• Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton

Country: Ecuador and Galapagos Islands

Ecuador and Galapagos Islands – an interesting and exciting country and an itinerary on an independent basis is a wonderful complement to the Galapagos. 

You might include some time in Quito to sample its treasures of art and architecture.  The colonial quarter is the largest and best preserved of South America and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  A trip to the textile market of Otavalo, exploring the Amazon basin and a stay in the Cloud Forest to learn of the incredible bird life are also highlights to consider.  Continue through the Avenue of volcanoes along the spectacular scenery of the Andes, perhaps taking the Devil’s Nose train journey – a thrilling 2630-foot descent down the rocky slopes of the Andes.  Then into Cuenca and its superb Colonial centre, still with all of its traditional charm, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

As well as your travels through this exciting country, for many the highlight is time spent in the Galapagos Islands.  In the Pacific Ocean, this archipelago is part of Ecuador’s National Park system. When Charles Darwin visited in 1835, he observed a pristine, naturally isolated living laboratory that would inspire and refine his theories.  The  islands have not lost their ability to inspire; explore by cruise, and/or with a stay on land.

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