Straddling the equator, this is one of the smallest countries in South America. Yet the diversity that is packed into this little nation is astonishing. The country’s cultural and ethnic make-up is as varied as its landscapes and wildlife.

Experiences on our Ecuador holidays and tours range from hiking in the Andes and bird watching in the cloud forest, to meeting indigenous communities in the Amazon. Not to forget staying with farming families at their highland haciendas.

Ecuador is about setting out on kayaks in the Amazon rainforest searching for monkeys, toucans and sloths. It’s about exploring trails – binoculars in hand – in the birder’s paradise of the western Andean cloud forests. It’s wandering the cobblestone streets and pretty plazas of Cuenca and Quito, that are lined with beautifully restored-mansions, monasteries and 17th century churches. It’s circumambulating high altitude lakes with a pack of alpacas for company. And it’s becoming engulfed in a sea of colourful textiles as you weave through the lanes of the Andean village markets.

This is a country that has more species of mammals and amphibians per square metre than any other country on Earth. Exploration here is not limited to the day, as when the markets close, the nocturnal creatures of Ecuador’s forests are just awakening.

Top Highlights of Ecuador holidays and tours

  • Hike through the Amazon Rainforest looking for tropical wildlife
  • Pick-up some masterful textiles at the most colourful market on the continent
  • Rise with the early birds to spot the Cock-of-the-Rock
  • Savour home-grown produce at a family-owned finca
  • Support local education in the indigenous village of Guamote
  • Ride the Devil’s Nose through untouched Andean landscapes

Culture

The cultural diversity is enormous in Ecuador and almost everyone has a mixed-race background. The country has a long and rich history and so Ecuadorian culture encompasses indigenous practices and European colonial influences.

The official language in Ecuador is Spanish but Kichwa or Quechua – an Incan language – is spoken by the highland Indian population alongside Spanish, whilst some lowland groups also speak their own languages.

The predominant religion is Roman Catholic, with a scattering of other Christian faiths. Indigenous Ecuadorians have blended Catholicism with their traditional beliefs and an example of this is the association of Mother Earth or ‘Pacha Mama’ with the Virgin Mary.

Religious events often include musical celebrations and processions. Big celebrations include Carnival in the two days before Ash Wednesday and the start of the Lenten season, and Day of the Dead, a time to pay homage to deceased family members, in which visits to the cemetery are followed by big parades and community parties.

When to go on holiday to Ecuador

The weather in Ecuador generally varies by regional geography and altitude rather than by season. There is no real summer or winter and the country can be visited year-round. The driest and warmest months in the sierra are June to September, although the weather is also affected by microclimates found in some areas. Outside of these months, the mornings are usually sunny and clear and afternoons can be cloudy and wet.

In the Oriente, you can expect it to be humid and rainy throughout the year. But short breaks from rain can be expected from August to September and from December to February. And in the lowlands it can get particularly hot with temperatures rising above 30 degrees celsius.

The most clearly defined seasons can be found on Ecuador’s coast. Here December to April is the best time to visit, when blue skies and high temperatures alternate with frequent showers. May to November sees overcast and cool conditions but with less chance of rainfall.

Start planning your trip Ecuador holiday

Check out our small group tour to Ecuador: Amazon and Cloud Forest. Although many of our trips are small group adventures with set departures, as a bespoke operator, we can design and create trips to suit any traveller, from solos to larger group. If you would like to find out more about tailor-made holidays to Ecuador or our group tours, call us on 01473 328546 or email us via our contact page. We’d love to hear from you.

Equador Holidays and Tours

Ecuador

Good for:Wildlife, Local Culture and Stunning Landscapes