Overview & Highlights
An enriching holiday for adults and children alike, exploring a rainforest –fringed Amazon tributary from a river boat and the wildlife of the Galápagos on an island-based stay.
- Walking tour of Old Quito
- All excursions from the Manatee river boat
- Activities from Hacienda Zuleta in the Andean highlands
- Activities fromyour hotel Finch Bay in the Galápagos Islands
- Swimming and snorkelling around the Galápagos Islands
Tiny Ecuador is a perfect destination for families. The country is compact and easy to get around, so journeys tend to be short and scenic. Sitting at the crossroads of the equator and the high Andes, Ecuador encompasses an extraordinary diversity of geography and climate. Here your family will have a truly exotic and educational experience, with lots of fun built in, mind boggling landscapes and trusting wildlife.
Quito sits amid a bowl of snow-capped mountains and volcanoes and is the capital of Ecuador. You get to explore the old city and also to spend a couple of days in the highlands, staying at a hacienda (ranch) dating back to Spanish colonial times, from which you can explore the prairies on foot or on horseback.
Between these adventures you travel to Ecuador’s Amazonia - it sounds remote but in fact it is easily reached. Your family has a unique opportunity to spend a few days on a cruise following the jungle-fringed banks of the Napo, a major tributary of the vast Amazon river.
Fly to the Galápagos Islands, but instead of taking a conventional cruise you will stay on one of the main islands, Santa Cruz, close to the town of Puerto Ayora with its many facilities. You can choose from a menu of optional guided explorations offering plenty of opportunities to marvel at the giant tortoises, swim and snorkel with sea-lions and eyeball prehistoric-looking iguanas.
Transfer to your hotel in the historic centre of Quito.
Guided walking tour of colonial Quito.
Fly to Coca in the Amazon and board your expedition boat Manatee.
Explore the Amazon jungle by canoe.
Visit an indigenous Amazonian community.
Climb and observation tower, visit a bird-filled biological reserve.
Fly back to Quito and continue to your ranch in the Andean highlands.
Optional activities from the hacienda.
Transfer to Quito and fly to the Galápagos Islands (around 2 hrs).
Explore the Galápagos on land and by boat.
Fly back to the mainland and 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
Casona de la Ronda
Ecuador & Galapagos Islands / The Ecuadorian Amazon / The Amazon
Manatee Amazon Explorer
Ecuador & Galapagos Islands / Otavalo and the northern highlands
Galapagos Islands / Isabela (Albemarle) / Ecuador & Galapagos Islands
What our clients say
97% of our clients rated their experience with us as Excellent or Good.
Monte Alban when I felt on top Of the world. A vast archaeological site, wonderfully interpreted by a local guide and not too many other tourists.PM, Lincoln
Stunning landscape / scenery in Patagonia together with Iguazu Falls were the highlights.DM, Sale
As a first taste of South America with limited annual leave, you couldn't fault this two week itinerary for the amount of ground it covered. It has given me a real appetite to spend more time in Argentina and Chile - I feel like we literally scratched the surface of what these incredible countries have to offer - and I would definitely like to go back and spend more time exploring these two in particular. Our experience of travelling with a JLA guide was absolutely amazing - I would always recommend this.ES, Redhill
The whole holiday was full of memorable moments. I loved walking around quirky Valparaiso with it's colourful houses and graffiti, the scenery in the Atacama, seeing the Milky Way there at night, the Tatio Geysers at sunrise, seeing Orsono emerge from the clouds in Puerto Varas, Torres del Paine Massif and the changing sky and clouds there. Watching Chilean Gauchos seen close up herding sheep on the road back to Punta Arenas. Realising you are looking at the Magellan Straits with views of Tierra del Fuego in the background when you'd learnt about it in 'O' level geography 50 years ago and were finally there! The wonderful Andean Lakes Crossing from Puerto Varas to Bariloche and the gift of perfect weather during the crossing with cloudless skies and sunshine all the way. The views at Bariloche and walking around Buenos Aires, the Casa Rosada and Eva Peron's burial place and just the street life in general. And also the lovely, hospitable, polite, friendly Chilean locals, always ready to help. Just a brilliant holiday.SLH, Poulton-le-Fylde
The tour was well paced for our age group with enough leisure time to do your own thing or just chill. One of the best holidays I have ever been on. Well done and thank you all.JM, Buckhurst Hill
An excellent specialist company with great attention to detail, abundance of local knowledge and great customer care. I have travelled twice with this company and will certainly travel with them again.AL, London
The whole experience was wonderful. Loved every place we went even Buenos Aires which I thought might not appeal. We went to see the Madres de Plaza de Mayo, it was a very moving and emotional experience.LP, Lasswade
On our fifth trip with JLA we have always found the organisation to be excellent and reliable. Its good to have knowledgeable tour leaders and to stay in individual style hotels where appropriate.CS, Lymington
Seeing the Condors taking flight first thing in the morning in the most stunning setting is a memory that will live with me forever. Looking down from the Sun Gate and seeing the full extent of the magical setting of Macchu Picchu was awe-inspiring.CD, Corbridge
Cuba is a very diverse country and fulfilled our expectations. Parakeet is an adventure rather than a holiday so go with an open mind and immerse your self in the Cuban way. Colour, music and smiles more than make up for what some people may find frustrating if comparing Cuba to life in the UK.GW, BIrmingham
Jam packed itinerary with so many great places and sights in such a short time! Iguacu Falls, Rio, La Paz, Cusco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu- it really had it all. We had a great tour guide; informative, knowledgeable and extremely personable, with a wealth of knowledge and a genuine passion for South America. Logistics were seamless- first time travelling to South America, first time travelling solo- highly recommend it!LM, London
For me, it was the Atacama desert. It is the driest desert in the world, and we had thunder storms!! But it left snow on the volcanos and fluffy clouds in the brilliant blue sky. Perfect for landscape photography. The great guides, and the friendly fellow travelers.MB, Chelmsford
The Penguin tour was excellent. It covered all the main places I wanted to see, from the Atacama to Patagonia. There are not many companies that cover so much, for group travellers.
Though I've travelled a fair bit in Central and South America, this was a very different experience and so was memorable throughout for that difference. Other trips have focused on Mayan and Incan civilisations, on Spanish Colonial cities and towns and this trip was much more about the scenery and wildlife. The cities were vibrant and very European in feel without much evidence of colonialism. The skies were huge, the scenery spectacular, and the wildlife a joy.CG, Hexham
Everything exceeded expectations, from the printed itinerary to the excursions.SB, Mansfield
I would highly recommend this tour. The itinerary was very well chosen and we felt we saw as much as we could hope for in the time provided. The tour leader was highly professional and experienced, had excellent knowledge of the countries we visited and was available 24/7 for anything we needed. The local guides were excellent too and each gave us a special insight into the area we were visiting.MC, Australia
I saw truly unique scenery and interesting historical buildings & monuments but for me it was wonderful to see all that I did and stay in clean comfortable hotels on this 'Discovery' tour. Thank you JLA.MS, Lymington
Highlights? Friends have asked us this and we struggle because there were so many! The magic of Easter Island and we had to keep reminding ourselves that we were actually there and seeing sights which had excited and intrigued us for a long time. El Tatio geysers at dawn were stunning. The Perito Moreno Glacier on a beautiful sunny day was awesome. The 'reveal' moment at the end of the 4wd tour at Estancia Cristina seeing the panoramic view of the Upsala Glacier.LW, Chesterfield
We knew from the itinarary that alot of travelling would be involved. Given the amount we saw it was well worth time spent in the bus. We compared this itinerary to several other adventure travel companies, and this was by far the most comprehensive. We have had alot of good tour leaders over the years, but we have never one so generous with his time. Max was always happy to take us anywhere we wanted to go -from an ATM to a 3 hour walking tour.JN, Peterborough
Many good memories - arriving at Macchu Picchu was something we had wanted to do for many years, so was probably the most memorable.CA, Wembley
One of the most memorable moments was walking up to Machu Picchu and revealed itself in front of us!!! The places we went to eat at were advised by the tour leader and local guides with really good local dishes and good quality. We were unlikely to have found them otherwise.MN, Wantage
Overall, the whole JLA experience has been first class. Would have no hesitation in recommending JLA to friends and family.MH, Leighton Buzzard
The Penguin tour was a great introduction to Chile, covering such a variety of landscapes and temperatures. Flying over the Andes was impressive. We were also surprised by the wildllife including condors, penguins, guanacos and flamingoes. All the local guides were excellent with superb local knowledge and the ability to make it enjoyable. Our tour leader fed in lots of interesting information as we travelled around.SY, Wetherby
Thank you for giving me an amazing trip, with a wonderful leader and a lovely group of people to travel with.BK, London
This isn't a specific part of the trip, but I do think that the variety of locations and activities available is excellent. It is a busy tour but, personally, I enjoyed this and am pleased that the coverage is as good as it is of such large countries as, travelling that far, I do want to see and do as much as possible. I also found the extension I did suited my requirements well.JP, Holmfirth
It is hard to choose one particular part of the trip as it was all amazing but in different ways. One of the most memorable parts was the few days in Suchitoto, El Salvador and the optional town tour. Listening to the experiences of the people in the area was humbling.MF, London
So many highlights it's difficult to say! The routing was excellent both in terms of acclimatising to the altitude and building to the grand finale at Machu Picchu.CA, Brighton
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
Several stand out moments; sierra maestra; tobacco farm walk; cocoa farm visit; catamaran trip; sancti spiritu walk round; evening meals outside for two weeks; eco farm visit in vinales; visiting the school in santa domingo was interesting as was the brief stop at el cobre between santiago and bayamo.RE, St. Albans
Excellent tour which is a great way to see a lot of different parts of cuba in a short time.
A well planned trip covering all the highlights we wanted to see.
A great trip, thoroughly enjoyed by a good group (of 8) that gelled well. We saw so much, did so much and and our expectations were well exceeded.GP, Woking
Learned a lot about prehispanic civilizations in Mesoamerica and about the Mexican people. Was very lucky to travel with a small group of curious, witty and interesting people. And it's hard to imagine a better tour guide for this trip.MH, Paris
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
Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.
Your edit for Latin American inspiration
Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.View Extraordinary Inspiration
Real Latin America Experts
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.
Lina Fuller - Travel Expert
Lina's passion for the continent where she was born really took off when she moved to Córdoba (Argentina) to study, spending the holidays travelling between Argentina and her native Colombia.
Carrie Gallagher - Travel Expert
A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours department.
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.
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.
Evie Oswald - Travel Expert
It's hard to believe that Evie has had time to cram so much in to her life so far. Having lived as a child in the Americas and Europe she found herself immediately attracted to Latin America.