Ecuador & the Galapagos Family Vacations

From Amazonian jungles to Andean peaks, spectacular volcanoes to bustling markets, this friendly and exotic destination will wow you at every turn of your Ecuador family vacation. This is a country small in size but huge in natural and cultural wonders, and sustainable tourism destinations.

Destination Highlights

Active Adventures

Ecuador, with its vibrant cities filled with stunning colonial architecture and Inca treasures, and its Amazon rainforest teeming with endless waterways and wildlife, has so much natural and cultural variety that it will leave you breathless. And a blend of lush and volcanic scenery serves as a backdrop for virtually any adrenaline-charged adventure one can imagine: white water rafting, mountain biking, mountain climbing, trekking. The list goes on and on. An Ecuador family vacation is a unique journey of history, culture, food and fantastic natural vistas.


But of course it is for the Galapagos that most travelers come for an adventure in Ecuador. The islands may inspire you to think differently about the world. This is arguably the most compelling natural spot in the world, a place where the animal inhabitants rule. Here you can snorkel among penguins, sea kayak with sharks, trek across active volcanoes, relax on sandy beaches amidst sea lions and meet blue footed boobies – it really is an otherworldly adventure.

Natural Wonders

Ecuador may be the smallest Andean nation in size, but with its wonderfully wild array of natural and cultural experiences waiting to be discovered, this is the perfect place for a family adventure!


  • Swim with penguins, kayak with sea lions, walk amongst giant tortoises or trek over active volcanoes in the Galapagos
  • Go rafting, visit indigenous communities, and marvel at the wildlife on an Amazonian adventure
  • Be amazed at the largest and most colorful artisan markets on the continent
  • Take in the enthralling blend of urban and traditional cultures and magnificent colonial architecture in Quito and Cuenca
  • Horse ride at a hacienda, climb a volcano, go off-road biking, ride on top of a train – anything’s possible!

Ecuador and the Galapagos

Day 1
Arrive in Quito. On arrival, you’ll meet your driver and transfer to a traditional hacienda in the Andes for 3 nights. Along the way, you’ll be able to stop at a traditional local market. Later today, enjoy a traditional cooking lesson, where you will learn some of the mysteries of Andean cuisine.

Day 2
This morning either take a steep hike to a high viewpoint to see the great Cotopaxi Volcano, its summit covered in a permanent snowcap, or enjoy kayaking on a sacred lake. This afternoon, enjoy horseback riding on the slopes of Cotopaxi.  Afterwards, learn how to throw a lasso with the local cowboys.  

Days 3
Try your hand at trout fishing this morning, followed by either an adventurous mountain bike ride along the hacienda trails or a high ropes course, with levels for all ages. 

Day 4
Travel back to Quito. Stop at the fascinating Equator Museum along the way. This afternoon enjoy a tour of the city, with its beautiful colonial architecture – some of the best in Latin America.

Day 5
Check-in for your flight to the Galapagos Islands. On arrival, you will transfer to your First Class/Luxury Yacht, your home for the next 6 nights. The Galapagos Islands are unique. The wildlife is so tame that you may be able to walk up to birds, which will not fly away. Sea lions may swim right up to your face, and seals might hop right along next to you. It is one of the most outstanding wildlife experiences in the world.

Day 6-11
For these six days, your boat will sail through the archipelago, stopping daily for island hikes, and for snorkeling as well. A number of our favorite boats also carry kayaks and/or SUP, so in addition to the regular daily activities, you will be able to enjoy some additional water activities as well. During school vacations, we can book you on to a special family-focused cruise. 

Day 12
After a life changing wildlife interactive experience on board, your boat will dock this morning and you will check in for your flight back to Quito. On arrival in Quito, transfer to your hotel for overnight or check in for your onward flight back home.

Ecuador and the Galapagos Trip Tips & FAQ's

What Time of Year is it Best to Travel With Family to Ecuador?

Since Ecuador sits on the equator, it has no seasons and is great to visit all year round. Dec-March is the rainy season in the high altitude area of the mainland, but it’s also high season in the Galapagos, which sees very little rain at any time of year.

Is Traveling to the Ecuador a Good Place for a Family Vacation?

The Galapagos is one of the great wildlife experiences on the planet, and its all small animals and birds, making it extremely kid friendly. Sea lions and seals, tortoises, iguanas and crabs, and all kinds of birds are simply amazing to get up close and personal to. On the mainland, staying at a hacienda is incredible fun, with horseback riding, hiking, mountain biking, cooking lessons, great local markets and much more. One can also easily access the fringes of the Amazon jungle and spend a few days in a great lodge learning about this amazing biosphere.

Ecuador Family Vacation: What is There to Do?

Take a cruise in the Galapagos Islands with snorkeling and hiking daily, and enjoy all the action of the mainland, which has surfing towns, mountain ranches and great colonial cities to explore.

What is food like in Ecuador?

Ecuador has great seafood on the coast, while inland it has stews and soups and other interesting local dishes. Many restaurants cater to international tastes of course as do all Galapagos cruises.

Ecuador Family Vacation: Where to Stay

Accommodation ranges from boutique hotels to international chains. In the Galapagos, midrange cruises will have very small ensuite cabins with bunk beds, while higher end boats will have larger en suite cabins with double or queen size beds. 

Is an Ecuador Family Vacation Expensive?

The Galapagos is very expensive – much like any high-end safari would be around the world. The islands are on the world’s bucket list, and prices reflect this. Mainland Ecuador is generally much cheaper, so a trip to Ecuador without the islands can offer fantastic value for money.

Name some things that is very weird in Ecuador?

Guinea pig is a local delicacy, you can have soup with avocado in it, and popcorn is a typical snack! 



Read our latest blog posts…

Ecuador with Kids: Forests, Hummingbirds and Butterfiles – Exploring Mindo

What is Ecuador Famous For? Ecuador is famous for its incredible diversity of microclimates. One of these is the cloud forest,…

Read More
ziplining in ecuador
Ecuador with Kids: Day trips from Quito – No guinea pigs for us thank you very much, standing on the Equator and mango shopping.

Ecuador is names after the equator, which in Ecuador is simple to reach and a real money spinner. Sure you…

Read More
girl posing at marking in ecuador
Ecuador with Kids: Discovering Quito.

While the Galapagos was the main reason for our trip to Ecuador, we decided  to spend a few days exploring…

Read More
ecuador old quito