Original Ecuador is a British-Ecuadorian owned tour operator based in Quito – Ecuador, specializing in Galapagos tours, Amazon trips and active & classic tours on Ecuador's mainland. Our small, friendly expert team offers a trustworthy service filled with authentic local knowledge.
Emma & Veronica set up Original Ecuador in 2012 and have been creating and coordinating unforgettable tours around Ecuador ever since.
Originally from the UK, Emma orchestrated and spearheaded her first journey to Ecuador in 1999, curating an unforgettable experience for a group of British teachers while based at the Swansea Environment Centre in South Wales.
Following a fateful encounter with her Ecuadorian husband, Emma made the decisive move to settle in Ecuador in 2002. With over two decades of dedicated service in the Ecuadorian tourism sector, she has amassed a wealth of expertise in leading, developing, and managing active tours spanning the diverse landscapes of Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands.
Emma's fervor for Ecuador is palpable, with a particular fondness for exploring the enchanting Galapagos Islands and the mystical cloud forests of the Andes. During weekends, she eagerly immerses herself in the myriad regions and activities that Ecuador has to offer, accompanied by her husband Andres and their daughter Emilia.
Veronica, a genuine Quiteña, is on a mission to unveil the marvels of Ecuador to the world.
With a wealth of experience in the tourism industry, she previously held the role of manager at one of Quito's most enchanting hotels. During this tenure, she honed her skills in crafting exclusive, personalized tours for guests.
Possessing an intimate knowledge of every nook and cranny of Ecuador, Veronica stands prepared to guide you through hidden gems in her native city of Quito, lead you on adventurous journeys into the Amazon, and escort you to serene mountain hot springs for relaxation.
Entrusting your exploration of Ecuador to the capable hands of a true Ecuadorian like Veronica is an unparalleled way to discover the country's treasures.
Carmen Elena Cordova (Nena)
Born & bred in Quito, Nena proudly earned her degree in Eco-tourism in 1998. Her adventurous spirit and deep-rooted fascination with the natural world have been constants since childhood. Bestowed upon her by her father, the affectionate nickname "Nena," meaning "little girl" in Spanish, has become a lasting emblem of her identity.
An avid explorer, Nena finds solace in the mountains, often embarking on hiking or biking escapades with her friends—her preferred form of therapy. Nestled within the embrace of her friends and family, Nena is a perpetual source of positivity, sporting a radiant smile whether conquering mountain trails on a bike, trekking to Andean lakes, or ensuring seamless and flawless travel experiences for our visitors in Ecuador.
Her deep-seated passion for Ecuador's breathtaking landscapes resonates in her work. Since joining the Original Ecuador team in December 2016, Nena has been the driving force behind our tour operations, orchestrating smooth running trips for travelers with unwavering dedication and infectious enthusiasm.
María Elena Canelos (Malé)
Malé, a proud native of the enchanting city of Quito, discovered her profound love for her homeland while studying abroad. It was during this time that she came to appreciate the year-round splendid weather, breathtaking landscapes, rich culture, and the warmth of the people that make Ecuador an enchanting and unparalleled destination.
Her journey in the tourism realm began with studies in Quito, followed by a venture to Austria for an additional degree in Tourism Management in 1996. Since then, Malé has been an unwavering force in the industry, driven by her deep passion for Ecuador and its hidden gems. As a mother of three, she revels in exploring the treasures of her country alongside her husband and children.
A valuable member of the Original Ecuador team since August 2018, Malé is an integral part of the sales department, bringing her extensive knowledge and enthusiasm to ensure every traveler experiences the magic of Ecuador.
In 2023, she earned her credentials as a certified national tour guide, and ever since, she has delighted in sharing captivating anecdotes, exploring various locales, and immersing herself in the rich tapestry of Ecuadorian culture.
Valentina's affinity for photography has provided her with a unique lens through which to view her country, capturing the essence of its lush green mountains, majestic snow-capped peaks, delectable gastronomy, the warmth of its people, and the diverse climate.
Beyond the confines of the office, Valentina can be spotted cheering enthusiastically for her local football team, Liga, a passion that runs a close second to her love for guiding.
Joining the Original Ecuador team in May 2023, she now serves as a dedicated sales executive, bringing her passion for her country and tourism to the forefront of her career.