Best Time To Visit
When to go
Ecuador can be visited all year round. Being so close to the equator, Quito has no major temperature fluctuations. Temperatures at night become very cold at higher altitudes. Guayaquil on the coast, along with the interior of the Amazon, remain hot and humid all year round.
There are no direct flights from the UK to Ecuador, so depending on your itinerary, you will fly either via Europe or the USA.
GMT -5 Hours
British passport holders do not require a visa to enter Ecuador, though if you fly via the US, the ESTA will be compulsory.
There are no compulsory vaccinations required to enter Ecuador. Precautions against malaria and yellow fever, if travelling to the Amazon, are suggested, but check with your GP. Always consult your doctor at least six weeks before travel and refer to this useful NHS website - Fit For Travel - for details of recommended vaccinations for Ecuador.
Things To Do
- Buy presents to take home at Otovalo Market
- Explore Quito’s old town
- Visit Amazon communities and stay in an eco-lodge
- Horse ride in the spectacular Cotopaxi National Park
- See 16th & 17th century colonial architecture in Cuenca
Markets, mountains and museums
Ecuador is one of the most striking and accessible countries of the Andes. Historic haciendas can be used as a base to explore the Andean countryside and colourful markets such as Otavalo or Saquisili, while the colonial cities of Quito and Cuenca, surrounded by snow-capped peaks, offer museums, theatres, art and beautifully restored boutique hotels in former colonial mansions.
South of Quito you can enjoy magnificent scenery along the Valley of the Volcanoes via the Cotapaxi National Park leading down towards Riobamba and Cuenca, including the famous Devil’s Nose Train journey.
The Ecuadorian Amazon
To the east of the Andes lie the tropical lowlands of El Oriente, an unspoiled wilderness of Amazonian rainforest. To the west is the lush cloud forest which offers excellent bird-watching, attractive waterfalls and superb flora and fauna.
Ecuador’s five national parks in the Amazon watershed are home to the greatest biodiversity in Amazonia - the Amazon itself has a greater variety of plants and animals than anywhere in the world - and provide visitors with relatively easy access and high standard lodges. It's the experience of this pristine environment in its entirety that makes this such an enchanting addition to an Ecuadorian trip, and one we strongly recommend.
Over the years, a number of wildlife lodges have been sensitively developed to allow visitors the opportunity of witnessing the multitude of birdlife and wildlife that exist here. Excellent local naturalists are on hand to help enhance your understanding of these pristine wildlife zones. All the lodges we use here are either owned by or directly benefit their local indigenous communities, and each of them provides a truly unique and quite unforgettable experience.
Top Amazon tips
• Go on one or more night walks as this is when the forest comes alive. You feel completely surrounded by so many creatures that you can only hear. In the day it can be hard to spot wildlife through the dense vegetation, but at night you can catch the reflection of their eyes in the light cast by your torch.
• Take the time to talk one-on-one with your guide as you will be rewarded with some fascinating insights and stories.
• Go with an open mind as the magic of the Amazon will hit you when you least expect it!
Sample trip: Ecuador Explorer
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Why Choose Us?
Passionate travel experts
- We've been leading wildlife travel since our first South Africa tours over 25 years ago
- Our Travel Specialists have lived in their specialist area for years
- We work with local guides to immerse you deeper in our diverse range of experiences
Personal & tailor-made
- You'll speak to your own expert who'll share their first-hand knowledge
- We'll make your itinerary seamless with 24/7 emergency contact available
- Your Travel Specialist will listen to ensure you have the best chance of seeing the wildlife you love
Responsible by nature
- We take care to actively contribute to the conservation of environments we visit
- For select countries, we make a charitable donation on your behalf when you make your booking
- We've partnered with conservation experts and NGOs to curate responsible tours