As one of the smallest countries in South America, part of Ecuador’s charm is its compact size. Its four main regions are the Andes, Pacific Coast, Amazon and Galapagos Islands. And these are all within easy reach of one another, allowing you to experience an incredible diversity of flora and fauna without long travel days.
The capital, Quito, was the first city in the world to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Today it boasts the best preserved historical centre in the Americas. From here, you can reach the southern city of Cuenca in just a few hours but we recommend taking your time. This route, known as the Avenue of the Volcanoes, offers dramatic scenery, colourful markets and plenty of towering volcanic peaks. The Amazon Basin is a just a 30 minute flight from Quito. Leave the mountains in the morning and find yourself in lush tropical rainforest by lunch time.
The Galapagos Islands are only two hours away (by plane) from the mainland and are one of the world’s most amazing wildlife destinations. The islands are a superlative destination for photographers, with fearless birds and animals allowing for incredible portraits. And what’s more, there is never a bad time to travel to the islands because every season offers different wildlife events and experiences. It’s a truly magical place.
Ecuador’s cloud forest is just an hour’s drive from Quito and is a birdwatchers paradise. The region contains an incredible number of endemic species found nowhere else. Rise early to enjoy the cacophony of the rainforest at dawn. And then, trek through verdant green forest, splash through pure mountain streams and swim under pristine waterfalls. This is the perfect antidote to busy, modern life.
– April to November is the dry season in Ecuador’s highlands and the best time for travelling along the Avenue of the Volcanoes.
– The Galapagos Islands can be visited all year round. December to June is warm and humid, while July to November is cooler with fresher winds.
– The driest period in Ecuador’s Amazon begins in December and ends around February. While the wettest months tend to be May and June. But of course this is the rainforest and rainfall is typical all year round.
– Experience the wonders and diversity of Ecuador aboard the sensational Tren Crucero as you travel between the highlands and the lush coastal region.
– An overnight stay in a converted historical hacienda. This is the ultimate way to experience the country’s sublime landscapes in style.
– Enjoy the laid-back small-town atmosphere of UNESCO Heritage-listed Cuenca, with cobblestone streets, graceful balconies and religious art treasures.