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Quito Nature & adventure

Our most recommended Quito Nature & adventure

Cotopaxi National Park & Quilotoa Full-Day Tour

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.

Santa Cruz: Galapagos Islands 4 Day Explorer Tour

2. Santa Cruz: Galapagos Islands 4 Day Explorer Tour

Day 1 Arrive at the airport of Baltra Island and meet the National Park guides, followed by a transfer to Santa Cruz. Check in at your hotel and in the afternoon visit the Charles Darwin Scientific Station and the Interpretation Center of the Galapagos National Park. Day 2 Head to the stunning Turtle Bay Beach, a postcard-worthy beach with white sand and azure sea. Stop to observe the marine life, iguanas, and many other wildlife species Travel next to a private ranch, where you will be able to see the protected giant turtles living in their natural habitat. Finally, the adventure will conclude with a hike through the underground lava tunnels. Day 3 On the third day, head to the dock to sail to the islet of La Loberia. Take some time for snorkeling, before traveling to Punta Estrada. Keep a look out for frigate birds, sea lions, and other marine life. Day 4 After breakfast at the hotel, be returned to the airport for your departure flight.

Cotopaxi National Park Full-Day Tour from Quito

3. 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.

From Quito: Horseback Ride & Cotopaxi National Park Day Trip

4. From Quito: Horseback Ride & Cotopaxi National Park Day Trip

Explore the Cotopaxi National Park on a day trip and horseback ride. Enjoy a comfortable ride from Quito, learn about the fascinating Chagra culture, and enjoy a traditional canelazo welcome drink. The “Chagra” culture is the product of miscegenation between the Andean Indians and Spanish settlers. This mestizo culture was the one that contributed more to the economic and social development of the countryside in the Sierra region, based on cattle breeding, like bulls for bullfighting. And, of course, here you have the opportunity to experience during a day trip the joy, adrenaline, and nostalgia that our Chagras live day by day while they are working in the high mountains of the Andes! Begin your tour in Quito and head southeast to El Pedregal, which sits between the Rumiñahui, Pasochoa, Sincholagua, and Cotopaxi volcanoes. After a 1.5-hour drive, disembark at a traditional hacienda or farm. Sip on a traditional canelazo drink and try on a traditional Chagra outfit. Head outside to find your horse and embark on a 2.5-hour horseback ride through the stunning countryside. Return to the hacienda, say goodbye to your horse, and drive to the Cotopaxi National Park. Visit the looming Cotopaxi Volcano, standing at 19,347 feet high. Marvel at the ancient dried lava flows, mountains, lakes, and wild horses. Watch as the plants, flowers, and trees change as you gain altitude. After your visit to the national park, return to your Quito hotel at around 5:00 P.M.

From Quito: Mindo Cloud Forest Day Trip with Transfer

5. From Quito: Mindo Cloud Forest Day Trip with Transfer

Benefit from pickup at your hotel in Quito, and then get stunning views of the Andes Mountains as you drive north-west to the unique Hummingbird Garden. See 10 to 20 different species of hummingbirds, depending on the season or time of the day, and try local tropical fruits. Take a 1-hour walk into the cloud forest to admire the diverse flora and fauna up close. Look for endemic species of plants and animals found nowhere else on earth as you encounter a series of beautiful streams and waterfalls.  Reach the protected Mindo Cloud Forest Reserve to experience the astonishing beauty of one of the highest biodiverse sites in the world. Avail of all the activities at your own expense, such as a zip line across the forest canopy, or rappelling down rocks.

Quilotoa Lagoon: Full-Day Tour from Quito

6. 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.

From Quito: Guided Day Trip to the Mindo Cloud Forest

7. From Quito: Guided Day Trip to the Mindo Cloud Forest

Be picked up in the morning from the comfort of your accommodation in Quito. Sit back and relax in the air-conditioned van or all-terrain vehicle on the drive to the Mindo Cloud Forest ecological reserve. Go to an altitude of1, 900 meters above sea level. Ride along a winding road and stop at different viewpoints to take in the verdant landscapes. Stop at Mindo village, which is located at the southern edge of the Choco/Andean hotspot of biodiversity that stretches from south-western Colombia to north-western Ecuador. Take a cable car on a 530 meters-long-cable to the other side of the mountain. Travel to the Ondinas, Guarumos, Colibríes, Madre and Los Maderos waterfalls where you can stop to take a dip. Uncover the secrets of the local ecosystem as you look for hummingbirds, air plants, orchids and other surprising exotic species in this area that has international importance for birds. Have some free time to purchase a nice lunch or to explore the orchid and butterfly farm or the chocolate factory. Head back to your accommodation in the afternoon.

From Quito: Baños and Upper Amazon Day Trip

8. From Quito: Baños and Upper Amazon Day Trip

Enjoy a unique day trip to Baños de Agua Santa, and see the beautiful volcanoes of Ecuador, waterfalls, the cloud forest, and the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest. Visit Baños de Agua Santa, a city located at 1,820 meters above sea level (5,971 ft), south of Quito on the north-eastern flanks of the Tungurahua Volcano (5,000 m / 16,404 ft), with natural hot springs downtown, and a natural entrance to the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest. Be picked up at 7:30 am from your hotel in Quito to start an incredible adventure. Admire beautiful volcanoes on the way, like Antisana, Los Ilinizas, Cotopaxi, and Tungurahua. Arrive to start a walk through the charming streets of Baños around 10:15 am, and take time to visit the monastery of the "Virgin of Agua Santa”, and see paintings that describe different eruptions of the Tungurahua Volcano, whose volcanic activity started again in 1999. Drive towards the beautiful and stunning “Avenue of the Waterfalls”; beginning with a stop in front of the Agoyan Hydroelectric Dam, and walk towards the local community of "Río Blanco" to appreciate the beauty of the cloud forest. Cross the Pastaza River Canyon on a cable car that rides a 500 meters-long-cable to visit the "Manto de la Novia" waterfall, learn all about the local people's lifestyle, and take a hike down to the river. Stop at the viewpoint of the "San Jorge" waterfall, and recover energy with a tasty lunch. Visit the world-famous Devil's Cauldron or "Pailón del Diablo" waterfall, and see some of the Amazon's vegetation. Arrive back in Quito approximately at 6:30 pm, after having enjoyed more than four different microclimates on the same day.

From Quito: Cotopaxi National Park Full-Day Tour

9. From Quito: Cotopaxi National Park Full-Day Tour

Benefit from pick-up at your hotel in Quito in the morning, and then depart the city center and travel by air-conditioned vehicle towards Cotopaxi National Park. Enjoy stunning views of the snow-capped peaks of the Andes Mountains in the distance and the amazing flat lands surrounding the Cotopaxi Volcano. Upon arrival, visit the Interpretation Center to learn more about Ecuador's 2nd highest mountain peak and the Limpiopungo Lagoon. Hike through the surroundings of the Limpiopungo valley for approximately 3 hours, and climb from an altitude of about 3,890 meters above sea level to an elevation of about 4,500 meters. Take in the stunning vistas on clear days, and then enjoy lunch at a local restaurant, if option selected. Return to Quito and get dropped off at your hotel on arrival.

Otavalo and Imbabura Sightseeing Tour from Quito

10. 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.

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Frequently asked questions about Quito

What are the best day trips and excursions from Quito?

The best day trips and excursions from Quito are:

Otavalo

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What people are saying about Quito

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 208 reviews

Punctual pick up. The walk in Cotopaxi National Park isn’t very strenuous, which is great if you’re still adjusting to the altitude. The tour guide, Daniel, was amazing. We didn’t have great luck to see the lagoon bc of the weather, but it was still a good day out!

Mauricio the Guide he’s so kindness and take care of all the people at any moment! Amazon experience that I really loved..! Please don’t miss this opportunity.

Adrian our bubbly guide was very interactive and fun. He loves what he does and was visible in his demeanor. Made us feel so welcome in Ecuador!

Tour war super. Irene als Tourguide war toll. Sind bis zum Basecamp des Cotopaxi hochgelaufen.

Unique experience and worth the money to learn, explore, and adventure in the mountains.