• Wonderful Times in Ecuador

    The Ecosystems of Ecuador tour itinerary is a whirlwind experience of the major regions of Ecuador. There's a lot of time traveling because you're seeing the four major regions of an entire country. As long as your group leader manages expectations with their students, as I did, the travel is not too much. Seeing the Galapagos (truly magical), the cloud forests, the
    Andes, and the Amazon rain forest was a complete and fulfilling experience for myself and for my students. Our tour director was awesome, the food options were mostly really great, and the culture of this country was eye-opening. I'd take students on this tour again.
    RDFB / Group leader
    Atlanta, GA / Posted on July 12, 2019
  • Excellent Ecuador

    I had a great time in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. I had so many first time experiences, and our tour director and tour guides made the trip absolutely amazing. We were really able to experience the culture of the country and to also have fun at the same time. It is an amazing tour and I definitely recommend it to others.
    KZimmer / Student traveller
    Glen Flora, Wisconsin / Posted on July 01, 2019
  • Good but lots of travel

    The activities were great. But the travel was way too much and not planned in a useful way.
    Jota / Group leader
    Seattle, WA / Posted on April 11, 2019
  • It's the Galapagos ... you'll love it!

    The tour is very busy, lots of travel between locations but we did get to see a lot of different ecosystems and wildlife. I wish there was more hiking in the national parks, instead of visits to specific touristy locations. I saw signs for trails that I would've liked to explore. I get that its about money and safety. Places with gift shops and entrance fees are making money where a free public trail has more risk and less monetary incentive.

    Our tour guides were very knowledgeable and friendly. They were able to adjust the activities and timelines based on our needs and were helpful with every request - like "we need to buy more sunscreen".

    Meals ... they were good and I felt gave us a flavor of traditional Ecuadorian meals. I do wish we had more "on our own" meals so we could try some of the local market food.

    It is an expensive tour but I don't think you will find a much better deal for the same experience. Ecuador requires a lot of in country travel and the Galapagos is expensive for anyone.
    mightybear99 / Adult traveller
    Alaska / Posted on March 03, 2019
  • Just scratched the surface.

    This tour has significant potential. To begin, I think EF would be wise to rearrange the order of events on the itinerary. Here are some ideas:

    -Cotopaxi visit should take place before Galapagos. People will be more acclimated to the elevation after spending a couple of days in Quito already.

    -Tena is hot/humid. The activities that were done the day of our return travel/trip to the airport were not ideal for the 20 hours of travel we had ahead. Access to a hotel room and shower would have been nice.

    -Isabella island is probably one of the most beautiful places I've ever visited on Earth and we were there for less than 24 hours (kicked out of hotel when larger EF group was checking in the next day). Boat trip around the island and exploration of the volcanic regions on this island would have been fun.

    Overall, the trip is pitched as 'ecosystems of Ecuador' and you see just that; a variety of diverse systems supporting many types of plants/animals. It is very 'touristy' and might not be an ideal trip for people who are used to independent international travel (choosing where to stay, eat, shop, etc)

    In my opinion, there is WAY too much time spent traveling between locations. The end result of an activity was often anti-climatic due to the amount of time/effort getting there.

    Our tour guide was very helpful. He spoke fluent English, and seemed to have an extensive network of connections and resources in the cities we visited.

    Hotel amenities were good. Hotel selection could possibly be modified to improve the proximity of a hotel to/from activities on the itinerary.

    Provided food and meals were very average and safe. Limited opportunities if you want to sample unique dishes of the region.

    I consider this a recon trip, and I definitely plan on re-visiting Ecuador/Galapagos now that I have a better understanding of where to go, and how much time I should spend at each location.
    AliL / Adult traveller
    Anchorage, Alaska / Posted on January 10, 2019
  • Too much time traveling

    We saw some amazing sites, but there was too much back and forth on buses and time spent on travel, rather than actual experiences. Also, our tour Director was not particularly friendly and seemed annoyed by the students.
    GBNStudent / Student traveller
    Northbrook, IL / Posted on September 22, 2018
  • Disappointing and disorganized

    This trip had been saved and planned for over the course of 13 months. There was great excitement to explore and connect with nature while experiencing the local culture.

    While it was an acceptable experience, it was over priced, disorganized, and full of too many hours getting from place to place, and back again to the same place.

    Don't book this trip thinking you will experience what you see in documentaries about the area.
    Saddie / Student traveller
    Posted on July 22, 2018
  • Galapagos/ecosystems of Ecuador

    I thought the trip was a great trip, but needs some more planning. There was a lot of time spent traveling to the different locations which is understandable. But some of the day trips were a lot of travel for not a lot of activity time. Ximena, our tour guide, was amazing though. She rolled with the punches and was very kind and understanding with our kids.
    / Adult traveller
    Bellefonte, pa / Posted on July 21, 2018
  • Amazing Adventure!

    My daughter absolutely loved the trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos which included hiking through Tena, Cotopaxi, white water rafting, and snorkeling in the Galapagos. The hotels were nice and clean, and the people were friendly. The only thing she said she would change is that the students were surprised by extra fees for daily lunches and extra fees for some of the activities which they thought would be included. I would like to add that it would be helpful if EF Tours could send out a reminder to students earlier in the year (like January or February) prior to the trip about seeing a Travel clinic/or physician for vaccines and medications prior to travel-- Especially if yellow fever is necessary since there is a shortage in the U.S.
    TravelMom5 / Student traveller
    Northbrook, IL / Posted on July 21, 2018
  • Whirlwind trip

    If you want to experience all of the different areas in Ecuador this is the trip for you. There is a lot of travel involved so you need to prepare for that but I can't imagine any other way to cover all of the amazing places that we saw. From the beaches of the Galapagos up into the Andes mountains and volcanoes and down to the Amazon there is so much beauty and wonder to experience. Our group absolutely LOVED our guide who made sure we had the opportunities to experience all that Ecuador has to offer. The white water rafting crew was also a real treat on this trip that everyone enjoyed. We had a large group that attended and there was truly something for everyone on this trip.
    TravelinMama / Adult traveller
    Warsaw, IN / Posted on July 18, 2018