NEW YORK (August 10, 2006) – Absolute Travel, the leading provider of private luxury journeys, today announced the expansion of its South America division to include Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. These new destinations join Argentina, Brazil, and Chile in the company’s South America roster, and they are a welcome addition: Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands are increasingly on the radar for their cultural attractions, breathtaking natural beauty, and comparative proximity to North America.

South America Manager Matthew Flynt designed the three published programs, which showcase the country’s highlights, but he urges travelers to adjust these itineraries to create their own dream trip. “Our trips are meant to be adapted to the traveler,” says Matthew. “There is so much to do in Ecuador and the Galapagos that you have to think of it as a ‘choose your own adventure’ trip.” As a former resident of Santiago and a fluent Spanish-speaker, Matthew is an expert on South America. He recently traveled to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands on an extensive investigative trip to learn more about the history, attractions, and luxury hotels on offer. Matthew’s passion for South America and destination knowledge make him a valuable resource for clients looking to maximize their vacation time.

Though Ecuador is only about the size of Colorado, it packs a surprising variety of environments within its borders: it is bisected by the Andes Mountains, with the lush Amazon rain forest to the east and the low-lying Pacific coastal region to the west. And, of course, the Galapagos Islands lie about 600 miles off of the coast of Ecuador. With so many different landscapes contained within this relatively small geographical area, it is possible to see most of the country’s highlights – and a variety of fascinating landscapes – in a short amount of time.

Ecuador’s most popular attraction are undoubtedly the Galapagos Islands, a string of volcanic islands that are politically a part of Ecuador but seem to exist in their own special universe. Charles Darwin conducted research into evolution on these islands, which have almost entirely escaped any negative impact from humans. Visitors flock to this pristine paradise to view species like marine iguana, giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies, sea lions and penguins in their natural habitat. Ecuador has much more to offer than just the Galapagos Islands, though: among other attractions, Ecuador has a charming capital city, Quito, whose colonial center has been raned a World Heritage Site by UNESCO; fascinating Incan ruins at Ingapirca; the thriving market at Otavalo; and the lush Amazon Rainforest.

To learn more about Absolute Travel’s trips to Ecuador and the Galapagos, visit the company’s website at

For more on Ecuador at ITKT