Take a luxury holiday to Ecuador with Elegant Resorts and traverse the Amazon basin over glacial volcanoes, then drop down to the lush cloud forest, and onward to the sparkling Pacific coast - all within 24-hours. Please call our Travel Consultants, who will happily create a bespoke holiday itinerary to suit your preferences.
Despite being the second smallest country in South America, Ecuador is big in its offer to visitors. Visit Volcán Chimborazo, the country’s highest summit and the place closest to the sun on the planet, then come down to earth with a trip to Vilacabamba’s mellow village in the Valley of Longevity. Adventure lovers will adore the surfing and horse-riding, while the mountaineering and trekking is genuinely world-class.
Ecuador’s capital city, Quito, nestles in a valley at the base of Pichincha Volcano, surrounded by lushly forested hills just twenty-two miles from the equator. As the best preserved and least altered historic centre in Latin America, it was the first city to be declared a Cultural World Heritage site by UNESCO. Take a city tour to admire the Old Town, which features an impressive collection of Colonial architecture or why not visit Cuenca, which has also been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site?
In the Valley of Otavalo, situated in northern Ecuador, live a prosperous community of skilled Textile Weavers (Otavalos), recognisable by their distinctive dress. Markets play an important role in life, providing gathering places for the Otavalos to trade and socialize; watch artisans weaving on old-fashioned looms in peguche; wood carving in San Antonio de Ibarra, and at Cotacachi, famous for its leather products, you’ll be sure to pick up something unique.
As the single richest hotspot on the planet, Ecuador's Cloud Forest contains approximately 15% of the world's plant species and nearly 20% of the bird diversity. Amidst trees festooned with liverworts and mosses, giant ferns and swirling mists live Spectacled Bears, jaguars, sloths, Howler Monkeys, pumas and many other exotic creatures that exist nowhere else on earth. A visit to Mashpi Rainforest Biodiversity Reserve brings an extraordinary opportunity to observe the natural world close-up.
The small, smart and well-equipped La Pinta Yacht offers a range of expert-led excursions of varying durations throughout the Galapagos Islands. On-board, you’ll enjoy world-class cuisine and hot showers, as well as snorkelling, swimming and kayaking. Close encounters with the wildlife include the sea lion harems at Santa Fe, where the bulls vie for right of ‘Beach Master’, the flightless cormorant at Punta Vicente Roca (Isabela Island) – the only existing marine bird in the world, other than the penguin, to have changed from a flying bird to a diving bird and Galapagos Tortoises and giant prickly-pear cactus on the island of Puerto Ayora, also home to the Charles Darwin Research Station.
Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest city, is a natural port and home to Bolivar Park or ‘Park of the Iguanas’ as well as the waterfront with its historical, cultural and entertainment areas. Stories tell of a brave leader, Guayas, who, desperate not to fall into the hands of the Spanish, killed his wife, Quil, and drowned himself in the river. In the joining of their names, the city was baptised.