Compact and diverse, Ecuador is like a tasting menu for South America. There are Andean mountains, complete with glacial volcanoes. At Otavalo, site of the largest market in South America, Ecuador's numerous indigenous groups come to barter for both crafts and staples. There are Amazonian jungles and charming colonial cities, like cobblestoned Cuenca. Best of all, all these flavours are packed together, so you can be in the jungle in the morning and at the foot of a glacier by the evening. Ecuador also has one gem found nowhere else: the pristine and fragile Galapagos islands, made famous through the writings of Charles Darwin.
Ecuador Quest (SEEQ)
Strange how a country that’s literally at the centre of the Earth can be overlooked, isn’t it? Stranger still considering how amazing Ecuador is. This 8-day trip shows off its best, rolling natural wonders (the Amazon!), stunning landscapes (the Ecuadorian highlands!), rich culture (Quito!) and active pursuits like hiking, horseback riding and mountain-biking everywhere you look. Good on its own, this trip also makes an ideal add-on to any Galápagos trip. (Trust us. It’s worth the time.)
Highlights: Feel like a local at an Amazon homestay, witness Andean scenery, soak in the hot springs of Baños, shop the Otavalo market
Galápagos Isabela Island Package (TSEGLN)
See a different side of the Galápagos from your base on the archipelago's two largest islands, Isabela and Santa Cruz. Travel by air, road and speedboat to Isabela Island. Hike around Sierra Negra Volcano's massive crater, visit a tortoise breeding centre and shark resting grounds. Witness flamingos in the wild, visit the world-renowned Charles Darwin Research Centre and enjoy plenty of opportunities to snorkel along the way.
Highlights: Hike up Sierra Negra Volcano – the second largest volcanic crater in the world – and walk on the lava fields, observe flamingos at an isolated lagoon, be amazed at the unique wildlife of the Galápagos