Natural marvels include wild beaches on the shores of the Pacific; the Amazon rainforest; Andean cloud forests, snow-capped mountains and volcanoes; Highland Indian villages and colonial cities and the fabled Galápagos Islands made famous by Charles Darwin in 1835.

Ranked by The World Conservation Monitoring Centre among the world's 17 mega-diverse countries - countries that harbour the majority of the Earth's species. But fauna and flora are not its only riches. For centuries, Ecuador's lush geography has encouraged the settlement of numerous native groups who have maintained their traditional ways of life, myths and culture on the Coast, in the high Sierra, and in the tropical upper Amazon basin. Imposing colonial structures bear witness to the legacy left by the Spanish and to the artistry that created the paintings and sculptures of the Quito School of Art.

The Galapagos Islands are unique in every sense of the word – like nowhere else on earth. Off Ecuador’s coast in the Pacific Ocean, an archipelago was formed by titanic geothermic upheavals that created volcanic islands, some are still evolving. When Charles Darwin visited Galapagos in 1835, he observed a pristine, naturally-isolated living laboratory that would inspire and refine his theories, which he would release upon the scientific world – to shattering effect decades later. The islands have not lost their ability to inspire, the magic Darwin found over 150 years ago is still alive in this remarkable environment.

Galapagos holidays cruise usually lasting 4 days or more on a specialised vessel. Walk among unique species such as marine iguanas basking in the sun and observe the elaborate mating rituals of blue-footed boobies, albatrosses and frigate birds. Unthreatened by predators, these local birds and many more creatures exist without interruption by people. One cannot leave this place without being touched and inspired by the miracle of nature left largely, undisturbed.

Galapagos Holidays Highlights

  • Pacific Ocean Marine species
  • Specialist ocean island cruising
  • Walk among wild yet inquisitive mammals and birds
  • Scientific and biological interest
  • Charles Darwin Foundation at Puerto Ayora

Areas

  • Quito
  • Rainforest and cloud forest
  • Cotopaxi Volcano
  • Markets of Otavalo
  • The Galapagos Islands