Ecuador is one of the smallest countries in South America, yet it offers an extraordinarily diverse range of experiences; from the dramatic mountain scenery of the Andes to the rich wildlife of the Amazon; from the colourful local culture and excellent indigenous handicrafts to the unique wildlife experiences of the Galapagos Islands.
Explore Ecuador & Galapagos
Click on your destination of interest
Currency: US dollar
Flying time from London: 17 hours
Official language(s): Spanish
Time difference: -5 GMT
Visa requirements: Not required for UK passport holders
The Ecuador & Galapagos Experts
Our experts will be delighted to tailor a completely personalised itinerary to suit your interests, dates and budget.
Buy local handicrafts at Otavalo's indigenous market. Just north of Quito, this town has a fantastic daily market selling colourful handicrafts. On Saturdays the locals descend on the town to buy and sell fruit, vegetables and livestock. Throughout Ecuador there are villages with vibrant markets selling hand-woven textiles, ponchos, jewellery, panama hats, hand-woven textiles and more.
Snorkel in the Galapagos
Swim with sea lions and sea turtles, watch penguins zip past and flightless cormorants plunge in beside you. You will never feel so close to marine life as in the waters of the Galapagos Islands.
Ride on the Tren Crucero
Travel all the way from Quito in the Andean highlands to Guayaquil and the steamy coastal plains, aboard a vintage train. The Tren Crucero is a restored heritage train, pulled for part of the journey by an early 20th-century steam locomotive. It offers a luxury rail experience with overnight stays in traditional haciendas or hotels and guided excursions to places of interest en route. The scenic journey includes the infamous hairpin bends of the Devil’s Nose.
Take an Anakonda Amazon Cruise
Explore the Amazon rainforest from the comfort of the Anakonda, the only superior river cruiser to sail in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Navigating along the Napo river, make your way through the waterways of the wild Yasuni National Park and various smaller nature reserves, discovering the wildlife and local communities.
Go whale watching
Between mid-June and November, whale-watching expeditions are possible along Ecuador’s mid-Pacific coastline. This is when humpback whales come near to the shoreline to breed.
The latest from Compass - our online travel magazine
"There were too many 'wow' moments to single out any one occasion. We think the fact that Cox & Kings had organised everything and there was minimal hiccups so making the whole trip inspirational was a credit to you all. Many thanks.
Mr David Cowdry
Tours to fit your needs
Travel in South America
Find out more about what you can expect from travelling in South America – from internal flights to accommodation standards and local transport.