Signature Ecuador and Galapagos
A journey to see Ecuador's rich wildlife and culture visiting Quito, the Galapagos and the beautiful highlands area around Otavalo
Personalised journeys from start to finish
Save an acre of rainforest each time you travel
Every detail taken care of
- Luxury Galapagos cruise and excursions lead by naturalist experts
- Private tour options in Quito and Otavalo
- Luxury accommodation throughout
- Meet and greet airport service
- Full support from your Travel Designer and Concierge before, during and after your trip
At a glance
Begin with two nights in the historic city of Quito, Ecuador’s capital, a charming place set surrounded by towering volcanoes, where a local with show you around the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and meet friendly artisans.
From here, fly out along the equator to the incredible Galapagos Islands. On a luxury six-day cruise, discover the archipelago’s fascinating landscapes, beautiful waters and, of course, its rich wildlife, on expertly guided nature walks, snorkelling excursions and boat trips.
Return to the Ecuadorian mainland and head north into the Otavalo region, a place where traditional culture runs deep. Staying at a centuries old rural hacienda, discover the mountains around you, visit a community project and head out on an unforgettable horse ride.
We have designed this trip to give you a well-deserved chance to relax in the highlands, after your expedition around the Galapagos Islands.
Example Trip Itinerary
Private transfer from Quito airport to your hotel
Accommodation in Quito
- 31 rooms
- Room upgrade will be provided subject to availability
- Box of Pacari chocolates upon arrival
Resembling something you are more likely see on a street corner of some Parisian arrondissement, the white neoclassical façades of the recently renovated Gangotena mansion stands majestically from the south western corner of Quito’s UNESCO-protected Plaza San Francisco. Removed you may think, but the hotel sits quite comfortably in this characteristically Old World part of town, and being conveniently positioned at the colonial and cultural heart of Quito its thirty-one rooms have magnificent views over the square and surrounding monuments. Inside the décor is elegantly traditional, but is kept quite minimal for a contemporary twist. Downstairs is the lobby, complete with marble floors, velvet Chesterfields, and peppered with the odd antique, as is the dining room, bar and conservatory central patio. Then via the spiral stairs (or lift) are the rooms that feature all the contemporary amenities matched to the more modern soft furnishings, but the high ceilings, mouldings, wall murals and marbled bathrooms nod loyally to the mansion’s past and the opulence of a bygone era.
- 241 rooms, 16 suites
- 3 restaurants
- Sushi Bar
- Deli Cafe
- Fitness Centre
One of Quito’s largest hotels, the Marriott is perfect for those who want all the extensive infrastructure, amenities and service that only a five star business class hotel can provide. Rooms are well decorated and equipped, most with views of the city or volcano. Hotel facilities include a very large heated outdoor pool area (almost unique in Quito), four restaurants, bars, lounges and a well equipped spa.
- 22 Rooms, consisting of single, double and suites.
- Charming, central patio area, which is perfect for relaxing with a cup of coffee or a beer.
- Lounge area, with a fireplace.
- Hotel restaurant; serving local dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- Welcome card with box of Ecuadorian sweets upon arrival
Step back into Ecuador’s fascinating history, with a stay at this charming historical hotel in the centre of Quito, which has quite rightly been awarded UNESCO status. Situated amongst the narrow, cobbled streets and baroque architecture this hotel is located in a restored colonial mansion, with 22 beautifully decorated colourful rooms, replete with décor from the colonial era. For some peace and quiet from the bustling bohemian streets, you can sit back and relax in the hotels central patio, carefully designed to represent the importance of Quito’s historical past and the present, modern day. Outside of the hotel you will find some of Quito’s most beautiful historical monasteries, churches and a splendid collection of art shops, cafes and restaurants. At the weekend this area is a very lively with a fantastic atmosphere, a great place to be to be immersed into Quito’s culture.
Enjoy Ecuador's capital, the first ever UNESCO World Heritage city. You'll have our list of recommendations as well as private guides on hand to enjoy the best of this historical city and contemporary hub. We can arrange a number of private, interest-led tours to booking fine restaurants for you. Talk to your travel designer about how you would like to spend your time here.
This brings alive the capital’s historic quarter, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site, to go beyond the mere ‘bricks and mortar’ and allow guests to get a true feel for quiteños and the lives that make it such a fascinating place.
The first part of the tour includes a neighbourhood walk in the company of a local guide who will share their first-hand insights into the history, livelihoods, traditions, stories, beliefs and cuisine of their city. Experience the lively market of San Francisco and wander down to the restored and revitalised street of La Ronda, meeting artisans at work and find out more about the art of chocolate-making from a Swiss-Ecuadorian confectioner family.
A lunch of Ecuadorian specialities is served inside the elegant Casa Gangotena hotel dining room. The afternoon is divided between a visit to the Casa del Alabado archaeological museum and a trip up to one of the city’s viewpoints to fully appreciate its Andean setting from on high.
Private transfer from your hotel to Quito airport
Flight from Quito to the Galapagos Islands (via Guayaquil)
Galapagos yachts and cruise ships
- 20 cabins
- Sun deck
- Dining room and lounge
The Isabella II is a comfortable expedition yacht and also one of the smaller vessels of this standard in the Galapagos with capacity for just 40 passengers. The 20 cabins are relatively spacious with double, twin and triple rooms available. Decor is modern and sophisticated. On the main deck you’ll find the dining room, library and bar while the boat deck is home to the fitness room, an al fresco bar and hot tub. Guiding is excellent on the Isabela and there is state-of-the-art technology for multimedia presentations and natural history lectures. There are glass-bottomed boats, kayaks and pangas for exploring as well as snorkelling equipment for getting up close to the Galapagos’ incredible marine wildlife.
- 50 staterooms and suites (100 guests)
- Two Restaurants
- Onboard team of naturalist guides
- Main Lounge
- Snorkelling Area
- Piano Bar
- Beauty Salon, Fitness Centre, Jacuzzi, & Massage Room
The latest addition of luxury cruise ships to explore the Galápagos Islands, Silver Galapagos, will sail all year round on carefully planned itineraries and is naturally suited to in-depth explorations of this spectacular region. Built to accommodate 100 guests and 75 crew, this is one of the larger boats sailing the islands but with more amenities, greater luxury, professional butlers and a maximum of 14 guests per excursion, the Silver balances its size well with attentive service and intimate guiding. Offering all ocean-view accommodations most with private verandas, a dedicated team of naturalists onboard and complimentary shore excursions at all ports, the Silver Galapagos offers intrepid adventures with all-inclusive, elegant interludes. Observe unique ecosystems, hike through lush mangrove forests and across volcanic fields, watch for wild flamingos (in season), read cave inscriptions from the 1800s, and learn about conservation efforts at the Charles Darwin Research Station. Plus there will be many opportunities to swim and snorkel with the sea-life found in the tranquil clear waters. The more you explore, the more you will marvel at the wonders of nature.
- 24 cabins, all mid-ship with large picture windows and double or twin beds
- Connecting rooms available
- Family program on select dates
- Sun deck
- Al-fresco dining area
- Bottle of wine upon arrival for 4 night cruises; bottle of champagne or wine upon arrival for 7 night cruises
One of the top expedition vessels in the Galapagos, La Pinta is an excellent choice for those looking to combine comfort with a personal, expert service and high quality guiding. The vessel has capacity for just 48 guests, striking a good balance between size and facilities. All of the twenty four staterooms are located mid-ship on the upper deck and come with spacious double or twin beds. As one of the newer boats in the Galapagos, La Pinta is kitted out with the latest equipment and has an excellent restaurant and bar, jacuzzi, and a gym. All tours are conducted with small groups of just ten guests or less with expert naturalist guides and travellers can use snorkelling equipment, sea kayaks, wetsuits and take trips in the glass bottomed boat.
- 50 cabins and suites
- Two restaurants
- Bar and lounge
- Fitness room
- On board doctor
Combining decades of experience with a state-of-the-art expedition vessel designed specifically for Galapagos exploration, the newly launched Santa Cruz II brings a new level of luxury and eco-credentials to the archipelago. The new boat is just over 70m long and features 50 Swedish-designed cabins and suites, with room for up to 90 guests. All enjoy sea views out of large windows and en-suite bathrooms. 36 cabins can be interconnected, ideal for families and small groups. Communal areas include the Sky Deck, overlooking the bow, where guests can enjoy the sunshine or exercise in the fitness room. The aptly named Panorama Deck has an elegant bar, lounge and an al fresco dining area to the stern. On the same deck, guests are also welcome to visit the bridge, featuring state-of-the-art electronic navigation equipment, to meet the crew and captain. Below this is the library, hot tubs, the Discovery Room and the Beagle Dining Room. Much of the food served on board is locally sourced, such as fish, sea food and organically grown produce, and is a combination of Ecuadorian specialities and international cuisine. You can choose to dine al fresco which lets you enjoy the stunning scenery as you eat. Aboard the Santa Cruz II, explore the Galapagos Islands in a range of ways, from snorkelling in its waters with reef sharks and frolicking sea lions, to glass-bottomed boat tours, kayak expeditions and expertly guided hikes on land that focus on birdlife, wildlife and geology. Cruise itineraries vary in length from four to ten nights, and encompass the entire archipelago.
- Ten deluxe double staterooms
- Inside and outside dining and bar areas
- Culinary school trained chefs
- Sun deck with loungers, hammocks, Jacuzzi and hot tub
- Fitness centre
- Concierge services
- Computer station
Billed as both the most luxurious and the most environmentally efficient yachts in the Galapagos, the MV Origin and the MV Theory are two of Ecoventura’s newest ships. They feature panoramic windows, a hot tub and while on board you’ll enjoy locally sourced gourmet meals. The Origin and Theory are identical boats. With ten deluxe double staterooms, each with large panoramic windows, private bathrooms, seating areas, local art work and satellite TVs, the yachts are able to accommodate up to 20 passengers in the utmost levels of comfort. The guide to passenger ration is one of the best in the Galapagos ensuring you enjoy first-class service. The spacious interior features a dining and bar area, lounge, fitness centre, library, boutique and a computer station. Outside, the large sun deck features outside dining space, loungers, hammocks, Jacuzzi, hot tub and BBQ. To ensure you make the most of your visit to the Galapagos Islands, daily excursions are led by two highly trained naturalist guides in small groups of no more than ten. You’ll enjoy nature walks with plenty of time for photographs and questions.
- Nine en-suite cabins
- Dining room
- Two bars
- Sundeck with Jacuzzi
The Alya is one of the newest vessels in the Galapagos Islands and ensures a relaxing, informative and fun journey through this wonderful part of the world. The 105-foot catamaran accommodates up to 16 guests in nine comfortable en-suite cabins, eight of which feature private balconies. Rooms are bright and fresh with large windows that allow plenty of natural light to flood in. Itineraries combine hiking, snorkelling, swimming and kayaking with expert guided tours led by naturalist guides who will take you to the best spots on each island and help you get up close to the incredible wildlife of the Galapagos. Back on board, there is a dining room, a library where you can unwind and watch a DVD, two bars and a sundeck with Jacuzzi – perfect for sinking into at the end of a day exploring, drink in hand.
- 8 spacious cabins with their own private balconies
- Dining room
- Several outdoor decks from which to dine and observe the sights
The only mega, luxury catamaran sailing the Galapagos, Ocean Spray is a well-equipped and very reasonably priced vessel. With a capacity for only sixteen guests with eight very spacious cabins (the top four are 32m² in size) all with their own private balconies, this is a cruiser that prizes an intimate and comfortable Galapagos experience for its guests. Enjoy al fresco dining on the deck to soaking in the Jacuzzi after your day’s excursions.
Spend your time cruising and exploring the Galapagos Islands on your choice of Jacada's selected luxury expedition cruises. The exact itinerary will depend on which you choose, our travel designer will help you choose which suits you best.
There will be a number of varied nature trails with your guides to the different islands on your itinerary to explore both the wildlife up close and the astonishing geology of the islands.
Small group excursions by inflatable 'panga' zodiac boats to snorkel and see the dense marine wildlife.
Flight from the Galapagos Islands to Quito (via Guayaquil)
Private transfer from Quito airport to your Otavalo hacienda
- 17 rooms
Our favourite hacienda accommodation in Ecuador. This 17th century property was formerly the residence of a much-loved president and remains in his family to this day. The illustrious history of the property shines through in every room, many decorated with antiques dating back to the original owners. The libraries and communal areas are replete with photographs, paintings and exotic furniture, many made as gifts from abroad to the former president. Far from being a museum piece the hacienda is still very active with more than 2,000 hectares of pastureland; mainly used for cattle and horses (the stables have around 100 horses) as well as a trout farm. The estate produces its own cheese onsite and there is also an interesting program for the rehabiliation of Condors. The surrounding countryside and nearby village are beautifully picturesque and relaxing. There are fifteen well-appointed rooms and service is helpful and friendly. A great deal of care is taken to ensure that you make the most of the wonderful surrounds and there are a number of activities possible including horse-riding, mountain biking, hiking, birdwatching and visits to the local community with its own weaving workshops. The hotel is located some distance from the Otavalo Market itself (just over an hour) so it makes most sense to make the visit to the market on the journey to (or from) Quito.
- 40 rooms (choice of standard to suites and even separate cottages)
- Games room
- Film Library
- Basketball & volleyball courts
Set in a converted Hacienda dating back to the seventeenth century in the small town of the same name, this is a charming property conveniently close to the market town of Otavalo. Decoration is warm and very much a mix of colonial and indigenous styles with warm colourful shades and period colonial style furniture. Though this is no longer a working hacienda and the formally vast grounds are now reduced, they are still large with stables, courtyards and beautiful gardens, not to mention many off and on-site activities to choose from.
During your time in the beautiful countryside of the Otavalo region, simply enjoy the relaxed, bucolic pace of life here and we can arrange a number of our privately guided tours for you to enjoy some traditional Ecuadorian culture.
Head to the Cuicocha crater lake to enjoy a short hike near the lake. Then continue to Otavalo to visit the famous Indian market, where people from the surrounding mountains come to buy and sell crafts, food and other goods. After lunch at a local hacienda, visit one of the community projects held in the area.
Explore the Andean countryside on horseback along high altitude trails (between 9,000 and 11,000 feet) that wind through valleys surrounded by mountains, bathed in green lakes on mountain tops, snow-capped Cayambe, ancient pre-Incan earth mounds, waterfalls, dramatic views in or above the clouds.
Private transfer from your hotel in the Otavalo to Quito airport
Get in Touch
Signature Ecuador and Galapagos
How We Work
We create fully personalised trips from start to finish, working with you to pick locations, accommodation and guides that suit you.
Each time you travel with us, you preserve an acre of precious rainforest through our partnerships.
From in-depth private tours to restaurant reservations, we take care of every detail so you can make the most of your journey.