Ecuador & the Galapagos

Overview

Ecuador’s startlingly diverse natural landscapes range from dense and steamy Amazonian rainforests to volcanoes and Andean peaks to untouched tropical beaches. It’s a world-leader in eco-tourism and a rugged playground for outdoor adventure.

Ecuador’s central region, the sierra, is defined by the magnificent Andes. Lush green hills surge into the clouds to form snowy peaks, intermingled with more than thirty smouldering volcanoes, some of the most active in South America. Cotopaxi, one of the largest in the region, draws thrill seekers and from all over the world to climb to its smoking basin rim or ride horses in the valleys.

To the east, the sierra slopes down through lowland cloud forests into the sultry domain of the Amazon rainforest. Ecuador’s biodiversity is almost unrivalled, home to twice as many bird species than the whole of Europe and countless species of wildlife and plants.

On the other side of the Andes is Ecuador’s coast, where there are long stretches of idyllic tropical beach, almost undisturbed by human influence, and dense and steamy mangrove swamps. Inland old banana, coffee and sugar plantations await your exploration.

Among the wild beauty of Ecuador lie age-old colonial cities like the capital, Quito and Cuenca. Both of which are Unesco World Heritage sites and contain beautiful examples of Renaissance-era architecture with cobblestone streets, balconied Spanish townhouses, whitewashed churches and monasteries.

Ecuador is the gateway to a special archipelago located almost 1000km off the west coast. The heavenly Galapagos has one of the planet’s most incredible ecosystems with endemic wildlife you don’t see anywhere else. There are untouched beaches populated by reclining sea lions, giant tortoises and rare penguins ambling fearlessly around their preserved natural habitat. Hop between islands to discover the inspiration behind Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of the Species.

Ecuador is the perfect introduction to South America, and Lightfoot’s experienced team will help design you a unique luxury tour, guiding you through the country’s best kept secrets.

Ecuador & the Galapagos Regions

Ecuadorian Amazon

The point at which the snowcapped mountains of the Andes descend into dense steamy jungle and snaking rivers marks the beginning the Ecuadorian Amazon, a nature lover’s paradise of epic pr…

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Avenue of Volcanoes

With a name like The Avenue of Volcanoes, this rugged region in the Ecuadorian Andes has a lot to live up to. It doesn’t disappoint.

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Otavalo

Otavalo lies in the breathtaking Northern Andes surrounded by the rolling caldera of Mojanda, cloud forests and alpine meadows. It sits in the shadow of ancient and mighty Imbabura stratovol…

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Cloud Forest

Imagine a place where land and sky merge, where deep mist rises from the jungle canopy stretching towards the heavens and concealing the peaks of huge mountains. Welcome to Ecuador’s Cloud…

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Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands lay adrift in the Pacific 1000km off the coast of Ecuador. There is hardly a human footprint in this remote paradise and few places on Earth come close to its near-myth…

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Quito

Standing at 2,850 metres, Quito is one of the highest capital cities in the world, a slightly dizzying experience on arrival which is soon shaken off as you pass through the beautiful old to…

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Ecuador & the Galapagos Itineraries

Ecuador & the Galapagos Properties

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Casa Gangotena

Ecuador & the Galapagos, Quito

Located on the corner of Plaza San Francisco in the heart of Quito’s historic old town, this three-storey colonial mansion provides the ideal base from which to explore Ecuador’s capital…

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Cormorant

Ecuador & the Galapagos, Galapagos Islands

Embark on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure aboard Cormorant as you sail around the awe-inspiring Galapagos archipelago, off the coast of Ecuador. This brand new 33-metre luxury catamaran has b…

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Finch Bay Eco Hotel

Ecuador & the Galapagos, Galapagos Islands

This charming eco-friendly retreat lies steps from Puerto Ayora beach surrounded by mangroves, on the island of Santa Cruz in the heart of the Galapagos archipelago, off the coast of Ecuador…

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Galapagos Safari Camp

Ecuador & the Galapagos, Galapagos Islands

Built on a 55-hectare farm in the highlands of Santa Cruz, the largest island in the Galapagos archipelago, off the coast of Ecuador, this eco-friendly luxury tented camp provides a unique w…

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Hacienda Cusin

Ecuador & the Galapagos, Otavalo

Hacienda Cusin is a restored 17th-century estate set in five acres of flower-filled gardens with winding cobblestone pathways, fountain courtyards and a menagerie of animals. This luxury bou…

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Hacienda Piman

Ecuador & the Galapagos, Otavalo

Hacienda Piman lies in enchanting gardens in a beautiful valley close to Otavalo in the Andes mountains, in the north of Ecuador. Recently restored, this charming 17th-century retreat marrie…

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Hacienda Zuleta

Ecuador & the Galapagos, Otavalo

Hacienda Zuleta is an award-winning luxury boutique hotel set in delightful gardens on a 4,000-acre working farm. It is situated on the edge of Zuleta village in the Andean mountains of Nort…

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Hotel Plaza Grande

Ecuador & the Galapagos, Quito

Superbly located in the heart of Quito’s Old Town overlooking one of the city’s principal squares, the Presidential Palace and the Cathedral, Hotel Plaza Grande is one of the finest hote…

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Huaorani Ecolodge

Ecuador & the Galapagos, Ecuadorian Amazon

Huaorani Ecolodge lies on the banks of the Shiripuno River, deep in Ecuador’s Amazon rainforest renowned for its huge diversity of wildlife. Owned by the ancient Huaorani tribe, this award…

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La Pinta

Ecuador & the Galapagos, Galapagos Islands

Explore the enchanting Galapagos Islands aboard La Pinta, an exclusive, mid-size expedition yacht offering impeccable service, superb facilities and maximum comfort. It will appeal to couple…

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M/Y Grace

Ecuador & the Galapagos, Galapagos Islands

Named after her late owner Princess Grace of Monaco, Grace offers personalised service, luxurious accommodation and superb facilities. This luxury yacht is suited to discerning couples or fa…

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Mashpi Lodge

Cloud Forest, Ecuador & the Galapagos

This luxury boutique lodge lies deep in a 3,212-acre Mashpi Reserve, 900 metres above sea level, in the remote northwest of Ecuador. Mashpi Lodge is a spectacular cloud forest retreat design…

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National Geographic Endeavour

Ecuador & the Galapagos, Galapagos Islands

The National Geographic Endeavour, operated by Lindblad Expeditions, spends the year plying the wildlife rich waters of the Galapagos Islands. A classic expedition ship, she benefits from on…

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National Geographic Islander

Ecuador & the Galapagos, Galapagos Islands

National Geographic Islander, operated by Lindblad Expeditions, spends the year plying the wildlife rich waters of the Galapagos Islands. Small and modern, she is a very comfortable option f…

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Ocean Spray Galapagos Cruise

Ecuador & the Galapagos, Galapagos Islands

Offering exceptional performance, unrivalled facilities and comfort, this new, 34-metre, ultra-modern yacht will appeal to adventure-seekers looking for a unique and unforgettable expedition…

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Petrel

Ecuador & the Galapagos, Galapagos Islands

Embark on an unforgettable luxury cruise through the Galapagos Islands aboard Petrel, a newly-built 33-metre catamaran. This yacht is fast, sleek and stable and features stylish contemporary…

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Pikaia Lodge

Ecuador & the Galapagos, Galapagos Islands

Pikaia Lodge is situated on Santa Cruz, in the centre of Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands. This newly opened luxury boutique hotel is nestled in 31 hectares of lush tropical forest in a giant t…

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Scalesia Lodge

Ecuador & the Galapagos, Galapagos Islands

Scalesia Galapagos Lodge is a new concept of luxury eco-camping in the Galapagos Islands. Beautifully designed, the lodge allows you to connect with nature in the highlands of Isabela Island…

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Silver Galapagos

Ecuador & the Galapagos, Galapagos Islands

Set sail aboard Silver Galapagos on an adventure of a lifetime around the Galapagos Islands, off the coast of Ecuador.  This 88-metre vessel is the newest addition to the Silversea's fleet …

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