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Ecuador and Galapagos Islands

6th May, 2021

While it might be one of the smallest countries in South America’s diverse and bountiful offering, don’t let it fool you - Ecuador certainly doesn’t come up short in regards to the wildlife and culture that it has to offer. From the rainforest and beach towns to colonial cities and mountainous highland villages, there’s plenty to discover in Ecuador.

Paired with the enchanting allure of the Galapagos Islands, home to numerous endemic species that were observed by Darwin and later inspired his theory of evolution, it’s no doubt that our Ecuador & Galapagos Island tour will be an adventure to remember.

New worlds to explore

Combining the stunning wildlife, awe-inspiring historical architecture and the vibrant Andean culture, the tour has been curated to offer a lively experience of these two fascinating destinations. There’s magic to be found around every corner.

So, if you’re a lover of nature and history, and love to be immersed in the unique, authentic experiences of a new destination, this tour is a perfect fit.

Due to the highly varied nature of Ecuador, many find that their Ecuadorian adventure is like stepping into a series of whole new worlds. And with the many multitudes contained within this small but impressive country, there’s a lot of new worlds to choose from!

The Capital

Quito, Ecuador

Just one of those many options is Quito, the capital of Ecuador. It’s found high up in the Andes - a staggering 2,850 metres above sea level! And just when you think there’s no way to top that, the city itself rests on the slopes of the Pichincha Volcano, which is accessible via cable car.

But that’s not all that the capital has to offer. It’s home to breathtaking grand colonial-era churches, original narrow cobblestoned streets, and various historical buildings - all impeccably preserved.

The height of heights

Cayambe Volcano, Quito

Quinto isn’t the only place in Ecuador in close proximity to a volcano. The small northern town of Cayambe is not only named after the Cayambe Volcano, but also lies at the base of the volcano itself! The impressive volcano is the third-highest peak in the country, making it a pretty epic backdrop to your adventures. Make sure you don’t forget to pack your camera!

Land of lakes, lagoons and more!

Imbabura Volanco

And by more, of course, we mean volcanoes. While Imbabura is most known for its gorgeous collection of lakes and lagoons, the Imbabura Volcano is a formidable sight as it towers over the San Pablo area at an impressive 4,600 meters above sea level.

The Imbabura area is also home to a plethora of highly diverse and fascinating cultures and traditional practices. All are vastly different and unique throughout Ecuador, if not the world!

Amazon Basin

An aerial view of the Amazon Rainforest

One of the most amazing things about Ecuador is that the Amazon Basin occupies around one-third of Ecuador's land area, making it one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. It also makes it the perfect place for kayaking and river cruise activities, where you can witness first hand the majestic beauty of the countless species of insects, birds, reptiles, and plants.

Nature’s spa

High up in the Andes Mountains, you can experience the delight of Papallacta’s thermal hot springs. Not far from the capital, it’s the place to go if you’re looking to relax and wind down during your travels. While you may think that the cold, misty mountain weather would be a deterrent, instead you’ll find that it makes the experience all the more enjoyable.

The crown jewel

Bartolome Island in the Galapagos

Perhaps the most alluring part of the tour for some, the Galapagos Islands are a true bucket list adventure..

Home to volcanic landscapes and endemic wildlife, like the giant tortoises that the islands are named after, this is truly a sight to behold.

While the islands are named ‘Insulae de Los Galopegos’ after the giant tortoises, which loosely translates to Islands of the tortoises, they aren’t the only gems of the animal kingdom that demand your attention. In fact, with Darwin’s finches, Española lava lizards, the waved albatross, brightly coloured marine iguanas, Galapagos penguins, fur seals and more, there’s plenty of wildlife to be enamoured and enchanted by.

Marine iguana's on Santiago Island in the Galapagos

The islands showcase “time capsule” ecosystems, which is the reason why there’s nowhere else quite like it. This is because the islands are situated in a way that causes three ocean currents of the Pacific to collide, creating a unique occurrence where there are both warm and varying degrees of cold seawater. Combine this with the biodiversity of the islands, thanks to its multiple habitat zones including coral reefs, sand dunes, highland forests, and scrubland, and you have the perfect conditions for a well-preserved wildlife haven.

In fact, one of the reasons why the Galapagos Islands are quite so popular is down to the fact that the islands are not much different from how they were when Charles Darwin visited them in 1835. So you can follow in his footsteps and experience the Galapagos Islands just as he did.

Experience the wonders of South America for yourself with Saga Travel

Our tour of Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands is full of eye-opening experiences for you to immerse yourself in. Featuring a 15-day itinerary, it allows you to see everything that Ecuador has to offer, paired with a chance to lose yourself in what feels like another world entirely.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.