Hannah had an early introduction to Latin America when her family moved to Ecuador and she returned to study in Buenos Aires for a year before backpacking across the continent.
Hannah Donaldson - Travel Expert
Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is a much valued Travel Expert in our Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tours sales team.
Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Expert
After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.