Quito, Ecuador » Entertainment » Activities

Quito is a great place to enjoy outdoor activities like walking and hiking, as it is blessed with beautiful countryside and great hiking trails. There are many parks like Parque Metropolitano where you can enjoy a day out, have a picnic with your family and enjoy the view of the Pichincha Volcano and valleys of Tumbaco and San Rafael.

Top 10 Activities To Do in and Around Quito

Mountain Climbing

Quito is situated in the valley of the Andes mountain range, surrounded by ten peaks suitable for serious mountain climbing. Many tourists have experienced climbing the Chimborazo Mountain and the active volcano Cotopaxi. Both these mountains tower beyond 5,000m making the hike more enjoyable. The best-loved sites for mountain climbing are Cotopaxi, Pichincha, and Cayambe volcanoes.

Mountain Biking

Wheeling down the tracks of mountains as your feet rotate the paddle continuously, mountain biking is an exciting way of having a 360-degree view of the countryside horizon, the mountains, natural vegetation, and the plains. The adrenaline rush of plunging from one mountain to the plains below is a lifetime experience.

The Cotopaxi Full Circuit is a two-day tour where you get to befriend the active volcano of Cotopaxi, known for its birth and growth in the form of lava and mudflows.

The cloud forests of Mindo will surely tire you as you travel through the dense, foggy vegetation, come in contact with the wet drops of waterfalls, listen to the sweet singing of hummingbirds, and have a glimpse of the life of villagers of Nono and Tandayapa.

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Walking and Hiking

The Cotopaxi Volcano area is a great place to enjoy hiking as you get to view volcanic formations such as mud and lava flows.

Another popular spot is Pichincha Volcano which is accessible by the El Teleferico cable car. Once you reach the volcano, you can enjoy a hiking trail and watch the biological diversity of the volcano on your way.

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Rafting and Kayaking

Mountains of the Andes range and the roaring rivers venting their anger as they meet the sea. Quito is a dream place for white water rafters and kayakers. And when the rainy season takes over, the rafters’ happiness knows no bounds.

Rafting through the rivers and tributaries of Toachi, Blanco, Río Quíjos, Macas, Río Upano, and the Namangosa Gorge are hard to pass. The different Grades (I, II, III, and IV) make the paddling of blades harder and harder. But as you meet the San Rafael waterfalls and Papallacta hot springs after plunging up and down different Grades of rivers, the thermal waters will relax your nerves and calm your excitement.

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Quito is a nature's paradise and has several natural reserves and zoos that house various land animals, aquatic animals, and birds. The wide range of species that the Amazon tropical forests offer can also be seen in Ecuador.

Some of the interesting places to visit are Quito Zoo (Guayllabamba), Parque Cóndor rehabilitation project (Otavalo), and Zoologico San Martin (Banos). Rare species like Galápagos Tortoise, Andean Spectacled Bear, and Andean Condor are provided shelter in the zoos.


Quito and the surrounding areas are bird watcher's paradise as they offer protection to some of the rare bird species in the world. More than 1600 birds build their nests in the Quito region, with the Mindo-Nambillo Forest reserve housing 500 birds. Other protected areas offering bird watching opportunities are Cotopaxi, Cayambe-Coca, Cotacachi-Cayapas.

Of all of them, Mindo ranks as the top destination for avid 'twitchers'. Mindo's neighbouring valley of Tandayapa is also equally interesting to capture bird photos. Cotopaxi National Park is also an interesting place that birdwatchers love to visit.

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Pack up your sack, hire trekking and camping equipment and let yourself free in the countryside to explore the Andes mountains, rivers, plains, and grasslands. There are many sites in and around Quito that offer excellent opportunities for nature lovers. The Los Cedros Ecological Reserve with 6,000-hectares of virgin forests in the El Chocó region is a paradise for trekkers and scientists.

Cotopaxi National Park, a wonderful reserved national park, offers an interesting walking trail from Panzaleo to Limpiopungo to discover the beauty of the Cotopaxi volcano. The woodlands of Cayambe-Coca Ecological Reserves have a rich diversity of flora and fauna at a higher altitude of 3,400m. As you enjoy camping by the lakeside, the magnificent view of the snow-capped Cayambe is sure to enthral you.

Horseback Riding

Horseback riding is fast becoming a popular way of enjoying your holidays. Haciendas are small countryside inns run by Ecuadorian families whose daily lives revolve around agriculture or dairy farming. Most of them have been turned into full-fledged hotels providing international cuisine and lodging facilities to guests.

Today Horseback riding has become synonymous with hacienda, where tourists get to travel from one hacienda to another as they enjoy each inn's personal welcoming traditions. La Catriona, La Alegría, Volcanoland, and Yanahurco are some of the haciendas developed around the Cotopaxi area.


Certain places of Quito are reserved as "Ciclopaseos" or cycling routes on special days such as Sundays. Every alternate Sunday is celebrated as a ‘Ciclopaseo Cycle Sundays’ where a 10km long route on the city's northern side is freed from cars, taxis, and buses. People paddle cycle, rollerblade, jog, or just walk down the routes. For tourists, the bikes along with a helmet are available on rent.

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Visiting a spa and enjoying various types of treatments like aromatherapy, mineral spa treatment, thermal spa treatment, etc. is popular among tourists. The Papallacta Thermal Springs Resort, Arasha Resort & Spa are resorts with hot thermal springs nestled in their boundaries.

These thermal springs are used to unwind and also as a treatment for people with physical disabilities. The resorts offer facilities like a first-class relaxing stay, high-quality international cuisine, and soothing spa treatments.