HOW LONG SHOULD I SPEND IN ECUADOR & THE GALÁPAGOS?
Two weeks will give you a packed but complete itinerary, though a little longer – perhaps 18 days – would be ideal and allow you a more relaxed journey. Taking 6-8 days to explore the Galápagos is ideal, while on the mainland, you could quite happily spend 7-10 days exploring the different perspectives of Ecuador, from mountains to beaches, lakes to jungles.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT ECUADOR & THE GALÁPAGOS?
While Ecuador lies on the equator and temperatures vary little throughout the year, rains can be significant. For the mainland, this makes July to December the better months. However, this coincides with strong trade winds, bumpy oceans and cooler water temperature in the Galápagos, where January to April are often considered the better months.
Because of this disparity, the shoulder months of May to June and September to October are recommended for those wishing to take advantage of both aspects of an Ecuadorian journey.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM ACCOMMODATION IN ECUADOR & THE GALÁPAGOS?
Accommodation is of an excellent standard, but also incredibly diverse. Superb lodges, boutique residences, premium hotels and private villas can be found, but you won’t find a Hyatt on the banks of the Amazon. For this reason, your expectations in venue style should be somewhat flexible, though the standard of quality, comfort and service need not be. For the Galápagos, land-based accommodation of a reasonable standard can be found, but boarding a luxury motor yacht is, in our opinion, the only way to visit the islands.
An eight-and-a-half-hour flight will land you in Quito from either US coast. From here, numerous options are available for further travel. Private drivers, train journeys and onward flights to the Galápagos make exploration easy, but expert advice and organisation necessary. Your travel designer will always consult with you to arrange the optimal travel options, combining convenience and speed with the more experiential side of travel.
US citizens don’t require visas for entry to Peru, though other nations may. It is always best to consult your Travel Designer well ahead of time to confirm visa requirements. Likewise, inoculations aren’t generally required but a travel medicine specialist will be able to inform you fully.
Spanish is the national language of Ecuador and some basic Spanish will definitely be useful, particularly in the more remote areas. That said, English is widely spoken, particularly in the hospitality and tourism industries, your accommodation staff, guides and so on will likely be fluent in English.