Print this trip dossier

Journey Latin America asks you to accept cookies for performance and social media purposes. We use cookies on our website to personalise content, evaluate website traffic and enhance performance. You can delete or restrict cookies via your web browser. To get more information about these cookies and the processing of your personal data see our Cookie Policy. Do you accept these cookies and the processing of personal data involved? Find out more


Family Ecuador and Galapagos

Send an Enquiry
*
Contact details
*
*
*
*
Enquiry
*
Print-Friendly dossier

Tiny Ecuador is a perfect destination for families. The country is compact and easy to get around, so journeys tend to be short and scenic. Sitting at the crossroads of the equator and the high Andes, Ecuador encompasses an extraordinary diversity of geography and climate. Here your family will have a truly exotic and educational experience, with lots of fun built in, mind boggling landscapes and trusting wildlife.

Quito sits amid a bowl of snow-capped mountains and volcanoes and is the capital of Ecuador. You get to explore the old city and also to spend a couple of days in the highlands, staying at a hacienda (ranch) dating back to Spanish colonial times, from which you can explore the prairies on foot or on horseback.

Between these adventures you travel to Ecuador’s Amazonia  - it  sounds remote but in fact it is easily reached. Your family has a unique opportunity to spend a few days on a cruise following the jungle-fringed banks of the Napo, a major tributary of the vast Amazon river.

 Fly to the Galápagos Islands, but instead of taking a conventional cruise you will stay on one of the main islands, Santa Cruz, close to the town of Puerto Ayora with its many facilities. You can choose from a menu of optional guided explorations offering plenty of opportunities to marvel at the giant tortoises, swim and snorkel with sea-lions and eyeball prehistoric-looking iguanas.

Holiday itinerary

Day 1

Transfer to your hotel in the historic centre of Quito.

Day 2

Guided walking tour of colonial Quito.

Day 3

Fly to Coca in the Amazon and board your expedition boat Manatee.

Day 4

Explore the Amazon jungle by canoe.

Day 5

Visit an indigenous Amazonian community.

Day 6

Climb and observation tower, visit a bird-filled biological reserve.

Day 7

Fly back to Quito and continue to your ranch in the Andean highlands.

Day 8

Optional activities from the hacienda.

Day 9

Transfer to Quito and fly to the Galápagos Islands (around 2 hrs).

Days 10-12

Explore the Galápagos on land and by boat.

Day 13

Fly back to the mainland and connect with your international flight.

VIEW FULL ITINERARY DETAILS
Read more

Visit Us

Places visited on this holiday

Family Ecuador and Galapagos

Back to list of places visited
Quito

Quito has long been a city of two halves. Occupying a highland valley at 2,850m and flanked by volcanoes, the setting of its historic centre and adjoining modern quarters is breathtaking. The formerly dark and run-down colonial heart has been magnificently restored. Cobbled lanes and whitewashed façades, scrubbed up churches and renovated theatres now gleam and echo with the sounds of the everyday life of its traditional inhabitants. Beyond are the skyscrapers and broad avenues of the contemporary commercial city, La Mariscal, with flashy shops, offices and restaurants, where busy young workers flock to the many bars and nightclubs.

When to go

The capital is an all-year destination. Lying at 2,850m on the Equator, Quito has a year round spring-like climate.  Most days have a sunny morning but there may be rain in the afternoon. Feb-Mar are the wettest months, Jul the driest.

Language

Spanish

Getting local currency
Ecuador uses the US dollar. Notes can be withdrawn from the many ATMs using a UK credit or debit card. 
Time difference

GMT -5 hrs.

Combines with

A visit to Otavalo market in the northern highlands, 58km (1-2hrs by road); the bird-filled cloud forest in the Mindo region, 100km (1hr 40mins by road); the Avenue of the Volcanoes, 77km (2hrs by road); the Galápagos Islands, (2-3hrs by air).

Getting there

Average flight time is 15 hrs. There are no direct flights from the UK to Ecuador, popular routes to Quito involve a change of plane in Amsterdam, Paris or Madrid.

Key events

Dia de Quito: Quito, 6 Dec. The city’s own festival is actually celebrated from 1st Dec, with parades, street music and bullfights, right up until the fiesta’s climax on 6th. It can be quite boisterous.

Back to list of places visited
The Ecuadorian Amazon

The moorlands of upland Ecuador fall away through cloud forested slopes down to the jungles of the Amazon basin (Oriente), which occupies half the country but, still undeveloped and even unexplored, is home to only 5% of the population. It's a true wilderness of exuberant rainforest and remote indian communities. The region is easily accessible from by air but also by road and boat. The Oriente is under threat from the logging and oil industry but members of the local community are very eco-conscious and sensitive to the preservation of the rainforest environment, some have opened up their villages to welcome visitors.

When to go

The Oriente has a stable temperature of about 30°C throughout the year.  It can rain – often in tropical intensity – at any time but Jul-Sep and Jan-Feb are slightly drier months.

Language

Spanish

Getting local currency

Ecuador uses the US dollar.  There’s an ATM in both Coca and Lago Agrio but better take out cash in advance in Quito where there are many banks, and ATMs (bearing in mind that the amount you can withdraw may be lower than your UK allowance).

Time difference

GMT -5 hrs. 

Combines with

Mindo cloud forest reserves, 2/5hrs drive from Quito; the Galápagos Islands, 2-3hrs flight from Quito.

Getting there

Fly from Quito to Coca or Lago Agrio (1hr). You can also access the region by paved road climbing over a 4,200m (1hr) Andean pass and descending 100km; continue to your lodge by boat.

Back to list of places visited
Otavalo and the northern highlands
Otavalo and the Northern Highlands

The upland town of Otavalo, 2,573m, is world-famous for its huge livestock, vegetable and textile market, organised by the prosperous Otavaleño Indians who attend dressed in their distinctive costumes. Surrounding the town there are snow-tipped volcanoes, lake-filled craters, rolling hills, cobbled lanes lined with silvery eucalyptus, and tiny, whitewashed adobe villages each specialising in a cottage industry such as weaving, dough-ball figurines and wood carvings. Busy Ibarra, 2,225m, is populated by indigenous mountain people and others of African origin. There are leather goods to inspect in Cotacachi, 2,440m, and for walkers, a delightful stone-flagged track to the rim of Cuicocha volcanic crater lake, 3,246m..

When to go

The northern highlands have an all year round spring-like climate with temperatures averaging 21°C.  It can rain at any time in the year but most precipitation falls all year with Feb-Apr and Oct-Nov the wettest months. The main market day at Otavalo is Saturday when there are four different markets, including artisan and livestock. The towns and haciendas in the region can be busy at weekends and from Christmas to New Year.

Language

Spanish

Getting local currency

Ecuador uses the US dollar. There are banks in Otavalo but it’s best to take out money in advance in Quito where there are many ATMs.

Time difference

GMT -5 hours.

Combines with

The bird-filled cloud forest in the Mindo region, 37km; the Avenue of the Volcanoes, 136km.     

Getting there

It’s a drive of a couple of hours on a winding upland road (58km) from Quito to Otavalo.

Key events
Fiesta del Yamor: Otavalo and other towns, first two weeks of September.  Music, dancing, fireworks, cockfights, bullfights, processions and boat races on Lago San Pablo. 
Inti Raymi and San Juan:  Around Otavalo, 24-29 Jun. Bullfights, regattas on the lake, costume parties.

Back to list of places visited
Galapagos Islands
Sunset on the islands

The Galápagos Islands.  There’s something magical about the name - they are, of course, known as the Enchanted Isles  - and they sit adrift of mainland Ecuador in isolation in the Pacific Ocean, for centuries far removed from the influences of mankind. Up to the middle of the 20th century only a colourful array of pirates, whalers, convicts, eccentrics and fishermen dropped anchor on their shores.

Born from volcanoes thrusting their way through the surface of the waters, the clutch of alternately sun-baked and misty islands of twisted lava, jagged cliffs and scrubby forest seem an unlikely habitat for wildlife. But a phenomenal array of trusting bird and reptile species, not to mention undersea marine animals, have settled and evolved here, to the delight of visitors from Darwin onwards.

Watch the lumbering giant tortoises, nesting albatrosses, flirting frigate birds, comic boobies, wrinkly iguanas and frolicking sea-lions from a cruise or land-based adventure. Climb a volcano, kayak to a white sand beach or swim with hammerhead sharks:  so many unique experiences to get involved in are at your feet.   

When's the best time to visit the Galapagos Islands?

At any time of year some of the fauna species will be breeding, nesting or in some other way particularly active. The climate is not extreme and even in the wetter months the rain usually only comes in afternoon showers. Dec - May the weather is hot with warm, calm seas and more chance of showers. Jun - Nov it is cooler with morning mist and choppier, colder seas.

What's the official language of the Galapagos islands?

Spanish

What is the official currency in the Galapagos Islands?

Ecuador uses the US dollar. The bank in Puerto Ayora may offer advances on a UK credit or debit card but you are well advised to bring US dollars cash sufficient for your needs on the islands with you.

What is the time difference between GMT and the Galapagos Islands?

GMT -6 hours.

Which other countries combine well with the Galapagos islands?
A land tour on the Ecuadorian mainland; the Inca archaeological sites of Peru (daily flights Quito to Lima 2hrs 20mins).      
How long is the flight from Ecuador to the Galapagos Islands?

Flight time from Quito is 2-3 hours, 1.5hrs from Guayaquil. Quito flights normally touch down in Guayaquil.

Back to list of places visited
Guayaquil
Until quite recently a scruffy Pacific port with a dubious reputation, Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest city is a newly emergent commercial and cultural centre, showing off freshened up plazas and boulevards, a charming waterside malécon (promenade), good hotels and trendy restaurants. Always a flamboyant place in comparison with the upland cities, it has a vivacious atmosphere. The river Guayas is chock-a-bloc with boats jostling for space, some laden down with tropical fruits and sugar cane, others offering transport to distant villages. The historic quarter of Las Peñas nearby is an arty district with a tumble of toybox multicoloured houses, galleries and bars.
When to go

Guayaquil is a hot, humid place where the temperature seldom dips below 28°C all year round. Heavy rainfall can be expected from Jan-Apr but hardly any outside this period.

Language

Spanish

Getting local currency

Ecuador uses the US dollar. There are a number of banks in Guayaquil. Notes can be withdrawn from ATMs using a UK credit or debit card, but the permitted withdrawal may be a lower amount than at home.

Time difference

GMT -5 hrs.

Combines with

The Galápagos Islands, 1.5hrs by air; the southern upland city of Cuenca, 175km (2hrs 40mins by road).

Getting there

Average flight time is 12 hrs. There are no direct flights from the UK to Ecuador, popular routes to Guayaquil involve a change of plane in Amsterdam, Paris or Madrid. The city is a 50min flight from Quito.

Key events

Fiestas Julianas:  Guayaquil, 24-5 Jul.  Parades, fireworks, beauty pageants and other events to celebrate the city’s foundation and Simon Bolivar’s birthday.
Dia de Independencia & Dia de Raza: Guayaquil 9-12 Oct.  Various cultural events.

Speak to an expert Travel Consultant or send us your enquiry today.

Tailor-made holiday

Our specialists have been expertly crafting award-winning tailor-made holidays to Latin America for over 37 years.
We would be delighted to create a truly personalised trip which perfectly matches your wishes and requirements.

97% of our clients rated their experience with us as Excellent or Good.

Articles you may like

Browse our inspiration area of the site. It's packed with insider travel tips, Top5s, competitions, events, recipes and holiday ideas for Central and South America sure to whet your travel appetite.

More inspiration

Other holidays you may be interested in

View all holidays
Machu Picchu

Luxury Peru and Galapagos: Machu Picchu and the Enchanted Islands

Private journey

15 days from £8,311pp

Bartolome Island

Signature Galapagos: Island hopping

Private journey

10 days from £4,404pp

Galapagos tortoises

Value Galapagos: Budget cruising in the Enchanted Islands

Private journey

11 days from £3,867pp

Galapagos Hawk

Galapagos Hawk: Peru and Galapagos

Group tour

15 days from £5,195pp

Close

Please select a Start Date

Please select who's going

Please select the number of rooms

Not enough rooms have been chosen

Family Ecuador and Galapagos

Check available dates and pricing for this trip in four easy steps.

When Would You Like to Travel?

Step 1 of 4

If your preferred travel date is not shown there are a number of reasons why this might be. Please just let us know and we'll be happy to take a closer look for you.

Who's going?

Step 2 of 4

Our online booking system allows for up to four travellers per booking. If your group is larger than this please get in touch and we'll be happy to help process this for you.

Number of rooms required

Step 3 of 4

Our online booking system allows for up to four travellers per booking. If your group is larger than this please get in touch and we'll be happy to help process this for you.

Holiday price total

Step 4 of 4

Tour:

Family Ecuador and Galapagos

Departure date:

Travellers:

Room type:

Total:

The total price above excludes international flights at beginning and end of your trip. To add flights speak to one of our experts on 020 8747 8315.

Family Ecuador and Galapagos

13 days from £5,925pp

Price excludes international flights at the beginning and end of the trip

 

Private Journey

 
Close

Sign up to our newsletter

Sign up to our twice monthly newsletter and be the first to know about our latest news, offer and competitions.

Sign up with...

Your email

Or...

Using a social account is fast and means you don't need to remember a password.

We never share your data either - see our terms & conditions

Facebook Connect

Remember, you can unsubscribe at any time.

To see how we take care of your data please review our Privacy Policy

Thanks for subscribing – we’ll be in touch!

You are not subscribed. Some error happened.

Share this Page

Social share page will open in new window

Send a friend

reCaptcha_try_again

Page Full Path: /sitecore/content/JLA/Home/destinations/ecuador/holidays/family-ecuador-and-galapagos

Page ID: {58467403-D056-400D-BBD4-535DCA5AB58D}

Page Name: family-ecuador-and-galapagos

Page Display Name: Family Ecuador and Galapagos

Page Template Name: T013-Private-Tour-JJ

Page Template ID: {1987AD35-218E-4B05-8DCF-B80B79F469E7}

Parent ID: {92CEAD38-7193-4E8A-8CF8-4F67B8DF0DEC}

Parent Name: holidays

Parent Display Name: Holidays

Parent Template Name: T007-Tours

Parent Template ID: {C007F36D-3091-4A02-8D0A-2302CE1DCA8E}