Ecuador & The Galápagos
With a varied landscape that includes the coast, highlands and Amazon rainforest, Ecuador supports a startlingly diverse range of flora and fauna for such a compact country. And that’s before you take into account the beguiling islands of the Galápagos archipelago, where you’ll stumble across a series of endemic species. Whether you come for Andean adventure, Amazon wildlife and close-up encounters with the creatures of the Galápagos or cultural and colonial treasures, you’ll uncover an array of wonders.
Uncover the colonial history and architecture of Quito. Hang out in the historic Plaza San Francisco and admire the beautifully restored mansions. Meet artisans and craftsmen. Shop for the perfect Panama hat. Ride the Tren Crucero through the highlands and horse ride between haciendas. Surf tight breaks off the Pacific coast or white-water raft rivers through the jungles of Oriente. Explore a vast rainforest reserve to spot howler monkeys, caiman and exotic tree frogs before you retire to the glass fronted canopy-level cabins of Mashpi Lodge. Cycle through the forest canopy on a Sky Bike. Trek forest trails to hidden waterfalls and float in plunge pools and waterways below the cascades. Cruise through the Amazon on a luxury vessel. Explore the Galápagos by private yacht, with a crew containing an expert naturalist. Sunbathe on black lava rocks alongside blue-footed boobies and frigate birds. Snorkel and dive among the incredible fish and marine animals that live among the archipelago, with the chance to swim with sea lions and whale sharks, submerge among enormous schools of hammerhead sharks or witness the undersea grazing of prehistoric-looking marine iguanas. Look for giant tortoises while climbing a volcanic crater or trekking through bizarre cactus forests. Simply sit in silence and soak up the primeval scenery.
Kick off your adventure with a stay in a historic town house or colonial mansion such as the exquisite Casa Gangotena in the capital Quito. On the coast look for rustic beach cabanas, in the highlands immerse yourself in a traditional hacienda and in the rainforest, seek out spectacular lodges and canopy level retreats such as the eco-adventure Mecca Mashpi Lodge. In the Galápagos cruise among the islands on board a luxury yacht or opt for a unique land-based eco-retreat on the island of Santa Cruz and stay at seriously green, stylish Pikaia Lodge.
Right in the heart of old Quito on Plaza San Francisco, Casa Gangotena is a magnificent Neo-Classical mansion, held to be among the city’s smartest addresses.
La Pinta Yacht
A tour of the breath-taking Galápagos Islands aboard luxury yacht La Pinta will provide guests with enriching wildlife encounters expertly delivered by experienced guides, all in luxuriant surroundings complemented by delicious food and flawless service.
Pikaia Lodge Galápagos
Pikaia Lodge represents a stunning alternative to the traditional way of experiencing the Galápagos Islands.
Hilton Colon Guayaquil
Close to the and an ideal stopover before or after a trip to the Galápagos Islands, Guayaquil has a fantastic outdoor pool set in tropical gardens, and a great range of restaurants and bars.
Guayaquil is more than a Galápagos stopover and, with its waterfront setting and modern exterior, the Wyndham is one of the city's best offerings. Oversized guest rooms feature fabulous city views alongside an al fresco restaurant, heated rooftop pool, hot tub, bar terrace and spa.
Swissotel Quito is one of the city's top luxury hotels. Located in the city's Floresta neighbourhood, home to some of Quito’s most famous sights, you’ll be well placed for exploring the city. Enjoy a luxe spa, modern rooms & an excellent Japanese eatery alongside a stylish cocktail bar.
Finch Bay Galápagos Hotel
Rather explore the Galápagos Islands from a hotel base? This contemporary gem ticks all the boxes. All beach-led aesthetics, the luxury Finch Bay Galápagos Hotel vaunts a truly a fabulous oceanfront location, taken in from the likes of private dining and beachfront yoga.
The first destination specific ship built by Silversea, Silver Origin is perfectly designed for exploring the Galápagos, with a team of Ecuadorian national expert guides and the height of onboard luxury.
Ecuador proper, the mainland, is best visited from April to October. Be aware that the rainforests can receive rain at any time of year though. The warm months from December to May are the best times to travel to the Galápagos although the wildlife experiences vary throughout the year; turtles lay their eggs in January, penguins arrive in May, humpbacks turn up to breed in June and giant tortoise eggs hatch in December. Watch out for cooler climates and heavier seas during August and September.
Machu Picchu & the Galápagos
15 days from £9,995 pp incl. flights
In between exploring the mist-clad beauty of Machu Picchu and cruising the Galápagos Islands, discover the rhythms of Lima, Cusco and Quito, some of South America's most enticing cities.
Luxury Quito & Galápagos Cruise
15 days from £10,075 pp incl. flights La Pinta
There is truly nowhere else like the Galápagos, and this unforgettable itinerary showcases it all on a luxury yacht, with included excursions led by expert guides, alongside a stay in a luxury cloud forest wilderness retreat and time to explore the buzzing cities of Quito and Guayaquil.
Galápagos Exploration on Silversea's Silver Origin
11 days from £8,800 pp incl. flights Silver Origin
Explore one of the planet's natural wonders, the Galápagos archipelago, onboard Silver Origin. Luxury meets adventure on this voyage of a lifetime.
Galápagos Discovery on Silversea's Silver Origin
11 days from £8,800 pp incl. flights Silver Origin
Set sail around the north-central region of the Galápagos in sleek, sophisticated style. Be enchanted by the incredible biodiversity of the region, home to creatures found nowhere else on Earth.
Ecuador and the Galápagos
14 days from £10,265 pp incl. flights Silver Origin
Explore Ecuador by land and sea, from the rich history of the capital Quito to a luxury rainforest lodge and on to the abundance of wildlife in the far-flung Galápagos.