Highlights

  • See world-renowned wildlife
  • Discover Ecuador's dramatic highlands on the Tren Crucero train
  • Traverse the iconic Devil's Nose
  • Indulge at an eco-lodge in the Galápagos Islands
  • Stay in authentic Ecuadorian accommodation with traditional cuisine

Discover the spectacular highlands of Ecuador via its most scenic train journey on this all-encompassing tour. After exploring the colonial delights of Quito from a city-centre hotel, you'll traverse the Andes' dramatic mountain passes and green-and-gold dappled slopes on the Tren Crucero, witnessing icons like the Avenue of Volcanoes and the infamous Devil's Nose. Then, after some coastal relaxation in rainbow-hued Guayaquil, the Galápagos Islands await, where you'll spend four days in an eco-luxe hotel. There's everything from snorkelling with sea lions to wildlife walks on offer as you discover what makes this such an inspiring, iconic destination. Along the way, you’ll experience Ecuador at its most authentic, with traditional accommodation stays and modern Ecuadorian fare. 


Day 1

UK to Quito

Prior to your overnight flight to the Ecuadorian capital, you’ll be brought to the airport by private chauffeur to relax with complimentary premium lounge access. Then, board your flight, arriving on day two.

Quito, Ecaudor

Quito, Ecuador


Days 2 – 3

Quito's UNESCO-listed delights

On day two, you’ll be met for your private transfer to the Swissotel Quito, in the centre of the trendy La Floresta neighbourhood with an open-kitchen sushi restaurant and a stylish bar. You’ve got a full day today to explore the city, including the UNESCO World Heritage-listed colonial quarter that's the best preserved of its kind in South America, as well as the Presidential Palace, Monastery of San Francisco and Ethnographic Museum, where you'll learn about the Native American groups living within Ecuador. We've also included a visit to the Ciudad Mitad del Mundo where you can stand on the equator line. If you've more time, perhaps ride on the TeleferiQo cable car to soar high above the city. This evening, soothe any sightseeing aches at the hotel spa for a massage or even a regenerative chocolate treatment, alongside the outdoor-indoor heated pool, hot tub, sauna and plunge pool.  

Breakfast included

Swissotel Quito

Japanese restaurant, Swissotel Quito

Quito with Cotopaxi volcano in the background

Quito with Cotopaxi volcano in the background

View, Casa Gangotena, Quito, Ecuador

Quito, Ecuador


Day 4

Journey through the highlands

After breakfast today, your tour begins as you head north towards the rolling hills of Otavalo and board a traditional restored steam train. Be sure to keep an eye out for the snow-capped Cayambe volcano as you traverse the thick forests and winding valleys of the Ecuadorian highlands alongside included wood-carving, weaving and musical demonstrations today. It all ends with a delicious tasting menu of Ecuadorian specialities before you speed back down to Quito for your final night in the capital, perhaps taking advantage of La Floresta's jazz clubs and artisan beer bars.

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included

Otavalo Market, Ecuador

Otavalo market, Ecuador

Cayambe-Coca, foot of the Cayambe volcano, Ecuador

Cayambe-Coca moors at the foot of the Cayambe volcano


Day 5

The luxurious heights of Tren Crucero

After a final breakfast in Quito, your journey continues as you board the Tren Crucero railway, one of the country’s most luxurious. You'll start by traversing along the Avenue of Volcanoes, a dramatic thread of seven mountain peaks that tower above the green-and-gold valley, before reaching Urbina – at 3,609 metres, it’s the highest train station in Ecuador. On board, expect everything from fried plantation to fresh tropical fruit juices, as well as local cocoa beans and quinoa created into gourmet Ecuadorian dishes. After visiting the interpretation centre to learn about Ecuador's 'Last Ice Man', alongside magnificent views of snow-capped Chimborazo, Ecuador's highest volcano, you'll take the short bus journey to your hotel for this evening.

Stay: Hosteria Abraspungo, La Andaluza or similar (Superior)

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included

Tren Crucero, Ecuador

Tren Crucero, Ecuador

Tren Crucero, Ecuador

Tren Crucero, Ecuador


Day 6

Traversing the infamous Devil's Nose

Start the day by visiting Ecuador's first ever church before continuing on to Guamote, an indigenous community who reside in tiny colourful buildings. Enjoy a guided city tour and visit the indigenous market, one of the largest and most famous in Ecuador, before boarding the Tren Crucero once more. It's then time for a trip highlight as you traverse the iconic Devil’s Nose, stopping at the viewpoint to take it in all in and admire the truly spectacular feat of engineering that makes this such a famous railway. You’ll then head back to the coastal plains to reach Bucay and check in to your river-view hotel for the evening.

Stay: Hosteria D'Franco or similar (Superior)

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included

The Devil's Nose, Tren Crucero, Ecuador

The Devil's Nose, Tren Crucero, Ecuador


Day 7

Guayaquil's colourful buzz

After breakfast you'll learn about the history and impact of cocoa beans on Ecuador's culture and economy on a visit to a cocoa plantation, alongside a traditional lunch. Then, board the Tren Crucero train for a final time, passing colourful colonial buildings, rice plantations and deep valleys to reach Guayaquil. Home to tumbling pastel-hued buildings and iconic architecture, it's a wonderfully laid-back city in which to relax before your Galápagos adventure begins tomorrow. Perhaps take advantage of the hotel's rooftop pool and spa before sampling some classic Ecuadorian fare on the al fresco dining terrace.

Breakfast & Lunch included

Santa Ana Hill, Guayaquil

Santa Ana Hill, Guayaquil


Days 8 – 11

The famed wildlife of the Galápagos Islands

It’s time for the highlight of your trip today as you fly to the Galápagos Islands and check in to the award-winning, eco-luxe Finch Bay Galápagos Hotel. Situated on the beach on Santa Cruz island, home to sights such as Gordon’s Rock and the Charles Darwin Research Centre, you’ll be well-placed to explore. There's everything from cruise adventures on the hotel's private yacht to wildlife walks and kayaking on offer as you discover the wildlife that’s fascinated adventurers since Charles Darwin in the nineteenth century. Return each evening to the hotel for beachfront spa treatments and gourmet, al fresco dining.

NB: Lunch is included on days 9-11.

Breakfast & Lunch included

Pool, Finch Bay Galápagos Hotel

Pool, Finch Bay Galápagos Hotel

Kayak, Finch-Bay Eco Hotel, Puerto Ayora, Galapagos

Kayaking, Finch Bay Galápagos Hotel

Iguana, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Iguana, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador


Days 12 – 13

Depart for home

After breakfast, transfer to Guayaquil airport in time for your onward flight back to the UK, arriving on day 13. On arrival, a private chauffeur will be waiting to whisk you home. 

Breakfast included


Pricing information

Guide price from £4,970 pp incl. flights

Low Season from: £4,970 pp
High Season from: £5,260 pp

Includes:

  • Complimentary UK airport lounge access
  • Return flights from London to Quito and from Guayaquil to London
  • Domestic flights between Quito/Guayaquil and the Galápagos islands
  • Private transfers in Quito and Guayaquil, shared transfers in the Galápagos
  • 3 nights accommodation in a 5* (Deluxe) hotel on a B&B basis
  • 3 nights accommodation in typically 3+*/4* (Superior) hotels on a B&B basis
  • 4 nights accommodation in a 4* (Superior) hotel on a B&B basis
  • 6 lunches and 3 dinners
  • Private tour of 'Quito & Center of the World'
  • Shared excursions as part of the 'Tren Cruceros' programme
  • Tourist control card fee, 1 full day island yacht excursion, 1 full day land exploration with lunch, snorkelling equipment in the Galápagos Islands
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