To inspire your family trip to Ecuador, Totally Latin America has created a selection of family-oriented trip ideas combining exciting destinations from across the country. From the cloud forests of northern Ecuador to the colonial streets of Quito and the endemic wildlife in the Galapagos, these vacation ideas offer the ideal combination of culture, adventure, nature, and relaxation for an unforgettable Ecuador family trip.
Why Ecuador’s a Fantastic Destination for a Family Trip in 2024
All we ever want to do is make our children happy, but since kids can be so restless and notoriously hard to please, finding a vacation that will keep these busy bodies occupied seems like an impossible challenge. With all that Ecuador has to offer, however, the task is made easy. From the Amazon rainforest to the cities like Quito and Cuenca, the beach towns like Manta and Salinas, and the far-flung volcanic Galapagos Islands, this diverse South American country has something to capture everyone’s attention and imagination, regardless of age.
As one of the most naturally diverse and heavily conserved countries too, there’s no better place to encourage our inquisitive kids to connect with nature, learn about conservation, and admire the sheer beauty of our world. Between each of Ecuador’s destinations, you’ll find culture, adventure, nature, and relaxation at its finest. Since the best vacations have a bit of each, we have created a selection of vacation ideas that do just that for your perfect Ecuador family trip.
Quito, the Equator, and the Cloud Forest
As the capital of Ecuador and the most well-preserved Spanish colonial city in South America, Quito’s culture and history will blow the whole family’s mind. Allow the luxurious Illa Experience Hotel, a 17th-century mansion turned boutique hotel and spa, to be your cultural guide so that you can relax and enjoy your quality family time to the fullest.
Not only does the hotel share the essence of Quito through its interiors, service, and cuisine, but it also shares it through experiences on its multi-day tours across the city. Expect to see the grand colonial buildings parade over you in the Historic Centre, the museums indulge you in its Quechuan origins, and its progressive art and music scene in the regenerated Baroque neighborhoods. You’ll even stop for a family photo at the equator in the Middle of the World City.
After a busy few days of sightseeing in the city, the remote Mashpi Lodge located deep within a conservation reserve of Ecuador’s cloud forest will provide a welcome change of pace. Reconnect with your family and with nature by joining night walks through the rainforest, cycling over the canopies on the sky bikes, and swimming in waterfalls. With conservationists, naturalists, and researchers as your guides, both you and your children will be excited by the new knowledge and skills you pick up along the way.
Since every parent needs their downtime, the ‘rainforest hotel in the clouds’ will keep your kids busy with informative nature-led games and workshops at the Life Center so that you can indulge at the spa and admire its floor-to-ceiling views of the canopies surrounding you.
The Ultimate Family Galapagos Cruise
Home to the world’s most undisturbed ecosystem, there’s no better place to show your children the power of nature than the Galapagos Islands. Its wealth of endemic species (flora and fauna found nowhere else on Earth) makes it a unique and engaging place for the whole family to explore. Its exemplary execution of environmental protection and conservation makes it even more so.
As an archipelago of volcanic islands 600 miles off the coastline of mainland Ecuador, the best way to explore the Galapagos is on a luxurious family cruise. We recommend the modern-classic trimaran Horizon’s 8-day cruise. The exclusive 16-passenger vessel offers a perfect balance of adventure, exploration, and relaxation for families.
On this cruise, your kids will get the chance to go snorkeling with rays and sharks at Devil’s Crown, learn about conserving tortoises at the Charles Darwin Station, and even come face-to-face with blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas, and more endemic animals. Along the way, you’ll also get to appreciate the archipelago’s full range of Dali-like landscapes. Imagine coral-colored beaches, gin-clear coves, highland forests, vast sand dunes, and rocky lava fields.
The cruise’s onboard guide will ensure the excursions are not just fun, but also engagingly informative for adults and kids alike. Back on board, the spacious suites, sundeck, lounge, and dining room gives your family plenty of space and privacy to relax and play together in your downtime. Want to take it one step further and discover our other luxury Galapagos tours that are suitable for all the family.
From the Amazon Jungle to the Beaches of Salinas
Combine excitement and adventure with play and relaxation on a trip combining Ecuador’s slice of the Amazon rainforest with the gorgeous sandy beaches of Salinas. As the most biodiverse place on Earth, Yasuni National Park is an epic destination for your inquisitive and fearless kids to explore the natural world. There’s no better place from which to explore than the Sacha Lodge, an adventure-led luxury hotel hidden in the heart of a 5000-acre ecological reserve.
Their 5-day tailor-made program is not only designed to show the very best of Yasuni’s nature, but also to get your family stuck into jungle life. Expect to be canoeing with caiman, snake-spotting, and even visiting one of the jungle’s few remaining indigenous peoples, the Providencia Community. Fear not though, adults, for, between excursions, you’ll get a couple of hours to nap in your suite’s very own outdoor hammock or read beside the Lake Pool while the kids splash around.
Of course, a few hours’ rest each day isn’t enough, especially in the jungle. So, if your family survives the Amazon, why not celebrate with a relaxing week hanging out on Ecuador’s best beaches in Salinas? This sleek resort town located on a small headland of the southwest coast boasts the softest, most pristine sand and chic beach resorts in the country. Spend your days indulging in lost the art of doing nothing while your kids indulge in sandcastles and ice cream. Just be sure to save some afternoons for fun family surf lessons at Punta Brava and sampling Ecuador’s famous coastal cuisine.
Quito, Cuenca, and a Hacienda
Give your family the ultimate cultural insight into Ecuador by visiting its most famous cities before sampling farm life at a traditional hacienda in the countryside. Start your city-hop with Quito, Ecuador’s colorful culture-rich capital. As well as giving your family an unmatched insight into pre-Columbian and colonial South America, it also offers unmatched insight into modern life in Ecuador.
Meanwhile, the colonial city of Cuenca in south-central Ecuador will give you a delicious taste of life in a smaller, cooler, and more relaxed city. Between the architecture, galleries, museums, restaurants, and shops in Quito and Cuenca, all five of your kids’ senses will be tingling with a mix of excitement and amazement as you explore these extraordinary cities.
After soaking up the life and vitality of Ecuador’s best cities, it’s time to retreat to a typical Ecuadorian hacienda in the countryside. Family values are at the heart of life at a hacienda, which makes it the perfect time on your Ecuador family trip to slow down, reconnect with your family, and make new quality memories together.
For families, we recommend staying at Hacienda La Danesa, a working family farm that produces delicious treats like handmade chocolate, dulce de leche, honey, and other farm-fresh products. Of course, kids are encouraged to get stuck into hacienda life with chocolate-making, bee-keeping, cow-milking, and other fun hands-on tasks. Meanwhile, the adults can decompress with the hacienda’s spa treatments and yoga sessions. And to complete your hacienda experience, your family will get to roam the stunning sierras together on horseback.
Create your Ideal Ecuador Family Trip in 2024
As a nation blessed with some of the best cities, jungles, beaches, and haciendas in South America, it can be hard to narrow down what you want to experience on your Ecuador family trip. However, we hope that by sharing our most popular family trips, we have given you plenty of insight into the best destinations to visit, places to stay, and experiences to try when you go. However, we know every family is unique and has their own Ecuador dreams, which is why Totally Latin America specializes in creating tailor-made family vacations. Speak to our trusted Ecuador family travel planners today toll-free on +1 855 217 9045 or send us a message so that we can get started on creating your dream family trip to Ecuador.