Even as one of the smaller countries in South America, the choice of activities in Ecuador is endless. On a tailor-made itinerary to Ecuador, Quito is a great base to explore the Avenue of the Volcanoes, Cotopaxi National Park, the Amazon jungle, archaeological sites, Mashpi cloud forest and Papallacta thermal springs.
When staying in Quito, take a morning tour to visit Quito’s historic centre, including the San Francisco church and a trip to the monument marking the ‘Middle of the World’ equatorial line. You can also take a cable car ride up Pichincha volcano to enjoy panoramic views of the city.
Only a two-hour drive from Quito, we would recommend visiting the Otavalo indigenous market, one of the largest markets in South America. Here you will find an array of artisans and colourful textiles, perfect for souvenirs. Another highlight would certainly be a stay at Mashpi Lodge, located in a private cloud forest. Only a three-hour drive from Quito, Mashpi Lodge is one of National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World. Here you can choose from a selection of activities including forest trails, an aerial tram or visit the observation tour.
One other place we would recommend visiting is Cuenca in the south of Ecuador. In this pretty colonial city, spend the day meandering the cobble-stoned streets or lie in the sun in one of the many flower-filled plazas.
As if that wasn’t enough, you can end your trip taking a cruise around the Galápagos Islands, offering exceptional wildlife viewing and geological wonders. Snorkel and swim with sea lions and sea turtles, enjoy panga rides along the coastline in search of bird and marine life, take to the highlands on a walk or by bike and learn about the preservation of the unique ecosystem of these islands at the Charles Darwin Research Station.