A BETTER WAY TO TOUR: To us, 'value' means making a better way to tour. We love to surprise our guests with unique experiences, top-notch service, hidden local delights, & memories of a lifetime. Our Ecuador tour is designed so you can enjoy the all the best highlights in a comfortable and luxurious manner.
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The Middle of the World Monument (La Mitad del Mundo) commemorates the site where the 18th-century French explorer Charles Marie de la Condamine once calculated the globe's equatorial line. The central city of Quito is located about 25 kilometres south of the equator and the city itself extends within 1 kilometre of zero latitude. A monument and museum mark the general location of the equator, known locally as La Mitad del Mundo (The Middle of the World).
Plaza de San Francisco - one of the oldest and most beautiful sights there is in the city. Once serving as a lively commercial center during pre-Columbian times, this large cobbled square is dominated by the enormous Iglesia de San Francisco and the monastery of the same name. Today the Plaza provides you with a wonderful view of the southern part of Quito as a result of its inclined location.
The El Panecillo—which translates to “small piece of bread” in Spanish—is a small volcanic peak in central Quito, Ecuador. Resembling a type of small bread (panecillo), this hill makes an excellent observation point over Quito and features La Virgen del Panecillo, a majestic sculpture that can be seen from any location in the city. This Virgin Mary statue is the first one that shows the Madonna in a state of movement, in a dance formation, and perhaps the only one with wings. Native people suggest the statue to be symbolic of chaining evil away from good.
Capped by green-and-gold domes, La Compañía de Jesús is Quito’s most ornate church and a standout among the baroque splendors of the Old Town. Jesuit architects began work on the Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesús in 1605. The church was finally completed 160 years later, and is now considered one of the finest examples of Spanish Baroque architecture in South America.
Located on the west side of Plaza Grande, the Palacio de Carondelet sits in the heart of Quito’s Centro Histórico (Historic Center). The Palacio de Carondelet serves as the seat of government and official residence of the President of Ecuador. It’s a historic building, but many of the items inside are not original. Over the last few decades, the Palace has suffered from a consistent pattern of low-key looting, with the culprits yet unknown.
The Galapagos Islands are part of Ecuador and are situated in the Pacific Ocean about 605 miles (1,000 kilometers) west of northern South America. The islands emerged from the bottom of the sea in the form of astonishing volcanic upheavals. All in all, the archipelago consists of 19 islands and dozens of islets and rocks that dot a vast area of 17,000 square miles (45,000 square kilometers) of ocean. Thanks to a lack of natural predators, wildlife in the Galapagos has no fear of humans, making the islands one of the world’s greatest wonders and an incredibly magical destination to visit.
Guayaquil is not only the beating commercial heart of Ecuador but a vibrant sprawling city, growing ever more confident. A half-dozen high-rises give it a big-city profile, and several hillsides are engulfed by colorful favelas, but it’s the Río Guayas’ malecón (the riverfront town square) that defines the city’s identity.
One of the most extensive urban-renewal projects in South America, Malecón 2000 is made up of monuments, playgrounds, sculptures, gardens and river views. From its southernmost point at the Mercado Sur to Cerro Santa Ana and Las Peñas in the north, el malecón stretches over 1.5 miles along the bank of the wide Río Guayas. It’s a gated, policed public space with restaurants, a museum, a performance space, a movie theater and a shopping mall.
Santa Ana Hill is one of Guayaquil's most iconic sights is this hillside enclave, which is dotted with brightly painted homes, cafes, bars and souvenir shops. Follow the winding path up the 444 steps to reach the hilltop Fortín del Cerro. Cannons, which were once used to protect Guayaquil from pirates, aim over the parapet toward the river and are still fired today during celebrations.
Seminario Park, also known as Parque de las Iguanas (Iguana Park) for the large population of iguanas living there, has a natural charm because of the walkways and artificial lagoon in which different colored fish swim. According to tourists, the iguanas add a prehistoric and natural ambiance to the Park. Biologists believe that the iguanas settled in during the colonial times due to the city's proximity to the river and because people do not pursue them.
Step into the elegance and luxury of a bygone era at Casa Gangotena Boutique Hotel in Quito. Situated in the heart of Quito’s Old Town, the beautifully and eclectically-appointed mansion sings with the history of the city. Whether it be the rooms, suites, terrace or gardens, or Casa Gangotena’s restaurant, each is a space for you to unwind, discover and dream.
Yacht La Pinta’s modern design offers plenty of style and comfort throughout its interior and exterior spaces. It is the perfect size for exploring some of the most precious and hard-to-reach places in the Galapagos Islands. Sustainable sailing is a big component of Yacht La Pinta’s operations, too, and the vessel takes several measures to help safeguard the ecosystem. This Galapagos Yacht measures approximately 209 feet (64 meters) and features 24 cabins that accommodate up to 48 guests. As four of these are connecting; they are ideal for groups of families or friends traveling together.
Hotel Del Parque is Guayaquil's first luxury boutique hotel, which was built within a 125-year-old historic wooden structure that includes a church. This Boutique Hotel offers 44 well-appointed guestrooms and suites, lush tropical gardens, patios and a unique massage room located in the former bell tower.