Straddling the equator on the Pacific Ocean, Ecuador is home to a magnificent array of treasures—most notably the exotic and otherworldly paradise of the Galápagos Islands, an archipelago of 19 islands located 600 miles from the mainland. Here you can sail by small privately chartered yachts to explore rich and diverse ecosystems, and find famous endemic species of wildlife, including marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, and the majestic giant Galápagos tortoise. Back on mainland Ecuador, there is a veritable trove of adventures to be had, from exploring lush Andean valleys and the UNESCO-listed colonial city of Quito, to hiking Cotopaxi, the highest active volcano on the planet, and riding the amazing Ecuadorian railroad as it chugs gracefully through the mountains. For a first-timer to South America, Ecuador is a great place to start—and perfect for families!
MTS was the first North American company to bring visitors to the Galápagos Islands, with an inaugural charter for the Sierra Club in 1970. Today our Galápagos Wildlife Adventure remains one of our most popular trips, as we charter a small yacht for a fully MTS-operated Galápagos experience with our own certified team of expert naturalist guides. This is one of our favorite small-group adventures! It's also possible to couple a Galápagos Wildlife Adventure with a trip to Peru's enigmatic Machu Picchu, or to mainland Ecuador's Andean heartland on Hiking the Haciendas of Ecuador.