Wondering what you can do and see with 3 weeks in Ecuador? That’s a great question, and with so many options you may be wondering where to start.
In this post, we’ll give you some options that will help you make the most of your time in Ecuador.
3 Weeks in Ecuador: What to Expect
You can do a lot with 3 weeks in Ecuador! To help you experience some of the best that Ecuador has to offer we’ve built this 3 week itinerary around nature, wildlife, and birdwatching.
And on this trip, you’ll visit:
- Amazon Jungle
- Andean Cloud Forest
- Galapagos Islands
Remember that these options are just suggestions. This can be customized to meet your requirements. Contact us with your ideas, and to check availability and scheduling. You can also see all of our Ecuador travel packages here.
Now let’s jump right into your itinerary for 3 weeks in Ecuador.
Ecuador in 3 Weeks: Explore the Amazon, Cloud Forest, and the Galapagos
You could start your three weeks in Ecuador discovering the Amazon, then visit the cloud forest, and finish off by exploring the Galapagos Islands.
1) Amazon Wildlife & Biodiversity Expedition (7 Days)
Start your 3 week stay with our Amazon Wildlife & Biodiversity expedition. This is a 7 day / 6 night stay.
You’ll spend your first day arriving in Quito and getting settled in your hotel. The second day will be spent exploring the historic center of Quito.
On the third day, you’ll travel by plane to Coca, a city in the Amazon. The rest of your time (day 3 – 6) will be spend exploring the Amazon.
You’ll visit a butterfly farm, go on canoe rides, night walks, and daytime hikes.
During your visit, nature guides will help you spot the animals and point out many of the amazing trees, shrubs and plants of the Amazon.
Your Amazon trip includes a visit in Yasuni National Park which is considered the most bio-diverse place on earth.
On day 6, you will make your way out of the Amazon (a two and a half hour ride on the Napo River) back to Coca where you’ll catch your flight to Quito.
2) Andean Cloud Forest Adventure (5 Days)
Next we’ll take you to the cloud forest on our Andean Cloud-forest adventure. This is a 5 day / 4 night package.
During this 5 day trip, you will explore Yanacocha Reserve (in the Andean cloud-forest) located on the slopes of Volcan Pichincha, just 30 min away from Quito. You’ll also hike in the Mindo Nambillo protected forest, San Isidro Wildlife Reserve, and Guango Wildlife Reserve.
At the Yanacocha Reserve, we’ll look for hummingbirds including the endangered black-breasted puffleg which is considered the official bird of Quito. We will also keep our eyes open for the spectacled bear, andean fox, western mountain coati and pumas, which have been seen at the reserve.
In the Mindo Nambillo protected forest you’ll go looking for the cock-of-the-rock, and as you hike the cloud forest you’ll see beautiful waterfalls, epiphytes (air plants) including bromeliads, orchids, moss and ferns. You will also visit a butterfly farm and a chocolate artisan factory.
Next you’ll visit Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the World – a monument marking the equator line) and Papallacta; a small village famous for its thermal hot springs.
The San Isidro Wildlife Reserve boasts a bird list of about 310 species. Some of the mammals commonly spotted in the area are the mountain tapir, tayra, black agouti and the red-tailed squirrel.
On the way back to Quito you’ll stop at Guango Wildlife Reserve which is in a humid temperate forest, a habitat distinctly different from San Isidro. It’s characterized by its stunted trees, cooler climate, and different bird and plant composition.
3) Galapagos Cruise Visiting 3 Islands (5 Days)
The rest of this 3 weeks in Ecuador itinerary will be spent in the Galapagos on our Santa Cruz, Floreana, and Espanola Islands tour. This is a 5 day / 4 night stay.
You’ll spend this part of your 3 weeks in Ecuador aboard the M/Y Galaven, a 20 passanger, 88 ft expedition vessel. Each double cabin has a private bathroom, air-conditioning and ocean views.
During your trip you’ll visit some of the most representative Islands of the Archipelago where you’ll see some magnificent birds, and experience some other amazing things – like swimming with sea lions!
You’ll start of your time in the Galapagos with two days exploring Santa Cruz island.
The first day will be spent at the El Chato reserve on. You’ll see giant tortoises in the wild, this is also a good place to spot short-eared owls, Darwin’s finches, yellow warblers, Galapagos rails and paint-billed crakes.
The next day will be spent at Dragon Hill and Bachas Beach. On the trail at Dragon Hill, you’ll come to the lagoon lookout where you could see bright flamingos, pintail ducks, and land iguanas.
At Bachas Beach (a swimming beach) you may see flamingos, sally lightfoot crabs, hermit crabs, black necked stilts, and whimbrels. Sea turtles also nest at this beach.
Your third day will be spent exploring Floreana Island. You’ll visit the famous Post Office Bay, and enjoy one of the best snorkeling sites in the Galapagos. There is also a large flamingo lagoon on this island where other birds such as common stilts and white-cheeked pintails can be seen.
On day four, you’ll visit Espanola Island. First you’ll visit Suárez Point which is a great place for spotting blue-footed boobies, albatrosses and nazca boobies. Next, you’ll visit Gardner Bay which is the breeding site of nearly all of the world´s 12,000 pairs of waved albatrosses!
Your last day will be spent visiting the interpretation center, and making your way back to Santa Cruz to catch your flight back to Quito (or Guayaquil) where you will catch your flight home.
This suggested itinerary for your 3 weeks in Ecuador gives you a few days to rest and/or explore on your own. But if you would like to extend your stay in the Galapagos you could spend a couple of days at the Scalesia Galapagos Lodge and explore Isabela Island.
Please contact us to discuss how you would like to spend your 3 weeks in Ecuador.
These are just a few of our packages, see some other options you can mix and match here.