Overview & Highlights
A good value, economical holiday with small-scale, friendly accommodation. Includes Ecuador’s Cotopaxi volcano, the scenic railway to the Pacific coast and a land-based Galápagos Island adventure with activities and time to relax.
- Walking city tour in Quito
- Hike the Pita river canyon
- Latacunga market
- Visit to llama museum in Palacio Real
- Full day trip to South Plaza Island, Galápagos
- Snorkelling excursion to Kicker Rock, Galápagos
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.
Arrive in Quito; transfer to hotel in the historic centre.
Guided walking tour of colonial Quito.
Drive to Cotopaxi National Park; guided river walk.
Visit an indigenous local market and a llama museum.
Continue to Guayaquil on the Pacific coast.
Fly to Baltra in the Galápagos Islands (2hrs) transfer to hotel on Santa Cruz Island.
Boat trip to neighbouring islands.
Day at leisure on Santa Cruz island
By speedboat to San Cristóbal Island.
Snorkelling at Kicker Rock.
Day at leisure on San Cristóbal Island.
Fly to the mainland to connect with your international flight.
Things to do
We proudly offer the widest range of activities, excursions and one-of-a-kind experiences across all our destinations, tried and tested personally by our travel experts.
Browse our unrivalled portfolio of accommodation . Every option has been carefully chosen by our team of travel experts, so you can rest assured that you’ll relax in utter comfort.
Ecuador & Galapagos Islands / Quito
Hotel Real Audiencia
Ecuador & Galapagos Islands / Avenue of the Volcanoes
Chilcabamba Mountain Lodge
Ecuador & Galapagos Islands / Avenue of the Volcanoes
Hosteria la Quinta
Ecuador & Galapagos Islands / Guayaquil
Galapagos Islands / Isabela (Albemarle) / Ecuador & Galapagos Islands
Galapagos Islands / Ecuador & Galapagos Islands / San Cristobal Island (Chatham)
What our clients say
97% of our clients rated their experience with us as Excellent or Good.
I loved the beauty of the Solentiname Islands and Corn Islands. But my favourite part of the trip was definitely Leon as there is so much fascinating recent history.FW, Leamington Spa
I cannot imagine travelling to Latin America with anyone other than JLA. They again proved that they are the best in the business. After our first visit to South America I thought it would be a hard standard to live up to, but this trip proved me wrong.TS, Pontefract
Sunrise over the Galapagos from top deck on my first morning on the boat, utterly stunning!MG, Leyland
The Central American trip was excellent - really interesting to see the contrast in the countries. Could have spent longer in each country, but then that would have made the trip much longer!PG, Winchester
The Alcion Tour is a an excellent trip to take if you want to travel to the less travelled countries in Central America. The tour covers all the essential sites but it is the colours and flavours of the cities and towns you visit and the warmth and kindness of the people, particularly in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras, that really make this a wonderful trip. There are some long journeys but it is a real opportunity to see life as it is lived by the locals. Visit beautiful islands, see amazing wildlife, try fabulous local food and enjoy these wonderful countries. It's an adventure and an experience.CP, London
We were extremely satisfied with our Sandpiper Journey which provided us with a broad view of the Countries visited and the cultures, history, wild life etc. All in all, a great experience and a wonderful holiday.PH, Farnham
All archaeological sites were very good especially when accompanied by informed guides. Landscape superb in the Highlands.
All credit to JLA for going beyond the usual tourist venues in Peru and exploring a lesser known but beautiful area with many compensations for the very basic infrastructure.JF, Cambridge
This was such a good trip, with varying sights and weather, from the tropics to perishing Patagonia!AW, Orpington
The Iguacu Falls were spectacular and most likely the most impressive Falls I will ever see. We were absolutely spellbound by the magnitude, scale and layout. Obviously, Machu Picchu takes your breath away. Nature and man-made wonders at their best!PK, Ashton-Under-Lyne
The trip surpassed our expectations and I have already recommended Journey Latin America to friends and even to people I talked to on a bus in Machu Picchu, one of whom was from the U.S.A.
I found the trip most enjoyable and very thoughtfully arranged to maximise our experience - I have no complaints at all about the trip and found it extremely enjoyable. Our Guide was excellent - very friendly and informative and looked after us all very well. Overall an extremely enjoyable holiday.CW, Newcastle
I saw truly unique scenery and interesting historical buildings & monuments but for me it was wonderful to see all that I did and stay in clean comfortable hotels on this 'Discovery' tour. Thank you JLA.MS, Lymington
Most memorable experience - Sitting in the bar in Leon as the thunderstorm and wind developed and listening to the wild hand ringing of the church bell. Interesting and well informed guides talking about revolutions in Nicaragua. Trip around Lake Atitlan also made more interesting by knowledgeable guide.
A well balanced and organised trip, It gave an interesting insight into the historical, cultural, political and natural elements of the countries visited. Plus you got to stay in some great hotels.WA, Kingston
The trip of a lifetime. It was a great privilege to be able to visit somewhere as unique as The Galapagos.
There are two things that we most appreciate about the tours organised by JLA, one is the restricted size of the groups and the other is the quality of the leaders.AF, Alderley Edge
An excellent well organised tour. We saw all the major Inca sites & Machu Picchu was amazing, exceeding all expectations. The Galápagos Islands at the end of the tour just blew us away.AH, Stafford
It was exciting just being in Patagonia. The hike in Torres and the Profunda ranch visit in El Calafate were wonderful because they were more personal than the usual tourist trips.SG, Berwick-upon-Tweed
I loved it all and it could not have been better.
I had a brilliant trip. The experiences were varied the people great company and the tour leader exceptional. What’s not to love!HL, Newcastle
Overall it was a wonderful trip with an exceptional tour leader assisted by excellent local guides and drivers. We left with memories that will last a lifetime.GC, Fortrose
The holiday was all we expected and when asked we would recommend it to friends with reservation.EC, Taunton
An extremely memorable trip, well organised, with knowledgeable and passionate guides. I'm so lucky to have had this great experience and not to have had the worry of organising it!JB, Bristol
"This is my fourth JLA trip and it was as fulfilling and enjoyable as the earlier ones. You run an excellent organisation-and I commend and thank you. I will be back!!"AM, London
Stunning landscape / scenery in Patagonia together with Iguazu Falls were the highlights.DM, Sale
This was our fourth holiday with JLA, all have been wonderful experiences, different in their own ways, all with excellent tour leaders, different characters each with a passion for the countries they takes us into. Your Tour leaders are your assets do value them.HW, Bury St. Edmunds
This tour is an excellent introduction to Brazil and will appeal to anyone with an interest in wildlife and landscapes. In the Pantanal, there are excellent chances to get quite close to many birds, mammals and reptiles. But having an armadillo sit on my foot at dinner was quite a surprise.KM, Basingstoke
Guatemala is a very beautiful and interesting country which deserves to be better known. The history of the Maya and their ancient sites is fascinating, much enhanced by the fact that the Maya people are still there and their customs and traditions can be observed. The scenery, colonial architecture and birdlife: outstanding.JE, Ware
Eagle was an epic trip within all of its parameters; geographic, cultural, historic and culinary. I would not hesitate to recommend it.RB, Henley-on-Thames
This tour was perfect for first time travellers to the area. It was extremely well organised and the itinerary was well planned with a nice flow of events and very diverse experiences. We were amazed at all the wonderful sites, hikes and activities we had on this tour and will remember it for a lifetime.KP, USA
It was a wonderful adventure which we enjoyed with a very nice group, all of us led by an excellent guide.WD, Greenford
This was my first tour with JLA, and I would certainly have it as my first choice for tours in South America in the future.
The two journeys from Cajamarca to Leymebamba and Arequipa to Chivay had such spectacular scenery.MK, Hassocks
Overall the Nandu tour was a wonderful experience. We have seen some stunning scenery, done some reasonably tough hiking and had some fabulous meals. The JLA staff and their representatives have been first class and the food was excellent. The accommodation was mostly very good too. It is a full-on tour so people going on the tour may want to chill-out somewhere at the end of the tour to relax as we did!VJ, London
Many good memories - arriving at Macchu Picchu was something we had wanted to do for many years, so was probably the most memorable.CA, Wembley
Tailor made holiday
Our specialists have been expertly crafting award-winning tailor-made holidays to Latin America for 40 years. We would be delighted to create a truly personalised trip which perfectly matches your wishes and requirements.
Carrie Gallagher - Travel Expert
A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours department.
Inspired by this trip
Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.
Your edit for Latin American inspiration
Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.View Extraordinary Inspiration
Real Latin America Experts
Millie Davies - Travel Expert
Having caught the travel bug as a child, Millie has travelled all over Latin America before making her home in Buenos Aires for 3 years.
Charlotte Daubeney - Travel Expert
Charlotte's fascination with Latin America began with a family holiday to Belize. She went on to study Spanish in school and at university before spending a year living in Santiago, Chile.
Kathryn Rhodes - Travel Expert
Kathryn backpacked across Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru before joining us. She has a degree in Philosophy and French and is a keen netball player.
Hannah Donaldson - Travel Expert
Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is a much valued Travel Expert in our Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tours sales team.
Hannah Waterhouse - Travel Expert
Hannah had an early introduction to Latin America when her family moved to Ecuador and she returned to study in Buenos Aires for a year before backpacking across the continent.
Ben Line - Travel Expert
Ben fell in love with Latin America on a six month backpacking trip from Colombia to Mexico in 1995. Since then he has explored most of South America, including living in Peru for a year. He is now Head of Sales.