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Ecuador Family Travel

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Ecuador tours offer stunning wildlife, diverse activities, and relatively short transfer times, allowing parents to find a tour that is appropriate for children of nearly any age. Some offer high intensity multi-sport adventures while others have a relaxed, unstructured pace. The family-friendly Sacha Lodge in the Amazon and unparalleled wildlife of the Galapagos make Ecuador travel one of our first choices for family adventures. These tours generally fall into three categories- sightseeing excursions, multi-sport activities, and wildlife adventures.

Sightseeing Tours:

The Andes and Amazon tour provides an opportunity for families to try new foods, see amazing sites, and stay in small, bed and breakfast style hotels that each has a distinctive flavor. The primary focus of this tour is sightseeing so it is not a good choice for young children who can be easily bored, crave high intensity activities, or have rigid schedules/ food preferences, etc. This tour can be divided into shorter segments that can be added as extensions to Galapagos or Amazon adventures.

Multi-sport Tours:

The Ecuador Adventurer tour provides a mix of activities including a multi-day trek, whitewater rafting, biking, and camping. Prepare your family by planning weekend day hikes or overnight camping trips before you go. Keep in mind that although the distances hiked each day are not especially long (6 to 9 miles typically), the altitude of this trek may make it feel almost twice as difficult as the same distance at home. Each traveler should bring a daypack with essentials such as a camera, waterproof jacket, water bottle, and snacks. This tour can be divided into shorter segments that can be added as extensions to Galapagos or Amazon adventures.

The Galapagos Multisport tour offers a similar adrenaline rush, with an additional wildlife focus. Enjoy hiking, snorkeling, sea kayaking, and horseback riding. No experience is necessary but an active mindset is a must!

Wildlife tours:

GalapagosWildlife OdysseyIslands and Incas

These adventures are a great choice for families interested in Ecuador travel with a focus on wildlife and nature. Some, like the Islands and Incas tour, also blend in a cultural component.

The Galapagos Islands provide one of the most quintessential wildlife experiences on the planet. Children can snorkel with sea lions, step across giant land iguanas, admire newly hatched birds, and marvel at 200 year old giant tortoises. Some yachts have special family departures that include additional guides and activities for kids. Others offer suite accommodations, onboard swimming pools, games rooms, and more flexible meal options. Because of this wide range of options, children of nearly any age can be accommodated. Safety and limited facilities onboard can be concerns for very young children so most yachts have a minimum age of 6 or 7.

Sacha Lodge, one of the most comfortable jungle lodges in the Amazon, also provides a wonderful alternative (or addition for young children). It has Western-style facilities with private cabins, high thatched roofs, shaded terraces, an excellent mix of local and international cuisine, and a well-trained staff that is used to accommodating families and school groups. It can be a nice option for kids as young as six years old. The weather can commonly include heat, humidity, and rain during your stay. Please pack appropriately and don't forget the insect repellant!
Trip NameMin. AgeComments
Islands and Incas (15 Day)6Cultural and wildlife focus
Andes and Amazon (15 Day)6Sightseeing tour with cultural and historic focus. Some longer transfers
Wildlife Odyssey (15 Day)6Blends wildlife of Galapagos and Sacha Lodge. See notes above.
Hotel Silberstein (10 Day)8Children should be able to handle active daily excursions.
Galapagos Multisport (8 Day)10Active multisport tour best for older kids
La Selva Lodge (7 Day)6Children from 3 to 6 are welcomed with a private guide.
Haciendas of Ecuador (7 Day)8Cultural activities and optional horseback riding and hiking while staying at historic haciendas in the highlands.
Corpus Christi Festival (3 Day)6Cultural focus
Quito Easter Festival (3 Day)6Historical and cultural focus.
Cotopaxi National Park and Horseback Riding (2 Day)10Great active trip for older kids!
Cotopaxi Multisport (4 Day)10Great active trip for older kids!
Bellavista Cloudforest (3 Day)6A relaxed extension for families.
Sacha Lodge (4 Day)6Sacha Lodge also offers a 30% discount for children under 12. Excellent Amazon option that caters to families and school groups. Shorter transfer times than most Amazon lodges
Mantaraya Lodge (5 Day)10Focuses on culture, wildlife, swimming, snorkeling. Best for older kids and active families
Otavalo Market (2 Day)12Cultural focus. Long transfers.
Explore Otavalo Market and Valley (3 Day)12Cultural focus. Long transfers.
Papallacta Hot Springs with Overnight (2 Day)6A relaxed extension for families.
Chimborazo Volcano (2 Day)10Focus on culture and scenery. Long transfers.
Cotopaxi - Quilotoa (2 Day)10Focus on culture and scenery. Long transfers.
Banos (3 Day)8Mix of adventure activity options, some longer transfers.
Explore Cuenca (4 Day)10Focus on culture and city exploration.
Southern Highlands (5 Day)10Focuses on scenery and culture, which may not captivate the attention of younger children.
Cotopaxi Trekking (7 Day)12Multi-day hiking trip at altitude around 10,000 feet above sea level
Cotopaxi Conservation Service Project (3 Day)10Volunteer service project focusing on trail maintenance and tree planting. Also includes visit to Cotopaxi National Park as well as some horseback riding.
Cotopaxi Group Service Project (5 Day)12Volunteer service project that involves some hiking and trail maintenance as well as horseback riding, and mountain biking.
South America Grand (34 Day)6The Perito Moreno Glacier trek in Argentina has a minimum age of 10 and a maximum age of 65. Alternate excursions are available for those under 10 or over 65 years of age.
Cotopaxi Mountain Biking (4 Day)14Teenagers may join, but must be experienced mountain bikers.
Guayaquil City ( Day)6
Guayaquil's Historical Park ( Day)6
Guayaquil Botanical Park ( Day)6
Salinas Beach Excursions ( Day)6
Churute Ecological Reserve ( Day)6
White Hill Protected Forest - Short Trail ( Day)6
Quito City ( Day)6
Middle of the World ( Day)6
Quito City and Aerial Tram ( Day)6
Quito - Middle of the World ( Day)6
Guayasamin - Central Bank Museums ( Day)6
Quito - Middle of the World - Pululahua Volcano ( Day)6
Otavalo and Cuicocha Lake ( Day)6
Cotopaxi - Saquisilí Indian Market ( Day)6
Cotopaxi - Pujili Market ( Day)6
Pasochoa Forest Reserve ( Day)6
Papallacta Hot Springs ( Day)6
Cotopaxi National Park ( Day)6
Whitewater Rafting on Toachi/Blanco Rivers ( Day)6
Mountain Biking in Cloudforest ( Day)6
Cotopaxi Volcano Mountain Biking ( Day)6
Cotopaxi Horseback Riding ( Day)6
Northern Andes Train and Otavalo Market ( Day)6
Cuenca City - Half Day ( Day)6
Cuenca City6
Cuenca by Night6
Cajas National Park ( Day)6
Gualaceo and Chordeleg Market6
Ingapirca ( Day)6
Floreana Lava Lodge (3 Day)5Active trip on a unique Island in the Galapagos
Ecuador North to South (8 Day)8Sightseeing tour with cultural and historic focus. Light hiking and some longer transfers

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