About Us: Introduction to Metropolitan Touring
Spirit, Vision, Passion: The Metropolitan Touring difference
The travel business is a people business. Bricks and mortar, steel hulls and motors, fine linens and bone china are important, but at the end of the day, it’s the local knowledge of the guides, the warmth and sincerity of the staff, the human bond, that make the difference. And that is what Metropolitan Touring is all about! For over 60 years, we have had the pleasure of sharing transformational journeys with our guests, pampering them, protecting them and accompanying them on fascinating adventures. Each guest is unique, like the iconic locations that we feature on all of our voyages. Each journey is a story, and as your story is woven into ours, we create lifelong bonds.
In many ways, our company’s origins as the pioneers of travel in the Galapagos Islands have set our course over the last decades. The fragility, the specialness, the singularity of the islands and their wildlife have formed our belief in a travel experience that is founded on respectful contact with the natural world, filled with interpretation, understanding and a long-term vision – and, of course, fun!
Here, in our home country of Ecuador, we constantly innovate and invest to make sure your experience is top-notch from start to finish. In our beloved Galapagos, we can now offer you numerous options designed to make your stay exactly what you want. We own and operate a trio of vessels: the brand-new Santa Cruz II, offering contemporary style and flexible travel arrangements for 90 guests, including solo travellers; yacht Isabela II, the perfect, intimate space for 40 guests to explore the islands in relaxed comfort; and Yacht La Pinta, a sophisticated, upscale travel experience for 48 guests. And for those who prefer the conveniences of a hotel and want to experience Galapagos on their own terms, we offer our newly renovated Finch Bay Eco Hotel, the only beachfront hotel on Santa Cruz Island, with activities and relaxation for everyone. All of our expeditions offer carefully designed itineraries to help you see the most of the Big 15 wildlife and world-class service and gastronomy that take your expedition to another level.
The revelations continue in Quito, with two award-winning properties that open the senses: urban cultural joy at Casa Gangotena, right on historic Plaza San Francisco and Mashpi Lodge, a contemporary lodge set in a world biodiversity hotspot in the undiscovered natural side of Quito. Combine stays at these landmark properties with a visit to Galapagos or let us show you the beauty of our entire country with trips to charming Cuenca, the highlands and the coast.
But don’t stop there! There is so much more to see in the Andean region, and that is why we expanded our operations, in 2007, into neighbouring Peru and then, in 2010, to our brother country to the north, Colombia. Our wholly owned offices in each of these countries provide our guests with the key local knowledge to fully appreciate the world-class destinations in their countries: Macchu Picchu and the sacred valley in Peru, and Cartagena, Bogota and the coffee triangle in Colombia. And as we have solidified our operations, we have started to seek out new opportunities to provide you, our guest, with our renowned top-quality service experience from start to finish.
Keep in touch, friends old and new. Our spirit drives us to constantly seek out exciting ways to embolden your journey in comfort, safety and style. Relax while you learn, marvel while you distance yourself from the humdrum and the mundane and enter a new realm of discovery!
This is our spirit, vision and passion, which we share with each of our guests, with each of our partners.
It is said that one of., the things every human being must do during their lifetime is plant a tree and watch it grow. As a company, Metropolitan Touring has adopted this concept as a long-term vision, one in which we give back to our communities and help preserve the iconic destinations we visit. We then incorporated it into our day-to-day actions, for example by sponsoring talented students from local schools in the Galapagos, inviting them to embark on voyages of discovery aboard our original Santa Cruz. Over the last decade, hundreds of these young Galapagueños have been privileged to discover the true extent of the wonder of the archipelago in which they live: amazingly, without these tours, they might take their incredible local surroundings for granted.
One student we are particularly proud of is Christopher Naranjo. At the age of 15, he was invited aboard the Santa Cruz and spent a few days in awe of the wildlife as well as in admiration of the guides who led the groups. A few years later, he graduated from high school, took the Naturalist Guide course with the National Park, and applied to become a Metropolitan Touring guide. Today, he holds this position with great pride and is passionate about showing others the beauty of his homeland.
Our Fundación Galápagos promotes and implements many outreach campaigns designed to protect life on the islands, improve education and job opportunities for local communities, and ensure proper recycling and waste disposal.
Everywhere Metropolitan Touring goes, we carry with us our banner of deep-rooted social and environmental responsibility and as a result, we have been rewarded with a number of awards, including: Honourable Mentions in Condé Nast Traveler magazine’s World Savers Award in 2008 and 2010; “Best Ground Operator” at the UK’s Latin American Travel Association annual awards in 2008 and 2009; a Finalist nomination in the World Travel & Tourism Council’s ‘Tourism for Tomorrow Awards’ in 2009; and “South America’s Leading Green Hotel” for the Finch Bay Eco Hotel in 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015, and “World’s Leading Green Hotel” 2014 & 2015.
- Our Mission: To share the wonders of Latin America with the world’s explorers.
- Our Vision: To lead the way of excellence in the travel industry in South America.
- Company Founded: 1953
- Employees: 675
- Headquarters: Metropolitan Touring Ecuador
Avenida De Las Palmeras N45-74 y De Las Orquídeas
Quito – Ecuador
- Telephone Contacts: Inbound tour operator for Ecuador and the Galapagos: (593) 2 298 8300
Outbound travel agency for destinations beyond Ecuador: (593) 2 299 0660
- Locations: Offices in the main cities of Ecuador and sales, support and R&D offices worldwide.
- Main Office: Bogotá, Cra. 15 # 85 – 61 Of: 302
- Phones: (57 1) 618 0244
- Email: email@example.com
- Roque Sevilla, Chairman of the Board
- Paulina Burbano de Lara, Executive President, CEO
- María Cecilia Alzamora, Marketing and Development Vice-President
- Adrián Peñafiel, Sales Vice-President
- Tamara de Karolys, Commercial Director Travel Agents & New Markets
- Nicolás Benítez, Operations Manager
- Francisco Dousdebes, Product Manager
- Klaus Fielsch, Product Manager
- Hideo Taniguchi, Sales Manager Asia
- Gissela Ledesma, Customer Care Manager
- Lisa Markovits, Communications Manager
- María Paula López, Marketing Manager
- Karina Arias, Human Resources Director