Seven to eight days is the most popular trip length for Ecuador travelers interested in visiting Quito, Otavalo, and Cotopaxi, especially when also including time in another region. If you're not interested in extending your itinerary, six to seven days is enough for your Quito, Otavalo, and Cotopaxi trip. With less time, it's still possible to see the highlights in as few as four or five days. Read on for the best itineraries, including Quito, Otavalo, Cotopaxi, and beyond.

How many days do you need in Quito, Otavalo & Cotopaxi?

  • Most travelers spend 6-7 days in Quito, Otavalo, and Cotopaxi combined
  • Visiting Quito, Otavalo, and Cotopaxi in 4 or 5 days is possible, but it will feel rushed
  • With 8 or more days, most travelers choose to add more stops to their trip

How Many Days to Spend In Ecuador

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Recommended Itineraries for Quito, Otavalo & Cotopaxi

Recommended Itinerary for 6 Days

 Lake Quilotoa in Cotopaxi National Park
Hike around Lake Quilotoa in Cotopaxi National Park
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Quito, Explore at Your Own Pace Quito
Day 2 Colonial City Tour, Cooking Class, Visit the Middle of the World Monument Quito
Day 3 Transfer to Otavalo, Visit the Otavalo Market Otavalo
Day 4 Transfer to Quito, Expedition to Mindo Cloud Forest Quito
Day 5 Transfer to Cotopaxi, Explore Cotopaxi National Park on Horseback Cotopaxi
Day 6 Visit Quilotoa Lagoon, Transfer to Quito, Depart  

Offering a mix of culture, nature, and adventure, this six-day journey around Ecuador takes you from the busy streets of Quito to the snowcapped peaks of Cotopaxi National Park. Stand on the line of the equator and learn to cook Ecuadorian dishes, then venture into the Mindo Cloud Forest for a memorable hike. Spend the last full day of the trip on a horseback excursion around the volcanoes and lagoons. Read more

Recommended Itinerary for 1 Week

Visit local markets including Panecillo Hill
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Quito, Free Day Quito
Day 2 Explore the Quito Historic Center, Panecillo Hill & Middle of the World Quito
Day 3 Mindo Cloud Forest, Transfer to Otavalo Otavalo
Day 4 Cuicocha Lagoon Hike, Visit Otavalo Market Quito
Day 5 Hike, Horseback & Hacienda Adventure in Cotopaxi National Park Cotopaxi
Day 6 Visit Zumbahua Market, Quilotoa Lagoon Hike, Transfer to Quito Quito
Day 7 Sightseeing, Depart Quito  

Use Ecuador's capital as your base for this adventure-packed, weeklong trip. Explore Quito's colonial past and visit the equator line before you head to the lush Mindo Cloud Forest to see its incredible diversity of wildlife and browse local markets for handmade art and handicrafts. No trip to Ecuador would be complete without a visit to one of the country's volcanoes, and you'll get to hike two: Quilotoa and Cotopaxi. Read more

How to travel between Quito, Otavalo & Cotopaxi

From Quito, the volcano-crested Cotopaxi National Park makes a spectacular day trip or weekend trip, with the park highlight being the picture-perfect peak of Cotopaxi volcano, Ecuador's second-highest peak. With hiking and biking trails, a visitor center, two volcanoes, and plenty of recreation facilities amid gorgeous Andean scenery, Cotopaxi is understandably popular. It's also easy to access from Quito via a number of means, including private transfer, bus, or train. Read more


Map of Quito, Otavalo & Cotopaxi: Best Itinerary Ideas
Map of Quito, Otavalo & Cotopaxi: Best Itinerary Ideas