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Ecuador Safaris

Following in the footsteps of Darwin, uncover a world of adventure and unforgettable experiences. From rich Amazonian rainforests home to howling primates and scattered with looming volcanoes, to the sugar-white sand beaches of the Galapagos Islands dotted with sea lions, blue-footed boobies and turtles, these incredible destinations will take you to some of the most untouched corners, revealing what makes life on Earth so unique.

Located in the Northwest of South America, this environmentally diverse country has contributed notably to environmental sciences, with research led by renowned naturalists including Alexander von Humbolt and Charles Dawin, establishing basic theories of modern geography, ecology and evolutionary biology. With a rich cultural heritage, much of what is now Ecuador was once included in the Inca empire, the largest civilisation of pre-Columbian America. A country entwined with these influences, the respective marks of these empires, early indigenous cultures and the Spanish can be seen from magnificent monuments to postcard-pretty town centers and Kichwa villages, all the way to the Amazonian rainforest and the breathtaking Andes. Ecuador may be one of South America’s smallest countries, but what it lacks in square miles it more than makes up for in outstanding landscapes, colonial cities, indigenous cultures, and of course, unparalleled biodiversity.

Why NWS for your Ecuador Safari?

Our team of Destination Specialists have extensive on-the-ground knowledge in Ecuador and have lived and explored in great detail the incredible landscapes that they sell. From sourcing the best and most individual lodges whilst developing close-relationships with proud owners to discovering wildlife hotspots away from over-crowded tourist routes and learning about conservation efforts in detail, we provide detailed, expert advice on how to pace your trip through Ecuador. As a leading specialist operator we have excellent partnerships with naturalists and conservationists. We have built connections with major conservation efforts in Ecuador including projects such as Hacienda Zueleta’s Andean Condor Husai Project and the Zuleta Spectacle Bear, where we encourage guests to visit to see first-hand the behind-the-scenes work into species conservation. We know our wildlife and do what we can to preserve its natural habitat.

How much does Ecuador cost?

Typically, expect to budget around £8025 per person for a 15-day safari in Ecuador. This will generally include premium accommodation with most meals, road and light aircraft transfers and National Park entrance fees. For a shorter 12-day experience, expect to budget around £4890 per person. Journeying through the diverse landscapes of Ecuador, you will be staying in a variety of unique accommodations with a range of excursions and guided visits.

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Talk to a Ecuador Destination Specialist

The Ecuador Safari Experience

Elegant colonial cities, picturesque Andean highlands, Amazonian adventures, vibrant indigenous culture and encounters with some of the world’s most fearless wildlife; Ecuador is a microcosm of Latin America in one temptingly accessible package.If possible, some Spanish will be appreciated and very well received by friendly Ecuadorians, although English is widely spoken in all major tourist centres and by our chosen local guides. Experiences are limitless, explore the architectural wonders of the Baroque churches, hike the slopes of active volcanoes, contemplate the wildlife of the National Parks and uninhabited islands, and watch the sunset from pristine beaches, whilst the Ecuadorian world goes by.

You may wish to include the following on your Ecuador itinerary:

  • Volcano Exploration - Witness the highest active volcano in the world, Cotopaxi
  • Conservation - Learn about condor conservation with dedicated researchers
  • Explore Mangrove Swamps - Venture through one of the last coastal mangrove and tropical forests of Ecuador, Manglares Churute Ecological Reserve, and meet the ‘crab catchers’
  • Hiking - Hike on self-guided trails in the shadow of the towering Cayambe Volcano around the crater lake of Cuicocha
  • Rainforest Exploration - Make your way through Ecuador’s Amazon and spot howler monkeys, sloths, caiman, river otters an abundance of birds
  • Birding - Seek out over 400 species of birds, nearly 4% of the world’s bird population, in the northwest cloud forest

Where to stay in Ecuador?

From glorious mansions converted into elegant boutique hotels in some of Ecuador’s finest colonial cities and remote eco-lodges in the heart of the Amazon basin, Ecuador enjoys a terrific variety of accommodations to suit all tastes and budgets. For a taste of authentic Ecuador, there are local and family-owned hotels and haciendas offering exceptional hospitality and detailed guiding knowledge.

When to go to Ecuador?

Straddling the Equator as its name suggests, it is possible to travel to Ecuador at any time of the year, but there are different regional zones that have their own microclimates and best times to visit, which should be considered when you are planning your trip. For dry and sunny days, the best time to travel to Ecuador is between the months of June through to September.

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Tristan Whitworth

Latin America Team Leader

Tristan Whitworth

Latin America Team Leader

Top Tip when in Quito:

Make sure you treat yourself to dinner at Hasta La Vuelta Senor, a no-frills restaurant in the heart of the city, but a staple of Quito's food scene. Enjoy traditional Ecuadorian cuisine in the stunning archbishop's Palace.

Ecuador Safaris FAQs

What wildlife can I see in Ecuador?

Ecuador has a wide range of ecosystems, from the Amazon rainforest to the high-altitude Andes and the Galapagos islands. Animal encounters on your safari could include the Armadillo, Andean Condor, Giant Anteater and several types of butterfly, frogs, lizards and tropical fish. Ecuador also boasts a large collection of monkeys that include the Pygmy Marmoset, Spider monkeys, Capuchin monkeys, Squirrel monkeys, Capuchin monkeys, Woolly monkeys and Howler monkeys.

Discover more detail on wildlife that you can see in Ecuador.

How many days should I stay in Ecuador?

The ideal number of days to stay in Ecuador depends on your travel interests and the specific places you plan to visit. A well-rounded trip to Ecuador typically spans around 7 to 14 days, allowing you to experience a mix of its diverse attractions.

For instance, you could spend a few days exploring the historical sites and vibrant culture of Quito, the capital city, before venturing into the Amazon rainforest for wildlife encounters and indigenous experiences. You might also explore the stunning Galapagos Islands, known for their unique wildlife and pristine landscapes, which could take about a week to fully appreciate.

Alternatively, you can focus on the Andean highlands, visiting cities like Cuenca and exploring the stunning landscapes of the Avenue of the Volcanoes. If you're a nature enthusiast, you might want to spend more time hiking in national parks or enjoying outdoor adventures.

Ultimately, the duration of your stay in Ecuador depends on the depth of exploration you desire and the specific activities and regions you want to include in your itinerary.

Do I need a visa from the UK to Ecuador?

British citizens do not need a visa for short stays (up to 90 days) for tourism purposes in Ecuador. However, entry requirements can change, so it's important to verify the latest visa requirements and travel advisories with the nearest Ecuadorian embassy or consulate before your trip.

What vaccinations do you need for Ecuador?

When travelling to Ecuador, it's generally recommended to have routine vaccinations up to date and consider additional vaccinations such as Hepatitis A, Typhoid, and Yellow Fever, especially for visits to the Amazon rainforest. Depending on your travel activities and locations, Hepatitis B, Rabies, and malaria prevention might also be advisable. Altitude sickness precautions should be taken if visiting high-altitude areas. Consult a travel health professional to receive personalised guidance and ensure a safe and healthy trip to Ecuador.

What's the best time to travel to Ecuador?

The best time to travel to Ecuador depends on your desired activities and regions. For the highlands, June to September and November to February offer pleasant weather. The Amazon is best visited from June to November for drier conditions. Peak times for the Galapagos Islands are December to January and June to August. Coastal areas are ideal from June to November for beach activities. Consider cultural festivals in February or August. Plan according to your interests and preferred weather conditions.