Something for everyone
This small country is brimming with adventure. Be in two places at once as you straddle the equator at El Mitad Del Mundo (the Middle of the World). Travel to the Oriente region of Ecuador to see the Amazon’s extraordinarily lush forests and incredible wildlife. Ecuador has six nature reserves open to the public; be sure to visit one during your trip if you can. If the Amazon isn’t for you, head to La Costa, the coastal region, to enjoy some fresh ceviche or sit on a pristine beach at Montañita, Puerto Lopez or Atacames for some quality time in the sun.
Major city must-sees
Ecuador’s major cities are a dream come true for those wishing to experience diverse cultures and landscapes. Spend time in Quito for impeccable views of the Andes Mountains and nearby volcanoes. Take a tour of Old Town to see the decorative colonial architecture of its many, charming storefronts and cathedrals. Try choclo, Andean roast corn, or if you dare, sample an indigenous delicacy, cuy (guinea pig). Bring something home from the Mercado Artesanal in La Mariscal district, famous for authentic handicrafts by day and wild dancing by night. In addition to being a centre for modern art, Guayaquil is also home to several fishing villages of long ago. In the south, Cañar Province is a historical treasure trove; explore a pre-Incan archaeological site at Ingapirca.
Off the coast of Ecuador lie the Galápagos Islands, where visitors can have authentic and truly unique encounters with the area’s native wildlife. See blue-footed boobies perform grand mating dances, swim with sea lions on San Cristobal Island or hang out with giant tortoises at Rancho Primicias. Tired of wildlife? Explore the islands’ lava tunnels or see what Charles Darwin’s successors are up to now at the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island.
When to go
Ecuador’s climate varies more by region and altitude than by the season or time of year. In La Sierra region, June and September tend to be dry and are quite comfortable for hiking and sightseeing. The Amazon region, on the other hand, is known for warm and rainy weather all year round.
La Costa has both a wet and a dry season. While temperatures remain stable and tropical, December to April is considered the rainy season. Contrary to what you may think, the rainy season is the peak time to travel despite sudden downpours. The dry season from May to November is typically overcast and cloudy, weather that’s far less appealing for a day on the beach.
The Galápagos Islands are hot and sunny from January to June. The rest of the year, one can expect to be sprayed with mist, known as la garúa, brought on by El Niño. Travellers visiting sometime between December and May could be lucky enough to see green turtles nesting or the mating dances of the peculiar blue-footed booby.
Airports and airlines
Whether you’re pressed for time or cash, Netflights is here to save the day. When you use Netflights to compare Ecuador flights for your upcoming holiday, you’ll likely find a deal that’s perfect for your schedule and your budget. Search for flights with filters, such as the ‘Quickest Route’ or ‘Lowest Fare’, to make finding flights even easier.
American Airlines, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, Iberia, KLM, Lufthansa and United Airlines all offer flights to Ecuador from the United Kingdom. You have the option to fly into Quito or Guayaquil when leaving from one of London’s airports. Vacations overlapping with Easter, Christmas or other major holidays require planning ahead.