First name is required!
Last name is required!
First name is not valid!
Last name is not valid!
This is not an email address!
Email address is required!
This email is already registered!
Password is required!
Enter a valid password!
Please enter 6 or more characters!
Please enter 16 or less characters!
Passwords are not the same!
Terms and Conditions are required!
Email or Password is wrong!
Please select the captcha checkbox!
Please select the valid captcha!

Top Trip Memories

  • Walking among frigate birds, blue footed boobies, colorful iguanas, sea lions, giant tortoises and other creatures in the Galapagos who have no fear of humans.
  • Riding a dugout canoe through the rivers of the Amazon basin en route to a jungle lodge.
  • Swimming with piranhas, coming face to face with a giant golden orb spider and his web, and encountering a 20-foot-long boa constrictor – all within feet of your jungle lodge. 
  • Hiking to the base of Cotopaxi volcano, gazing at the summit and wondering how far you climb up with hiking boots and a stick.
  • Touring colonial Quito and its architectural treasures, including a Baroque church (La Compania) whose nave is covered in gold leaf and ornate carvings.
  • Wandering the huge Otavalo marketplace in search of handmade woven goods, wood carvings, Ecuadorian foods and lots of local color.
  • Standing astride the line that marks the Equator at the Middle of the World Monument, with one foot in the Northern Hemisphere, the other in the Southern (a great photo op even if the actual Equator may be several hundred feet away.)
  • Visiting colonial Cuenca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site high in the Andes, wandering its cobbled streets and enjoying its public parks and handicraft shops. 
View More

Tour Tips

  • Ecuador is so rich in touring treasures – the Galapagos, the Andes, the Amazon, the colonial cities, the Pacific coast -- that you may need several visits to do it justice.
  • Taking a week-long Galapagos cruise allows you to see more of the islands and their diverse wildlife than simply staying on one of the two populated islands.
  • Many visitors combine Galapagos tours with tours to Machu Picchu in Peru, and many tour operators offer such combinations.
  • If your tour takes you to the Amazon basin, look to stay at least three days if possible in a jungle lodge, to be able to get a good taste of the region.
  • Even though Ecuador is on the Equator, pack a jacket if your tour includes high-elevation cities like Quito and Cuenca.  You might consider bringing high-altitude medication if you’re really bothered by the rarefied air, but discuss possible side effects with your doctor.
View More

Ecuador Travel Reviews & Ratings

4.7 out of 5



905 Reviews

  • Excellent 700
  • Great 247
  • Average 4
  • Disappointing 2
  • Terrible 0

Rating Details

  • Value
  • Guide
  • Activities
  • Lodging
  • Transportation
  • Meals

Tour Reviews

Andes to Amazon

Andes to Amazon

March 2017
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
A wonderful introduction to a hugely diverse country in terms of people, culture, nature and landscape. We came expecting a developing country and found a first-world one with a wealth of natural resources.
The diversity of the flora was amazing - particularly ferns and the general greenness of the diverse topography. The constantly changing landscape and ecology that the trip itinerary presented was quite breathtaking.

Pablo Molveda was one of the best tour leaders we have experienced in nearly 20 years of travelling in small groups. He was patient, humorous, knowledgeable, kind and inspired confidence - the perfect guide to a new country.

Despite your grading of leisurely/moderate we found the trip relatively full-on compared with others we have experienced. Whilst we were happy with the pace of the trip, others may find it a little strenuous with respect to activities and the amount of travelling/moving on between hotels and the relative lack of free time.

The driver (Mauricio) was probably the best we have encountered and everyone felt supremely safe in his hands.

Read more

Andes to Amazon

Andes to Amazon

March 2017
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
This was an amazing journey through all the different regions of Ecuador.
We started in Quito, went to the cloud forest, through hot springs, markets in Otavalo, to the jungle, up to Chimbarazo - the point nearest the sun, to the lovely city of Cuenca up to the high plains of Cajas national park, back to the mangroves and dry tropical forest.
Our guide and driver were amazing, the food was lovely and I would not believe it was possible to fit so much into two weeks. It was not for the feint hearted - we had very long days of travelling and went up and down in terms of altitude and temperature. Perhaps some shorter drives and longer time in the lovely places we stayed would have made it a bit more like a holiday! Not sure how it could be changed though.
Can't pick out one? I loved traveling down river in the jungle and the Mangroves, and being up in the Cajas National Park. Cuenca was a lovely city and joining in the Mardi Gras celebrations as we went along made the trip very special.

He was excellent. He was very good at including everyone and dealing with various illnesses suffered by the group. He had heaps of local knowledge.

Keep luggage to a minimum. Lots of outdoor wear clothes which protect from sun and insects. Make sure you are fit for the walks which are quite hard, and be prepared for very long journeys.

Only that cutting out one or two activities or stays may have made it more relaxing. Personally the jungle activities were my least favourite although I enjoyed staying in the lodge.

Read more

Galapagos, in Darwin's Footsteps - Amazing!

Galapagos, In Darwin's Footsteps 2017

February 2017
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
This was to be our "holiday of a lifetime" - I was slightly concerned it might not live up to my expectations as I had wanted to visit Galapagos for many years. However I was not disappointed! Every day I thought it couldn't get any better, but it did. The wildlife was all fantastic. I didn't expect to do so much snorkelling, but it meant we were swimming with turtles, sealions, sharks and many colourful fishes :)
Highlights for me were Floreana (especially meeting the Wittmer family), camping and walking up Sierra Negra, and swimming with turtles.

Fabian was excellent! He pulled a very diverse group of people together and made sure no-one was left out. His knowledge of the islands and the wildlife was great.

Read the book "Floreana" by Wittmer before you visit the Island of Floreana. It is a fascinating story and you will look at the island in a different light!
Buy a wildlife guide book before you go. I expected there to be a wider choice of guides on the islands, but there is in fact very little choice.

Read more
February 2017
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
I travelled in november 2016 to the galapagos. I had a great trip. There were fourteen in the group. It was a mixture of couples and singles. The days were spent either travelling by boat , swimming/ snorkelling . Or some walking. The snorkelling was amazing. It was more difficult than i had anticipated. The snorkelling at kicker rock was really cold and not for the faint hearted. The walking was easy. It was very dry and dusty on the hike. It wouldn't have taken much rain for the trail to become very muddy.
Loved all the snorkelling. My favourites were santa fe and floreana. There was a mix up with bookings - at the end of the trip we went to santa fe instead of bartholome.

Fabian was knowledgable and very patient. There were also galapagos guides who were good. You just had to turn up and everything happened.

I took my own snorkel and mask. I was glad i did as i could make sure it fitted properly before i went. You can hire them though. The water was cold and some days you did need a wet suit. I hired one. For the hike i had walking boots and a walking pole. I carried the pole like an ornament most of time. However i think it could get very muddy on the trail. If it is muddy, A walking pole would be handy. The trail down to the suphur mine was steep.
You don't need to buy much water. All the hotels had water fountains with filtered water.
Souvenirs were more expensive than i thought they would be. I waited until santa cruz to buy things. I got a few bits from darwin research centre.
The bus ride from the airport to the hotel can take ages. Sometimes the traffic was horrendous.


Read more

Galapagos in Darwins footsteps

Galapagos, In Darwin's Footsteps 2017

February 2017
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
A few days spent on each of four slightly different islands allowing you to see lots of wildlife and some interesting geological features.
Snorkelling with sea turtles ( never seen so many) rays and sea lions and the trek up to the rim of Sierra Negra. View of the caldera was amazing.

Fabian was very knowledgeable , had a great sense of humour and the patience of a saint.

With hindsight I wouldn't have bothered to take my own snorkel gear - there was plenty available to hire .

A trip to Galapagos had been on my bucket list for years - I'm not a good sea traveller so opted for this land based trip - it didn't disappoint.

Read more

Top Tour Operators and Travel Companies

Ecuador Trips & Tour Advice

Ecuador may pack more attractions per square mile into its Wyoming-sized borders than any other country in the Americas.

If you like mountains, Ecuador serves up the Andes. If you like tropical rainforest, exotic flora and fauna, and isolated rivers where the only noises are birds chirping and monkeys chattering, Ecuador offers the Amazon basin for your enjoyment. If you like remarkable Spanish colonial architecture, history and charm, Ecuador is home to beautiful (and beautifully situated) cities like Quito and Cuenca.

If tropical coastlines are your preferred scene, Ecuador lays the Pacific coast at your feet. If shopping is your passion, Ecuador presents a dizzying array of colorful hand-woven textiles, hand-made carvings –- and ranks as the real home of the Panama hat.

The Incomparable Galapagos

And if you like wildlife, the Galapagos Islands may be the top location outside of Africa to view it – and is certainly the best place in the world to get up close and personal with a variety of birds, reptiles, and sea mammals.

 You can walk, photograph, dive, and snorkel among them without frightening them or causing them to scatter – as long as you stay on the trails, don’t reach out to touch them and obey all the other rules of the land and sea that your trained guides lay out.

Extending Your Visit

Keep in mind that the Galapagos are almost 800 miles (1200 kilometers) from mainland Ecuador, so except for a stay in coastal Guayaquil or the capital, Quito –- the two cities from which Galapagos flights depart -- you may not see much more of Ecuador on a Galapagos tour than the islands themselves. 

However, many tour operators offer extensions to Galapagos tours that will take you to other destinations in Ecuador or nearby Peru; Galapagos-Machu Picchu combinations are especially popular.

Quito and Cuenca

The old section of Quito – which sits at more than 9,300 feet (2,800 meters) in the Andes, the world’s highest capital city – and Cuenca, which sits at 8,400 feet (2,500 meters) in the mountains, are both UNESCO World Heritage sites, filled with remarkable examples of Spanish colonial architecture. And both warrant a visit.

Quito is larger, noisier, and prone to petty crime like pickpocketing, but old town Quito is a trove of colonial architectural treasures such as the Jesuit church known as La Compania, with its ornate Baroque carvings and nave gilded with gold leaf.

Quito is also a good base for trips to the 19,000-foot (5,800 meters) high Cotopaxi volcano, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) south of the city, and to the famous Otavalo Market, about 50 miles north, where you can shop for woolen goods and other hand-made textiles and carvings, or just take in the colorful scene. The popular Middle of the World Monument, with its yellow stripe that supposedly marks the Equator, is on the way to Otavalo.

Cuenca is smaller, quieter, and also enjoys a spectacular mountain setting. The old city is filled with colonial churches, plazas, parks and museums.

Wherever you choose to go in Ecuador, Stride can help you find the perfect guided group tour or tours that best suit your needs. And chances are, you’ll want to return again and again.

Related Guides


South America

Local Attraction:  

Galapagos Island, Otavalo Market, Montanita, Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve, Cotopaxi, Quilotoa and Many More

Top Activities:      

Exploring Culture, Wildlife Sightseeing & Nature Sightseeing

Similar Destinations:                    

BrazilChile, Peru

Rover How can we help?

We respect your privacy and take great care to protect your information. By submitting this form you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.



Brian Gillis

Tours & Operators on Stride Awarded and Featured by: