For detailed information on the Galapagos see our dedicated Galapagos page. Whether you visit mainland Ecuador or the islands it always starts in Quito, a capital city in the heart of the country. A superb variety of destinations are within three hours of Quito by road, but for the islands and the Amazon you’ll need a domestic flight.
Climate & seasons
Microclimates are more important than seasons when visiting Ecuador. The Amazon is always hot and wet - it’s a rainforest after all - although it’s driest and coolest during July and August. Across most of the country the weather is best from June to September, with a higher proportion of dry and sunny days. But you can travel any month of the year, just pack for all eventualities, because Amazon and Quito have completely different climates.
Where to go
Quito was the first ever World Heritage Site and it’s a fabulous old colonial city, full of cobblestone streets, gold churches and cultural intrigue. The Amazon is as exotic as it sounds, a real adventure in the wild, but you must be prepared to rough it a little. Mashpi Lodge provides an alternative rainforest experience, with far more luxuries and accessibility - we love it. Next you’ll find a volcano studded interior with plenty of secrets and highlights, from pre-Incan civilisation to rural haciendas and artisanal villages. Finally there’s the Pacific Ocean coastline, where wild beaches and nature reserves are still unknown, but sure to be popular destinations 20 years from now.
What to do
Ecuador is for explorers. What it lacks in terms of contemporary innovation it makes up for with tradition and sustainable practices. Come here for an adventure in nature: paddling an Amazonian river, horseback riding beneath volcanoes, walking the rainforest canopy, connecting with the wild. But also come for a connection with history and the myriad of small ethnic groups preserving a unique way of life.