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
Machu Picchu Explorer (SPEX)
A wonder of the ancient world, the “lost city of the Incas” is the ideal place to unleash your inner historian. With 2-Days to explore the Sacred Valley, once you’ve left the road less travelled, you’ll find majestic ruins, striking views of the Peruvian mountains and local villages bursting with culture. As the premiere operator in the region, be assured we'll leave no stone unturned. An optional 1-day hike up the Inca Trail brings you even closer to Machu Picchu’s storied past, and if you prefer something a little more relaxing, there’s always the scenic train.
Highlights: Explore ancient ruins off the beaten path in the Sacred Valley with our expert guide, visit local villages and a Planterra-supported Women's Weaving Co-op, take in mountain views on the scenic train to Machu Picchu, enjoy traditional specialties with a Pachamanca-style dinner
If you're short on time but still want to experience the awe-inspiring majesty of hot springs and volcanos, look no further than this trip packed with Ecuadorian highlights. Among these are a jaunt through the Amazon jungle, a trip to the Papallacta hot springs, and a visit to the Otavalo handicraft market for souvenirs (because lava is kind of hard to pack in your suitcase). Throw in 2 nights in a luxury Amazon lodge and an overnight in a historic hacienda, and you'll have made a month's worth of memories in only nine days.
Highlights: Traverse the Amazon jungle with a local naturalist guide, be surrounded by towering volcanoes, explore an Andean community and have lunch with locals, learn about traditional handicrafts and folk art from local artisans, straddle both hemispheres at the 'middle of the earth'