Private Tours to Ecuador have a caveat: they pack in much more than you could ever expect of packing in on a private tour in such a short period of time. Five days in Ecuador feels like a week anywhere else. It’s not an exaggeration.
How is that even possible? The Earth doesn’t rotate at a different pace in Ecuador than in the rest of the world?
Well, we can actually say this because Ecuador enjoys two unique geographical characteristics that are not found anywhere else on Earth. 1) The Andes, filled with volcano clusters and lines of spectacularly high mountains, many of which are snow-capped, and 2) the country’s location along the Equator, which slices right through its center.
Of course, when we say Equator, we mean the Tropics. And no country could be more “tropical” than one located smack-in-the-middle. Hot summer temperatures all year long, palm trees, beaches, mangroves… that’s all here. But because of the Andes, which rise from 0 to near 7000 meters (14.000 feet) above sea level in a handful of kilometers, all possible world climates are present in the shortest posible distance.
And that makes moving through Ecuador on a well-crafted private tour a completely unprecedented, unique adventure!
Private Guided Tours in Ecuador: Top destinations
Mainland Ecuador has a ton to offer. Go to the mountains, admire the snow-capped volcanoes, visit the jungles, reach the Amazon Basin or make it out to the beach along the delectable Pacific Coast… its all here.
So, what are the top destinations…? Too many to mention (of course). So, let’s speak climate zones.
If you want the spring-like weather of European temperate zones, try Cuenca or Quito and its beautiful meadow-filled surroundings. Some people say that in the Andes, and both cities are located here, one experiences all seasons in one day… that is, it gets coolest at night and warmest at midday… But cool here is still way above freezing. You will need a jacket and a good comforter… but there is no central heating (and no need for a fan). It’s really the perfect weather. And both cities are beautiful, with astounding Colonial and Early republican heritage.
Guided Tours in the Andes
If you can imagine Iceland, well, you can imagine the Ecuadorian paramo. Cotopaxi National Park is certainly at the top of everyone’s visiting list. Ecuador’s most elegant volcano… you can reach snowline from the comfort of your car or van. Stay at the many hacienda hotels (no central heating here, either, but you will want to take advantage of the ubiquitous fire places and the hot-water-bottle-at-your-feet hack!
Another great outing is Mindo and the western Andean slope cloudforests. These are well known birding hubs, with more bird species counts than anywhere else on earth. And what birds: toucans, hummingbirds, parrots, tanagers, quetzals… easy to find, all over… a wonder to behold.
Guided Tours in the Amazon Basin
Heading toward the Amazon, you can stay on the Andean side, near Papallacta, a beautiful mountain niche with spectacular hot springs, or visit the party town of Baños, filled with reverberating waterfalls. Head also to Puyo, the land of the seven Amazonian nations, where jungle dwellers have become one with the forest, or head downstream, deep in to the heart of the Amazonian rainforest, to a number of forest communities that offer tourism adventures. These are amazing destinations, which you can only reach by canoe! Yep. No highways, avenues, roads. When was the last time you ventured out into a streetless world?
And don’t forget the Pacific Coast
If you are a beach lover, you must make it to the Ecuadorian Pacific Coast. There’s a lot to discover, including its archaeological history. The Ecuadorian coast holds the oldest known vestiges of civilization in all of the Americas! Bet you didn’t know that.
You also have Montañita, a prime surfer town, packed with all-night dancing and fun; or the protected Machalilla National Park. Whale watching in August and September, as well as snorkelling, kitesurfing, and more… and what many consider Ecuador’s most emblematic culinary traditions… if you want beach and sun, this is it!
Ecuador Guided Tours: Our recommendations
When you prepare for visiting a country like Ecuador, what’s interesting is to pick and chose when you need guiding and when you can do with out it. That is the matic of private tours. You set the rules. We recommend that when visiting the Amazon, you organize guided tours with the local communities. Apart from giving back to the people who protect these precious forests, they will help you understand their way of life; which goes deeper than just what you can see through nature. And in terms of nature, guides will take you straight to see the wildlife you want to discover.
In the Andes, certain activities require guiding. For example, visiting the national parks such as Cotopaxi are currently only visitable with tour guides. But visiting a marketplace or roaming around cities like Cuenca… that you can do on your own.
Same goes with the Coast. You can probably just hang out at a pretty beach on your own, but you may want to take surfing classes or take a tour to whale-watch, which you can hire accordingly.
So start planning your private tour with us. We’ll create the perfect fit for you.