Ecuador’s capital city, Quito, nestles in a valley at the base of Pichincha Volcano, surrounded by lushly forested hills just thirty five kilometres 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 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 socialise. 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 fifteen per cent of the world's plant species and nearly twenty per cent of the bird diversity. Amidst trees festooned with liverworts and mosses, giant ferns and swirling mists live brightly coloured birds (some native to the area), pretty butterflies and indigenous frogs, plus the occasional ocelot (Dwarf Leopard), or even a puma. A visit to Mashpi Rainforest Biodiversity Reserve brings an extraordinary opportunity to observe the natural world close-up.
The luxury expedition ship, Silver Galapagos by Silversea and the small, smart and well-equipped La Pinta Yacht offer 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 activities. 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. A once-in-a-lifetime trip to one of the most unspoilt, important archipelagos in the world is assured and a cruise is the very best way to see it in all its glory.
Ecuador’s largest city, is a natural port and home to Bolivar Park (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.
Please Note: New regulations require all travellers to Ecuador to provide the following:
-Blood Type details
-Pre-existing medical conditions and/or allergies
-Emergency contact information
-Medical insurance information
*This information may be requested at the time of booking.
|Time Difference||-9 hours
Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs as early as possible. We highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your Doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.
Visa and Advance Passenger Information
All passengers must ensure they have valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.Travelling With Children or Without an Adult
Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country (for example, South Africa) or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.
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Our Travel Consultants can advise on, arrange and pre-book many things to enhance your holiday. This includes everything from spa reservations and dinner reservations, to a range of special experiences available in our featured resorts that you may not know about.