- Take a tour of the historic colonial city center
- Hike on the Rucu Pichincha volcano
- Spot the famed Andean condor
- Visit the Equator Monument
|Day 1||Arrival to Quito||Quito|
|Day 2||Quito Historic Center, Panecillo Hill, & Middle of the World Tour||Quito|
|Day 3||Hiking on Ruco Pichincha Volcano||Quito|
|Day 4||Pasochoa Volcano Trek from Quito||Quito|
|Day 5||Depart from Quito|
Day 1: Arrival to Quito
Welcome to Quito, the capital of Ecuador! Arrive at the Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO), where your driver will meet you to transfer to your accommodation in the city center, a one-hour trip. Along the way, you'll get a short introduction into Quito´s history and a quick briefing on the next day's activities.
The entire city of Quito is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, standing at an altitude of 9,350ft (2,850m). It welcomes visitors with its picturesque plazas situated between mountain peaks. The city has an abundance of market stands, shamanistic healers, and fourth-generation hat makers, as well as a vibrant and sophisticated culinary and nightlife scene.
Day 2: Quito Historic Center, Panecillo Hill, & Middle of the World Tour
The human occupation of Quito dates back thousands of years. Prior to the arrival of Spanish conquistadores, the main cultures in the area were the Quitus, as well as the Inca, whose empire spread across vast stretches of South America. The city was colonized by the Spanish and recognized as a city in the mid-16th century. In 1978, together with Kraków in Poland, the entire city became the first UNESCO World Heritage Site.
After breakfast at the hotel, visit the old town and meander down romantic narrow streets to see the colonial Churches of San Fransisco, La Compañia, and other historical landmarks.
This visit is followed by a short stop at the top of El Panecillo Hill where the impressive statue of the Virgin Mary is located. It's a great place for photos of panoramic city views.
In the afternoon, visit the Equator Monument, which highlights the exact location of the equatorial line according to the Franco-Spanish mission that determined its approximate location. It's also the location of the Ethnographical Museum that showcases the indigenous culture and ethnography of Ecuador.
After a full day, return to your hotel.
Day 3: Hiking on Ruco Pichincha Volcano
In the morning, take the teleferico (cable car) to start your hike on Ruco Pichincha Volcano. The hike can take up to five hours, depending on the weather and your fitness levels. You'll be accompanied by your guide, who knows the area well and can point out different geological features and spot wildlife.
Around lunchtime, pause to eat a boxed lunch while enjoying the views. After completing the hike and returning to the base, spend the rest of the day relaxing.
Day 4: Pasochoa Volcano Trek from Quito
Spend the day hiking on a volcano near Quito. The Pasochoa Volcano is a beautiful 13,770 ft (4,199 m) high volcano, surrounded by a humid cloud forest. The highlight of the trek is the forest, which is home to over one hundred species of birds and fifty species of endemic plants.
This hike is also one of the best places to see the famous Andean Condor, and the climb up to the top offers wonderful views of the mighty Cotopaxi and the other surrounding volcanoes.
The hike to the top takes approximately 3-5 hours. After returning to the bottom, return to Quito and spend the evening relaxing.
Day 5: Depart from Quito
Today you are free to explore Quito on your own and shop for souvenirs before your flight home. At the designated time, meet your driver at the hotel for the transfer to the airport.