Casa Aliso

I recently travelled to Ecuador to inspect a number of boats in the Galapagos (600 miles off the coast of Ecuador) and also stay at a couple of jungle lodges in the Amazon Basin. My trip started in Quito which is my favourite capital in South America. The compact old town is a mix of narrow streets and cobbled plazas lined with churches, monasteries, mansions and colourful balconied houses. The city was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1978. The Patio Andaluz hotel in the heart of the old town is a great option and I also recommend the charming Caso Aliso.

Sagitta Sailing Vessel

I then headed to the Galapagos islands (3 hour flight from Quito) which is a must for anyone interested in the natural world. There are 19 islands of varying sizes and wildlife includes giant tortoises, marine iguanas and sea lions. Each vessel has a slightly different itinerary/duration and I particularly liked the traditional sailing vessel Sagitta and the catamaran Journey I. There is also a great land based option in the Finch Bay hotel located on the beach on Santa Cruz island.

Napo wildlife Lodges
My final stop was the River Napo in the Amazon Basin (just a 35 minute flight from Quito). This beautiful wilderness is populated with indigenous settlements. I shared my time between Sacha lodge and Napo Wildlife Centre (NWC) both overlooking tranquil lakes and excellent for wildlife observation. It is teeming with wildlife including caiman, sloths, toucans, snakes, monkeys and macaws. NWC is operated by the Anangu community. Ecuador boasts wonderful biodiversity and dramatic landscapes.

Lloyd Boutcher

Sunvil Traveller