This is an economically priced, imaginative and exciting trip where you will visit both the Andean landscapes on the Ecuador mainland and jet off to the wildlife Mecca of the Galápagos for a stay in cheerful family-run hotels on two different islands.
Begin with a guided exploration of the exquisite colonial core of Quito then set off to explore the Avenue of the Volcanoes, where snow-draped mountains pepper a landscape dominated by the perfect cone of Cotopaxi (5,897m). Drive south, with a stop-off for a walk through pretty countryside and visits to local markets and communities, to board the train which makes the spectacular zig-zag descent of a near vertical cliff - the Devil’s Nose - and continues through tropical plantations to the effervescent port Guayaquil on the Pacific coast. Fly to the Galápagos Islands to stay in welcoming oceanfront hotels on two of the larger volcanic islands, linked by speedboat.
You’ll immediately be spellbound by the abundance of trusting wildlife, from sea-lions and iguanas to albatrosses and penguins. With a week there based at conveniently-located accommodation you have plenty of time to go out wildlife spotting, snorkelling and sign up locally for activities such as nature walks and kayaking.