Things to do in Ecuador
Follow in Darwin's footsteps in the Galápagos Islands
Puckered, giant tortoises can walk these rocks for over two centuries, and tiny finches have forgotten to be afraid of humans. Cormorants have lost their ability to fly, yet prehistoric looking iguanas have learned to swim. Take a weeklong cruise of the Galápagos, or book a land based tour for an alternative experience.
The extreme isolation of these 19 volcanic islands has turned them into a living museum of evolution; a place where all is not what it seems.
Our Ecuador Vacations
Live an Ecuadorian life
Vacations are about “getting away from it all”, and a homestay is one of the best ways to step out of your busy life and into someone else’s reality. In some rural Ecuadorian communities, life has changed little since the arrival of the conquistadores. On Ecuador cultural vacations you can sleep beneath hand woven alpaca blankets, awake to the sound of crowing roosters and devour vegetables just-pulled from the ground. You can dye and spin your own wool, prepare chocolate from fresh beans and even learn to milk cows. Deep in the Amazon, where shamans still practise ancient rituals, you’ll learn about the medicinal plants of the forest, and the many tasty fruits and fish that thrive here. You might even get chance to try shooting from a two-meter blowpipe. Sharing their fascinating knowledge is one of the best things you can do in Ecuador - and one of the few ways native peoples can keep their culture alive.
If you'd like to chat about Ecuador or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.
Hike in the mountains
The verdant lower slopes, with their waterfalls and rare orchids, provide easier hikes. Tougher, high-altitude climbs pass glaciers, hardy vegetation and jade-green lakes, into the little-seen world beyond the snow line. If you’re less sure of your footing, you can travel by horse, complete with leather chaps and a poncho. Sit back and enjoy the scenery! See our Ecuador walking vacations.
Ecuador's theatrical backdrop of smouldering volcanoes and craggy peaks turns even the gentlest of walks into a dramatic experience
Discover the diversity of the orienteEcuador may be one of the smallest Amazonian countries, but its small size does not diminish the diversity of its wildlife, culture and activities. Water based vacations in the Ecuadorian Amazon include paddling a dugout canoe, rafting on some of the world’s best rapids and fishing for tasty – if rather toothsome – piranhas. There are macaw-covered clay licks, mud-munching capybaras and vicious jungle pigs, as well as howler and spider monkeys and strange pink dolphins. Big cats are experts at hide-and-seek – but there are several sanctuaries which rehabilitate orphaned, injured or trafficked wildlife, and can provide visitors and volunteers with a closer glimpse of these elusive species. One of the most unusual things to do in Ecuador is to discover this mighty jungle during a night hike. In the pitch darkness, your senses become heightened - you’ll be completely immersed in the sounds, smells and strange sensations of the lungs of the earth.
More about Ecuador
The best time to visit Ecuador for beaches is surprisingly the rainy season that takes place from December through to May as this is a lot fresher than the dry season from June to November which can be way too cool as well as cloudy and often overcast.
This tiny country packs an enormous punch of biodiversity. With landscapes ranging from the dense Amazon rainforest to high Andean paramo, humid coastal mangroves to the salt-crusted rocks of the Galápagos, Ecuador is a haven for wildlife fans, volcano climbers, culture vultures, twitchers and anyone whose wanted to stand with one foot in each hemisphere.
Explore the colonial towns of Quito and Cuenca, filled with the chatter of Quechua; or trek around snow-capped volcanoes and high altitude crater lakes. See whales off the coast, birds in the cloud forest, and caimans' eyes glinting red in the waters of the Amazon.
The wildlife in Galapagos is what has drawn travelers to this remote archipelago, 1,000km out into the Pacific Ocean.
Step down from the thin mountain air and into the rainforests in Ecuador.
Traveling in Ecuador with kids couldn't be much easier.
Cloud forest or rainforest? What's the best way to hike up a volcano? And where are the best haciendas to stay in? Our expert vacation companies offer their best Ecuador travel tips to help you plan your ideal vacation in South America - and our traveler shave shared a few tips of their own in our honest vacation reviews.
A country with "good living" written into its constitution knows a thing or two about responsible tourism, and they've already done the hard work for you in offering up plenty of ways to travel better - for you and for the country - while on vacation here.
Photo credits: [Page banner: Longjourneys] [Galapagos: Simon Matzinger] [Ecuadorian family: Frank_am_Main] [Hike in the mountains: Didrik Johnck]Back to the top