Best of Papallacta

Top itineraries and travel advice in and around Papallacta
Surrounded by lush mountain slopes, the small village of Papallacta is famous for its hot springs, and it’s a popular day trip for visitors from Quito (about a one-hour drive). On clear days you can take in the views of Antisana Volcano while soaking in the thermally heated pools — the perfect antidote after hiking in the Andes. 

In Papallacta you can combine a visit to the Termas de Papallacta resort with a bit of adventure. Nearby hiking trails lead through forests of Polylepis, a fragile endemic tree species that grows in the high elevation regions of the tropical Andes. Waterways in the area, like the scenic Papallacta lagoon, make a good destination for a hike, and you can also get there on a horseback ride. There’s fine wildlife watching in the area, particularly in the cloud forest reserve at Guango
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Río Napo in Ecuador
Map of Best of the Ecuadorian Amazon: 7 Days
Best of the Ecuadorian Amazon: 7 Days

Leave the cold climes of Quito and descend to the sinuous rivers and sticky jungle of the Ecuadorian Amazon, one of the most bio-diverse places on Earth. On this 7-day itinerary, you will wildlife-spot along mighty waterways, climb into rainforest canopies, brave some of South America’s best white-water rapids and bathe in beautiful thermal pools. If you are set on exploring the Amazon, Ecuador is one of the best places to do it.

Ziplining towards a waterfall near the town of Baños
Map of Ecuador Highlands & Amazon - 7 Days
Ecuador Highlands & Amazon - 7 Days

This action-packed 7-day tour of Ecuador is perfect for travelers searching for adventure, culture and spectacular scenery all within a few hours' drive from the capital Quito. The trip begins with a thrilling bike ride down an active volcano and continues with hikes in the cloud forest, a climb up a waterfall and visits to an indigenous community. There will be plenty of opportunities to unwind too, with stops at hot springs and a quiet, mountainside hacienda.

"Chagras" Cowboys in Cotopaxi National Park
Map of Trekking in Ecuador's Highlands: Cotopaxi, Chimborazo, & More - 14 Days
Trekking in Ecuador's Highlands: Cotopaxi, Chimborazo, & More - 14 Days

Spend two weeks exploring mountainous landscapes in a country that's equally famous for its volcanoes and rainforest. From Quito's colonial city center to the high-elevation hacienda refuge on Cotopaxi, you'll trek through historic sites and stunning nature. Spot rare Andean condors, haggle for goods at a mountain market, summit volcanoes, and more. 

Artisan Market
Map of Culture & Nature in Ecuador: Quito, Otavalo, Amazon, Chimborazo, & Cotopaxi - 14 Days
Culture & Nature in Ecuador: Quito, Otavalo, Amazon, Chimborazo, & Cotopaxi - 14 Days

The landscapes of Ecuador's mainland are as varied as the people who live there, and you'll get to experience both nature and culture on this 14-day itinerary. Meet the locals who call these regions home and learn about their history, way of life and relationship to Ecuador's landscapes. From the Otavaleños and Afro-Ecuadorians in the north and the Quichua and Shuar in the rainforest to the Kichwa in the central Andes, you'll dive deep into everyday life and explore Ecuador's nature. 

Hoatzin in Yasuni National Park
Map of Nature & Culture in Ecuador: Quito and the Amazon Rainforest - 7 Days
Nature & Culture in Ecuador: Quito and the Amazon Rainforest - 7 Days

If you want to visit Ecuador but can't decide between city or rainforest life, this itinerary has the best of both worlds. Start in Quito to see colonial churches and visit the equatorial line, then head to the Amazon rainforest. Spend three days in Yasuni National Park relaxing at an ecolodge, panning for gold in a stream, and learning to make chocolate the authentic way. 

Other popular travel destinations in Ecuador
Quito · Cotopaxi · Otavalo · Baños · The Amazon · Riobamba · Quilotoa · Cuenca · Guayaquil · Mindo · Yasuni National Park · Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve · Tena · Archidona · Lago Agrio · Isinliví · Cacha