Top Ecuador Attractions

The Galapagos

Quilotoa

Ecuadorian Amazon

Cotopaxi Volcano

Baltra Island

Andes Mountains

Quito

Cuenca

Otavalo

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Top Activities in Ecuador

Wildlife viewing in the Galapagos and Amazon

Learning about Darwin and the biodiversity of the Galapagos

Hiking in the Andes

Shopping the markets in Otavalo

Sailing around the Galapagos

Amazon River cruise

Snorkeling

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Classic Ecuador Itineraries

Ecuador in 1 Week

Although Ecuador is a small country, it’s best to focus your efforts if you only have one week to explore. One common route is to spend a few days exploring the Amazon region, followed by some Andean mountain sights.

Day 1-2, Quito: Begin in Quito, the country’s capital. Here you will be introduced to the colonial history of Ecuador, as well as get the famous photo op on the Equator line.

Day 3, Banos: This mountain town is a great place for horseback riding and mountain biking, and experiencing ancient Andean life. After a long day, soak in the towns nearby natural hot springs.

Day 4-5, Tena Region: The perfect introduction to the mysterious and beautiful Ecuadorian Amazon. This region is not only one of the most beautiful, it’s also one of the most adventurous - prepare for some serious adrenaline pumping! Here you may also have the opportunity to homestay with a local Quichua family.

Day 6, Otavalo: The town famous for having the largest indigenous market in Ecuador. Stroll through countless stalls in a maze of colorful fabrics, and learn about traditional craft making from locals.

See All Ecuador in One Week Trips

Ecuador & The Galápagos in 2 Weeks

Tours to the Galapagos typically focus only on the islands, which are often thought of very separate from mainland Ecuador. Travelers who have around two weeks can spend enough time exploring the islands as well as visiting some of the main sites in Ecuador.

Day 1, Quito: Start your tour in Quito, where you’ll learn about Ecuador’s extensive colonial and native histories. Visit the famous Equator line for a fun photo-op.  

Day 2, Otavalo: Head to Otavalo to experience the largest indigenous market in Ecuador. Stroll through the dizzying maze of stalls at your leisure, browsing impeccable handmade crafts and brightly colored fabrics.

Day 3-4, Avenue of the Volcanos: Take a mini Andes region tour through the Avenue of the Volcanos route. You might visit Cotopaxi National Park on your way to Banos, where you’ll get a small taste of the Amazon.

Day 5-6, Ecuadorian Amazon: Experience the most biodiverse rainforest in the world as you explore the incredible Ecuadorian Amazon. Stay overnight in a classic ecolodge and take canoe trips along the river for a chance to spot the many unique and rare species of the area.

Day 7, Devil’s Nose Train: Enjoy this thrilling railway ride down steep mountainsides, taking in the stunning Andean scenery. Continue on to Guayaquil, the famous port city from which you’ll transfer to the Galapagos.

Day 8, Santa Cruz Island: Fly to the Galapagos and arrive at Santa Cruz Island for your first taste of this remarkable region. Santa Cruz is one of the best islands for observing the Giant Tortoises for which the islands are named, and you’ll also have a chance to visit the Charles Darwin Research Center.

Day 9, Isabela Island: The largest island on the Galapagos is where you’ll get to do a lot of hiking among other worldly landscapes.

Day 10, San Cristobal Island: Visit where Darwin first set foot on the Galapagos islands in 1835. Go snorkeling among sea lions, tropical fish, and iguanas for one of the most spectacular experiences.

Day 11 - 13, Galapagos: Continue exploring the Galapagos and all the incredible wildlife there is to see. On this day, spend more time in Puerto Ayora, where you can relax and enjoy nice meals and fun outdoor bars. Do more hiking and photography tours to capture the incredible wildlife, known for their lack of fear around humans.

Day 14, Guayaquil: Arrive back on the mainland through one of the South America’s most important ports in Guayaquil the “pearl of the pacific”.

See All Ecuador & The Galapagos in Two Weeks Trips

516
Reviews of Ecuador Tours
96% Recommend

4.7 out of 5
Excellent 369 Great 126 Average 18 Disappointing 3 Terrible 0
Value
4.7 Guide
4.7 Activities
4.7 Lodging
4.7 Transportation
4.7 Meals
4.7

S

Recommends

Trip was good also need some improvements September 2017

4.0

Royal Galapagos Company Reviews

A review my recent Galápagos adventure on the Natural Paradise..

The good: them setting up the hotel, flights and transportation in Ecuador. Smooth and professional. The food was great! Every meal was delicious. My room (cabin 7) was large with a big bathroom and a balcony. They crew was great and accommodating.

Needs improvement: 1) cleanliness of my room. My first night there it was clear that someone had departed that morning..and I noticed the cabin wasn't cleaned as thoroughly as I would like. The towels were clean but had some stains on them. 2) the ship is new but there are broken items everywhere. There was a gap between the roof frame and my balcony. No blinds on the balcony door (which was a major issue with ship lights and sun rises). Floors were scuffed, deck boards faded. Looks like a lot of routine maintenance hasn't been done. 3) some of the excursions. Many times I felt the naturalist was taking his time (over) explaining a lot of things to fill the time. I do appreciate you changing the last day to include the tortoises!

The bad: the SUPER loud engine and generator. There was never a moment of silence on the ship. And when the motor turned on or the anchor went up or down, everyone on the ship wakes up.
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Operator Royal Galapagos

E

Recommends

Highlights of Spain and Portugal November 2016

4.0

Highlights of Spain and Portugal Summer 2018

Loved side trips to the smaller coastal areas but would have liked more time to explore the towns. Great tour guide, Rachel Thomas, gives a good history lesson on the areas we saw! Loved the trip, just didn't like locations of hotels, too out of the way. Read more

Operator Trafalgar

A

Recommends

Andes to Amazon August 2016

4.0

Andes to Amazon

A good tour with a variety of landscapes, flora and fauna to see, as well as opportunity to see how some of the natives make a living.
Something not planned but since Tungurahua erupted while we were in Banos we were able to spend some time on the hillside opposite watching the show it put on, and listening / watching it from the hacienda that night.

Pablo is an enthusiastic ambassador for his country with a strong sense of humour and willing to encourage tour groups of all ages to retire to Ecuador.

There are parts of the tour where it is hot, and parts where it is cold - take layers (as many as four of five unless you don't feel the cold very much) and keep them with you on days outside the jungle and the coast.
Have a smaller, waterproof bag to take a couple of days clothing to the jungle lodge instead of your entire luggage.
Be aware that while it won't necessarily rain, it can - hard. Prepare accordingly.

Don't expect the same standard of accommodation everywhere, but all have character and some may surprise you.....

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Operator Exodus Travels

p

Recommends

Everything went smoothly, well organized. September 2015

4.0

Galapagos Venture

Everything went smoothly, well organized.

Operator Intrepid Travel

V

Recommends

It was a great experience with great guides April 2015

4.0

Galápagos Central Islands & Inca Discovery

Both galapagos and machu pichu was amazing! The places where beautiful, the people where great and al In al it was a great experience that I would not change for the world!

Operator G Adventures

J

Does Not Recommend

Highlights of Spain and Portugal December 2016

3.0

Highlights of Spain and Portugal Summer 2018

I was booked on Insight tour but it was cancelled
I was disappointed in not going to Barcelona and Rock of Gibraltor

Operator Trafalgar

See all reviews for Ecuador Top Operators & Trips
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