Welcome to Northern Highlands

Follow the snaking Panamericana through the awesome Andes to the vibrant market town of Otavalo and the surrounding indigenous villages. As the spine of the Andes bends north from Quito, volcanic peaks punctuate valleys blanketed by flower farms and sugarcane fields. This is Ecuador’s beating heart and a cradle of Andean culture: artisans produce their wares using methods unaltered for generations, and visitors find... Read More

Top experiences in Northern Highlands

Travel guides

Starting at $24.99

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Northern Highlands activities

$1444.15 Classic

Inland & Amazon

From the heights of the Andes to the heat of the Amazon Rainforest, experience an incredible land of contrasts on this 16-day journey through Ecuador. Explore the jungle by canoe and stay with a local Quichua family for an extraordinary cultural experience you'll never forget. Scour the market at Otavalo for special treasures and cure what ails you in a mountain hot spring. With its unique variety of accommodation and insight into rural life in the jungle, this is more than just a tour—it's a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

$1699 National Geographic Journeys

Ecuador: Amazon, Hot Springs & Volcanoes

Get in touch with the power of the Earth on this nine-day adventure packed with many of Ecuador’s must-see highlights. Hike through the greener-than-green Amazon jungle with a local naturalist guide at your side, slip into the celebrated (and restorative) hot springs of Papallacta, enjoy lunch with the residents of an Andean community, and spend a night at a historic hacienda. Feel the warmth of Ecuador's spirit and make some memories.

$1999.20 Yolo

Cartagena to Quito on a Shoestring

Colombia is an underrated country for travellers, but with our safe, social, and budget-friendly group trips, we want to change that. After all, there’s so much culture and beauty to this region that it would be a shame to let it go unexplored – plus you can say you got here before everyone else. Over two and a half weeks, you’ll go from Colombia to Ecuador, hiking to the Lost City of Teyuna, relaxing on warm beaches, and checking out Medellín and Bogotá. With two flights included, you’re sure to find something you love in this hidden gem of a country.

$1449 Classic

The Ecuador Experience

If you want to sample the region’s highlights without sacrificing some of its lesser-known gems, there’s no better way to experience Ecuador's dramatic scenery and colourful people. Visit the Amazon and a shaman apprentice for an incredible introduction to indigenous culture and the exotic wildlife of the jungle. Staying in simple hotels and homestays and using public transport will keep you grounded in the local customs and culture. We'll travel from the "Avenue of the Volcanoes" to relaxing Pacific beaches and mountain hot springs. This adventure offers up a great combination of must-see highlights and free time to explore on your own.

$799 Classic

Ecuador Quest

Strange how a country that’s literally at the centre of the Earth can be overlooked, isn’t it? Stranger still considering how amazing Ecuador is. This eight-day trip shows off its best, rolling natural wonders (the Amazon!), stunning landscapes (the Ecuadorian highlands!), rich culture (Quito!) and active pursuits like hiking, horseback riding, and mountain-biking everywhere you look. Good on its own, this trip also makes an ideal add-on to any Galápagos trip. Trust us. It’s worth the time.

$7599 Yolo

Colombia, Andes & Galápagos

Got two months? Want to make the most of them? There can be no better way to do so than one of the most sprawling of all our South American trips. Imagine 60 solid days spent exploring Colombia’s Lost City, ambling around Machu Picchu after conquering the Inca Trail in Peru, enjoying a homestay deep in the Amazon jungle, and snorkeling with sea lions in the Galápagos Islands. With a week of camping in the Galápagos included, there’s no possible way you’ll go home feeling like you missed out on anything in South America.