Ecuador

spanish colonial cities, amazonian rainforest, jungle trekking, fascinating wildlife, horse riding

Ecuador is so much more than just a gateway to the Galapagos. Given its fascinating Spanish colonial cities, spectacular Andean scenery, virgin Amazonian rainforest and rich, indigenous culture, we think this is one of South America’s most underrated destinations.
Most visitors rush through the country’s interior but we have discovered some lovely, small lodges in areas where tourism treads very lightly. Some of the best jungle lodges in South America are located in the Ecuadorian Amazon and a stay here combines well with a few days in a family-run colonial hacienda in the Northern or Southern Sierras.

Ecuador is a very special place to spend some time. Being on the equator, it can be visited all year round but its many different micro-climates mean that you’ll need careful advice from our destination experts.

All itineraries are individually designed, but as a guide, we can arrange ten days in Ecuador (not including flights) from £3500 per person.

Stories

As every one of the holidays we create is truly tailor-made, all of our clients come back with different and interesting stories. We love to hear from our clients on their return to find out about their most memorable moments. Our Destination Experts are also always travelling to our extraordinary destinations and every trip allows us to refine and add value to our clients' future experiences.

Ecuador luxury travel

Sacha Lodge – Our Jungle Retreat

Pat White travelled with her family to Ecuador, where they embarked on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. With their two guides, an English-speaking and a native, the spent a few days in the jungle, experiencing the wildlife and living and breathing the sounds and smells around them, as well as staying in the perfect jungle lodge.

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Places to Stay

At c+l, we have no vested interest in the hotels and lodges which we select - we review everything and choose the best for a particular client. And because we visit our three regions on a regular basis and have detailed conversations with over 90% of our clients on their return, our choices can be refined continually. The choice of what is best for the client is our only consideration.

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Napo Wildlife Centre, Ecuador

The journey to the Napo Wildlife Centre is a long and varied one, but that is part of the excitement of a remote lodge. A 30 minute flight to the Amazon town of Coca, a five minute drive to the port, a two hour motorboat journey along the Rio Napo to the Wildlife Centre’s dock…

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Hacienda Piman

Hacienda Piman

Founded by the same family who own Sacha Lodge in the Amazon, Hacienda Piman encapsulates all the success of a three year labour of love tucked away in the Imbabura province of Ecuador, a couple of hours’ from Quito. Looking out onto endless mountains from the hacienda's terrace, it’s hard not to feel slightly smug. This is truly a place to disconnect and be away from anywhere.

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Casa Gangotena

Casa Gangotena

A charming and peaceful 1920’s mansion beautifully restored in Quito’s Old Town, with a fascinating history and architecture that will enthrall those lucky enough to spend some time here; Casa Gangotena is a hotel with real character. The location is ideal, overlooking Plaza San Francisco, where you can discover the Inca history of the town and wander cobbled streets to the real highlights of the capital city

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Hacienda Zuleta

Hacienda Zuleta

Hacienda Zuleta is an incredibly charming private home and an ideal retreat to catch up on fresh air and un-spoilt views; a place to really reconnect with the great outdoors and enjoy delicious home cooking. Home to a large dairy herd and home bred Zuletano horses, this hacienda is the ultimate rural escape, where you can bike out in the morning or gallop off at sunset for all kinds of adventures.

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Mashpi Lodge

Mashpi Lodge

As soon as you push through the cloud forest and arrive at Mashpi, the sense of excitement and discovery is overflowing. With incredible views, wildlife sightings and adventure, Mashpi is a truly enchanting place. This is a beautifully designed, futuristic lodge of glass and local wood, modern and yet tasteful. At this eco-friendly lodge you will be completely spoilt by delicious food and fantastic service

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Sacha Lodge

Sacha Lodge

Sacha Lodge, a large wooden cabin deep in thick rainforest, is a mystical luxury lodge that promises privacy, tranquillity and comfort within the Ecuadorian Amazon. The pure magic of taking a boat out onto the Pilchicocha Lake in the heart of nature surrounded by dense forest or reaching the Canopy Walkway for incredible views and unique forest guiding is incredibly captivating.

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Highlights

For over 20 years we have been creating the best luxury tailor-made holidays, we know our countries inside and out and really know how to get under the skin of each one and the best way to experience them.

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EXPLORING THE CAPITAL OF ECUADOR; QUITO

Quito, the charming capital city of Ecuador boasts fine Spanish colonial architecture, cobbled streets and is surrounded by volcanoes and mountains.

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THE AMAZON BASIN

Brazil is more celebrated as an Amazon destination, but Ecuador has developed a far more intimate wildlife experience, and due to its inaccessibility, the rainforest is more pristine. With one of our local guides this is an incredible way to see the Amazon.

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THE SIERRA

Most visitors to Ecuador focus on the Galapagos or the Amazon, so much of the interior of Ecuador is left relatively unvisited. The Sierra has some of the finest Andean scenery which also boasts fine, historic and private haciendas.

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ROBBERY OF SCULPTURES IN THE CHAPEL OF "THE ROSARY"

Candle-lit visit to the churches of Quito

A really magical experience is to visit some of the smaller churches at night. With a private guide, this cultural tour will give a real sense of peace and tranquility.

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Riding along the ancient Inca trails

With your trusty steed you can ride along these ancient Inca trails. As you ride from hacienda to hacienda you will be surrounded by stunning scenery and enjoy a a way of life unchanged for centuries.

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The Indigenous People of the Amazon

The Huaorani people of the Amazon created a fantastic and insightful way of exploring the Amazon Basin. Board one of their tradition boats and let them guide you through this tropical wonderland.

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Itineraries

The creation of each individual itinerary starts with a client’s dream. In discussion we translate these initial desires and aspirations into our vision of the best achievable holiday. Our meticulous planning and love of our destinations ensure that we create once-in-a-lifetime experiences. We promise you precious and everlasting memories.

Ecuadorian Amazon and the Galapagos

exclusive itinerary ideas amazon and the galapagos islands

You don’t have to be the world’s savviest twitcher or wildlife fanatic to be captivated by the thriving wildlife in the Ecuadorian Amazon and the Galapagos. While ditching the iPads for the binoculars does not come naturally for some, Ecuador’s untampered nature gives us more than a good reason to. Whilst the remoteness of the…

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Location

We know Ecuador better than most. The possibilities are endless and ever-changing. On the map below, we have plotted some of our current favourite places to stay, some c+l highlights and a few pertinent client stories. And you can see if there is a team member travelling in that particular country and link through to them and what they are up to, so you can get them to call you on their return.

Best time to visit
Ecuador

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Best time to go

Being on the Equator, you can visit at any time of year but for the Andean regions of both Northern and Southern Sierras it tends to match the seasons of Southern Peru- April through September. Those combining mainland Ecuador with the Galapagos will tend to visit in the months when it is not so good in the Andes but, for wildlife enthusiasts, it works well with the rainforest and cloudforest. The Galapagos is often the lure of Ecuador but many also combine their visit with neighbouring Peru, particularly when visiting between April and October when the Inca culture of the Peruvian Andes is most accessible.

Meet the Team
Central + South America

We'd love to hear from you

Our well travelled Destination Experts have extensive first hand knowledge of their destinations and can open doors that others simply can’t.