Itinerary #1: Mainland Ecuador for Families: Andes to the Amazon
This Andes to the Amazon itinerary is great for families visiting Ecuador for the first time and looking for an action-packed trip with a bit more time to explore Quito. With adventure activities that include a high ropes course in Cotopaxi National Park as well as Kichwa experiences and wildlife viewing in the Amazon, and artisan-made souvenir shopping in Otavalo, it's a nice balance of adventure and culture.
|Day 1||Arrive in Quito||Quito|
|Day 2||Quito City Tour & Mitad del Mundo Monument||Quito|
|Day 3||Family Expedition to Mindo Cloud Forest||Quito|
|Day 4||Transfer to Cotopaxi National Park, Afternoon Horseback Ride||Cotopaxi|
|Day 5||Cotopaxi High Ropes Course, Transfer to Baños||Baños|
|Day 6||Pailón del Diablo Waterfall Adventure, Free Afternoon||Baños|
|Day 7||Transfer to Itamandi EcoLodge, Jungle Night Walk||Tena|
|Day 8||Parrot Clay Lick, Jungle Hike & Kichwa Community Visit||Tena|
|Day 9||Anaconda Island & AmaZOOnico Wildlife Sanctuary||Tena|
|Day 10||Transfer to Quito via Termas de Papallacta Hot Springs||Quito|
|Day 11||Transfer to Otavalo, Market Tour, Hike at Laguna de Cuicocha||Otavalo|
|Day 12||Family Fun at Laguna de San Pablo & Parque El Cóndor, Transfer to Quito||Quito|
|Day 13||Ride the TelefériQo Cable Car, Free Afternoon||Quito|
|Day 14||Depart Quito|
Start in Quito with kid-friendly eats at Plaza Foch, followed by a cable car ride up Cruz Loma. Then head to the Mitad del Mundo Monument and snap photos of the kids with one foot in each hemisphere. Venture to the Mindo Cloud Forest, where you'll take a family hike to the waterfalls, go river tubing, and treat the kids to local chocolates. Next, travel to Cotopaxi National Park for a horseback ride with local chagras (Ecuadorian cowboys) and a high ropes course for your courageous kids before heading to Baños for a hike or bike ride to Pailón del Diablo waterfalls and an epic photo on the swing at Casa del Árbol.
Journey into the Amazon with a stay at Itamandi EcoLodge. Budding naturalists will be thrilled to observe wildlife on a jungle night walk. Immerse the kids in local food, dance, and culture on a visit to the Kichwa community. Spot squirrel monkeys on a canoe ride to Anaconda Island, then take your animal-loving youngsters to AmaZOOnico Wildlife Sanctuary. Enjoy the warm waters at Termas de Papallacta Hot Springs before traveling to Otavalo, where the kids can choose artisan-made souvenirs. Take a family hike at Laguna de Cuicocha, then enjoy a boat safari at Laguna de San Pablo before departure. Learn more
Itinerary #2: Active Family Adventure in Ecuador: Andes, Amazon & Cloud Forest
This active adventure is another good choice for those that want to experience some of the highlights of Quito, the Andes, and the Amazon. It does move at a fairly quick pace, spending two days in most locations, so it's best suited to energetic families and older kids. Animal-loving kids will be particularly delighted with the abundance of opportunities to see wildlife, including reptiles in Quito, alpacas in Cotopaxi National Park, macaws and monkeys in the Amazon, a variety of birds at Laguna de San Pablo, butterflies in Mindo, and more.
|Day 1||Arrive in Quito||Quito|
|Day 2||Educational Museum Tour, Visit the Vivarium de Quito Reptile Park||Quito|
|Day 3||Transfer to Cotopaxi National Park, Laguna de Limpiopungo Walk||Cotopaxi|
|Day 4||Horseback Riding & High Ropes in Cotopaxi National Park||Cotopaxi|
|Day 5||Hike at Laguna Quilotoa, Transfer to Baños||Baños|
|Day 6||Free Day in Baños, Ecuador's Adventure Capital||Baños|
|Day 7||Route of Waterfalls Drive, Journey Upriver to Itamandi EcoLodge||Tena|
|Day 8||Visit Anaconda Island & the AmaZOOnico Wildlife Sanctuary||Tena|
|Day 9||Transfer to Papallacta, Splash Around in the Hot Springs||Papallacta|
|Day 10||Transfer to Otavalo via Peguche Falls||Otavalo|
|Day 11||Laguna de San Pablo Nature Tour & Parque el Condor||Otavalo|
|Day 12||Visit Otavalo Market, Transfer to Mindo||Mindo|
|Day 13||Family-Friendly Activities in Mindo Cloud Forest||Mindo|
|Day 14||Transfer to Quito, Depart|
Dive into Ecuador's history at the Templo de la Patria Museum, then take your wildlife-loving kids to meet the residents of the Vivarium de Quito Reptile Park. Next, spot alpacas in Cotopaxi National Park and spark young imaginations with a wander around the ruins of an ancient military fortress at El Salitre. Ride horseback to a traditional hacienda for views of the Andean landscape and the snowcapped peak of Cotopaxi—a great backdrop for a family photo. Kayak at Laguna Quilotoa, a blue-green crater lake, before transferring to Baños, where you can capture fun photos of the kids swinging at the "End of the World."
Take a scenic drive along the Route of Waterfalls before hopping in a canoe to Itamandi EcoLodge. Visit an Indigenous family who'll teach the kids their traditional practices, then it's off to AmaZOOnico Wildlife Sanctuary to see macaws and monkeys. Relax at Termas de Papallacta Hot Springs before transferring to Bosque Protector Cascada de Peguche for a forest walk. Take a boat trip around Laguna de San Pablo, then let the kids practice their bartering skills at the Otavalo market. Spend your final day hiking and ziplining in the Mindo cloud forests—a highlight for outdoorsy families. Learn more
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Itinerary #3: Ultimate Ecuador Family Trip: From the Andes to the Pacific Coast
With a blend of outdoor activities, cultural experiences, and relaxation, this family trip is an excellent option for families of various ages and interests, and some activities can be adjusted for little ones. Prepare Ecuadorian food in a cooking class in Quito, visit Pailón del Diablo waterfalls, craft souvenirs in a pottery workshop in Cuenca, and go snorkeling at Isla de la Plata. Beach-loving families will appreciate the coastal experiences and leisure time at Machalilla National Park.
|Day 1||Arrive in Quito||Quito|
|Day 2||Quito City Tour, Family Cooking Class & Mitad del Mundo Monument||Quito|
|Day 3||Transfer to Cotopaxi National Park, Afternoon Horseback Ride||Cotopaxi|
|Day 4||Hike at Laguna de Quilotoa, Transfer to Baños||Baños|
|Day 5||Avenue of Waterfalls Adventure & Treehouse Swing||Baños|
|Day 6||Free Morning in Baños, Return to Quito||Quito|
|Day 7||Fly to Cuenca, Guided City Tour||Cuenca|
|Day 8||Family-Friendly Pottery Class in Cuenca||Cuenca|
|Day 9||Transfer to Guayaquil via Cajas National Park||Guayaquil|
|Day 10||Transfer to Puerto López||Puerto López|
|Day 11||Machalilla National Park Excursion: Los Frailes & Agua Blanca||Puerto López|
|Day 12||Day Trip to Isla de la Plata||Puerto López|
|Day 13||Return to Guayaquil via Santa Elena Marine & Biological Reserve||Guayaquil|
|Day 14||Depart Guayaquil|
Take a walking tour of Quito, including the historic Plaza Grande, then prepare lunch with your budding chefs and a local expert in a cooking class. Let the kids experience cowboy life with a horseback ride in Cotopaxi National Park and an overnight at a hacienda. Hike the crater rim at Laguna Quilotoa, then continue to the Pailón del Diablo, where the kids will enjoy the waterfall spray and dramatic views. Ride the cable car at San Martin Adventure Park (more intrepid kids can try rock climbing). On Day 7, catch a flight to Cuenca, where you'll craft your own souvenirs in a family-friendly pottery class.
Transfer to Guayaquil with a stop in El Cajas National Park for a family hike. Continue to Puerto López, the gateway to Machalilla National Park. Task the kids with spotting blue-footed boobies on a trek to La Tortuguita, then learn about Manteña culture in Agua Blanca. Board a yacht to Isla de la Plata for hiking and snorkeling (or, for little ones, sand castle building on the beach). Finally, check out the coastal views at Santa Elena Marine and Biological Reserve—kids of all ages will be amused by La Chocolatera, a rocky point where currents and brown algae make the water look like boiling chocolate. Learn more
Itinerary #4: Active Family Fun in Ecuador: Quito, Baños, Cuenca & Guayaquil
Another highlights option, this itinerary is ideal for families who enjoy a mix of outdoor and cultural activities but prefer a slower pace and more time in Quito. You'll experience Ecuador's diverse landscapes and culture with cooking and pottery workshops, visits to two hot springs, a hike in El Cajas National Park, a bike excursion along the Avenue of Waterfalls, and city tours in Quito and Guayaquil.
|Day 1||Arrive in Quito, Termas de Papallacta Spa & Hot Springs||Quito|
|Day 2||Quito Family Cooking Class||Quito|
|Day 3||TelefériQo Cable Car Experience||Quito|
|Day 4||Free Day in Quito: Local Landmarks, Historic Districts & Chocolate||Quito|
|Day 5||Transfer to Baños, Pailón del Diablo Family Hike||Baños|
|Day 6||Explore Baños: Tungurahua Hot Springs & Casa del Árbol||Baños|
|Day 7||Biking & Waterfalls Adventure||Baños|
|Day 8||Ziplines & Hikes at San Martin Adventure Park, Transfer Back to Quito||Quito|
|Day 9||Fly to Cuenca, Family Pottery Class||Cuenca|
|Day 10||Self-Guided Tour of Cuenca||Cuenca|
|Day 11||Horseback Riding Excursion at a Traditional Hacienda||Cuenca|
|Day 12||Hiking in El Cajas National Park||Cuenca|
|Day 13||Transfer to Guayaquil, Guided City Tour||Guayaquil|
|Day 14||Depart Guayaquil|
Ease into your Ecuador adventure with a soak in the hot springs at Termas de Papallacta on arrival. Then work together to prepare an Ecuadorian meal in a family-friendly cooking class. Ride the TelefériQo cable car for beautiful city views, then treat the kids to locally-made chocolate. Take a hike to Pailón del Diablo waterfall, stopping by Casa del Árbol for a swing and family photo op at the "End of the World." Unwind on Day 6 at the Tungurahua Hot Springs before embarking on a bike tour of the Avenue of Waterfalls. Invite the kids to choose an adventure at San Martin Adventure Park, such as ziplining or rappelling.
Fly to Cuenca a couple of days later for a city tour and a pottery class—a highlight for crafty kids. Take a family horseback ride along García Moreno Road on Day 11, then encourage the kids to keep an eye out for alpacas and other wildlife on a hike in El Cajas National Park (outdoorsy families may want to camp overnight). Transfer to Guayaquil and meet the land iguanas at Seminario Park before touring the city, stopping in the historic Las Peñas neighborhood. End on a high note with a climb up Cerro Santa Ana (Santa Ana Hill) for sweeping views and family photo ops followed by a farewell dinner. Learn more
Itinerary #5: Ecuador's Pacific Coast for Families: Culture, Nature & Beaches
For those families interested in more of a beach holiday, this itinerary offers time on the Pacific coast. With plenty of beach time and opportunities for bird-watching, it's also great for birders and families that enjoy watersports and sunbathing. You'll kayak the coast of Manta (easy to adapt the tour for very young children), take a family fishing trip at Puerto López, snorkel and spot blue-footed boobies at Isla de la Plata, relax on the beaches of Salinas, and canoe Churute Mangrove Reserve.
|Day 1||Arrive in Guayaquil, Explore||Guayaquil|
|Day 2||Guayaquil City Tour, Transfer to Manta||Manta|
|Day 3||Pacoche Wildlife Refuge, Beaches of Manta||Manta|
|Day 4||Explore Manta via Kayak||Manta|
|Day 5||Manta Bay Tour, Transfer to Puerto López||Puerto López|
|Day 6||Sailing Excursion to Isla de la Plata||Puerto López|
|Day 7||Free Day in Puerto López: Fish Markets & Isla Salango||Puerto López|
|Day 8||Family Fishing Adventure||Puerto López|
|Day 9||Salango Beach Day||Puerto López|
|Day 10||Morning at Los Frailes Beach, Transfer to Salinas||Salinas|
|Day 11||Explore Salinas: Whale Museum & Beaches||Salinas|
|Day 12||La Chocolatera Visitor Site, Transfer Back to Guayaquil||Guayaquil|
|Day 13||Churute Mangrove Reserve||Guayaquil|
|Day 14||Depart Guayaquil|
Climb to the top of Cerro Santa Ana and see Guayaquil from above before embarking on a city tour that includes a stop to see the land iguanas at Seminario Park. Continue to Ballenita for a traditional lunch and a beach break at Playa Ayampe en route to coastal Manta. Introduce the kids to howler monkeys and more at Pacoche Wildlife Refuge, then spot sea turtles at Playa San Lorenzo. Kayak the coast, then take a boat tour of Manta Bay before departing for Puerto López, where you'll sail to Isla de la Plata, known for its snorkeling, sea lions, and blue-footed boobies. Enjoy a free day to visit the fish market and snorkel at Isla Salango.
Take a family fishing trip and swim at Playa Los Frailes before transferring to Salinas on Day 10, where curious kids will be fascinated by the massive whale skeleton at El Museo de Ballenas. Head to Playa Las Salinas for some sun and fun at a family-friendly beach with access to bars and restaurants. Check out the swirling "chocolate" waters of La Chocolatera, and then it's off to Churute Mangrove Reserve. You'll spend your final day canoeing the tranquil mangrove forests—budding birders will be delighted to see a variety of endemic species here. Share your favorite memories over your last dinner in Guayaquil. Learn more
More Great 2-Week Ecuador Itineraries
Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Ecuador? Check out these other two-week Ecuador itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights.