Things to do in Pichincha

Our most recommended things to do in Pichincha

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.

From Quito: Otavalo, Cotacachi & Cuicocha Full-Day Tour

3. From Quito: Otavalo, Cotacachi & Cuicocha Full-Day Tour

Escape the hustle and bustle of city life in Quito and discover the ease and beauty of the Ecuadorian countryside. Depart from Quito through the Pan-American North Highway via Cayambe. Passengers will have the opportunity to taste the delicious Bizcochos de Cayambe, a type of cracker or bread baked in a clay oven, greatly paired with local cheese or caramel sauce. Afterwards, make a brief stop at Miralago to admire a wonderful view of Lago San Pablo. The tour then continues to Otavalo where Otavaleños (natives) set up a market in which a bartering manner of shopping is taken place. The market hosts a variety of different handcrafted items. You may choose between staying in this area and enjoying more time at the market (a bus will pick you up at the end of the tour*), or you can continue the tour to visit Cotacachi and Cuicocha. If you continue the tour, journey to the town of Cotacachi, recognized for its leather clothing and crafts. On the way to Cotacachi, visit an Andean instrument workshop, "Ñanda Mañachi", located in the area of Peguche, to spend some special moments with the local people and understand the Andean culture. In Cotacachi you have enough time to visit the village and leather goods shops, as well as free time for lunch (not included). Later, visit the Ecological Reserve where the Cuicocha lagoon is located, inside the crater of the Cotacachi Volcano. This originated after a volcanic explosion thousands of years ago. And if the weather permits, it will be possible to make a walk by the lagoon with the chance to sail in the crater of the volcano in small boats (at an additional cost). *Bus will wait for 10 minutes in Otavalo to pick you up if you have chosen to stay there, and after that will return to Quito and your respective hotel or starting point.

Quito: Urban Legends of Quito by Night

4. Quito: Urban Legends of Quito by Night

Start your Quito night tour in the northern part of the city and travel through the most important commercial areas where most of the hotels are located. Explore aboard a replica of the trams used in the city in the last century. Head to the historic center to gaze at the illuminated churches and main tourist attractions. Discover some of the city's unique landscapes (tickets not included). Then, continue to Mirador del Panecillo (entrance included) for a beautiful view of colonial and modern day Quito. During the tour, you will get to know the people who live in this city better, and begin to recognize their way of speaking and thinking. During your visit to the city, your guide will tell you all about the historic urban legends that are a part of the traditional and cultural heritage of the people of Quito.

From Quito: Guided Day Trip to the Mindo Cloud Forest

5. 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.

Historic City of Quito and The Middle of the World

6. Historic City of Quito and The Middle of the World

Begin by a visit to one of South America's best preserved historic city centers. Go to the Basilica del Voto Nacional Church, where you can climb up its high domes. Move towards the Panecillo viewpoint, an iconic place in the city, renowned for its beauty and giant statue of the Winged Virgin - here you can admire a beautiful landscape of both colonial and modern Quito (entrance to churches not included). Continue on to the traditional La Ronda neighborhood. In this romantic setting you can find workshops where you can learn from a group of authentic artisans how their work is done. See historic trades that keep alive the cultural traditions of this charming city. Stop at Zona Rosa for approximately an hour and a half to have some free time for lunch (not included). You will then go to the Middle of the World City, where you can see the monument that divides the northern and southern hemispheres of the planet. Entrance to the Middle of the World complex is included ,where you can enjoy experiences that defy the laws of physics and occur only in this part of the world. NOTE: On Sunday, this tour operates in an inverted way, first you visit the Middle of the World and then you have the city tour.

Cotopaxi National Park Full-Day Tour from Quito

7. 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.

Quito: Middle of the World Tour with Tickets

8. Quito: Middle of the World Tour with Tickets

Begin your 3-hour tour in the northern part of Quito and head up to the middle of the city. This is where you will find the monument that stands on the line that divides the northern and the southern hemispheres. The Equatorial Monument was built during the 17th century when the precise dividing line between the hemispheres was defined by a French expeditionary team.

From Quito: Baños and Upper Amazon Day Trip

9. 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 Cuenca: 4-Day Ecuador Exploration Tour

10. From Cuenca: 4-Day Ecuador Exploration Tour

Day 1: After getting picked up from your hotel in Cuenca, travel to Alausi, where you will have a litlle city tour and also you will admire beautiful Andean landscapes and watch an Andean music performance along the way. Afterward, break for lunch before beginning the journey to Riobamba. Stop along the way to visit Ecuador's oldest church and the beautiful Colta Lagoon, then you will visit the highest peak of Ecuador " Chimborazo 6300 meters". Spend the night at a hotel in Riobamba. Day 2: After breakfast, head to the charming city of Baños to admire a spectacular waterfall. Afterward, hop on a cable car and ride towards a viewpoint where you can enjoy a ride on the "swing at the end of the world". Return to Baños after your swing ride and get a good night's sleep before tomorrow's activities. Day 3: Today, visit Pujili and do a spot of shopping at the town's indigenous market, where you'll find everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to clothing. Later, visit Tigua, where a small indigenous community lives. Immerse yourself in the daily life and culture of this community before heading to Quilotoa Lake, which is often referred to as the most beautiful place in Ecuador. Here, enjoy a stroll around the edges of the lake or even take an optional donkey ride. Spend the night at a hotel in Quilotoa. Day 4: Rise early to travel to the Cotopaxi National Park, where you can go for a walk around the Limpiopungo Lake. If the weather is clear, admire panoramic views of one of the world's most active volcanoes. Afterward, travel to Quito where you will say goodbye to your guide and spend the evening exploring the city at your leisure. 

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What people are saying about Pichincha

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 639 reviews

Excellent tour. Andrea was an excellent guide who was interactive and very knowledgeable. We were a large family of different ages and she made sure that all of us were engaged throughout the day. Highly recommend it.

It is a great trip - especially when you are for a short time in Ecuador. Our guides Daniel and Sonja were really good and the communication with Gray Line Ecuador worked pretty well. I can recommend joining the tour!

Great trip to mitad del mundo. Thanks to our guide Irene who made our trip so enjoyable

Very good experience. Climbing up is tough because of the altitude.

Gustavo is really helpful and knowledgeable regarding the area.