Little Ecuador, sandwiched between Colombia and Peru, is one of the most peaceful, stable and charming South American countries. It doesn’t have the fame or infamy of its mighty neighbours, but it does have a big chunk of the Andes, plenty of rainforest and a rich, ancient culture, as intriguing as it is colourful.
Ecuador also holds the prize to beat all prizes when it comes to natural wonders, the mesmerising Galapagos Islands. This tiny archipelago is a two hour flight from the mainland and one of the most fascinating places on earth. You’ll probably have to forgive kids’ lack of scientific curiosity here, the wildlife is very distracting. But when they’re swimming with sea lions and turtles, marvelling at immense albatross and strangely endearing blue footed boobies, sneaking in the odd fact about Darwin, or the little matter of evolutionary theory, is always worth a try.
Unsurprisingly, the islands are well protected and tours are the only way to explore. But the best Galapagos’ guides are extraordinary, expert and engage kids beautifully with everything – even the science.
So if Ecuador has slipped under the adventure-seeking radar so far, perhaps now’s the time to rethink this lovely country and its iconic offshore marvels.