Pichincha Nature & adventure

Our most recommended Pichincha 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.

From Quito: Guided Day Trip to the Mindo Cloud Forest

3. 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.

Cotopaxi National Park Full-Day Tour from Quito

4. 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: Baños and Upper Amazon Day Trip

5. 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

6. 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. 

Quilotoa Lagoon: Full-Day Tour from Quito

7. 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: Mindo Cloud Forest Day Trip with Transfer

8. 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.

From Quito: Cotopaxi and Quilotoa 2-Day Trekking Tour

9. From Quito: Cotopaxi and Quilotoa 2-Day Trekking Tour

Day 1: Depart from Quito to the Cotopaxi National Park. Visit the Limpiopungo lagoon in the slopes of the volcano. Stay to enjoy the landscape and take beautiful pictures of the volcano and the lagoon. Visit the Mariscal Sucre Interpretation Center and take a trek to the José Rivas Refuge. Leaving the Cotopaxi National Park, savor lunch and spend the night in the Hacienda. Day 2: After breakfast, head through the Andean landscape to the Quilotoa area. Stop at the Shalala viewpoint, recognized for its transparent structure, and admire the beautiful Quilotoa lagoon with its incredible turquoise waters. Visit the community viewpoint, and start to descend towards the lagoon. Take some free time to explore the area. Start the return, a strong walk. Make a stop for lunch. Make your way back through a Tigua craft workshop, famous for its colorful pictures, and visit the Toachi's Cañon before you return to Quito.

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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What people are saying about Pichincha

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 208 reviews

This trip was amazing. The volcano itself was stunning but the crater lake in Quilotoa is one of the best views I have ever seen. This tour was even more special because of our guide, Daniel. He gave us insight that only a local person who is able to speak perfect English could provide. Daniel is also super friendly and really enjoys discussing his beautiful country. His enthusiasm gave the whole group a lot of energy.

It was a great experience for those with a tight schedule. We had plenty of time at Cotopaxi National park, but the hike at Quilotoa was considerably shorter. Andres was also a knowledgeable and fun guide. Recommended.

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!

Andrea was an amazing tour guide. She was super friendly and spoke perfect English. She’s very knowledgeable about the places she took us. Our driver was also very nice but I can’t remember his name. Amazing tour

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