Ecuador & The Galapagos Islands Luxury Tours

Luxury Travel to Ecuador & Galapagos Islands

Indigenous villages in the inland highlands, a plush cloud forest mountain, the backwater streams of the Amazonian Rainforest, the uniquely remarkable Galapagos Islands… Ecuador rewards travelers handsomely.

Straddling two hemispheres, Ecuador may be small but it has a dynamic character. It is most identified with its Galapagos Islands archipelago, some 650 miles west of mainland Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean. Nothing quite compares to the thrill of observing wildlife on these natural volcanic islands, where the animals do not run or fly away when humans approach. It was here that Charles Darwin discovered conditions that helped shape his ideas on evolutionary theory. Life evolved on these islands in isolation, separate from the rest of the world. Distinctions exist even from one island to the next. With a visit to these special islands on the life-list of so many nature travelers, and as a leader in sustainable tourism best practices, Big Five wants to help insure that the Galapagos does not become another “go now before it’s too late” travel destination.

Big Five has raised the sustainable travel bar higher by linking the Galapagos with exploring the incredible natural and cultural heritage of mainland Ecuador, which includes some of the established indigenous markets that have existed for a millennium. Once the Inca Empire’s northernmost territory, it boasts important archeological sites as well as pre-Inca fortresses. In the highland valleys, Quechua-speaking communities continue traditions of weaving, artwork and handicrafts using many of the same techniques as generations past. There are opportunities to travel upriver via dugout canoe into the still-virgin Amazon Rainforest to stay at a simple ecolodge run by the ancestral Waorani people, where small-scale ecotourism might just help them stay in their forest. The history of Ecuador’s traditional peoples reaches back some 11,000 years, and it is estimated that 25% of Ecuador’s population today is of indigenous heritage. The beautifully preserved cities of Quito and Cuenca are noted for sumptuous 16th-century art and architecture. The tapestry of Ecuador from the Galapagos, to the Amazon, to the Andes, from distinctive wildlife to authentic highland cultures, makes this a land of adventures.

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Ecuador & The Galapagos Islands Tours

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Ecuador & Galapagos Islands Custom Tour Varied Days Navigator Series Interest(s): Sustainable Travel, Adventure Travel

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Gazing out the charter plane’s small window, I see the Amazon Rainforest laid out beneath me, vast, green and lush. We land on a grass runway, and make our way to the river. The real adventure begins now – a two-hour river journey downstream in a dugout canoe. We quickly leave the outside world behind as the rainforest closes around us. Deep in the forest, I have the extraordinary opportunity to engage with a people who still live by the ways of their ancestors. These hunters and gatherers meet all their needs from the forest and the rivers as generations before them did. This is a way of life that has almost completely vanished from the rest of our planet. In my all too brief stay, I am deeply moved by the young girls who giggle when they see me approaching and the little boy who poses proudly with his gifted t-shirt with the Rolling Stones on the front. These people are on the edge, between an ancient past and an improbable future as they struggle to learn enough to join the world.

Ecuador & Colombia Exploration 22 Days Enrichment Series Interest(s): Sustainable Travel, Adventure Travel

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Travel by dugout canoe into Ecuador’s Yasuni National Park to encounter extraordinary wildlife and vibrant local culture. Explore Cotopaxi, the highest active volcano in the world due to its location and its continuous activity. Visit an Inca archeological site that represents the largest known Inca ruins in Ecuador. Take in Bogota the capital city and home to exciting graffiti artists, and Cartagena, where you take an unusual food tour based on the life and work of writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Learn about coffee from the experts in the coffee country around Armenia, traditional. Enjoy Medellin and the lovely coastal area of Nuqui, perfect for walks, relaxing on the beaches or soaking in the warm thermal springs as well as whale watching, surfing and kayaking.

Galapagos Islands Land Adventure 9 Days Enrichment Series Interest(s): Sustainable Travel, Safari Tours, Adventure Travel

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Enjoy this land-based exploration of the Galapagos Islands. Stay in luxury tented camp and a delightful island lodge. Swim, snorkel, and spend time on stunning beaches with a host of wildlife that are nearby and unafraid of your presence. Savor this extraordinary wildlife experience.

Ecuador’s Interiors: Volcano to Rainforest 10 Days Enrichment Series Interest(s): Romantic Getaways, Sustainable Travel, Adventure Travel

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Explore some of the fascinating variety Ecuador has to offer, including its distinctive cuisine - from the food markets in Quito and Otavalo to a culinary lesson in Quito, to sampling gourmet Ecuadorean fusion cuisine with a chef, who shares his secrets and famous recipes. Encounter some of Ecuador's amazing wildlife such as the high-flying condor of the Andes and the fabled pink dolphins of the Amazon. Delve into the Amazon rainforest during a three-night river cruise, and meet with Kichwa women as they share their customs, cuisine and everyday life in the jungles. Go horseback riding in the Andes past Caranqui pyramids, the largest and best-preserved archeological sites of the ancient Caranqui culture with 132 small earth mounds dating as far back as 700 CE.

Trekking Adventure in Ecuador’s Andes 7 Days Enrichment Series Interest(s): Sustainable Travel, Adventure Travel

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In this high-altitude adventure, discover the traditional Indian village of Peguche and the family of artists there who specialize in crafting traditional musical instruments. Enjoy Otavalo’s indigenous food market to sample some exotic fruits in a market atmosphere. Walk the rim of the volcanic caldera. Take a photography lesson with a recognized photographer. Explore the Andes on foot during a three-day trek between mountain lodges for an amazing hiking adventure.

Ecuador’s Galapagos & Amazon 15 Days Enrichment Series Interest(s): Adventure Travel

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The Galapagos Islands and the Amazon Jungle have never been more endangered. This luxury program was designed to illustrate that tourism done the right way can help preserve the Galapagos as well as the Amazon, by employing the right local guides, and using the right sustainable properties. This is about seeing the real Ecuador, the one that the large cruise lines and the majority of tourists overlook. Step back in time and see this amazing country the way it was meant to be seen.

Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands 13 Days Enrichment Series Interest(s): Safari Tours, Adventure Travel

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On this adventure, you will explore the lush cloud forest of Mashpi Rainforest Biodiversity Reserve and travel into the highlands of Ecuador to the historic Hacienda Zuleta. Explore the Tulipe Archaeological Site, originally built by the Yumbo people between 800 and 1660 CE. Enjoy a four-night cruise of the Galapagos Islands aboard the Yacht La Pinta, and encounters the endemic wildlife from iguanas to seals both on the volcanic islands and in surrounding waters. Savor an island stay at a safari camp and see one of the few Scalesia forests that remain almost intact. This is a spectacular journey for nature lovers.

The Galapagos Islands: Of Fish & Fishermen 7 Days Precious Journeys® Interest(s): Sustainable Travel, Adventure Travel, Family Travel

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The Galapagos Islands: Of Fish & Fishermen is geared towards families with young children, and is full of engaging and fun educational experiences for both parents and children. Hand-picked naturalist guides understand the need for flexibility, patience and down time. Experiences include going out with local fishermen to learn about sustainable fishing, snorkeling with some of the marine creatures and spotting wildlife including tortoises, iguanas and blue-footed boobies.

Private Sanctuaries of Ecuador 13 Days Enrichment Series Interest(s): Sustainable Travel, Adventure Travel

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Explore the old-world city of Quito. Enjoy the peaceful sanctuary of Ecuador's private reserves of Mashpi, Zuleta and the Galapagos Safari Camp. Go bird watching for the endangered condor in the Andean Condor Reserve; and learn about the traditional Zuleta community. Discover the Galapagos Islands on a four-night cruise as well as in the relaxed atmosphere of a luxury tented camp.

Volcanoes of Latin America 19 Days Enrichment Series Interest(s): Romantic Getaways, Adventure Travel

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Born of volcanoes, Guatemala, Ecuador and Colombia feature fascinating landscapes and flourishing cultures to discover. Board a helicopter for an overflight of six different volcanoes en route to Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. Savor a rare experience… glamping at Uaxactun Mayan ruins - an overnight stay in the ruins in the comfort of your own private camp with candle-lit dinner. Explore Colombia's Popayan, known for its beautiful colonial architecture and nearby Purace National Park. Visit the Totumo Mud Volcano, northeast of Cartagena, for a thermal mud bath, both restoring and fun. Take in Ecuador's fabled volcanoes, escorted by a volcanologist, who will help you explore the geology, history and legends of these ancient landscapes

Ecuador & Luxury Amazon 8 Days Enrichment Series Interest(s): Sustainable Travel, Adventure Travel

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Explore Ecuador's Amazon, one of the world's most celebrated and vital ecosystems during a 4-night cruise aboard a five-star, boutique-style river expedition vessel. Visit a local Kichwa indigenous community to learn how they live and work in this incredible environment.

Ancestor Volcanoes of Guatemala & Galapagos Islands 11 Days Enrichment Series Interest(s): Sustainable Travel, Adventure Travel

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Explore the dramatic volcanic landscapes of these two dynamic destinations and the people and wildlife that inhabit them. This journey makes the most of opportunities for hiking, snorkeling and scuba diving. Hike up a volcano with a professional volcanologist and take a helicopter flight over some of the incredible volcanoes of Guatemala. In the Galapagos Islands, head in the opposite direction and snorkel or dive into a completely different world.

Colombia, Ecuador & Peru 14 Days Enrichment Series Interest(s): Sustainable Travel, Adventure Travel

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This journey explores South America's pre-Incan societies that over the centuries settled along the Peruvian coast and highlands, the highlands of Ecuador and in Colombia. Visit archeological sites in Colombia’s San Agustín Archeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site encompassing the largest group of religious monuments and megalithic sculptures in South America. Travel to desert coastal zone of Northern Peru to enjoy special access to see the excavations at the pre-Incan site of the Sipan ruins.

Ecuador: Flavors of Ecuador 13 Days Interest(s): Adventure Travel

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Discover the sights, sounds and flavors of Quito, founded in the 16th century as you explore the historic city center, and take a private cooking class. Meet farmers and fishermen. Enjoy a four-night, land-based exploration of the amazing Galapagos Islands. Snorkel, dive, hike and kayak in these fabled islands.

Custom Ecuador & The Galapagos Tour Varied Days Navigator Series Interest(s): Sustainable Travel, Adventure Travel

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Discover the islands made famous by Charles Darwin and the remarkable highlands of Ecuador. Explore colonial cities and the Amazon Rainforests. Ecuador offers a world of adventure.

Ecuador Mainland 10 Days Enrichment Series Interest(s): Sustainable Travel, Adventure Travel

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Explore the Ecuador mainland, a region that most visitors never experience dor. Visit Indian weavers, savor a thrilling train ride through remote highlands, past Indian communities; and encounter the traditional Cañari Indians and Ecuador's largest and most important archaeological site at Ingapirca.