Ecuador & Galapagos

Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands

Straddling two hemispheres, Ecuador may be small but it has a dynamic character.but what it lacks in square miles it more than makes up for in Astonishing wildlife, smouldering volcanoes, picturesque colonial towns and colourful markets are just the start of what Ecuador has to offer.

Once the Inca Empire’s northernmost territory, it boasts important archeological sites as well as pre-Inca fortresses. In the highland valleys, Quechua-speaking Indians continue the tradition of weaving and selling textiles, and creating artwork and handicrafts using much the same techniques as their ancestors.The beautifully preserved cities of Quito and Cuenca are noted for sumptuous 16th-century art and architecture. Some of Ecuador’s established native markets have existed for a millennium.

while sitting 620 miles off the coast are the famed Galapagos Islands where the wildlife will hardly bat an eyelid at your presence.Nothing quite compares to the thrill of observing wildlife on these natural volcanic islands, where the animals do not run or fly away when humans approach. From a cloud forest mountain spa, to the backwater streams of the Amazonian rainforest; to a cruise in the Galapagos… a luxury Ecuador tour rewards its visitors handsomely.

It was here that Charles Darwin discovered conditions that helped shape his ideas on evolutionary theory. Life evolved on these islands in isolation, separate from the rest of the world.Distinctions exist even from one island to the next.

Travel Info

WHEN TO GO: Mainland Ecuador can be visited all year round however expect more rain between January and March. Often combined with a week sailing around the Galapagos Islands which can also be visited all year round. The highlands are drier from June to October when there can also be a garua mist. December to April are the warmest months but do expect the occasional rainfall. The flora and fauna in the Galapagos are active all year round.

WHO FOR: This is a destination for the outdoor and nature lover. If budget allows, a week on a boat in the Galapagos is a must – either charter a small sailing boat with friends and family or otherwise sail in a bit more comfort on a mid-range boat like La Pinta or the Eclipse.

TYPE OF HOLIDAY: Riding Safari, Trekking and Mountain Climbing, Nature and Wildlife, Boating, Honeymoon with a difference.

Need to Know

ico-flight  CURRENCY: US Dollar

ico-language  LANGUAGE: Spanish

ico-map  CAPITAL: Quito

ico-flight  FLIGHT TIME: 11.30 hrs from UK (in-direct from UK)

ico-visa   VISA: not needed for UK passport holders

ico-time  TIME DIFFERENCE: GMT – 5 hours

ico-globe  COMBINES WELL WITH: Peru

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