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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 on the Galapagos Islands, such as the blue-footed booby. 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 historical 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

    Blue-footed boobiesEcuador is the perfect place to see exotic wildlife! From giant tortoises and sea lions in the Galápagos Islands to the pink river dolphins, giant otters, and colorful Hoatzins that call the Amazon home, the animals of this country will never cease to amaze you! Relax during a Galapagos Islands cruise and experience the sights and sounds that Darwin did during his voyage on the HMS Beagle. Keep your eyes peeled for colorful macaws, slithering iguanas, and blue-footed boobies performing their mating dance. Whether you’re trekking the terrain of Tortuga Bay, or wandering through the Amazon basin, witnessing the abundant wildlife in their natural habitat will surely leave you in awe!

  2. Otavalo Market 

    Colorful textiles, Otavalo MarketPut 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 include jewelry, clothes made from alpaca wool, paintings, and ceramics, to name a few. A stop at this indigenous market is an experience unlike any other!  

  3. Quito

    San Francisco Church, QuitoEcuador’s capital city is tucked 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. Walking around is impossible without noticing the vast beauty and culture surrounding 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. 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 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. The Galápagos Islands

    The Galápagos IslandsLocated 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, the Galápagos Islands are home to fascinating species and bizarre landscapes that you won't find anywhere else in the world! Travel in the footsteps of Charles Darwin on an island safari, discovering unique wildlife such as Darwin's finches, lava lizards, giant Galàpagos tortoises, and more. Wander through prickly pear forests, the white sandy beach of Tortuga Bay, and across jagged lava fields. The Galápagos Islands are the perfect destination for the adventurous traveler.

  5. The Amazon

    The Amazon RainforestFeel a rush of adrenalin as you explore the adventurous Amazon. Known locally as the "Oriente," Ecuador's Amazon Rainforest is one of the most diverse ecosystems in the entire world, home to astounding biodiversity with over 300 species of mammal, 800 species of fish, and 350 species of reptile. Occupying approximately one-third of Ecuador's land area, the Amazon basin lies to the east of the Andean Highlands and is comprised of beautiful landscapes of winding rivers, lakes, and seemingly endless dense rainforests, dotted with some of the world's last indigenous tribes.

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 Please see our Entry Requirements page.
Staying Healthy

Malaria

Malaria is present in Ecuador. Take precautions against getting mosquito bites. Speak with your doctor about taking a prescription medicine (before, during and after your trip) to prevent malaria.

CDC Malaria guidance: Ecuador

Yellow Fever

The CDC recommends Yellow Fever vaccine for all travelers who will visit Yellow Fever Endemic areas of Ecudaor. Ask your physician for more information.

CDC Guidance by country: Ecuador
Find a local vaccination center

Proof of Yellow Fever Vaccination is required for travelers arriving to Ecuador (including the Galápagos Islands) from Brazil, Democratic Republic of the Congo, or Uganda. This includes airport transits or layovers of more than 12 hours.

Find a local vaccination center

Altitude

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 & Sierra: June-September is the dry season and most popular time to visit.
Oriente: June-September are the wettest months. Lightweight clothing recommended.
Galápagos Islands:  Wet season (Dec - May), Dry Season (June - Dec). Most popular time is Jan - April.

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 while traveling.

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? Read up 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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3 matching packages
On Sale 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 $3849 w/ Flights from $3449 Tour Only 8 days
per person, double occupancy,* during sale**
On Sale 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 $4199 w/ Flights from $3799 Tour Only 9 days
per person, double occupancy,* during sale**
On Sale Small Group Tour Peru, Galapagos Islands & Quito
Explore Peru, from Lima & Cusco to Machu Picchu; then five nights in the Galapagos Islands followed by the bustling city of Quito. Optional pre-tour extension to the Nazca Lines & Ballestas Islands
from $6749 w/ Flights 17 days
per person, double occupancy,* during sale**

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* 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, and other options, and do not include optional excursions or other optional items. Your total price will vary based upon the dates, flights, 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.

** Sale discounts valid for a limited time on for new bookings only. Not valid for Biblical Journeys tours or private, custom, or group travel. Advertised sale discounts generally also include any applicable "Instant Savings" discounts. Bookings made with sale discounts are eligible for travel agent commissions but may not be combined with any other offers, discounts or credits, except our "Instant Savings" discounts.

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