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
Highlights - Spectacular views of mountain cities characterised by their colonial heritage; Explore local communities, villages and markets surrounded by volcanic peaks and lakes... Read more ...
Taking children to the Galapagos Islands is an immensely rewarding experience and offers the best of a classroom zoo, science centre, aviary, marine park and a cruise holiday all rolled into one. Read more ...
Highlights - Visit the former capital of the Inca Empire, Cusco; Hiram Bingham train to Machu Picchu; Wildlife islands of the Galapagos... Read more ...
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Ecuador 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 £4,995 per person based on two adults sharing with flights from the UK and subject to availability.
Suggested Ecuador & Galapagos Islands Accommodation Offers
Mansion Alcazar is in the heart of the colonial city of Cuenca and has been sumptuously restored to a turn of the century mansion...
The Galapagos Eclipse represents one of the finest expedition ships in the islands. She allows the more discerning traveller to experience one of the world's greatest natural treasures...
This new cruise vessel has been introduced to Galapagos waters as of spring 2011. With an exclusive small yacht feel and a combination of privacy and comfort, the Grand Odyssey offers stylish...
Spanish chroniclers told of grand Inca palaces built around the Plaza San Francisco in Quito’s historic quarter. This part of the city was once a huge marketplace...
La Pinta is named after Abingdon Island in the north west of the Galapagos Archipelago, home to the famous Lonesome George giant tortoise, the last surviving individual of an otherwise extinct race and offers...
Located in the Andean cloud forest about two and a half hours northeast of Quito, Hacienda Zuleta was built in 1691 and is the centrepiece of a 4,000-acre working farm, once owned by two Ecuadorian Presidents, and...
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Victoria Holdsworth was absolutely fantastic, really made a wonderful itinerary for us that gave us the most amazing holiday experience, great hotels, great destinations, all so well researched.
- JG, London
British Travel Awards Winner
British Travel Awards Winner
We are delighted to have won Best Worldwide Luxury Tour Operator and Best Safari, Wildlife and Nature Tour Operator at the British Travel Awards 2012.
Saint Mary of the Angels
Village "Saint Mary of the Angels" is home to abandoned and orphaned children ranging in age from just a few months to 18-years-old and all living with HIV.