Located on the equator in the northwest corner of South America, Ecuador is a land of startling contrasts encompassing verdant tropical rainforests, cool green highland valleys and glistening lakes, ice capped Andean mountains, palm fringed beaches and the extraordinary Galapagos Islands. Our mainland Ecuador itineraries access diverse landscapes utilizing fun and exciting activities such as hiking, whitewater rafting and biking with a focus on the nature, history and culture of the region. Follow the equator to trace the path of Inca and pre-Inca cultures while experiencing today's living culture of mainland Ecuador. Actively explore from the Andes to the Pacific on our multisport adventures. Discover the sacred Rio Umpano on a thrilling rafting expedition down this remote and spectacular river. Our expert naturalist guides interpret the regions archeology and history while fostering intimate cultural encounters with local people. They are experts at finding wildlife and know the unknown trails and routes.
Accommodations include upscale mountain lodges, rustic but comfortable hosterias, inns estancias, hotels, and camping on our river expedition. Most visitors to Ecuador choose an expedition cruise aboard a first class or deluxe yacht through the Galapagos Islands, a showcase of nature and evolution. We reserve only the best small yachts (10-20 passengers) providing unparalleled access to the best sites in the archipelago as well as the highest level of safety and comfort. Our vessels specialize in up close exploration featuring naturalist led shore hikes, swimming, snorkeling or SCUBA diving and sea kayaking. Naturalist guides will interpret the unique behavioral and physical characteristics that species have evolved to adapt to the unique conditions on each island. Because animals have evolved in the absence of humans and other large predators you can commune closely with exotic and bizarre animals that have no fear of human presence. Actively explore among cinder cones, lava floes, white and black sand beaches, rocky cliffs, secluded coves and rich undersea environments. You may choose from one of our scheduled departures or call us for custom dates and private charters.
Ecuador's stunning diversity is neatly divided into four regions. The sierra, dominated by the spectacular chain of Andes Mountains is punctuated by over thirty volcanoes and a series of high plateaus about 8000 ft. above sea level. This is the agricultural and indigenous heartland of Ecuador, a patchwork of fields crawling up mountainsides, stately haciendas, dozens of remote communities and historic cities including Quito. The Oriente extends from the Andes into the upper Amazon basin. This exhilarating, exotic region is covered by dense tropical rain forest and known to be one of the planets most biodiverse regions featuring abundant tropical wildlife and over 1600 species of birds. West of the sierra, the coastal region is formed by a fertile alluvial plain used for growing tropical crops such as bananas, sugar, coffee and cacao. The Pacific seaboard boasts a string of tropical beaches, mangroves, and port towns. Six hundred miles of ocean isolate the Galapagos Islands from mainland Ecuador allowing this magnificent archipelago to become a hotbed of evolution, ecological diversity and abundant wildlife.