Isla del Sol, Bolivia | ©Angela Drake
Isla del Sol, Bolivia | ©Angela Drake
Isla del Sol, Bolivia | ©Angela Drake
Packages start at $ per person


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Angie is a freelance writer and photographer who can't get enough of South America. The lesser-known the destination, the more she wants to visit. She currently lives in Portland, Oregon and dreams of her next trip to Ecuador.
Mission and Purpose
<p>Continental Ecuador can be divided into three distinct geographic regions, the Pacific Coast, the Amazon, and the Andes.</p> <p>The mountainous Andes, called la Sierra, run along the spine of Ecuador, north to south. They are home to the Avenida de los Volcanes, a series of snow-capped volcanoes that provide impressive backdrops to daily Andean life. Even the foothills of these mountains are higher than most of the tallest peaks in the United States. Therefore, it is important to come prepared for high altitude travel.</p> <p>To the west of the Andes lies the Amazon Basin, commonly known as el Oriente. The lush forests and jungles of the Amazon Basin thrive from the water that arrives from the multiple rivers and streams of the neighboring Andes.</p> <p>To the east of the Andes lies the Pacific Coast, or la Costa, with its miles of sandy beaches, endangered mangrove forests, and small fishing villages. Parts of the coast receive very little rain and can be considered dry desert.</p> <p>The land drops dramatically from the Andes to both of its neighboring regions. Therefore, roads connecting major cities between the Sierra, the Oriente, and the Costa twist and turn at the highest altitudes before straightening out in lower climes.</p>
<p>Quiteños love to say that they experience four seasons in a single day! And it’s true. In fact, weather is so variable that we found people were likely to tell us that if it was raining, it was winter, no matter the actual season.</p> <p>Because Ecuador is so geographically diverse, any trip usually requires being prepared for multiple weather events, even if you never venture from one geographic region to another.</p> <p>For the Sierra, a single day can be very warm in the sun, requiring protection like hats and sunblock, rainy and wet, requiring a good umbrella or raincoat, windy and cold, requiring a warm layer like wool or fleece. Therefore, the traveler who arrives with several layers of clothing that are easily added or removed will be the most content. Also worth noting, central heat and air conditioning do not exist in the Sierra. That might mean packing warmer pajamas or bringing a pair of slippers or comfy wool socks for cooler nights. Rainy season is generally around February to May with a windy and dry time around August and September before the rains begin again around November through December. Of course, climate change is having a marked effect on seasonality.</p> <p>As elevation lowers, temperatures become warmer and the air more humid.</p> <p>For the Oriente, where it is generally warm and humid, it is best to be prepared for rain, even in the dry season, usually around January and again in August. Rain in the Amazon can be torrential so wearing clothes that can dry easily is important. Light layers that wick moisture from your body are preferred. Even for the Oriente, it makes sense to bring a warm layer for the occasional cooler evening. Air conditioning is rare though fans are common.</p> <p>For the Coast, rainy season is from December through May. The amount of rain depends greatly on climate patterns like El Niño. Otherwise, the weather tends to be hot and humid on the coast. Clothes that can easily wick moisture from your body will be the most comfortable.</p>
When to go
Health and Safety

What’s Included?

<p>Professional guide included</p>
<p>The guide’s tip is included in the itinerary price.</p>
<p>Private ground transportation from pick-up to drop-off.</p>
<p>Tips for the driver are included in the itinerary</p>
<p>All overnight stays include lodging as mentioned in the itinerary.</p>
<p>Beginning on day with lunch, all meals will be provided until drop-off in the afternoon on the final day.</p>
<p>Tips for staff at restaurants and hotels are included in the itinerary</p>
<p>All entrance fees to the locations listed in the itinerary.</p>
<p>Please edit this content to describe the other included items.</p>

What’s Not Included?

<p>This tour is self-guided</p>
<p>Optional tip for exemplary service to the tour guide.</p>
<p>Transportation will be provided by the guest.</p>
<p>Optional tip for exemplary service to the driver.</p>
<p>No overnight accommodations are provided with this trip</p>
<p>No meals are provided on this trip</p>
<p>Optional tips for exemplary service to staff at hotels, lodges, and restaurants</p>
<p>No entrance fees are included in the price</p>