Ecuador, hence the name, is located on the equator in western South America between Colombia and Peru. The Galapagos Islands are located about 600 miles off the mainland.
A magical collection of landscapes, culture, and wildlife awaits the inquisitive and adventurously minded traveler. Ecuador is composed of rainforests, volcanoes, mountains, and the best the sea has to offer. The dynamic geography and wildlife is matched with a friendly and interesting mix of people and customs that offers an experience that is worth going the distance for.
There is truly something for everyone here – explore the immaculately preserved Galapagos Islands, peer into the enchanting rainforests, look out at the majestic Andes mountains and fascinating volcanoes.
Roughly the size of Nevada, Ecuador boasts a population of 13.5 million people and has a variety of cultural influences ranging from indigenous people to colonial Spain. Nearly 20 percent of its lands are national parks, which contain10 percent of the plant varieties found in the world. Local artisans sell beautifully handcrafted jewelry, pottery, leather goods, basketwork, and paintings.
Sometimes called the land of eternal spring, this enchanting land has a temperate climate that ranges from tropical warmth to cool and arid, but average temperatures are 72F. Sandals, sunglasses and casual cotton clothing will keep you comfortable in the Galapagos but you’ll need a sweater or jacket for evenings in Quito and Cuenca.
Language & Currency – The official spoken language is Spanish. All of the tours will be conducted in English. The US dollar is the official unit of currency and ATM machines and Internet access abound.
History – Ecuador achieved its independence from Spain in 1822 and is currently a Republic. Visit Inca ruins, Spanish cathedrals and traditional plazas to get a taste of its many cultural influences. Ninety-five percent of the population is Roman Catholic.
Cuisine – Ecuadorian cuisine is based on rice, potatoes, beef, chicken and seafood. Many dishes are paired with a traditional “picante” called Aji. Fresh fruits and vegetables can be found widely at local markets for the traveling chef.
Have you ever pictured yourself in an Ecuadorian woven “Panama” hat, sipping a second cup of locally produced java on a beach with a flamingo, awaiting a sea expedition to visit the islands that fascinated Charles Darwin? Okay, maybe not exactly…
But, if you have ever longed to be inspired by a road less traveled, while enjoying modern comforts with a small group of young-at-hearts, Cultural Adventures is ready to delight your senses and inspire your mind. Enjoy a relaxed 11-day guided tour that will intimately explore the culture and natural beauty of Ecuador, a dynamic country off the beaten path.
Experience the Culture & Adventure of Ecuadorian Life
Breathe in the fresh air of the Galapagos Islands and Andes mountains
Eat Ecuadorian fare while enjoying live musical entertainment
Immerse yourself in seashore expeditions surrounded by sun and surf
Nurture your creative side at the craft markets and in the studio of local artisans
Swim and snorkel with sea lions and marine turtles
Photograph exotic jungle birds
Indulge in a Galapagos lobster dinner
Relax and enjoy a second cup of coffee at a local coffee farm
Explore ancient Inca and Canari Ruins
Discuss the origin of the species at the Darwin Research Station
Soft adventure combined with maximum comfort
Group size of 12 or less to assure attention to individual needs
Dinners featuring local cuisine and performances by folk artists
Guided tours combined with opportunities to explore on your own