How to Plan Your Galapagos and Mainland Ecuador Tour in Quito

How to Plan Your Galapagos and Mainland Ecuador Tour in Quito

If you’re planning a trip to Ecuador and want to see the best it has to offer, an 11-day tour of the Galapagos and mainland Ecuador might be just what you need. In this tour, you’ll be able to explore the highlights of Quito, Otavalo, Quilotoa, and Galapagos, all while having someone else take care of your transportation, lodging, meals, and activities. Here’s everything you need to know to plan your Galapagos and Mainland Ecuador tour in Quito:


The 11-day tour of Galapagos and Mainland Ecuador is perfect for those who want to see everything this South American country has to offer. Your expert guide will take you to the best attractions in Quito, Otavalo, Quilotoa, and the Galapagos Islands, all in a small group of up to eight people to ensure personalized attention. The tour includes all your transfers, tours and activities, meals, and accommodation, making it easy for you to sit back, relax, and enjoy the experience.

Day 1: Arrival in Quito

The tour begins in Quito, the capital of Ecuador. You’ll be picked up from the airport and taken to your hotel, where you can spend the first night relaxing and getting to know your fellow travelers.

Day 2: Quito City Tour

On your second day, you’ll have a full-day city tour of Quito, one of the best-preserved colonial cities in the world. You’ll visit the historic district, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978, as well as its many churches and museums.

Day 3: Otavalo Market

On the third day, you’ll head to Otavalo, a town famous for its indigenous market, which dates back to pre-Inca times. You’ll be able to stroll through the dozens of stalls selling textiles, crafts, and other goods, and learn about the history and culture of the local Otavalenos.

Day 4: Quilotoa Crater

The fourth day of the tour will take you to Quilotoa, a stunning volcanic crater lake that changes color depending on the angle of the sun. You’ll be able to hike down to the water and take a dip if you want, or simply take in the breathtaking views from the top.

Days 5-9: Galapagos Islands

For the next five days, you’ll explore the stunning Galapagos Islands, one of the most biodiverse places on the planet. You’ll see giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies, sea lions, penguins, and many other unique species up close, and learn about the history and geology of the islands from your expert guide.

Day 10: Return to Quito

On the tenth day, you’ll return to Quito and spend the night in a hotel before heading home.

Day 11: Departure

On the final day of the tour, you’ll be taken to the airport for your flight home.

What’s Included

The tour includes lodging for five nights, all transportation in an air-conditioned vehicle, most entry fees, and daily hotel pickup and drop-off. The only significant cost not included is the Galapagos airport park entry fee ($100 USD), along with airfare, travel insurance, alcohol, any government-imposed visa fees, the Galapagos ‘migration fee,’ and the Galapagos park airport tax.

How to Book the Tour

To book the Galapagos and Mainland Ecuador tour in Quito, simply visit the Viator website and follow the instructions. You’ll be able to see the tour dates, pricing, and itinerary before making your reservation.

Book Your Tour Now

If you’re looking for a comprehensive tour of Ecuador that takes you to all the must-see destinations while letting you relax and enjoy the experience, the Galapagos and Mainland Ecuador tour in Quito is an excellent choice. With expert guides, comfortable transportation, and all the logistics taken care of, all you need to do is show up and enjoy the adventure.

Everything You Need to Know About Quito, Ecuador

If you are planning to visit Ecuador, then the capital city of Quito should be on your bucket list. Known for its historic center, beautiful weather, and breathtaking views, Quito is a city that has something to offer for every traveler. In this blog post, we will answer some of the most commonly asked questions about Quito, including:

What is Quito known for?

Quito is famous for its historic center, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is also known for its beautiful weather, which is due to its high altitude. Additionally, Quito is known for its impressive views of the Andes Mountains, which can be seen from various parts of the city.

What is the best time to visit Quito?

The best time to visit Quito is during the dry season, which runs from June to September. During these months, the weather is pleasant and sunny. However, Quito is a city that can be visited year-round, and each season has its own unique charm.

What are some of the must-visit attractions in Quito?

There are many must-visit attractions in Quito, including:

The Historic Center

The Historic Center of Quito is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to many beautiful colonial-era buildings and churches. You can spend hours walking around the streets and admiring the architecture.

The Teleferico

The Teleferico is a cable car that takes you up to the top of the Pichincha Volcano. From the top, you can enjoy panoramic views of the city and the surrounding mountains.

Mitad del Mundo

Mitad del Mundo, which translates to “Middle of the World,” is a monument that marks the equator. Visitors can stand with one foot in each hemisphere and participate in various experiments that demonstrate the effects of the equator.

The Basilica del Voto Nacional

This beautiful gothic-style cathedral is located in the heart of Quito and is considered one of the most impressive churches in South America. Visitors can climb to the top of the cathedral for stunning views of the city.

What are some traditional foods to try in Quito?

Ecuadorian cuisine is varied and delicious, and there are many traditional foods to try in Quito. Some of the must-try dishes include:


Ceviche is a popular seafood dish made with raw fish that is marinated in lime juice and spices.


Locro is a soup made with potatoes, corn, and cheese. It’s a hearty and delicious dish that is perfect for cold days.


Hornado is a roasted pork dish that is typically served with potatoes and corn.

What is the currency in Quito?

The currency in Quito is the US dollar. Ecuador adopted the US dollar as its official currency in 2000, and today, it’s the only country in South America to use the US dollar.

Is it safe to travel to Quito?

Quito is a safe city to visit, but like any other city, there are certain precautions that travelers should take. These include:

Avoiding walking alone at night

Keeping your valuables out of sight

Avoiding unlicensed taxis

Using ATMs located in safe areas

By taking these precautions, you can have a safe and enjoyable trip to Quito.

What is the language spoken in Quito?

The official language of Ecuador is Spanish, and this is also the language spoken in Quito. However, many people in the city also speak English, especially those who work in the tourism industry.

What is the climate like in Quito?

Quito is located in the Andes Mountains and has a subtropical highland climate. This means that the weather is relatively mild year-round, with average temperatures ranging from 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. However, due to its high altitude, the city can be quite chilly at night.

What is the best way to get around Quito?

The best way to get around Quito is by using a combination of taxis, buses, and the metro. Taxis are plentiful and affordable, and it’s best to use licensed taxis to ensure your safety. The bus system is extensive and covers most parts of the city. The metro is a fast and efficient way to travel between different neighborhoods.

What is the nightlife like in Quito?

Quito has a vibrant nightlife scene, with many restaurants, bars, and nightclubs to choose from. Some of the best neighborhoods for nightlife include La Mariscal and La Floresta. It’s important to note that like any other city, there are certain precautions that should be taken when going out at night.

Book Your Tour Now

Quito is a breathtaking city that has something to offer for every traveler. Whether you’re interested in history, architecture, or outdoor activities, you’re sure to find something that piques your interest. By following the tips and advice in this blog post, you can have a safe and enjoyable trip to Quito.

How to Spend Your Time as a Tourist in Quito, Ecuador

Quito, the capital city of Ecuador, is a popular tourist destination, known for its rich culture, friendly people, and beautiful landscapes. Located in the Andes mountains, the city also has a rich history, and there’s no shortage of things to do and see. Whether you’re interested in exploring the city’s colonial architecture, enjoying the local cuisine, or venturing into the surrounding mountains, there’s something for everyone. In this guide, we’ll cover some of the best ways to spend your time as a tourist in Quito, Ecuador.

1. Visit the Old Town

Quito’s Old Town, or Historic Center, is one of the best-preserved colonial cities in South America and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can easily spend a full day exploring the narrow, winding streets and marveling at the ornate Baroque architecture, such as the stunning La Compañía de Jesús church. Be sure to take a guided tour to learn about the history and significance of the many churches, museums, and government buildings in this area.

2. Ascend the TelefériQo

For breathtaking views of Quito and the surrounding mountains, take a ride on the TelefériQo. This cable car takes you up to the top of Pichincha Volcano, at an altitude of 4,100 meters (13,500 feet). From the top, you can enjoy 360-degree views of the city and mountains. Be sure to dress warmly, as it can be quite cold and windy at the top.

3. Explore the Museums

Quito is home to many museums, each offering a unique perspective on the city’s culture and history. Some of the most popular museums include:
  • El Museo Nacional de Ecuador, which features exhibits on Ecuadorean history, culture, and art.
  • Museo de la Ciudad, which showcases the history and development of Quito.
  • Museo Casa de Sucre, which was once the home of Antonio José de Sucre, who played a key role in the fight for independence from Spain.
  • Museo Guayasamín, which houses a collection of works by the famous Ecuadorean artist Oswaldo Guayasamín.

4. Try the Local Cuisine

Ecuadorian cuisine is diverse and delicious, with influences from Spanish, Indigenous, and Afro-Ecuadorean cultures. Some must-try dishes while in Quito include:
Dish Description
Locro de papas A thick potato soup made with cheese, avocado, and corn.
Ceviche A popular seafood dish made with raw fish marinated in lime juice and spices.
Hornado A roasted pork dish typically served with potatoes, corn, and aji sauce.
Empanadas A savory pastry filled with meat, cheese, or vegetables.

5. Go on a Day Trip

While Quito has plenty to keep you busy, there are also many interesting and beautiful places to visit just a short drive away. Some great day trips from Quito include:
  • Cotopaxi National Park, home to the impressive Cotopaxi Volcano and a variety of wildlife.
  • Mitad del Mundo, the monument marking the equator line and a popular photo spot.
  • Otavalo Market, one of the largest indigenous markets in South America, featuring a wide variety of textiles, crafts, and food.
  • Papallacta Hot Springs, a relaxing way to enjoy the natural beauty of the Andes mountains.

Book Your Tour Now

Whether you’re interested in history, culture, nature, or food, Quito has something for everyone. Follow this guide to make the most of your time as a tourist in Quito, and don’t forget to take in the stunning views of the Andes mountains and experience the warmth of the Ecuadorean people.

How to Plan Your Galapagos and Mainland Ecuador Tour in Quito