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A country also boasting islands that changed the way we view the planet.
Flamboyant, joyful carnivals, fun, spirited people and a diversity of nature to match anywhere else on earth.
Well, there is such a place.
Holidays in Ecuador can be tailor-made with Trailfinders, meaning you can see what you want, how you want. The utterly unique Galapagos Islands should certainly be on your list, but back on the mainland, the choice really is endless.
In old Quito, churches decorated entirely in Spanish gold-leaf line the cobbled streets along with pastel coloured buildings and crumbling bell towers.
There’s a modern side to the mountain-framed city too and, just two hours away, is the centre of the earth, the equator, and Otavalo Market.
Since pre-Inca times, jungle traders would travel here by foot to sell their wares and to this day, the tradition continues, just amplified as thousands of traders from across the continent converge to trade every week.
Following the Andes southwards, along the Avenue of the Volcanoes, past Cotopaxi and the many haciendas to stay in, you'll have the chance to ride the famous ‘Devil’s Nose’ train before arriving in charming Cuenca.
A quaint, historic town set along a river the pace of life her is blissfully slow. Try the local speciality here – cuy, wander the age-old streets and plazas or enjoy a coffee with the locals.
However, if its wildlife you’re after, then from Quito, simply head west an hour or two for magical Cloud Forests, such as Mindo, one of the most biodiverse regions of earth.
To the east, however, is the Amazonian rainforest.
Different entirely to the mist and the hummingbirds of the cloud-forests; here caimans, giant river otters, piranhas and macaws call this rich, verdant land home.
Ecuador really does have it all.
OUR HOLIDAYS TO ECUADOR
8 days / 7 nights
Discover Ecuador’s magnificent volcanoes, picturesque cities and colourful markets as you travel from the capital Quito, nestled high in the Andes, to the coastal city of Guayaquil.
Northern Ecuador & the Galapagos in Style
15 days / 14 nights
Explore the stunning scenery of northern Ecuador whilst staying in some of the country’s most luxurious properties before flying to the Galápagos Islands for an unforgettable adventure.
13 days / 12 nights
Discover two sides of nature in this small yet diverse country; first exploring the pristine Amazon Rainforest followed by the wonderful Galápagos archipelago.
3 days / 2 nights
Travel past snow-capped volcanoes and discover hidden waterfalls deep in the lush forest before enjoying a soak in the warm thermal baths.
Hacienda La Danesa Extension
3 days / 2 nights
Head to the beautiful countryside near Guayaquil and get a flavour for authentic rural life and dine on delicious locally sourced cuisine at this elegant and stylish property.
Cloud Forest Extension at Mashpi Lodge
4 days / 3 nights
Travel into Ecuador’s lush cloud forest for a three night stay at the incredible Mashpi Lodge and explore this wonderful environment with a range of guided activities.
WHERE TO GO IN ECUADOR
Avenue of the Volcanoes
OUR RECOMMENDED HOTELS IN ECUADOR
QuitoThis beautifully restored colonial mansion has a prime position overlooking the Plaza San Francisco, a cobbled square with a rich history. The sophisticated décor embraces the building’s original features and creates a calm oasis in the heart of Quito’s old town. Panoramic views can be enjoyed from the rooftop terrace and the hotel offers a complimentary local experience each evening. Outstanding Ecuadorian and International cuisine is offered in the restaurant, whilst the luxurious bar boasts a range of locally inspired cocktails. Each room has a sense of grandeur with lavish furnishings, high ceiling and large windows.
Cloud ForestThis stunning lodge is located just a 4 hour drive from Quito in a protected area of Andean cloud forest renowned for its prolific birdlife, incredible orchids and unspoilt scenery. The lodge offers a variety of activities with experienced local guides and expert naturalists who explain the flora and fauna of the area. Options include a ride on the Canopy Gondola, which gives excellent access to the impressive forest canopy, guided nature walks, an observation tower and also the opportunity to meet the local communities. In the evening take a night walk or simply relax at the lodge. Facilities include several comfortable lounges, a reading room and 2 Jacuzzis. The modern guest rooms and suites have floor to ceiling windows designed to allow guests as much visual contact with the forest as possible.
Napo Wildlife Centre
Ecuadorian AmazonThe Napo Wildlife Centre is the only lodge set within the National Park and owned by a local community. Activities are led by experienced local guides and include jungle walks, visits to parrot clay licks and canoe rides.
OtavaloThis special property is set on a large working farm amidst spectacular Andean scenery. Guests can explore the many walking trails or visit the Condor Rehabilitation Centre. Delicious meals are served in the communal dining room made with fresh produce grown in the hacienda grounds.
Hacienda La Danesa
GuayaquilLocated in the heart of Guayaquil’s beautiful countryside, a 60 minute drive from the city, this wonderful property combines authentic rural life with modern elegance and style. Visit the cacao plantation, taste some of the delicious products made on the premises or even try milking a cow on this traditional dairy farm. Optional activities (payable locally) include cooking classes, horse riding and chocolate workshops. The restaurant serves a sumptuous selection of local and home-grown foods in a contemporary Ecuadorian style. With only 6 guest rooms at the property a stay here is a the perfect place to relax and experience an Ecuadorian hacienda. Heritage Rooms are well appointed and cosy, while Converted Stable Rooms are luxurious with natural charm.
Hotel Del Parque
GuayaquilBoasting an unrivalled position in the heart of historic Guayaquil, this beautifully restored 19th Century mansion combines stylish interiors with antique furnishings. The peaceful courtyard is a great place to relax after a busy day, followed by a delicious dinner at the riverside restaurant.
THINGS TO DO IN ECUADOR
Quito & Centre of the World
Otavalo Full Day Tour with Lunch
Cotopaxi National Park with Lunch
When is the best time to visit Ecuador?
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