Latin America

Top 3 Ecuador tours you won't want to miss! [2022]

Updated on:  
June 23, 2022
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Sydney Brown
Sydney Brown
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Ecuador is full of magical activities, but deciding which ones to do can be a challenge. Explore all your option on getting the most out of your trip to Ecuador with some of their most amazing and can't-miss tours now!

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On the top western corner of the South American continent, you will find Ecuador, a hidden gem for nature lovers and adventure travelers.

There are many tour options showcasing Ecuador's best spots, and deciding which ones to take can be challenging. Because while there is many things to do in Ecuador, joining the wrong tour might make you miss out on visiting other attractions that may prove to be much more worth it.

What are the best tours in Ecuador then, you ask? Read our go-to guide of the best Tours on the mainland of Ecuador to find out what you shouldn't miss!

Why guided tours in Ecuador?

Ecuador is one of the most bio-diverse countries in the world.

Travelers can explore the Andes Mountains, the Galapagos Islands, the Amazon basin, and more during a trip to Ecuador. But determining which spots to visit and in which order can be a daunting task. There is so much to see in Ecuador, so taking a guided tour is likely the best way to enjoy this ecologically rich destination. 

Guided tours involve traveling with a guide to explore specific destinations on an itinerary during a set period.

One of the biggest perks of taking a guided tour instead of exploring on your own is that all logistics are taken care of by the host company or tour guide. You won't have to worry about transportation between cities, booking accommodations, or scheduling tickets for attractions.

This is incredibly convenient if you're planning to travel to a country or region and don't speak the local language, which in Ecuador is Spanish.

Explore ecuador tourism.
Photo by Azzedine Rouichi on Unsplash

Guided tours are also a great way to make new friends instantly while traveling! Sometimes as an independent or solo traveler, it can be challenging to meet other travelers unless you're staying in hostels. Even then, it's never a guarantee you'll make friends as a solo traveler. With guided tours, that isn't the case! From the start, you're guaranteed to meet other travelers on the tour! 

Independent travel has its perks, but it can be intimidating organizing a whole itinerary on your own in a country you've never visited. Guided tours can be the perfect way to explore a new destination. You can enjoy the experience without dealing with the stress and anxiety sometimes associated with solo travel!

It is important to note that the prices listed below reflect the pricing at the time of publication. Prices may vary at the host's discretion and the prices listed in this post may not reflect updated pricing structures implemented by each individual website. Additionally, pricing varies based on dates, demand, and seasonality. Please check pricing on the provider's website to ensure accuracy for the intended dates of your trip. 

3 Best tours to see mainland Ecuador!

Many of the guided tours offered in Ecuador focus on or feature a visit to the Galapagos Islands. No worries if you're not interested in exploring the Galapagos Islands on your Ecuador trip! Other guided tour options in  Quito or Guayaquil will leave you speechless! 

Ecuador tours that do not include a visit to the Galapagos Islands are often significantly less expensive than tours that feature the Galapagos. A mainland Ecuador tour could be an excellent fit for travelers looking for a less expensive option without sacrificing adventure and excitement.

Ecuador tours cotopaxi
Photo by Mauricio Muñoz on Unsplash

1. Inland & Amazon Tour

Hosted by: G-Adventures (here's an in-depth review of G-adventures!)

Length: 14 days

Max Tour Size: 16 people

Price: $1,849 USD

Where will you visit on this tour?

The Inland & Amazon tour dives deep into nature to give participants an experience focused on learning about the ecological diversity of mainland Ecuador. Participants can expect to travel into the Amazon Jungle, enjoy natural hot springs, and explore Cotopaxi National Park.  

The tour begins and ends in Quito, and features visits to Baños, Tena, Cotopaxi National Park, Papallacta, and Cuenca.

Ecuador tour map
Photo Courtesy of TourRadar

Who should go on this tour?

The Inland & Amazon tour is perfect for solo or small group travelers who want to explore mainland Ecuador. It's also an ideal tour for those who have more time to spend in Ecuador during their trip. The tour is 14 days long (wow!), but participants should add an extra day or two to factor in travel time to and from Ecuador. 

The Inland & Amazon Tour is a great option for those who want to explore Ecuador's natural beauty in a two-week time frame.

Ecuador tour Amazon
Photo by Kiyoshi on Unsplash

2. Ecuador Quest

Hosted by: G-Adventures

Length: 8 days

Max Tour Size: 16 people

Price: $790 USD

For a shorter, less expensive option (also offered by G-Adventures), the Ecuador Quest tour is the shorter version of the Inland & Amazon Tour described above. 

Where will you visit on this tour?

The tour begins and ends in Quito and features visits to Baños, Tena, and Papallacta. You will travel to and from each destination via bus, and transportation costs are included in the tour price.

Who should go on this tour?

This is an excellent option for budget travelers seeking a shorter guided trip. It is also a great option for those looking to experience a guided tour with independent travel before or after the group trip. 

Because it is an 8-day trip for under $1,000 USD, this is a fantastic option if you're a budget traveler or a solo traveler looking to explore Ecuador without breaking the bank.

Inland Amazon Ecuador tours.
Image Courtesy of TourRadar

3. Ecuador Multi-Sport Tour

Hosted by: Rebecca Adventure Travel

Length: 6 days

Max Tour Size: 10 people

Price: $1,317 USD

This mainland Ecuador tour covers two different regions: the Andes Mountains region and the Amazon basin. The tour features sporting and adventure activities, including rafting, hiking, canyoning, and more!

Where will you visit on this tour?

The Ecuador Multi-Sport Tour begins and ends in Quito, and features visits to Quilotoa, Cotopaxi National Park, Llanganates National Park, Pailon del Diablo, the Jatunyacu River, and Templo de Ceremonia. Expect to travel to and from each destination via bus, and transportation costs are included in the tour price.

Who should go on this tour?

This tour is perfect for you if you love adventure activities or enjoy the occasional extreme adrenaline rush. 

It is a shorter, less expensive option for those wanting to experience the beauty of mainland Ecuador. You will see natural wonders and national parks, including the Cotopaxi glacier! 

This is an excellent tour for solo travelers, budget travelers, couple travelers, or small groups.

Traveling to Ecuador from my country/city

The largest airport in Ecuador is Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO) in Quito. The second largest airport in Ecuador is José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport (GYE) in Guayaquil. 

Direct routes to Quito and Guayaquil can be found on American Airlines, Delta, LATAM and United flying from Atlanta, Houston, and Miami. There are no direct flights to Ecuador from Canada, the UK, Australia, or New Zealand.

Travelers can get to Ecuador via bus from the neighboring countries of Peru or Colombia; however, border crossings may not be entirely safe due to security concerns. Practice extreme caution if opting for this method of travel. It is best to fly to Ecuador from a central hub or catch a connecting flight.

If you're flying into Quito, check out our Quito guide that shares some important details about navigating UIO!

When is the best time to visit Ecuador?

The best months to visit Ecuador are June through September, as this is when it's dry and sunny. December through May is the wettest period of the year in mainland Ecuador. You can expect mosquitoes, possible flooding, and cooler temperatures if visiting during this period.

How many days should I spend in Ecuador?

This question is entirely based on your travel itinerary and tour length (if you opt for a guided tour). We suggest spending at least 10 days in Ecuador to get a fully immersive experience on the mainland. 

Depending on the length of your tour, we recommend tacking on a day before and a day after to give yourself time to decompress and do last-minute exploring. If your tour is 10 days long, plan to spend 12 days in Ecuador.

Find out more and stay organized with Pilot!

Looking for more ideas for your trip to Ecuador? Check out this list of some of the best things to do in Ecuador on Pilot.

Pilot is your brand-new travel planner that helps you discover and build travel itineraries connecting you to resources everywhere. Make the planning experience more fun by collaborating with your travel buddies! Pilot makes it fun and easy to share and relive your favorite travel memories with many useful features! 

Did we mention that it's completely free? Try it out now! 

Originally published on:  
June 22, 2022

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