Overview & Highlights
With the freedom of your own self drive hire car, explore the varied Andean landscapes of Ecuador along the Avenue of the Volcanoes and a variety of great cities in under two weeks.
Wedged between Peru and Colombia, mainland Ecuador is certainly more compact than its larger Andean neighbours, but no less diverse for that. For those with limited time who wish to experience a wide variety of gob-smacking landscapes and traditional cultures, it’s a near perfect destination. And what better way to explore than by self-drive hire car.
The recently expanded and paved road network, negotiating the sun-scarred plateaux and plunging down through the shadows of near vertical, cloudforest-shrouded valleys guides you along a cross-section of this beautiful country. Twists and turns, switchbacks, tunnels, four-lane auto-routes and shady cobbled country lanes all feature in this holiday which not only introduces you to Ecuador’s main artery, the Panamerican Highway following the iconic Avenue of the Volcanoes, but also back-roads though patch-worked rural landscapes peopled by tight-knit communities where custom and tradition still govern the leisurely-paced bucolic way of life.
With the freedom of your own hire car, discover all this as well as Ecuador’s three illustrious metropolises, each standing in stark contrast to its sisters: the capital, Quito, a mélange of evocative history and dynamic contemporary society; Cuenca, one of the continent’s best preserved and stately colonial Spanish cities and Guayaquil, a vivacious and sultry port on the tropical coast of the Pacific Ocean.
We book your car, your accommodation, and supply loads of useful information including alternative routes and optional experiences based on our own travels along these routes.
- Walking tour of colonial Quito
- Cotopaxi and Las Cajas National Parks
- 9 days Self-Drive around Ecuador
THE UK’S NO. 1 SPECIALIST IN TRAVEL TO LATIN AMERICA
Arrive Quito, transfer to hotel in historic centre.
Guided walking tour of the colonial core.
Transfer to the airport to collect your hire car; set off on your self-drive adventure.
Cotopaxi National Park, drive to Quilotoa.
Drive to thermal spa resort town, Baños.
At leisure in Baños – optional adventures.
Drive to Alausi.
Continue to Cuenca via Ingapirca ruins.
At leisure in Cuenca.
Drive to Guayaquil via las Cajas National Park.
Explore Guayaquil, depart for international flight, the Galápagos islands or the Amazon jungle.
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
Casona de la Ronda
Ecuador & Galapagos Islands / Avenue of the Volcanoes
Hostal Mama Hilda
Ecuador & Galapagos Islands / Andes to Amazon
Samari Spa Resort
Ecuador & Galapagos Islands / Avenue of the Volcanoes
Hosteria la Quinta
Ecuador & Galapagos Islands / Cuenca
Hotel Victoria – Cuenca
Ecuador & Galapagos Islands / Guayaquil
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
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.
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.
Maggie Wilson - Travel Expert
Maggie visited Latin America on her first backpacking trip when she was 19. Since then, she has taken every opportunity to travel, and has managed to explore a lot of the region in subsequent trips.
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.
Sally Dodge - Travel Expert
A former Journey Latin America tour leader, Sally spent 7 years working, travelling and living throughout Latin America before returning to the UK to help people arrange their own adventures to this wonderful destination.
Juliet Ellwood - Travel Expert
After graduating with a degree in Anthropology and History and having been fascinated by Latin America since childhood by the book featuring photos of Nazca, Juliet first visited the region in 2003. Since then, Juliet has visited the majority of countries in Latin America but has particularly extensive experience with Peru, a country she loves for many reasons but not least, its incredible archaeological richness and delicious food!