Nature lovers will revel in Ecuador’s vibrant palette of wildlife, turquoise lagoons and breath-taking landscapes, spanning dense jungles and rugged volcanic mountain ranges.
As part of our 10-day luxury Silver Galapagos cruise, your adventure begins in Ecuador’s thriving capital Quito. Wander through the bustling Otavalo Market and browse its range of handwoven textiles, souvenirs, jewellery and clothing. Then, marvel at the baroque splendour of the ornate 18th century la Compañía and its stunning gilded interior. Admire the gothic-Medujar architecture of the Cathedral of Quito, before making your way to Equatorial Line Monument, where visitors can simultaneously stand between both the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Stroll along the historic Plaza de la Independencia and visit the Carondelet Palace museum for a fascinating insight into Ecuador’s cultural heritage.
A gateway to the Galapagos Islands, you’ll head on from mainland Ecuador to the Galapagos, embarking on a cruise to one of the Galapagos’ oldest islands, San Cristobal, formed by immense volcanic activity. Explore Kicker Rock, affectionately referred to as the León Dormido – the sleeping lion – where snorkelling adventures await along its coral reefs. Keep vigilant for sightings of humpback whales, green sea turtles, eagle rays, white-tipped reef sharks and possibly hammerheads too.
As you journey across the Galapagos by zodiac boat, you’ll also discover a wealth of fascinating birdlife, including flightless cormorants, the blue-footed boobies of Bartolome, flamingos and the white-cheeked pintails of Playa Espumilla. With an abundance of exotic fauna and flora, the Galapagos Islands offer a truly breath-taking backdrop for adventure.
Ecuador Escorted Tour
Ecuador Wildlife Tour
“Make sure you stop off at Post Office Bay. People from all over the world leave their unstamped mail for travellers to hand-deliver. If you spot any addressed to your home country, you take it and pass on their messages. It’s great fun, and a tradition that dates hundreds of years back.”
“Keep your cameras primed at Calega Tagus. There’s a whole host of exotic wildlife to be found here, from flightless cormorants and sea turtles to Galapagos penguins.”
“Nature-lovers will be at home at in the mangroves of Bahia Elizabeth. The scenery is truly unique from the rest of the Galapagos, and you can take a relaxing zodiac boat tour through its maze of waterways. Keep an eye out for nesting pelicans, Darwin’s finches and even Galapagos sea lions.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I fly directly to the Galapagos Islands?
There are currently no direct international flights to the Galapagos Islands. Airlines will only fly to the islands from Ecuador’s capital Quito and the city of Guayaquil.
What language do the people of Ecuador speak?
The official language of Ecuador is Spanish, and as such we recommend you bring a Spanish phrasebook with you to ease any communication. Ecuadorian dialects may vary from standard Castilian Spanish, however the base language remains the same and is largely understood.
What currency should I use in Ecuador?
The official currency of Ecuador is the US dollar. We recommend you convert your cash prior to departure, as airport conversion rates may not always be favourable. As you would expect, locals prefer to be paid in smaller denominations. Cash machines are prevalent throughout Quito, but please keep in mind that there may be international usage fees, and many banks have a maximum withdrawal of around $500 a day.
Multi-cultural Quito and its European-inspired architecture is a charming starting point for an unforgettable journey across the Galapagos Islands. There’s no shortage of incredible biodiversity on offer here, whether you’re seeking awe-inspiring snorkelling experiences, relaxing on white sands, or you’re a keen photographer revelling in the variety of exotic landscapes on display.
Why you'll love Ecuador...
• Learning of Ecuador’s vast and varied past at the Carondelet Palace museum
• Stradling the line between two hemispheres at the Equatorial Line Monument
• Exploring in search of sea turtles and manta rays off Kicker Rock
• Taking a letter from the peculiar Post Office Bay to hand-deliver
• Shopping for handcrafted souvenirs at the buzzing Otavalo Market
• Admiring the meticulous carvings and gilded interior of la Compañía
• Gliding through the dense mangroves of Bahia Elizabeth
• Relaxing on the remote stretches of beach at Las Bachas
• Witnessing Giant Santa Cruz turtles in their natural habitat at Los Gemelos
• Photographing the flamingos of Punta Cormorant
Did you know?
• The bark of the cinchona tree, Ecuador’s national tree, produces quinine, which is used to prevent and treat malaria.
• Ecuador is the world’s leading exporter of bananas, with 30% of the world’s bananas coming from here.
• Ecuador’s capital Quito is the second highest capital city in the world, at 2,850 metres above sea level.
There’s no question too small. Start planning your dream trip by talking to our Destination Specialists.
Sign up to our newsletter
Receive the latest travel inspiration and destination news.
How we tailor make your holiday
The Hayes & Jarvis Way
We've been tailor making holidays for 65 years. With over 60 destinations to choose from, talk to us and we'll listen to your travel ideas to create unforgettable holiday experiences.