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Cotopaxi Ecuador Istock 806085882
Cotopaxi Ecuador Istock 806085882

Top 9 things to do in Galapagos & Ecuador with your family

What To Do In Ecuador & The Galapagos For Families?
Ecuador is a fantastic choice for a family holiday. The saying goes that the best things come in small packages and Ecuador is no exception. Packed into this relatively small country are dramatically beautiful landscapes, impressive wildlife and vibrant culture.

Of course, Ecuador is also home to the world famous archipelago and nature lovers’ paradise, the Galapagos Islands. On a practical note, travel times between destinations are fairly short, ideal for families.

If you’re looking for a place where you can embrace adventure, learn more about our planet’s incredible wildlife and truly connect to nature, Ecuador has it all. Below, we’ve listed some of our favourite family activities in this spectacular country.
  • Luxury catamaran cruise
  • Spend a day with the Huaorani people
  • Climb the Bartolome volcanic cone
  • Ride the Teleferiqo from Quito
  • Ride an aerial bicycle through the cloud forest
  • White water rafting in the Amazon
  • Stay in a Giant Tortoise Reserve
  • Take a break in Cuenca
  • Scuba diving in the Galapagos
  • Ride the Devil’s Nose train
Aqua Mare Exterior 25
1. Luxury Catamaran Cruise
With 30% more space than other boats exploring the Galapagos, the Aqua Mare is one of our favourite luxury catamarans. Incredibly well-appointed, she boasts exemplary social spaces including a sun deck, barbecue area and a panoramic lounge. You’ll travel with two knowledgeable naturalists and an attentive crew - and with a 1:1 guest-to-crew ratio on board, your family’s every need will be catered for.

Go ashore by zodiac with your expert guide and come up close to giant tortoise, frigate birds and marine iguana. Between safaris snorkel among turtles and ride paddleboards or clear bottom kayaks.
Kuri Muyu Interpretation Centre Napo Lodge Amazon
2. Spend a Day with the Huaorani People
Deep in the Amazon rainforest live the Huaorani people. For centuries they lived at one with the forest, hunting with blowpipes – all their needs provided by the forest. They have a completely unique language, not related to any other existing languages on Earth.

Your family can set off from the luxurious Hamadryade Lodge to visit the Huaorani communities and learn about their way of life. You’ll all gain fascinating insights into their understanding of the forest. This journey with an expert guide along rivers and through the remote forest takes a full day.
Bartolome Island Views Istock 470028282 Dc Colombia
3. Climb the Bartolome Volcanic Cone
When your Galapagos yacht calls in at Bartolome Island, climb to the top for an iconic view of the Pinnacle Rock. Landing by zodiac your family will walk past sea lions onto a wooden walkway that takes you up through spectacular lava fields. It’s a good workout to the top where you’re rewarded with sensational views.

Afterwards, cool off with a snorkel around Pinnacle Rock looking out for Galapagos penguins
Quito Istock 681602590 By 4Fr
4. Ride the Teleferiqo from Quito
Quito is a beautiful Andean city with hundreds of colonial churches in the winding streets of the Old Quarter. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One particularly exciting experience is the eighteen minute Teleferiqo cable car ride which takes you to 4000m onto the Pichincha volcano. Enjoy stunning views of the city and ride a set of swings on the edge of the precipice!

If you have a good set of lungs, allow four hours to trek to the 4690m summit of the volcano.
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5. Ride an Aerial Bicycle through the Cloud Forest
Luxurious Mashpi Lodge is surrounded by magical rainforests, yet is only a couple of hours from Quito. Your children will be spellbound as they walk the hummingbird trail seeing colourful frogs, orchids and hundreds of beautiful birds. Take a ride on the dragonfly canopy gondola and aerial bicycles that take you up among the birds and monkeys.

It’s a precious biodiversity hotspot of primary forest that cloaks the Andean mountainside.
Child Splashing On Boat Trip In Ecuador Amazon Rainforest Istock 955863444 By Vernonwiley
6. White Water Rafting in the Amazon
Looking for an adrenaline rush? Try running the Land of the Giants grade V rapid on the Lower Misahualli river, chorused by monkeys and birds. In its changeable moods the river passes through rocky gorges and spectacular rainforest. Rapids range from quite sedate grade II and III, to challenging IV and V - we will tailor the experience to match your family’s sense of adventure.

After a thrilling day together, return to Sacha Lodge, where you’ll enjoy dinner in the jungle, accompanied by incredible creatures of the Amazon Rainforest.
Kids With Giant Tortoise Galapagos
7.Stay in a Giant Tortoise Reserve
Pikaia Lodge is a boutique hotel set on the edge of an extinct volcano in a private giant tortoise reserve, the perfect place to stay to spot these gentle giants as they steadily graze on the lush grasses of Santa Cruz. Around three to five nights here is ideal, snorkelling through one of the planet’s richest ecosystems, exploring mysterious lava tunnels and taking yachts out to find more wildlife on smaller islands.

If you’re interested in a more in-depth learning experience, spend some time discovering natural history collections in the Charles Darwin Research Station.
Cuenca Ss By Alan Falcony
8.Take a Break in Cuenca
Cuenca is a beautiful city in the Avenue of Volcanoes. We recommend spending a few days here with a private guide. Explore the narrow streets of the old colonial quarter of Cuenca - with two cathedrals, monasteries and colonial mansions, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s also home to the Panama Hat Factory, where you can watch these iconic straw hats being woven by hand.

After your time in the city, enjoy hiking through the surrounding majestic Andean landscape - your family might see its first condor soaring above the lakes of El Cajas National Park!
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9.Scuba diving in the Galapagos
If your family wants to dive we’ll select a yacht with the right gear and an itinerary taking in top dive sites. Galapagos is one of the world’s best dive locations and the conditions are good all year round. Some sites, like Bartolome Island, are great for beginners. At Bartolome expect to see turtles, sea horses, white tip reef sharks, rays and even sea lions.

If you’re highly experienced (over 100 dives) we can arrange a liveaboard near remote sites where you can see whale shark and large numbers of hammerheads. It’s tough but an amazing experience!
Bird Plate Billed Mountain Toucan Ecuador Ss By Martin Mecnarowski
Luxury experiences crafted just for you
Your Ecuador Holiday Awaits
Private Journeys Unique to You
We are a boutique travel specialist. For over 25 years we have been creating luxury tailor-made holidays to megadiverse Latin America. Your time is precious and with a world to see, we understand the importance of getting it absolutely right for you, every time.We are a boutique travel specialist. For over 25 years we have been creating luxury tailor-made holidays to megadiverse Latin America. Your time is precious and with a world to see, we understand the importance of getting it absolutely right for you, every time.
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