PIONEERS IN SUSTAINABLE EXPEDITION TRAVEL IN SOUTH AMERICA

SPIRIT, PASSION AND VISION: THE METROPOLITAN TOURING DIFFERENCE

Back in 1953, Metropolitan Touring embarked on a mission to share the wonders of Ecuador and the Galapagos with the world. Seven decades years later, we’ve amassed thousands of unforgettable stories from our guests, each as memorable, significant and hopefully transformative as the next, each creating profound connections between the traveler and the place they visit, the people they travel with, the people they meet and themselves. When all’s said and done, we are in the connections business

What enables us to create these connections? Our seven decades in travel have been characterized by our Spirit, founded on curiosity, on going beyond the obvious to create truly life-affirming travel experiences for our guests; the Passion we share as a company for the journeys we design and the service we deliver; and the Vision we nurture for the future of our planet and its people.

OUR MISSION

To transform the lives of our explorers through memorable experiences in destinations unique to their nature, history, and culture. 

OUR VISION

To be the gold standard of excellence in the travel industry in South America

Panga Ride Galapagos Islands Ecuador

WHAT THE WORLD SAYS ABOUT US

Golden Tanager Mashpi Lodge

OUR COMMITMENT

Given our origins in the fragile and globally important Galapagos Islands, from our company’s origins, we have sought to be conscientious stewards of the destinations in which we operate and responsible contributors to the well-being of the communities that form part of our value chainSustainability is part of our DNA, today embedded into every facet of our operations through the ESG framework and our commitment to creating positive impacts on both people and the planet.

By traveling with us, you are joining us on our sustainability journey.

Part of our pledge became a reality in 2017 when we became a carbon-neutral company, measuring, reducing, and then offsetting our emissions through our holding group’s innovative program focused on the highly biodiverse tropical forests of Ecuador’s Andean Chocó to the northwest of Quito read more. But this commitment can also be seen in our financing and organizing the management of solid waste on the Island of Santa Cruz in the Galapagos for many years (a program that continues to this day through the local municipality) and in the 1,600 Galapagos students and community members who have been invited to sail with us around the islands to further their knowledge and love of the place they call home.

Today, we are working on reducing our food waste, improving our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion indicators in the workplace, and bringing more of our suppliers in line with our vision, thereby creating a positive ripple effect across the region.
World Travel
Condenast Traveler
World Travel Awards Winner
Our commitment efforts have been recognized with multiple awards, including Honorable Mentions in Condé Nast Traveler magazine’s World Savers Award, a finalist nomination in the World Travel & Tourism Council “Tourism for Tomorrow Awards” and “South America’s Leading Green Hotel” for the Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel and Mashpi Lodge. Our Chairman of the Board, Roque Sevilla, was recognized by the UK travel industry in 2023 as “Sustainability Hero of the Year.”

LONG-TERM STEWARDS OF OUR DESTINATIONS

OUR HISTORY

In 1953, friends set out to create a travel business. They were young and knew little about travel, yet they were talented. Within a decade, they had become pioneering and passionate ambassadors for their country, its culture, its people, and all its wonders.  

Over the following decades, the founders and several of their children dedicated their energies to forging Metropolitan Touring into a company that created quality experiences trusted by their clients and travelers alike, one that brought ever-increasing numbers of suppliers — from haciendas to hotels to folkloric dance troupes — into their value chain. They designed itineraries, trained guides, sought to increase air connectivity… All to grow Ecuador’s inbound visitors, especially to the Galapagos Islands, today the country’s tourism engine

In 2001, the holding group Grupo Futuro, led by Roque Sevilla, brought a new élan to the company, endowing it with a dynamic corporate spirit, a firm commitment to nature, and a vision of growth and innovation.  

Soon after, we expanded our operations to Peru and then to Colombia; we renewed our ships and yachts — the Santa Cruz II, Isabela II, La Pinta, and Sea Lion — we transformed the Finch Bay, and we inaugurated the historic Casa Gangotena and the luxury cocoon in the clouds, Mashpi Lodge. We have been led by Paulina Burbano de Lara since 2010. 

Today, we train our teams constantly, employ cutting-edge technology, and digitally transform all aspects of our operations to put our clients and guests at the heart of all our decisions, alongside our commitment to the natural world and our communities.  

Our Story
Paulina Burbano De Lara
Encuentro Con Albatros

ASSOCIATIONS

With an outstanding reputation comes an array of prestigious accolades, acknowledgments, and memberships. Here’s a look at some of the groups we’re associated with:

AWARDS

Our Partners

Like-minded partners are key in delivering exceptional travel experiences while promoting a sustainable future for expedition travel. By collaborating with companies that share our commitment to environmental conservation, we create unforgettable adventures that have a lasting positive impact on the communities sustaining our destinations

Abercrombie &Amp; Kent
Hurtigruten Vector
Adventure World
Apt Luxury Travel
Alexander And Roberts
Columbus Travel
Trailfinders
Tauck
Gate 1 Travel
Lindblad Expeditions
Studiosus
Adventures

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