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Galapagos Islands Holidays & Ecuador Holidays with A&KEcuador and Galapagos Islands holidays will not fail to impress even the most well travelled; and this region has incredible riches, and influence and reputation far beyond its physical size. With so much variety, there is huge scope for breathtaking tailor-made Ecuador holidays and Galapagos cruises. Natural beauties range from the world's deepest and densest rainforest in the east, across mountain landscapes patch-worked into tiny fields by indigenous Indians, over the world's second-highest volcano and skim Pacific waters to Darwin's 'Natural Laboratory' of the Galapagos.
Ecuador and Galapagos Islands holidays with Abercrombie & Kent will get you closer to the remarkable people, places and wildlife that make the country such a rich travel destination.
Offering the best of Latin America in miniature, within its compact borders, Ecuador has everything a traveller could wish for in abundance. Its national parks and wildlife reserves include some of the richest Amazon jungle to the east of the Andes and the high-altitude forests of Cotopaxi's volcanic flanks. Overlaying this natural beauty, Ecuador also has a cultural depth unequalled elsewhere in South America, with stately colonial buildings in the world's highest capital, Quito, with its dramatic mountainous backdrop, where thriving Indian communities throng local markets and proudly maintain their ancient cultures - a must see for every Ecuador holiday.
However the highlight of many Ecuador holidays, more often than not, is the Galapagos Islands, an archipelago of national parks nearly a thousand kilometres off the coast of Ecuador. Darwin's living laboratory is a world apart, exceptional for its fearless and unique wildlife.
The Galapagos Archipelago lies 1,000 kilometres from Ecuador's coastline in the Pacific Ocean. Each of the thirteen islands and countless smaller islets has a unique ecosystem of its own, a living laboratory that inspired Darwin to write his Theory of Evolution while on the voyage of the HMS Beagle. Never connected with the continent, the islands contain many endemic species - only here will you see Galapagos penguins, flightless cormorants and marine iguanas, and the giant tortoises that give the archipelago its name. Most expeditions with your expert naturalist guide are by panga - inflatable rubber craft with outboard motor. Snorkels are available for you to explore the fascinating underwater world, a myriad of colourful fish, playful sea lions, dolphins and sunken volcanic craters.
Any visitor to the islands on a Galapagos cruise can swim with sea lions, paddle alongside penguins, be entertained by the 'fool' booby birds and watch 200 kg giant tortoises wallowing in the swamps of Santa Cruz Island. The wildlife is quite literally unique and the landscape barren, volcanic and markedly beautiful. These are the compelling features that define the Galapagos cruise experience. Never connected with the continent, the islands contain many endemic (only found in the Galapagos) species. A quarter of the shore fish, half of the plants and almost all of the reptiles are exclusive to the Galapagos Islands. The Galapagos Islands are a two-hour flight from Quito or Guayaquil. Whilst there are seasonal variations, the islands are a year-round destination.
You may wish to end your Ecuador holiday with a visit to Cuenca, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Trust site this city is the third largest in Ecuador and was one of the first cities listed in the Inca Empire.
At A&K all of our journeys are individually tailored to suit your needs and timescale. However, as a guide, a 15 day holiday to Ecuador including the option from our selection of Galapagos Islands cruises will cost from £4,495 per person based on two adults sharing with flights from the UK and subject to availability.
Best time to be there
June to September is the best time to enjoy the Andes whilst the Galapagos are best from April to August - not too warm and plenty of animals in their breeding seasons.
Quito - LAN Airlines, daily via Madrid
GMT -5 hours
Not required for UK passport holders
Yellow fever certificate required if arriving from an infected area
Save up to £930 per adult on Galapagos Cormorant
Observe the amazing wildlife and get up close and personal with the Galapagos' many amazing creatures when staying on the elegant and stylish Cormorant. Valid for travel on the 12th November, 6th December and 10th December 2014, or until 30th June 2015. Subject to availability, excludes international flights and any additional touring.
Single Supplement offer: Save up to £905 per adult with no single supplement
Set sail with last minute availability for 2014 or book in advance for next year on the stunning Ocean Spray, a new catamaran designed with speed and style in mind. Kick back in the sun deck Jacuzzi after an exhilarating day exploring Darwin's 'living laboratory'. Limited spaces for 2014, valid from 23rd October, 15th November and 29th November, or the 4th April 2015. Subject to availability, excludes international flights and any additional touring.
SPEAK TO A TRAVEL CONSULTANT ON 01242 858 188