Ecuador Travel: Best Places to Travel in Ecuador with Kids
With the world currently gripped by the coronavirus outbreak, we understand that you probably won’t be traveling in these months. However, now is the perfect time to plan your next trip while you are cooped up in your house. Transport yourself to sunshiny days by planning your next family vacation from your living room.
South America is not often the first destination parents think of when planning family-friendly vacations. However, Ecuador is the perfect kid-friendly destination. In mainland Ecuador, there are cloud forests full of wildlife waiting to be explored, adventure activities to partake in, and llamas to be pet. Off the coast, the Galapagos Islands are perfect for families, and little ones will get a kick out of seeing sea lions, tortoises, and blue-footed boobies. With well-developed tourism infrastructure, delicious food that everyone can enjoy, and kind welcoming locals, this little country is a comfortable and simultaneously exciting place to visit with the whole family. Ecuador travel is immense fun for both parents and kids of all ages, and we at Gulliver Expeditions can help plan your personalized trip with your kids.
A trip to the Galapagos Islands is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that your kids will love. Let nature be your classroom in this fun and educational expedition. There is much to see and much to do in the Galapagos, and your kids will be entertained the entire time. No matter their age, your kids will be delighted by all the animals. When they are swimming and snorkeling, they have the chance to see sea turtles, sea lions, sharks, penguins, and stingrays. During the land expeditions, they can see iguanas, tortoises, and a vast variety of birds.
There is never a dull moment in the Galapagos. The islands are like a special living museum. You can’t go wrong selecting a cruise or land-based option; your kids will love either. We know that traveling with the entire family can get expensive, so if you are trying to save money, being land-based and visiting nearby islands via day tours is your best option. Check out our Galapagos Family Adventure. A cruise is the best way to see more wildlife, explore more islands, and maximize your day. On a cruise, you usually depart your ship early in the morning and spend all day doing various activities. Whether land-based or cruising, activities that your kids will enjoy include swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, playing on the beach, and visiting the Charles Darwin Research Center.
You can book your Galapagos tour in advance, allowing you to relax and not have to worry about all of the little details. The Galapagos is not just a vacation but rather an experience. Experience this unique destination with your kids!
The Ecuadorian Andes are spotted with charming colonial haciendas. These are sprawling homes located on former historical plantations. Many have been converted into hotels, and our personal favorite is Hostería PapaGayo. PapaGayo is a great place to stay with kids. Your kids will love this particular hotel with plenty of animals roaming freely on the grounds. PapaGayo has horses, dogs, goats, and geese. With an abundance of greener-than-green land, your kids will have ample space to run around and play. The restaurant, La Bolivia, offers a wide range of healthy delicious food, and it includes classic kid favorites such as pasta, pizza, and hamburgers, as well as traditional Ecuadorian dishes. Kid-friendly activities at PapaGayo include horseback riding, hiking, mountain biking, and hot air balloon rides. PapaGayo is great for outdoor-loving families who seek family-friendly adventures. A rose plantation and Cotopaxi National Park are nearby gems within a short drive from the hacienda.
Mindo is a quaint little city, but don’t let its small size fool you; it is packed full of activities for kids. Mindo is a cloud forest located two hours from Quito. It is a popular destination because of its year-round temperate climate, wide variety of food, and adventure activities.
The highlight for kids is the butterfly sanctuary, and the highlight for parents is seeing the looks of joy on their kids’ faces as butterflies eat from their fingertips. Mindo’s butterfly sanctuary houses 1,200 butterflies among 25 species. You have the opportunity to place mashed bananas on your fingers and feed the butterflies. This kaleidoscope of colors is great fun for not only kids but people of all ages!
Your escape to the cloud forest wouldn’t be complete without the adventure activities it has to offer. Families can enjoy sports such as zip-lining and tubing. Even the little ones can partake in adventure sports such as tubing. All tubes are tied together and are led by a guide or two (depending on the size of the group), so there is no need to worry about your littlest one floating away.
There is a trail that contains a handful of waterfalls. You can walk along this trail and take a dip in any of the falls. This trail is accessible only by a cable car that carries you over a river, which in itself is great fun. Finally, the chocolate-making tour is a great activity for the family. Ecuador is known for its cocoa worldwide. On the tour, you can learn how to make chocolate entirely from scratch—from bean to bar. Check out our Mindo itinerary or contact our destination experts to customize your own.
Similar to the Galapagos, the Amazon rainforest is an outdoor classroom. The mysterious Amazon jungle is full of outdoor adventures that the whole family will love. If you think taking your little ones to the jungle would be challenging, we can ensure you that it is easy, safe, and fun. The best way to explore the jungle is by staying at an all-inclusive lodge. The lodge provides all meals and comfortable lodging (from rustic to luxurious depending on your choice) that includes electricity and running water, exploration activities, and naturalist guides. Activities include visiting a local indigenous community, hiking in the jungle, canoe rides, and nighttime walks. Many lodges have pools, so after a full day of activities when you want to relax and your kids still want to play, you can relax by the pool with a beverage while your kids splash away.
The Ecuadorian Amazon is only a short drive or short plane ride away, depending on the location that you select. The rainforest is a kid-friendly mystifying world of hidden treasures and exciting adventures. Because Ecuador contains two ecological wonders—the Galapagos and Amazon rainforest—many of our guests choose to combine both in one wonderful nature-packed vacation. Contact our destination experts to plan your expedition to one of the most bio-diverse countries in the world.
If you want to incorporate cultural experiences into your vacation, Otavalo is the best place to do so. In the heart of indigenous Ecuador lies the largest artisanal market in South America. The Plaza de Los Ponchos is an electrifying experience of color and beauty. You’ll find handicrafts, alpaca sweaters, art, and jewelry, and your kids are sure to be intrigued by this rainbow of textiles. Other cultural experiences in Otavalo include learning how to weave alpaca products as well as learning how to make and play traditional instruments in a house of music. All of these activities are led by local indigenous communities. Otavalo is not limited to cultural activities, as the lush area of Otavalo is ripe for exploring. Outdoor destinations include Peguche waterfall and Cuicocha crater.
Traveling internationally might seem intimidating, but Ecuador travel is made easy with Gulliver Expeditions. Ecuador is a magical family-friendly destination and between exploring, learning, and having fun, this will be your kids’ favorite vacation. Contact us today to start planning your Ecuador travel!