Ecuador Tours

26 tours available

PQ1 Peru, Bolivia & Ecuador Tour

25 days from Lima to Quito

Lima, or 'The City of the Kings' as it was dubbed by Spanish conquistadors, is a city that enjoys world-renowned fame for its abundant attractions…

EP3 Ecuador, Galapagos & Peru Tour

26 days from Quito to Lima

A land of outstanding natural beauty, fascinating ancient heritage and unique allure, South America sets itself apart as a continent of incredible…

EP2 Ecuador, Galapagos, Peru & Bolivia Tour

27 days from Quito to La Paz

Touching down in the capital of Ecuador, Quito, we have the chance to step into the past as we tour the Spanish colonial centre that has been…

PQ2 Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador Tour

28 days from Lima to Quito

Peru's capital city was once called 'The City of Kings' by Spanish conquistadors and it is here that we begin our 28-day tour through South America.…

PQ3 Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador & Galapagos Tour

30 days from Lima to Quito

After extensive exploration of beautiful plazas, plentiful museums, ornate palaces and some of the best Baroque and Renaissance churches on the…

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More About Ecuador

Found nearly 1000 km west of mainland Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands are a natural marvel and a must-see for wildlife lovers. An archipelago of 12 large and several hundred smaller volcanic islands rose to international fame with the visit of Charles Darwin in 1835 and inspired his first theories of evolution. On our Galapagos tours, we enjoy up-close views of unusual, specially-adapted animals, plants and terrains including sea lions, tortoises, iguanas, land and sea birds, volcanic landscapes, unusual cacti and vegetation.

Birders have a unique opportunity on Galapagos tours to experience the unique diversity of the islands. One can spot an array of birds from Galapagos hawks, American Oystercatchers, Galapagos Ground Doves, Hood mockingbirds, Yellow Warblers, Espanola mockingbird, Nazca Boobies and the spectacular Red-billed Tropicbird feeding near sea lion colonies.

Historically, very little is known if the country was visited by a Pre-Columbian culture. Some artifacts such as ceramics have been found, however, being such a far flung island in the Pacific Ocean, it is deemed unlikely that the empires such as the Incas (who were not seafarers) reached the islands. The first European landfall came in the 16th century as a boat heading towards Peru was blown off course in bad weather.

For over three centuries, the islands were in occasional use. As staging grounds for pirates hoping to attack Spanish ships and later as a base for whalers searching for whale oil in the region. It was during this time that a freshly independant Ecuador annexed the islands into their control.

Like most of South America, Ecuador fought for its independence in the early 19th century and ultimately won. The strength of its neighbours at the time ensured that Ecuador would not become a large country in size however the vast variety within its borders have put this country on a short list of the most biodiverse countries in the world.

Although under Ecuadorian control, it was a British naturalist that would bring the most fame to the volcanic islands. Charles Darwin along with captain Robert Fitzroy sailed to the Galapagos in 1835 on a survey mission. While there, Darwin observed the unique volcanic geology and biology of the islands which later helped him create his theory on natural selection in relation to evolution, as documented in the book The Origins of Species.

The start of the 20th century saw small groups of Europeans start to inhabit some of the islands as well as an American military base be set up on Baltra Island.

In 1959, one hundred years after Darwin published his book the Origins of Species, the majority of the Galapagos was designated a national park with Galapagos tours highlighting the conservation as well as diversity of these islands.

The Galapagos are best seen by boat, with wet landings on coral sand beaches to explore sea lion populations, circumnavigations of inlets with volcanic tuff formations, walks among prickly-pear cactus forests, and plenty of opportunity to get close to unique animals or birds above and below the shoreline.

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