Our most recommended things to do in Ecuador
1. Cotopaxi National Park & Quilotoa Full-Day Tour
Depart by bus from through the Panamerican Highway admiring the diverse ecosystems of the route, as a clear sign of the majesty of the Andes. Continue to the Cotopaxi National Park, arriving at the foot of the impressive active volcano. Visit the Museum Park, the Limpiopungo Lagoon and and through an interesting hike will reach the forest of chuquirahuas to 4200 meters. (if the weather permits). See the Quilotoa Volcano. With a stunning turquoise lagoon in its crater, it's one of the most beautiful landscapes of Ecuador. Take a short hike to appreciate the magnificent view of the volcano (if weather conditions allow) and enjoy time for lunch at your own expense.
Is was the highlight of my trip. Raul and Andres were punctual and very knowledgeable about every aspect of the trip. Andres was a great teacher and obviously loves what he does. He is an ideal guide.
2. Quito: 2.5-Hour City Bus Tour
Embark on a fun and relaxing tour experience as you explore Quito on a double-decker bus. See more of the city in less time, visit famous locations and enjoy informative commentary from an audio guide along the way. The itinerary includes the highlights of Quito, including its historic city center, the largest in South America. Stop at Panecillo Hill, and enjoy panoramic views from the most important lookout in Quito. Enjoy a memorable ride through the city and take great photos from the top of the bus.
our guide was amazing. so knowledgeable and passionate about the history of Ecuador and it’s people
3. Quilotoa Lagoon: Full-Day Tour from Quito
Drive south from Quito to the Quilotoa area and visit its famous lagoon. Along the way, you'll admire the beautiful Andean landscape and stop at the Shalala viewpoint. Next, you'll visit the community viewpoint and descend to the lagoon. Once there, you'll have free time to hike and explore the area. You'll return on a path that connects the lagoon to the community viewpoint. It's an intense walk, so if you're not in good shape, simply climb on a mule that will pack you back to the viewpoint. After a lunch break, you'll also stop at a Tigua craft workshop, famous for its colorful products, and visit the Toachi's Canon.
A group tour (4 other parties joined us on a Thursday), the tour picked us up from our airbnb, and we made a couple of special stops along the way to Quilotoa (bathroom and breakfast break, fruit stands to purchase fruit for our lunch), and the views to Quilotoa were amazing. Quilotoa itself was gorgeous, but my party didn't venture down to the bottom because of concerns of elevation sickness, so we chose the hike around the rim (still a strenuous but rewarding experience, my dad slid and fell a couple of times, no major injuries other than his pride). The varieties of flowers and animals around made for excellent pictures. We ended the tour with a nice meal at a local hostel and then a quiet ride back. Carlos (our guide) and Hector (our driver, but also a guide for us while we hiked the rim) were fantastic, enthusiastic and knowledgeable. Much recommended!
4. Otavalo and Imbabura Sightseeing Tour from Quito
Depart Quito and journey towards the Guayllabamba valley to see the Quitsato Sundial in La Mitad Del Mundo, built to share the astronomical knowledge of the pre-Hispanic cultures of the region. Pass over the line of the equator and continue towards the largest indigenous market in South America. Shop for souvenir textiles and traditional crafts at the Mercado de Ponchos, where the locals sell tagua nut jewelry, fake shrunken heads, hand-painted trays, spices, spools of wool and other interesting items under mushroom-shaped umbrellas. Get back to nature at the Peguche waterfall, popular with the locals who go there to take a sacred bath on the eve of Inti Raymi. Continue towards the caldera lake of Cuicocha in the Cotacachi-Cayapas Reserve (excluding holidays) and get stunning views of the Cotacachi Volcano before driving back to Quito.
Longer day than expected (12 hours vs. 10 in the description), but worth it! All the stops were great. Bring an extra duffle bag to fill with all the beautiful textiles from the market, you'll want to buy everything.
5. Cajas National Park Day Trip
Your guide will pick you up from your hotel in the morning and then you will head to Cajas National Park. During the tour, you will visit two altitude levels within the park. In the middle part, you will walk around for two and a half hours in the Toreadora area. The trek will give you the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful scenery. Then, move on to enjoy a local lunch in a nearby restaurant. Afterwards, visit Llaviuco, located in the lower part of the park. This area is part of a different ecosystem, known as montage primary forest. Here you will walk around the lake for about half an hour before you return to your hotel.
As there were no other people on the tour it was very individual. Diego took the time for us and answered all of our questions. He is very knowladgeable. We did not have to rush on our hike and could walk with our speed and enjoy the nature.
6. Quito: 2 or 3-Day Tour to Baños with Cotopaxi & Quilotoa
Explore Baños, the adventure capital of Ecuador. Get to know stunning places such as Cotopaxi Volcano as well as the Quilotoa Lagoon - an unbelievable turquoise lake in the caldera of an active volcano. Once in Baños, enjoy a number of wonderful activities set against a beautiful backdrop of waterfalls and tropical greenery. This short tour makes for a great escape from Quito. Day 1 Get picked up from your hostel or hotel in Quito to begin the trip to Baños. Arrive at the Chuquiragua Lodge, and savor a delicious breakfast. Observe the stunning Cotopaxi Volcano, one of the country's most famous sights. Visit the Toachi River Canyon lookout point and the Shalala lookout point with some free time to enjoy the amazing landscape of Quilotoa Crater Lake. Depart for Baños and visit the famous "Swing at the End of the World" at La Casa del Árbol. Take in an amazing view of the ...
Our Baños guide Angel was phenomenal. He was hilarious, extremely knowledgeable, flexible, and full of excellent recommendations. The experience itself was one of a kind. Every activity was more exhilarating than the last. If you only have a few days to take in this gorgeous place, this is the tour for you!
7. Cuenca, Ecuador: Day-trip to Ingapirca Archaeological Site
Ingapirca is the most important archaeological complex in Ecuador, situated 2 hours north of Cuenca. On your way to the site, there will be a stop at the Virgen del Rocío Church in Biblián, one of the most beautiful churches in the country. Once you reach the top of the 140 steps, enjoy a spectacular view of the surrounding area. Learn about traditional food culture as well, as you watch a pig being cooked over an open fire, a typical food preparation in the area. If the tour takes place on a Sunday, there is also an additional visit to the indigenous market at Cañar. Here, the guide will inform you about the different products sold at these markets and you can learn about the traditional clothing of the Cañari. Finally, you will arrive at the Ingapirca complex where your guide will teach you about the Cañari and Inca cultures. Be sure to check out the unique Tahuantinsuyo elliptical t...
I was picked up on time. My guide Diego, though self depreciating, ably communicated in english; providing both expert details and context for better enjoying the tour, as well as being flexible to my particular areas of interest. The vehicle was safe and comfortable, and the food provided on the trip was simple, and well prepared.
8. From Quito: 2-Day Small Group Baños and Quilotoa Lagoon Tour
DAY 1- Andes Landscape – Hike – Local Natives – Lake Your day tour starts by heading south of Quito and driving through the Avenue of the Volcanoes, passing through the towns of Latacunga and Pujilí. On the way to Quilotoa, stop to visit an indigenous local house from the “Paramos.” You will observe their clothes and customs and visit them in a typical indigenous house made of straw. Have a chat and learn from about their lives and how they prepare to sow the soil. Visit the town of Tigua, famous for its native paintings. Continue up to the Quilotoa Volcano, where you will be able to descend to the lake located inside the crater or just walk around the crater. Prepare to enjoy an unforgettable experience riding a mule! Take in the most beautiful landscapes of the highlands and see traditional indigenous villages. Stay overnight in Baños. DAY 2 - Adventure Activities – Baños Waterfal...
9. Cotopaxi National Park Full-Day Tour from Quito
Visit Cotopaxi National Park in Ecuador’s Andes Mountains. The park is home to the active Cotopaxi volcano that towers 19,642 feet above sea level. When you reach the park your naturalist guide will show you the exceptional variety of flora and fauna. Hike to the Limpiopungo lagoon, located on the slopes of the volcano. Stop at the lagoon for a short rest to take in the landscapes and the spectacular views of the volcano. Continue the hike to the Jose Ribas shelter and experience the environment at almost 16,000 feet above sea level.
Very nice place to visit. It's very cold, you can see nice view. I definitely recommend it.
10. Guayaquil: 3-Hour City Tour
Benefit from pick-up at any hotel in Guayaquil at the start of a 3-hour sightseeing tour of the largest and most populous city in Ecuador. Journey to landmark attractions to get an overview of its history and everyday life. Go to the Parque Seminario, where the resident iguanas feed off mango slices fed to them by enchanted tourists! Admire the façade of the San Pedro Apostol Metropolitan Cathedral, built on the site of the city's original cathedral made of wood. See the neoclassical Palacio Municipal, considered one of the most important architectural works in Ecuador. Take a look at the Malecón Simon Bolívar boardwalk, constructed along the waterfront of the Guayas River. Visit the monument of the Hemiciclo de la Rotonda, and venture into the traditional barrio (district) of Las Peñas to admire the colonial houses painted in different colors. Explore the regenerated area of ...
Door-to-door service with a bilingual, super-knowledgeable guide. We strayed off the itinerary a bit to explore the things that we were most interested in and had a blast. Highly recommend this tour and Francisco!
Quito, Ecuador's capital, dates back to before 1000 AD when it was occupied by the Quitu tribe. Today, guests can walk through colonial streets on a Quito City Tour and admire the Quito Cathedral which is one of the oldest cathedrals in South America. Designed in an orthodox Spanish style on the outside, this lovely cathedral is Baroque on the inside. Visitors can also see the Government's Palace and the Sagrario Church which was built in the 17th century and is famous for a screen by Legarda. Finish off the day on Quito's skylift for an aerial view of this stunning city.
The Galapagos 5-Day Tour is the adventure of a lifetime. Guests will travel by ferry to Santa Cruz Island where the fun begins with a visit to a giant turtle reserve. Santa Cruz Island operates a tortoise breeding center and is also known as a place to see manta rays, small sharks, land iguanas and flamingos. Visitors also have the chance to see the famous lava tunnels with amazing stalactite formations. More exciting excursions include snorkeling, kayaking and a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station."
Top tours and activities in Ecuador
Other Sightseeing Options in Ecuador
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