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3 Top Day Hikes around Quito

Friday, 17 June 2016 00:00

If you are planning a trip to Ecuador, you may be heading to the Galapagos Islands or venturing into the Amazon Rainforest. For those of you who are looking for adventure and want to get off the beaten track we really recommend you also include at least one day out hiking in the Andes around Quito.

These three great day-hiking options are perfect if your staying in Quito and have limited time. If you have more time to explore you must check out our extended Ecuador walking tours.

Quito Day Hike #1 - Papallacta Paramo & Lakes Hike

Papallacta-Lake-EcuadorDriving from Quito to the trail head it takes around 1 and a half hours. En-route we cross the continental divide, an adventure in itself. On arrival we hike through Ecuadorian “paramo” - high Andean moorlands, an ecosystem described as being “above the tree line.”

The landscape is beautifully bleak, scattered with Andean lakes and elfin forests. On clear days we get spectacular views of the Antisana snow-capped volcano. The hike lasts for around 4 hours, at an altitude of 3800 – 4000m

An added bonus is a dip in the local hot springs at the end of our day’s hiking.

More information here: Papallacta Lakes Hike

Quito Day Hike #2 – Rucu Pichincha Volcano Summit Hike

Rucu-Pichincha-Summit-EcuadorA short drive from your hotel in Quito brings you to the Teleferiqo, Quito’s cable car, at the base of the Pichincha Volcano. After a ten-minute ride on the Teleferiqo we reach the trail head, at around 4000m.

From here we follow a trail along a clear ridge, enjoying fabulous views of the city of Quito and the Eastern cordillera of the Andes. The final ascent includes a bit of rock scrambling before we reach the summit at 4696m. The full hike (up and down) takes around 6 hours.

This is a great option for those looking to summit a volcano while visiting the Andes of Ecuador.

More information here: Rucu Pichincha Hike

Quito Day Hike #3 – Pasochoa Forest & Caldera Hike

Pasochoa-Hike-EcuadorThe Pasochoa Wildlife Reserve is reached after a one and a half hour’s drive from Quito heading south along the Avenue of the Volcanoes. The reserve itself is made up of Andean forests and paramo.

The hiking trail we love climbs along a route through lush Andean forests, to the limit of the tree line and beyond. The wonderful views from the paramo across the old volcanic caldera, to the surrounding volcanoes of Atacaso and Corazon make this climb more than worthwhile!

We hike for around 6 hours from 2700m to 3800m and back.

More information here: Pasohcoa Forest Hike

You may also be interested in:

Ecuador Hiking - 5 Top Tips for Hiking in Ecuador

What to Pack for your Day Hike in Ecuador

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Original Ecuador Tours

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