With one week in Ecuador, your family can cover up to three destinations. Nature lovers will want to include Yasuní National Park in the Ecuadorian Amazon, while beach-focused adventurers should visit the Pacific coast. Overnights in Baños and Tena and the Galápagos Islands ensure you and the kids will get up close to wildlife. For families wanting a more gently-paced itinerary, Quito is an excellent base for day trips to see the butterflies at Mindo Cloud Forest and for visiting Cotopaxi National Park.

Itinerary #1: Ecuadorian Amazon & Quito Family Adventure

Explore a mix of nature and culture on this family adventure to Ecuador. You and the kids will soak up the biodiversity of the Ecuadorian Amazon by staying at a rainforest lodge and indulging in a traditional Amazonian dinner. Visiting local communities and meeting Indigenous people deepens the experience, while the kids will equally love to see city life from the perspective of Quito's green spaces, museums, and a cable car ride up the Pichincha volcano. 

Travel to a rainforest lodge to family hikes, canoeing, and wildlife spotting in the Ecuadorian Amazon
Travel to a rainforest lodge for family hikes, canoeing, and wildlife spotting in the Ecuadorian Amazon
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Quito, Visit the Vivarium de Quito Reptile Park Quito
Day 2 Fly to El Coca, Transer to Yasuní National Park, Matapalo Trail Hike Yasuní National Park
Day 3 Nature & Culture Tour of Yasuní Yasuní National Park
Day 4 Indigenous Encounter, Traditional Dinner, Night Forest Walk Yasuní National Park
Day 5 Sacred Morning Ritual, Transfer to El Coca & Fly to Quito Quito
Day 6 Templo de la Patria Museum, Ride the TelefériQo Cable Car Quito
Day 7 Depart Quito  

Welcome to Ecuador! If the kids have the energy and want to explore right away, visit Quito's Vivarium de Quito, where they can learn about amphibians. Rest up for the next day's adventure of paddling on the waterways of the Ecuadorian Amazon to reach your rainforest lodge in Yasuní National Park, followed by a family-friendly hike along the Matapalo Trail. You and the kids will get your fill of wildlife and culture, starting with a visit to a local parrot clay lick; then, kids will learn more about the Amazonian way of life by meeting with representatives of the local Napo Kichwa people before hiking to Garzacocha Lagoon.

Deepen your understanding of the region by visiting sustainable community projects along the Mama Cuna Path and exploring the jungle both by day and by night. Adventurous eaters will be delighted with grilled fish and chontakuru (worms!) for dinner—traditional flavors of the Amazon. In the morning, participate in a Kichwa ritual before your return flight to Quito, where little ones might enjoy a runaround in one of the city's parks. Discover Quito's history at the family-friendly Templo de la Patria Museum and ride the TelefériQo cable car to the slopes of the Pichincha volcano for the perfect family photo op. Learn more

Itinerary #2: Easy Ecuador for Families: Quito & Surroundings

This Ecuador itinerary is best suited for active families looking to travel at a gentler pace. Using Quito as your base, take an adventure-filled day trip into the Mindo Cloud Forest, participate in a fun, family-friendly cooking class to whip up Ecuadorian treats, shop for Indigenous Kichwa crafts at Otavalo's bustling market, and splash around in natural hot springs at the foot of the Antisana volcano. 

Sample street food on this family-friendly introduction to Quito
Sample street food on this family-friendly introduction to Quito
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Quito Quito
Day 2 Quito City Tour & Mitad del Mundo Quito
Day 3 Day Trip to Mindo Cloud Forest: Butterflies, Birds & Outdoor Adventure Quito
Day 4 Free Day in Quito, Optional Day Trip to Cotopaxi National Park Quito
Day 5 Otavalo Markets Tour & Family Cooking Class Quito
Day 6 Street Food Tour, TelefériQo Cable Car Quito
Day 7 Termas de Papallacta Hot Springs, Depart Quito  

Upon arrival in Quito, get acclimated with a gentle walk through the city's picturesque plazas and markets as the next day's full-day city tour includes plenty of family-friendly sights, like the Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the World) monument, where little ones will love posing for a photo between the two hemispheres. Take a family trip to the Mindo Cloud Forest, full of birds and butterflies. Kids will love the outdoor adventure activities there, like a trek to waterfalls, river tubing, and ziplining. On your free day in Quito (Day 4), explore Cotopaxi National Park or visit llamas at Guangüiltagua Metropolitan Park.

For a cultural experience, venture to Otavalo on Day 5, where you and the youngsters can learn about Kichwa culture, stock up on cute souvenirs at the Otavalo Market, and participate in a fun, family-friendly cooking class led by a local chef. On your penultimate day, dive into Quito's neighborhoods, like La Tola and La Floresta, and taste authentic local dishes before riding the TelefériQo cable car, where panoramic views await. The daredevils in the family won't want to miss a ride on the mountainside swing. Soak up your final day in the hot springs of Termas de Palallacta and let the kids have some watery fun before your flight. Learn more

Plan your trip to Ecuador
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Itinerary #3: Family Fun in Ecuador: Quito, Baños & Tena

Picking up the pace, overnights in Baños and Tena allow for rainforest adventures in Ecuador's Amazon with this family fun trip. Blend city experiences, like a cooking class in Quito, with plenty of nature and wildlife spotting excursions. Discover the wild beauty of Ecuador as a family by driving along the scenic Avenue of Waterfalls, getting up close to Amazonian critters at the AmaZOOnico wildlife refuge, and splashing around in the thermal waters of Termas de Papallacta. 

Head into the Ecuadorian Amazon near Tena for wildlife-spotting and rainforest adventures
Head into the Ecuadorian Amazon near Tena for wildlife-spotting and rainforest adventures
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Quito Quito
Day 2 City Tour, Family Cooking Class & Mitad del Mundo  Quito
Day 3 Transfer to Baños via Cotopaxi National Park Baños
Day 4 Avenue of Waterfalls, Journey Upriver to Itamandi EcoLodge Tena
Day 5 Anaconda Island & AmaZOOnico Tena
Day 6 Return to Quito, Free Afternoon Quito
Day 7 Termas de Papallacta Hot Springs, Depart Quito  

If you and the kids are up for exploring after the flight, take a cable car to admire the sunset atop Quito's Cruz Loma. Day 2 is action-packed, with a family-friendly city tour, including a stroll down La Ronda, Quito's oldest street. Kids will enjoy learning about (and sampling) Ecuadorian cuisine with a hands-on cooking class, and the little ones will enjoy hopping between hemispheres at the Middle of the World monument. You and your family can experience the wild beauty of Ecuador at Cotopaxi National Park before continuing south to Baños de Agua Santa on Day 3, the gateway to the Ecuadorian Amazon.

The following day's adventures include a scenic drive, hiking along the Ruta de Cascadas (Waterfall Route) toward Itamandi EcoLodge, and spotting jungle animals. Next, on Anaconda Island, take the kids to meet an Indigenous family and learn about their way of life. Continue to AmaZOOnico wildlife sanctuary, where up-close animal encounters will surely be a hit with the little ones. On your free afternoon in Quito, stroll Plaza Foch to help kids choose a souvenir and dine on Ecuadorian classics before you all delight in a splash at the Termas de Papallacta hot springs on your final day. Learn more

Itinerary #4: Ecuador's Pacific Coast for Families

This moderately-paced and relaxing Pacific coast itinerary takes you and your family beyond Quito for beach and nature adventures. Staying in Salinas and Puerto López allows coastal experiences, like canoeing through the mangroves of the Manglares Churute Reserve, family hiking along the dramatic coastline of La Chocolatera, enjoying beach days, sailing to the actual "Treasure Island" at Isla de la Plata, and spotting exotic wildlife in Machalilla National Park. 

Take a stroll along Guayaquil's kid-friendly Malecón 2000 promenade
Take a stroll along Guayaquil's kid-friendly Malecón 2000 promenade
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Guayaquil, Tour Manglares Churute Ecological Reserve Guayaquil
Day 2 Guayaquil City Tour, Transfer to Salinas Salinas
Day 3 Hike the Waterfront at La Chocolatera, Free Afternoon Salinas
Day 4 Beach Day in Salinas, Transfer to Puerto López Puerto López
Day 5 Day Trip to Isla de la Plata Puerto López
Day 6 Free Time in Puerto López Puerto López
Day 7 Los Frailes & Agua Blanca, Transfer to Guayaquil & Depart  

Touch down in the colorful port city of Guayaquil, then head to Manglares Churute Ecological Reserve for wildlife spotting, a great way to engage kids and burn some energy after the flight. Tour the city the following day, starting with the land iguanas at Seminario Park and continuing to Cerro Santa Ana hill, where your family can climb amid brightly painted wooden houses that will delight kids. Afterward, transfer to Salinas to spend the next days hiking La Loberia to La Chocolatera trail and relaxing on its beaches (watersports are available for older kids and teens) before transferring north to Puerto Lopez, the gateway to Machalilla National Park.

Take a day trip to Isla de la Plata, where the kids will be intrigued by the island's legends of buried treasure. Spend your penultimate day watching the little ones play on the sand in Playa Puerto López, or for something more adventurous, boat over to Isla Salango to watch for exotic wildlife. Later, treat yourself and the kids to some authentic Ecuadorian ceviche. Take a final hike to the beaches of Los Frailes. Agua Blanca has an interesting museum of pre-Inca Manteña culture, a great chance to teach the kids more about Ecuador's early history and its Indigenous people. Learn more

Itinerary #5: Ecuador Family Highlights: Quito to the Galápagos Islands

Discover Quito and the Galápagos Islands on this active nature and wildlife tour. Families with kids of all ages will enjoy riding a cable car up volcanic slopes and hopping between hemispheres in Quito. In contrast, wildlife lovers in the family will get their fill in San Cristóbal and Santa Cruz in the Galápagos Islands. Enjoy snorkeling near playful sea lions, meeting the famous giant tortoises, and spotting rare wildlife on a family kayaking trip around Tortuga Bay. 

Meet the locals as you arrive in the Galápagos
Meet the locals as you arrive in the Galápagos
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Quito Quito
Day 2 Quito City Tour, Visit Mitad del Mundo  Quito
Day 3 Fly to Isla San Cristóbal & the Galapagos Isla San Cristóbal
Day 4 Boat Trip & Snorkeling at Isla Lobos  Isla San Cristóbal
Day 5 Speedboat to Isla Santa Cruz, Tortoise Reserve & Charles Darwin Station Isla Santa Cruz
Day 6 Kayaking Adventure in Tortuga Bay, Boat Tour of Santa Cruz Bay Isla Santa Cruz
Day 7 Explore the Twin Craters of Los Gemelos, Fly to Quito & Depart  

In Quito, you and the kids can explore the historic center or ride a cable car to journey to the slopes of the Pichincha volcano. The following day brings a deeper dive into the city's landmarks like La Iglesia de la Compañia de Jesús; then, take some fun photos of the kids with one foot in each hemisphere at Middle of the World. Then you'll pile the kids onto a plane for San Cristóbal in the Galápagos Islands, first stopping at the Interpretation Center, which is perfect for young visitors to learn about the island's conservation efforts. The kids will enjoy plenty of sea lion and marine iguana sightings and swimming at Las Tijeretas Hill and La Lobería.

The following day of sun, sailing, and snorkeling at Isla Lobos will leave you with happy but tired kids. Then thrill on an exciting speedboat ride to Isla Santa Cruz to see the iconic Galápagos giant tortoise and visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and Fausto Llerena Breeding Center, where kids will be fascinated to learn about the evolution of tortoise shells. As a family, kayak on the crystal-clear waters at Tortuga Bay, boat around the bay of Santa Cruz, and snorkel through Shark Channel, where lucky kids might spot whitetip sharks. On your final day, enjoy one last family-bonding excursion with a gentle hike around lush Los GemelosLearn more

More Great 1-Week Ecuador Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Ecuador? Check out these other one-week Ecuador itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights.


Map of 1 Week in Ecuador - 5 Family-Friendly Itinerary Ideas
Map of 1 Week in Ecuador - 5 Family-Friendly Itinerary Ideas