Ecuador is an incredible culturally-rich country straddling the equator on South America’s west coast. Its diverse landscape includes deep Amazon jungle, Andean highlands and the wildlife-rich, volcanic Galápagos Islands. Quito, the capital city located in the Andean foothills at an elevation of 9,350 ft, is known for its largely intact Spanish colonial architecture, decorated with 16th- and 17th-century palaces and churches including the ornate Compañía de Jesús cathedral. Trek into the Andes, experience the cobblestone streets and Ecuadorian towns and visit mountain villages, colorful markets and sun-drenched beaches. Discover the Ecuadorian landscape and its warm-hearted people and cultural treasures of this amazing country.
And for a vastly different wildlife experience, get up close and personal with massive lumbering tortoises, marine iguanas (the world’s only seagoing lizard), doe-eyed sea lions, blue-footed boobies and a host of other unusual species both on land and sea on the famed wildlife paradise of the Galápagos Islands. Set out on the rivers and forested trails of the Amazon rainforest in search of monkeys, sloths, toucans and river dolphins and journey into the heart of the South American wilderness.