Two weeks in Ecuador gives plenty of time to enjoy all three of the country's main ecosystems—Amazon, Highlands, and Galápagos—or focus on one to fully immerse yourself in the area. Use Quito as a base for day trips to local volcanoes and national parks while still exploring the capital's history, or opt to spend your time looking for wildlife on the remote Galápagos Islands. Alternately, maximize your trip by adding a week in Peru to see Lima, the Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu. Read on for more unique itineraries.

Itinerary #1: Best of Ecuador - Amazon, Cotopaxi, & Galapagos

Consider this trip plan if you want to see all three major ecosystem regions while still leaving time for a bit of spontaneity. You'll spend time in an Amazon ecolodge, hike in Cotopaxi National Park, and see giant tortoises in the Galapagos. 

Squirrel monkeys in the Amazon
Squirrel monkeys in the Amazon
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival to Quito Quito
Day 2 Quito Historic Center, Panecillo Hill, & Middle of the World Tour Quito
Day 3 Quito to Cuyabeno Reserve & Canoe Trip to Jungle Lodge Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve
Day 4 Wildlife in the Amazon: Sloths, Dolphins, & More Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve
Day 5 Indigenous Community, Laguna Grande, & Igapó Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve
Day 6 Return to Quito Quito
Day 7 Hike in Cotopaxi National Park & Drive to Riobamba Riobamba
Day 8 Devil's Nose Train, Ingapirca Ruins, & Cuenca Cuenca
Day 9 Cajas National Park & Guayaquil Guayaquil
Day 10 Flight to Santa Cruz Island, Highlands, & Charles Darwin Station Puerto Ayora
Day 11 Free Morning & Afternoon Boat Tour Puerto Ayora
Day 12 Day Trip to an Unpopulated Island Puerto Ayora
Day 13 Transfer to Airport on Baltra Island & Fly to Quito Quito
Day 14 Sightseeing & Departure from Quito  

serves as your home base as you get acclimated to the country's elevation: tour the city's colonial center and visit the Middle of the World site to stand on both hemispheres simultaneously. On the third day head to the Amazon for a stay at a jungle lodge, where you'll look for rare river dolphins, visit an indigenous Seoqueya community, and see the unique igapo ecosystem. 

Return to Quito for four days of hiking in the nearby volcanic highlands, including Cotopaxi and Cajas National Park. From here, catch a flight to Santa Cruz on the Galapagos—one of the world's most biodiverse regions. Make the most of your time on this remote archipelago with a boat trip to an uninhabited island, an afternoon snorkeling with sea lions, and sunset walks on the beach. At the end of your trip, return to Quito on the mainland for your flight home. Learn more

Itinerary #2: Culture & Nature in Ecuador - Mountains & Rainforest

Ecuador is home to an incredible diversity of indigenous cultures and people, from Otavaleños and Afro-Ecuadorians in the north and the Quichua and Shuar in the rainforest to the Kichwa in the central Andes. Check out this trip plan to dive deep into local customs and spend time getting to know each region. 

Guamote's weekly market
Guamote's weekly market
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival to Quito Quito
Day 2 Quito Historic Center, Middle of the World Tour, & Transfer to Otavalo Quito
Day 3 Cuicocha Lagoon Hike & Otavalo Market Otavalo
Day 4 Mountain Train to Salinas & Afro-Ecuadorian History Otavalo
Day 5 Otavalo Market & Drive to Hakuna Matata Rainforest Lodge Archidona
Day 6 Rainforest Hike & Pacari Chocolate Tour Archidona
Day 7 Rainforest Adventure: Parrots, Quichua Food, & Almuerzo Archidona
Day 8 Animal Rescue Center & Rainforest Drive Macas
Day 9 Shuar Waterfall Hike & Atillo Lagoon Guamote
Day 10 Guamote Market, Andean Kichwa Community, & Train Ride Riobamba
Day 11 Chimborazo Volcano Hike Latacunga
Day 12 Zumbahua Market & Quilotoa Lagoon Hike Zumbahua
Day 13 Hacienda La Cienega & Cotopaxi National Park Hike Quito
Day 14 Depart from Quito  

As diverse as Ecuador's landscapes are, the people who inhabit them are even more diverse, with cultures spanning from the Shuar people of the rainforest to the Kichwa culture of the central Andes. Bookend your trip with stops in the country's capital city, Quito, then spend the bulk of your time exploring the forests and mountains nearby. After touring Quito's colonial city center, head north to Otavalo—home of a centuries-old mountain market, where locals come to barter and sell handmade goods and produce; join them as you haggle for gifts and treasures to bring home. 

The north is also home to an Afro-Ecuadorian community, a distinct and unique culture with customs all its own. Visit the community learning center, then hit the road south for three days in the rainforest. This region, famed for its wildlife, chocolate production, and lush forests, is home to the Quichua people. Spend an afternoon in the town of Santa Barbara, tasting various local dishes and learning to make traditional Yucca bread. 

From here the road leads to Guamote, where you'll join the local Shuar tribe for a sacred waterfall ceremony. The next day, start the morning in the local market, then ride a train up steep tracks into the mountain. End the trip with hikes up Chimborazo and Cotopaxi Volcanos (and an overnight stay at a high-mountain hut), home of the Kichwa people. Learn more

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Itinerary #3: Galapagos Island Hopping

Water, wildlife, and wilderness await you on this two-week Galapagos getaway. Venture to an uninhabited island, visit Pacific's oldest "post office", and snorkel with sea lions as you explore this remote archipelago on this nature-focused trip plan.

Curious sea lion greeting snorkeler
Curious sea lion greeting snorkeler
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival to San Cristobal Island San Cristobal Island
Day 2 Interpretation Center, Frigate Birds, & La Lobería Sea Lions San Cristobal Island
Day 3 Snorkeling at Kicker Rock San Cristobal Island
Day 4 Free Day on San Cristobal San Cristobal Island
Day 5 Speedboat to Santa Cruz Island, Tortoises & Charles Darwin Station Puerto Ayora
Day 6 Day Trip to an Unpopulated Island Puerto Ayora
Day 7 Free Morning & Afternoon Boat Tour Puerto Ayora
Day 8 Another Day, Another Uninhabited Island Puerto Ayora
Day 9 Speedboat to Isabela Island & Wildlife on Las Tintoreras Islet Isabela
Day 10 Sierra Negra Volcano Isabela
Day 11 Free Day on Isabela Island Isabela
Day 12 Speedboat to Santa Cruz Island & Kayaking Tortuga Bay Puerto Ayora
Day 13 Free Day on Santa Cruz Island Puerto Ayora
Day 14 Transfer to Airport on Baltra Island  

Charles Darwin used his experiences on the biodiverse Galapagos Islands to help him shape his theories on evolution and natural selection, and you'll get to follow his footsteps on this isolated ecology playground. Begin your trip with a flight to San Cristobal Island, home to 6,000 people and thousands of frigate birds and sea lions who compete for "Loudest Animal Resident". It's a great place for up-close wildlife viewing and snorkeling at Kicker Rock (just be mindful of the strong current). 

After three days on San Cristobal take a speedboat to nearby Santa Cruz, the Galapagos' central hub. It houses the Charles Darwin Research Station and the highest population on the archipelago. Stay in Puerto Ayora (a quiet, wildlife-loving town) as you take day trips to nearby destinations: several uninhabited islands and Santa Cruz's highlands, home to the aptly-named giant tortoises. 

Head to Isabela Island for your last few days. This island is the best place to spot Humboldt penguins, marine iguanas, and shockingly pink flamingoes. Return to Puerto Ayora for your last few days, rounding out your visit with a kayak trip to Tortuga Bay and an afternoon sunbathing on the beach. Learn more

Itinerary #4: Trek in Ecuador's Highlands - Cotopaxi & Chimborazo

If you love exploring new landscapes on foot and can't wait to hit the trail, check out this two-week trip plan focusing on hiking in Ecuador's volcanoes region. From comfortable city accommodations to high-elevation mountain huts, this trip prioritizes adventure, mountain views, and high-altitude fun. 

Vicuñas on the Ecuadorian plateaus
Vicuñas on the Ecuadorian plateaus
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival to Quito Quito
Day 2 Quito Historic Center, Panecillo Hill, & Middle of the World Tour Quito
Day 3 Quito to Otavalo, Market Visit & Cuicocha Hike Otavalo
Day 4 Hike Imbabura Volcano from Otavalo & Return to Quito Quito
Day 5 Condor Trek - Day One Papallacta
Day 6 Condor Trek - Day Two Papallacta
Day 7 Condor Trek Day Three & Return to Quito Quito
Day 8 Quito to Illiniza North & Trek to La Virgen Machachi
Day 9 Summit Illiniza North Peak & Transfer to Machachi Machachi
Day 10 Machachi to Cotopaxi & Glacier Trek, Transfer to Baños Baños
Day 11 Baños: Waterfall Route, Cable Car, Pailon del Diablo Waterfall, & Casa del Arbol Baños
Day 12 Drive from Baños to Mt. Chimborazo & Overnight in Riobamba Riobamba
Day 13 Riobamba to Quilotoa Lake & Afternoon Hike or Kayak Quilotoa
Day 14 Transfer to Quito & Flight Home  

While some travelers prefer the comforts and sights of bigger cities, this two-week hiking adventure gets you out of the crowds and into some seriously beautiful landscapes. Start in Quito for two days in the colonial-era UNESCO site, then hit the road going north for your first mountain getaway: the town of Otavalo, famed for its artisan market and the Cuicocha Lagoon. Spend the night here, then head up to Imbabura Volcano in the morning. 

Your next few days are spent trekking near Papallacta, with overnights above 12,000 ft (3,650 m). Trek through the Santa Lucia Highlands on the northwestern side of the Antisana Volcano, where sights of browsing vicuñas and high-flying Andean condors are not uncommon. Stop back in Quito for an overnight stay, then get back to the wilderness with a trip to Illiniza (you'll summit the north peak).

After another night at high elevation, transfer to the town of Baños, stopping to see Cotopaxi's glaciers on the way. End the trip with a day exploring Mt. Chimborazo and a quiet afternoon hiking or kayaking on Quilotoa Lake, a volcanic crater lagoon. End the trip back in Quito, the connecting point for most international flights. Learn more

Itinerary #5: Multi-Country Adventure - Ecuador & Peru

If you have two weeks to explore Ecuador and want to maximize your time in South America, consider adding a weeklong trip to Peru to your stay. You'll visit both country's highlights: the Amazon, Cotopaxi, Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu on this trip plan

View of Quito and the Cotopaxi Volcano
View of Quito and the Cotopaxi Volcano
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival to Quito Quito
Day 2 Quito Historic Center, Panecillo Hill, & Middle of the World Tour Quito
Day 3 Otavalo Day Trip from Quito Quito
Day 4 Quito to Yacuma Ecolodge in Yasuni National Park Yasuni National Park
Day 5 Yacuma Ecolodge: Tubing, Bat Cave, & Kichwa Community Yasuni National Park
Day 6 Yacuma to Baños Baños
Day 7 Waterfall Route, Casa de Arbol, & Quilotoa Lagoon Quilotoa
Day 8 Cotopaxi National Park en Route from Quilotoa to Quito Quito
Day 9 Flight from Quito to Lima Lima
Day 10 Lima History Tour Lima
Day 11 Arrival in Cusco Cusco
Day 12 Sacred Valley Tour: Cusco - Pisac - Ollantaytambo - Aguas Calientes Aguas Calientes
Day 13 Machu Picchu Excursion from Aguas Calientes Cusco
Day 14 Fly from Cusco to Lima, Depart Peru  

If you want to explore South America but can't pick between Ecuador and Peru, opt for this two-week adventure for the best of both worlds. You'll start your trip in Quito, a UNESCO-designated historic city, before heading into the Amazon rainforest for a two-night stay at an ecolodge. Go tubing, visit an indigenous Kichwa community, and walk the trails at night to look for nocturnal wildlife. 

Round out your trip in Ecuador with a visit to the country's only snow-capped volcano: the slow-erupting Cotopaxi Volcano. Go hiking at its base, keeping an eye out for Andean condors who occasionally frequent these parts. Continue to Quito to catch your flight to Lima, located approximately 1,000 miles (1,600 km) to the south along the Pacific seaboard. Lima is Peru's urban heart, with millennia of indigenous history, some of the world's best restaurants, and spectacular cliff-side neighborhoods. 

No trip to Peru is complete without a visit to the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu—head here via Cusco on your 12th day. Cusco itself has plenty to offer, with both Inca and pre-Inca ruins located within city limits. Once in the Sacred Valley, visit the Pisac textile market, explore Ollantaytambo's historic center, and take a day trip to Machu Picchu—the ancient imperial Inca citadel. Learn more

More Great 14-Day Ecuador Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your Ecuador trip? Check out these other 14-day Ecuador itineraries, with nature-focused trips, cultural getaways, and best-of trips to hit the highlights. 

Or, describe your ideal trip and we will connect you with a local specialist to make it happen.


Map of 2 Weeks in Ecuador - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 2 Weeks in Ecuador - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Written by Sonya Pevzner, updated Dec 21, 2022