Go on a Galapagos Islands tour and see mainland Ecuador with Tourlane. The sprawling color of Quito is first up: you’ll walk the old town and hit up several of the city’s enchanting colonial plazas. Next, lose yourself in the enchanting jungle of the Mashpi Biodiversity Reserve, where adrenaline-fueled activities—cable-car, anyone?—meet unique fauna. End your vacation on the shores of the Galapagos in Santa Cruz: white-sand beaches, iguanas, and birdlife show Ecuador’s true diversity.
Start your trip with two days in Quito, Ecuador’s magical capital. Stroll along the old narrow streets and enjoy the buskers, vendors, and locals going about their everyday business. Visit the monasteries of San Francisco and Santa Domingo, the Church and Jesuit College of La Compañia, and take in the colonial architecture. Finish it up with a plate of meaty hornado, deliciously marinated slow-roasted pork served with rice and beans.
2. Mashpi Biodiversity Reserve
After a few days in Quito, you’ll go deep into the Amazon to a reserve that spans 1,300 hectares. The Mashpi Biodiversity Reserve is all about adventure: hike down the many paths and spot pumas, kinkajous, and over 500 species of bird. Don’t forget to hop on the dragonfly, an open-air cable car system that carries you through the vast expanse of the forest—the perfect way to see its immensity. Hold on tight.
Return to Quito again after your Amazon exploration and take in the city once more. Walk through the old town and, if you’re feeling something more trendy, go for some chicha—a delicious fermented corn drink—at Mariscal Sucre. For something more traditional, lose yourself in the magic of the Mercado Artesanal: buy a mochila, an artisan bag based on traditional indigenous designs.
4. Galapagos Islands
Fly out to the Galapagos the next day, and explore the real diversity of Ecuador’s geography. There’s no better way to take in the fresh air of the Galapagos than going for a walk along Tortuga Bay. Remember not to go for a swim, though—it’s preserved for the iguanas and crabs, native to the island, which you’ll see casually roaming around the beach. In the evening, hit the town and drink a cocktail as the sun sets on the Galapagos.
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