10 Best Day Trips From Quito, Ecuador - Updated 2021

day trips from quito

Why must you visit Quito in Ecuador? This city is a splendid place where visitors can explore its volcanoes, seasons, sister cities, and many more! Sitting at 2,850 m (9,350 ft) above sea level, it is considered as the highest constitutional capital in the world. As a famous tourist destination, the city offers modern and colonial beauty that gives a welcoming vibe for everyone. Quito is also surrounded by eight of Ecuador’s 19 volcanoes. To be declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Quito has an old town district. In the area, visitors can enjoy colonial regions, restaurants, shops, and colorful architecture. Find out more about the best day trips from Quito, Ecuador, below.

1. Quilotoa Lagoon (from USD 64.0)

day trips from quito | quilotoa lagoon
Source: Viator

The distance from Quito to Quilotoa Lagoon is about 111 miles (178 kilometers). What can you expect during a day trip to the magnificent Quilotoa Lagoon from Quito? Visitors will discover traditional Andean communities like a local. Visit a local market as a highlight of this tour, meet with a local Andean family, or enjoy Quilotoa’s hiking trail to reach the crater of the volcano—which has an amazing body of water. This tour will bring you a day away from the busy city, suitable for families and first-time travelers. It’s a fun day tour that is challenging and worth it.

Quilotoa Shared Day Trip from Quito

Duration: 12 hours

10 reviews

2. Baños de Agua Santa (from USD 199.0)

Situated in the province of Tungurahua with an elevation of 1,820 meters (5,971 feet), Baños de Agua Santa provides interesting activities. The distance between Quito and Baños de Agua Santa is approximately 109 miles (175 kilometers). Rock climbing, jumping bridges, rafting, waterfalls, canyoning, horseback riding, mountain biking, and ecological walks are some of the activities that you should indulge in to gain amazing experiences. Visitors will stop by Salasaca Handicraft Market, a lovely market where you can buy diverse items such as handicrafts, textiles, or souvenirs. There is also a possibility to meet the native ladies with Andes’ casual dresses, spinning sheep wool. Moreover, visitors can enjoy La Casa del Arbol Runtun Village at the foot of Mama Tungurahua volcano. You also can admire Goyan Waterfall that presents a magnificent landscape.

Baños Tour from Quito - 1 Day- Private Tour

Duration: 8 hours

1 review

3. Papallacta Hot Springs (from USD 129.0)

This tour will take you on an adventure to Eastern Cordillera to enjoy stunning mountain views without the hard climb. It’s well worth the two-hour drive from Quito to Papallacta Hot Springs. Travelers will take a short hike through the Eastern Andes slopes to enjoy the hot springs at Termas de Papallacta. You can also explore Thermal Hot Springs Resort. A personal guide will accompany you on a private round-trip so you can enjoy and relax during the tour.

Quito to Papallacta Hot Springs Private Full-Day Trip

Duration: 7 to 8 hours

1 review

4. Cotopaxi National Park (from USD 98.0)

Located an hour and a half away or about 49 miles (79 kilometers) from the capital of Ecuador, Quito, Cotopaxi is considered as one of the best areas to stop by. Start the adventure with an Andean beverage, such as wayusa tea or coca. Travelers can enjoy Ecuador’s highest active volcano, especially in Cotopaxi National Park. Visitors can explore the unique biological diversity that encircles the valley. Moreover, you can enjoy the beauty of Limpiopungo Lagoon, including wildlife in the entrance area. You can also marvel at the scenic view of the volcanoes. Further, travelers will have a stopover in Limpio Pungo Lagoon to watch various native Andean birds.

Cotopaxi volcano day tour

Duration: 8 to 9 hours

5. Antisana Volcano (from USD 129.0)

If you are a nature lover, join this day trip to discover Andean landscapes, situated about an hour to the east of Quito. This private day trip is from Quito to Antisana Ecological Reserve—home to several endangered flora and fauna—accompanied by a personal guide to hiking around. At Ecuador’s fourth-highest volcano, you can discover rare flora and fauna of the region. Relax through a nature hike with amazing views of the Antisana volcano. The area is notable for birdlife like Andean gulls, black-faced ibis, brown-speckled teal, silvery grebe, and more.

Quito to Antisana Volcano Private Full-Day Trip with Admission

Duration: 9 hours

6. Pasochoa Reserve (from USD 130.0)

Situated an hour and 15 minutes away from Quito, Pasochoa Reserve is a perfect destination for trekking and hiking, with several difficulty levels. Within the 500 hectares (1,236 acres) covered by the Pasochoa area, travelers can learn impressive diverse species, including 127 bird species, 232 flora varieties, and 10 types of mammals. Experience the beautiful landscapes of Ecuador with a local guide and take pictures of the splendid views.

Private Service: Hiking Tour in Pasochoa Reserve

Duration: 8 hours

7. Museum of Tulipe, Reserve of Bellavista and Mital del Mundo (from USD 189.0)

Explore diverse Ecuador’s top destinations with this great day trip—it’s about an hour and 44 minutes from Quito. You will be guided by a local private guide to Nanegalito to taste various specialties of the area, including cheese with dulce de leche. You will then stop by World Museum on the equator. Further, you can discover the outdoor Museum of Tulipe, enjoy coffee at Reserve of Bellavista, and admire the appealing landscapes. A thing to note is that Bellavista Reserve is the first area declared by Birdlife International as part of the Mindo Area of International Importance for Birds in South America in 1997.

Quito to Nanegalito: Bellavista Cloud Forest and Equator Tour

Duration: 8 hours

1 review

8. Cayambe Volcano

Cayambe-volcano 008
Source: Photo by user [Unknown] used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Ecuador is a dream destination for many active travelers, mostly due to its high volcanoes. Intense climbing adventures make it an extraordinary place to have a South American holiday. You can join a day tour to Cayambe Volcano, located about 40 miles (65 kilometers) outside of Quito. This day tour will depart from Quito and give you the rare opportunity of standing close to a glacier on the equator. After taking a short hike, you will see spectacular ice towers shaped by the glacier flowing down from the volcano.

9. Otavalo (from USD 156.0)

This full-day trip to Otavalo from Quito with a maximum of 12 people will give you a taste of everything. The distance from Quito to Otavalo is approximately 37 miles (59 kilometers). This tour offers a personalized experience of life in a conventional Andean town, including spectacular views, wildlife encounters, local culinary, and shopping. Travelers will love San Pablo Lake, Imbabura Volcano, as well as the amazing Parque Condor’s birds of prey, such as Andean condors, hawks, and eagles. Also, you will explore the natural heritage of Otavalo. Moreover, travelers can stop by a traditional craft market to buy several souvenirs such as jewelry, paintings, tapestries, and blankets.

Quito to Otavalo Day Trip with Craft Market and Parque Condor

Duration: 10 hours

6 reviews

10. Mindo Nambillo Cloud Forest Reserve (from USD 335.0)

mindo nambillo cloud forest reserve

Travelers can join this eight-hour private tour of Mindo Nambillo Cloud Forest Reserve from Quito to see Ecuador’s various natural landscapes closely. You can explore a tropical rainforest, waterfalls, and breezing rivers that can be reached about two hours of driving from Quito. Travelers will be guided to trek through the forest and meet diverse woodlands creatures, along with watching the birds, parrots, and insects. Moreover, you can select the hike’s level of difficulty to guarantee the best adventure. Last but not least, visitors will be brought to a butterfly garden to learn about 18 local species in their natural habitat.

Private Tour: Mindo Nambillo Cloud Forest Reserve from Quito

Duration: 8 hours

6 reviews

Experience attractions you won’t find elsewhere

Quito, Ecuador, is a spectacular destination for a vacation, one that you won’t find elsewhere. Its unique charm and natural beauty have made it an ideal choice in the country. During your getaway, don’t forget to join one of the top day trips from Quito listed here for your reference.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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One thing that excites me when I lived or traveled outside Indonesia (Europe, Asia, and the US) is the chance to learn new experiences: "I travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape me."

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