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EcuadorEcuador

Ecuador is a nature lover’s paradise! Everyone is an explorer as you traverse the mountains and beaches of this breathtaking country! Discover fascinating wildlife, such as the blue-footed booby, on the Galapagos Islands. Channel your inner scientist as you closely examine organisms that inspired Charles Darwin’s book, On the Origin of Species.  Enjoy small talk with locals at the Otavalo Market. Experience the authenticity of Quito, the country’s capital and UNESCO World Heritage site built upon Incan ruins. This historic city has a beautiful backdrop amid mountains and volcanoes. Prepare to be amazed at everything this enchanting country has to offer! Now all you have to do is pack your bags.

Highlights

  1. Wildlife

    Ecuador is the perfect place to see exotic wildlife! From giant tortoises strolling through lush meadows to sea lions frolicking in tropical waters, the animals of this country will never cease to amaze you! Relax during a cruise of the Galapagos Islands, and experience the sights and sounds like Darwin during his voyage on the HMS Beagle. Keep your eyes peeled for colorful macaws (parrots), slithering iguanas, and blue footed boobies performing their mating dance. Whether you’re trekking the terrain of Tortuga Bay, or wandering through the capital city of Quito, witnessing the abundant wildlife in their natural habitat will surely leave you in awe!
  2. Otavalo Market 

    Put your best bargaining skills to the test at the Otavalo Market! This outdoor market is the largest in South America. You could spend hours perusing hundreds of stalls lined with brightly-colored handicrafts, set against a picturesque backdrop of volcanoes. Saturday and Wednesday are the busiest days and have the most vendors. Popular items to buy include jewelry, clothes made from alpaca wool, paintings, and ceramics, just to name a few. A stop at this indigenous market is an experience unlike any other!   
  3. Quito

    Ecuador’s capital city is tucked in between the Andes Mountains and the Pichincha Volcano. Built upon a former Incan City and more than 9,000 ft. above sea level, this city in the clouds is characterized by its stunning landscape and ornate architecture.  It’s impossible to walk around without noticing the vast beauty and culture that surrounds you. From brightly-colored castles (castillos), to towering churches that blend multiple architectural styles, the structures of Quito are a reflection of its inhabitants throughout the centuries. In fact, the buildings have been so perfectly-preserved that Quito was named a cultural World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1978. But just because it is one of the oldest capital cities in the world doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to do and see today! Ride the TelefériQo (cable car) up the Pichincha Volcano to get a bird’s-eye view of the city. If you’re really adventurous, continue hiking up the volcano for even more jaw-dropping views. If you prefer a relaxed atmosphere, stroll down the Calle de la Ronda, a charming cobblestone street lined with artisan shops, galleries, and cafes.  
  4. Los Gemelos

    The unique formations of Los Gemelos, which literally translates to “The Twins,” are located in the forest region of Santa Cruz Island. Although Los Gemelos are frequently called “craters,” they’re actually sinkholes. Lava flowed down the mountains during a volcanic eruption, creating lava walls and tunnels underground. After thousands of years, the roofs collapsed and formed sinkholes. Los Gemelos is a rare composition of lush greenery and volcanic rock walls that you don’t want to miss! Situated in close proximity to one another, Los Gemelos are conveniently located along the main road of Santa Cruz, making it easily accessible.

Fast Facts

Already booked on one of our packages to Ecuador? See everything you need to know before you go.

Overview

Capital: Quito
Population:  16.39 million
Currency: U.S. dollar (USD)
Languages: Spanish
Drives on the: Right
Time zone: UTC -5

Entry requirements

U.S. citizens must have a passport which is valid for at least six months after your return date. U.S. passport holders do not need a visa to enter Ecuador for stays up to 90 days. See the U.S. Dept. of State website for more information.

If you do not hold a U.S. passport, please see the entry requirements.

More information about passport, visa & entry requirements.

Health Precautions & Vaccinations

There are no official vaccination requirements for entry into Ecuador, however, inoculations against yellow fever, cholera, typhoid, polio, tetanus, and hepatitis and malaria suppressants (for the Galapagos islands) might be recommended. Consult your physician.

Center for Disease Control
World Health Organization

This tour includes some time at high altitudes where travelers may suffer from varying degrees of altitude sickness. Please consult with your physician about any precautions before you depart. 

Weather

Ecuador's climate is very varied. There is no perfect time to go see it all.

Coast: January to April is the rainy season with the warmest water currents, making it the most popular time to visit for surfers or snorkelers.
Highlands: June-September is the dry season and most popular time to visit.
Oriente: June-September are the wettest months. Lightweight clothing recommended.
Sierras: October-April is the rainy season. Sweaters and jackets are recommended at any time.

Quito is always moderate and the Amazon is always humid. Layers and a waterproof/ breathable jacket are recommended if you will be hiking in the mountains.

Tipping

Tip 10% of the bill unless a service fee is included, additional small amounts are appreciated. Round up fare for taxi drivers.

Money & Credit Cards

Always notify your bank prior to departure to avoid any problems using your credit or debit card abroad.

Shopping

Shop in Ecuador for genuine Panama hats, pottery, filigree jewelry, wool sweaters, wood carvings, ponchos, and Amerindian weavings and handcrafts.

Electricity & Power Adapters

120/127 volts. Plugs A & B. No converters or adapters needed.

Learn more about electrical standards around the world.

Cell Phones & Internet

Want to take your cell phone, tablet or laptop, but not sure how to get cell service or wifi? See our blog posts on using your cell phone abroad and the top 5 ways to get Internet abroad.

Did you know?
  • The Galapagos Penguins are the rarest species of tropical penguins and can only be found on the Galapagos Islands.
  • The country was named after the Equator, and there is a bright yellow line that marks the Mitad del Mundo (middle of the world).  
  • The Galapagos Islands is home to nearly half of all breeding pairs of blue-footed boobies.
  • Although its name is deceiving, the Panama hat actually originated in Ecuador.
  • 2 of Ecuador’s UNESCO World Heritage sites – the Galapagos Islands and the city of Quito – are among the original sites named at the first World Heritage Committee meeting.

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Tours & Packages

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4 matching packages
Small Group Tour Ecuador & Galapagos Cruise
Vibrant & colonial Quito & Otavalo, then an unforgettable Galapagos Cruise, including various islands and unique ecosystems and wildlife
$5799 w/ Flights 8 days
per person, double occupancy*
Small Group Tour Ecuadorian Amazon Cruise Adventure
A fascinating 4-night river cruise in the Amazon basin, then colonial Quito & the indigenous market at Otavalo; optional extension to the Galapagos
from $3999 w/ Flights 8 days
per person, double occupancy*
Small Group Tour Galapagos Islands Adventure
Explore the flora, fauna & spectacular scenery of two biodiverse Galapagos Islands: Santa Cruz & Isabela, with an extra night on Isabela! Optional extension to Quito
from $2999 w/ Flights 7 days
per person, double occupancy*
Small Group Tour Peru, Galapagos Islands & Quito
Explore enchanting Peru from Lima & Cusco to the lost world of Machu Picchu; then five nights in the incredible Galapagos Islands followed by the bustling city of Quito
from $5699 w/ Flights 16 days
per person, double occupancy*

Trip Reviews & Photos

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Check out independent, verified reviews from real travelers on Feefo.
* Advertised prices may include an "Instant Savings" discount and/or sale discount, available for a limited time. Prices reflect these discounts. Advertised prices are per person, based on double occupancy; single occupancy rooms may be available for an additional charge. Advertised prices are the best available based on the least expensive travel dates, departure city, hotels, and other options, and do not include optional excursions or other optional items. Your total price will vary based upon the dates, flights, hotels, and other options you select during the booking process. For packages including flights, prices include Airline Taxes, Fees & Sept. 11th Security Fee, but do not include excess baggage fees or advance seat reservations. Prices and availability subject to change. More about our prices.

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