Private Journeys

Value Ecuador and Galapagos: At a glance

9 days

Ecuador & Galapagos Islands / Galapagos Islands

  • GAL_MarineIguana_shutterstock_688824982

Overview & Highlights

This is a great value, short but variety-packed holiday suitable for families and individuals alike.  Discover the Avenue of the Volcanoes in Andean Ecuador and explore Santa Cruz Island and further afield in the Galápagos from the well regarded, guesthouse-style Hotel Mainao.

You might have thought that a holiday to the remote Pacific Galápagos islands would be prohibitively expensive. While cruising on a yacht can still be pricey, you now have the option of a land-based visit, where you can get to know one or two islands on shared guided day trips by boat. This holiday bases you at the popular Mainao hotel on the principal island, Santa Cruz, with a couple of motor yacht cruises included and a day at leisure to explore the sparking beaches, Puerto Ayora town, visit the Charles Darwin Research Centre or even venture inland to spot giant tortoises.  You don't have to decide in advance: book up and pay locally. 

Spend a few days on the mainland too, well worth exploring in its own right. Based at historic Quito, visit the famous Andean mountain town Otavalo with its indigenous market and travel down the aptly named Avenue of the Volcanoes, dominated by the towering snow-draped mountain Cotopaxi.

Read More
  • Ful day excursion to the famous Otavalo market
  • Walking tour of historic colonial Quito
  • Visit the Cotopaxi National Park and Quilotoa
  • 4 days land based exploration in the Galápagos Islands
  • Explore Santa Cruz and visit neighbouring islands



Millie Davies

Travel Expert

Talk to our experts

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.

Bartolome, Galápagos

What our clients say

  • The boat trip to the base of the Iguacu falls Argentinian side was exhilarating and awesome.  The visit to Machu Pichu was even more impressive than we expected - our…

    HJ, Potters Bar
  • I had an absolutely wonderful holiday and saw things I had been longing to for a long time. Thank you.

    CK, Clacton-on-Sea
  • 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…

    HW, Bury St. Edmunds
  • Highlights? "Where to start? Angel Falls, Kaieteur Falls, the Iles de Salut, sleeping in a hammock, flying in small planes - just loved everything. The range of hotels from very…

    PS, Bolton
  • The brilliant weather from start to finish. Blue sky and sunshine at Moreno glacier, and of course the various animals. Truly lovely group of people and the tour leader was…

    JM, Minehead
  • Monte Alban when I felt on top Of the world.  A vast archaeological site, wonderfully interpreted by a local guide and not too many other tourists.

    PM, Lincoln
0 1 2 3 4 5

Our Expert's Opinion

This trip has been designed for first-time visitors to Ecuador and the Galápagos, making it an ideal choice for families and individuals alike. One of the best features of this trip is the flexibility it offers. You can choose and pay for your activities locally, which means you don't have to commit to anything until you're there. Additionally, Hotel Mainao provides a wide range of excursions, ensuring there is something for everyone.

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.

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
Bartolome, Galápagos

Meet our team

Real Latin american experts

  • Paul Winrow Giffin
    Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Expert

    After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.

  • Charlotte
    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.

  • Sophie
    Sophie Barber - Travel Expert

    Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia and beyond to Antarctica.

  • Chris
    Chris Rendell-Dunn - Travel Expert

    Anglo-Peruvian Chris grew up in Lima and spent much of his adult life in between London and Cusco as a tour leader, before settling permanently in our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours sales team.

  • Juliet
    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!

  • Heloise
    Heloise Buxton - Travel Expert

    Heloise started her Latin American journey as an exchange student in Santiago, Chile. With extended summer holidays this was the perfect opportunity to backpack through Bolivia, Peru, Argentina and Brazil.

0 1 2 3 4 5