Ecuador & The Galapagos

As the smallest country in the Andes, Ecuador packs vibrant indigenous culture, well-preserved colonial architecture, other-worldly volcanic landscapes and dense rainforest into an area not much larger than the United Kingdom. Here too you will see plenty of evidence of its rich agriculture including plantations of bananas, coffee, cacao, sugar, palm oil, palm hearts, rice, roses and corn.

Almost always mentioned in the same breath with Ecuador are The Galapagos Islands: Located some 1,000km west of the mainland, they are still one of the best places in the world to view unique and unusual wildlife at close quarters. The Galapagos are home to nearly 9,000 species, many nearly unchanged since prehistoric times, and a cruise among the islands will provide opportunities to see rare species such as the giant tortoise, the blue-footed booby, the waved albatross and marine iguanas — so unaccustomed to human presence that they are completely unphased. Follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin and the living proof of evolution will surprise and delight you.

“A single glance at the landscape was sufficient to show me how widely different it was from anything I had ever beheld.”
Charles Darwin, The Voyage of the Beagle, 12 December 1832

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