Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands

Where to go

  • Ecuador is a small country full of diverse cultures, climates and landscapes.  Highlights include:
  • Quito, capital city and UNESCO heritage site, situated in the highlands of Ecuador, surrounded by snow-capped volcanoes.
  • The Galapagos Islands, 600 miles west of mainland Ecuador.
  • Amazon rain forest with some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities and comfortable lodges in the Amazon.
  • Cuenca and the colonial towns in the impressive Andean highlands

 

What to do

  • Visit the handicraft market at Otavalo and experience its colourful Indian cultures.
  • Visit the Middle of the Earth monument on the equatorial line on the outskirts of Quito.
  • Stay in a colonial hacienda in the highlands from where you can climb Cotopaxi volcano (or just admire it from afar), go trekking, cycling, horse riding or simply enjoy the beauty of the surrounding scenery.
  • Visit the colonial city of Cuenca with its beautiful churches and architecture.
  • Take a jungle trip and see butterflies, sloths, monkeys, parrots, to name a few…not to mention beautiful orchids and many, many different species of birds.
  • Experience the marvellous wonders of the Galapagos Islands where you can walk amongst incredibly tame birds and swim and snorkel with sea lions.  Choose between intimate small yachts, cruise ships for larger groups or one of the islands’ hotels for a few days of island hopping.

 


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When to go

Quito and the highlands have lovely spring-like weather most of the year round although the nights can be cold.  The dry season runs from July to September with temperatures around 20ºC during the day dropping to around 8ºC at night.  It is more humid and hotter on the coast with the dry season running from May to December and average temperatures of 32ºC.  The weather in the Amazon jungle is hot and humid throughout the year.  The Galapagos Islands is a year-round destination, with wildlife to be seen throughout the year and different bird species breeding at different times.  The rainy season is from January to May but there is also plenty of warmth and sunshine and the ocean is at its warmest and best for snorkelling during this time.  May is a lovely time to visit the Galapagos Islands when the rains have ended but everything is still green and the water is still warm.

 

Currency and money

US Dollar.  ATMs are easily available in most towns and cities.

 

Cuisine

Quito has a wide variety of excellent restaurants that offer not only typical but also international and ethnic cuisine.  One of Ecuador’s favourite attractions is its food. You can taste and enjoy the freshest and most complete variety of common and exotic fruits and vegetables, many of which are available only at these latitudes. The typical dishes of Ecuador are delicious and highly recommended.

 

Hotels

Great choice available from privately owned boutique hotels and traditional colonial haciendas to international hotels.


Where to go next

Ecuador and Peru combine well together and it is just a 2½ hour flight between Quito and Lima.  On a typical 10-12 day itinerary you can experience Quito and the Galapagos Islands as well as Lima, Cusco and the famous ruins of Machu Picchu.

 

Links

Saspo’s partner office in Ecuador is Ecuadorian Tours.  For further information on the country and its highlights please see their website at www.ecuadoriantours.com 

Contact:    TEL: +44 20 8123 1827   Mobile: +44 7989 982 210   Email: Info@saspoUK.com