Ecuador & Galapagos

The size of Colorado, Ecuador is a volcanically lush and colorful country divided into three regions: the coast; the Andes; and El Oriente (the East), famous for its abundant birdlife, wild orchids, mountain village festivals, indigenous cultures, incredible natural beauty, biodiversity and the Galapagos Islands.

“There was a new adventure every day, and each had its unique flavor. One day we were face-to-face with giant tortoises, the next walking softly beside masses of marine iguanas. We kayaked with sea lions along the shore, crawled through lava tunnels, and snorkeled with sea turtles and hammerhead sharks. The kinds of experiences you could never have at home, but which are everyday occurrences in the Galápagos.”—Jennifer Gillmore, Product Manager, South America


See and do:

  • Snorkel with sea lions, sea turtles, and colorful fish in the Galapagos Islands
  • Experience the Galapagos Islands aboard a privately charted yacht or expedition ship
  • Explore the Amazon rain forest from the comfort of a luxury riverboat, or an authentic thatched-roof jungle lodge
  • Stay at a traditional hacienda to experience the Andean culture

Pairs well with:

  • Peru for both nature and cultural experiences
  • Colombia due to its close proximity

Due to its location on the equator, Ecuador is a year-round destination with a wide array of experiences for any traveler to enjoy.

Quito, the colorful Spanish colonial capital city, is located at 10,000 foot elevation and is home to fine architecture, colorful markets, museums and botanical gardens.  In contrast, the Andes Mountains in Ecuador feature towering snow capped volcanoes and unique indigenous villages.

Ecuador also boasts 1,200 miles of coastline, where tropic beaches, fishing villages and the large port city of Guayaquil are found.  Here, guests are treated to abundant marine life and hot, humid temperatures.

The Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador are perhaps Ecuador’s most popular attraction.  The “Enchanted Islands” were the inspiration for Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, and today they serve as host to one of the world’s most notable wildlife conservation efforts. With fearless wildlife that have never known humanity as a threat, the islands offer the chance to get up close to nature for unforgettable encounters.  South America specialist Jennifer Gillmore has visited the Galapagos Islands a remarkable ten times, and our entire team of South America experts have also cruised and personally inspected numerous vessels in the Galapagos, including private yacht charters and expedition ships.

Trip Inspirations

An Exploration in Beauty

13 Days: The Treasures of Ecuador

Ecuador's true beauty extends far beyond its breathtaking seascapes and vistas. It also refers to the country's magnificent wildlife, lovely people and traditional culture. This trip introduces you to the all of the best pieces of Ecuador, from the Amazon rainforest, to the highlands of Quito, and of course, its crowned jewel, the Galápagos Islands.

View Full Trip Inspiration

Travel Blog

Galapagos Islands: A Marine Safari

What better place to experience marine life than the Galapagos Islands? I’ve seen amazing land animals while on an African safari, so I could not wait to explore what lived below the surface of these islands’ waters. I have only snorkeled once prior, so I was a little nervous about doing so two to three Read more…

Ecuador: Land of Diverse Beauty

The old adage ‘great things come in small packages’ has never been more appropriate than when describing the South American country of Ecuador. Compared to its closest neighbors, Ecuador is modest in size, but a peek inside this gem will show you it proudly boasts some of the world’s most incredible natural beauty and a Read more…

Sharing a love for the Galápagos

The Galápagos Islands have held a special place in my heart since my first visit in 2001. I have built my career around my love for the Galápagos and a handful of other destinations in Latin America, and was even married on the powdery sands of Tortuga Bay on the island of Santa Cruz. Twelve Read more…