The best hiking trails in Ecuador

Tural Musayev 12 December 2021 88 views 5 min. read

Before getting information about where is the best hiking in Ecuador, let's look at this beautiful country more broadly. Ecuador is best known for the Galapagos Islands, but the fourth smallest country in South America has a lot more to offer. Ecuador is a South American country in the northern part of the continent. Ecuador has made important contributions to environmental science and is one of the world's most environmentally diverse countries. Charles-Marie de La Condamine of France led the first scientific expedition to measure the circumference of the Earth, which took place in Ecuador. Furthermore, a study conducted in Ecuador by prominent naturalists Alexander von Humboldt of Prussia and Charles Darwin of England contributed to developing current geography, ecology, and evolutionary biology theories. Ecuador is a country with a diverse cultural heritage. Much of what is now Ecuador was part of the Inca empire, pre-Columbian America's greatest political unit. Ecuador had become known for trying to export Panama hats (straw hats named after being shipped to Panama in the mid-18th century and purchased by travelling gold seekers, as well as being worn by Panama Canal construction crews in the early 19th century) and agricultural products, particularly cacao (the source of cocoa beans), bananas, and flowers. It is a major petroleum exporter as well as a growing tourism destination. Political and economic issues have characterized its history, including long periods of military control, boom-and-bust economic cycles, and unequal income distribution. Ecuador is unusual among Latin American countries in that it contains two major population and economic hubs, with Guayaquil, a vibrant port city, providing a contrast to Quito, the nation's capital, which is situated in the Andes mountains in the north-central region. Now, it is time to look at mountain hiking in Ecuador with the guide of Pickvisa!

Where is the best hiking in Ecuador?

view from the highway in ecuador

Even though Ecuador is a small country, it is home to some of South America's most beautiful and lesser-known Ecuador hiking trails. Here is our list of the top mountain hiking in Ecuador, ranging from high-altitude mountains and volcanic paths to lovely coastline routes.

Quilotoa Loop

amazing quilotoa lagoon

The first Ecuador volcano hike is Quilotoa Loop. Quilotoa Lake is an ethereal, emerald green lake that fills the crater of the Quilotoa volcano, which reaches a height of 3,914m (12,841ft) above sea level. You may hike a four-day circle in the region around the volcano if you're up for a challenge and are already acclimated to the high altitude, passing through little villages like Quilotoa, Chugchilán, Isinlivi, and Sigchos along the route. The Quilotoa Shalala Overlook is the shortest hiking Ecuador, taking no more than an hour from the Quilotoa parking lot.

Cuicocha Lake

cuicocha crater lake

Cuicocha lake is one of the best hiking in Ecuador. The deep blue Cuicocha Lake, which translates to Guinea Pig Lake, was named from the shape of the largest island, which is said to resemble the fuzzy critter. The crater was formed some 3,100 years ago, and the trip around the lake is slightly under 14.4 kilometres long and may easily be accomplished in a day or half-day. If you don't want to go that far, hire a kayak or go on a boat tour of the island.

Cajas National Park

cajas mountainsCajas National Park

is located between 3,100m and 4,450m above sea level in hiking near Cuenca Ecuador, Azuay province. Because the national park is so large – 70,000 acres – it's best to plan to pick which walks you want to do, as they range in length from a few hours to a few days, considering the best Ecuador hiking trails. Alternatively, there are numerous organized trips that you can join for a single day or multiple days. Two of the eight marked trails, which meander through forests and páramo (grassy shrubland above the treeline typical of South America) and start at the information center, vary in lengths and difficulty. After hiking near Cuenca Ecuador, let's look at Tortuga Bay.

Tortuga Bay

beach at tortuga bay

Don't worry if high-altitude hiking isn't your thing for the best hiking in Ecuador. On Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos Islands, Tortuga Bay is a lovely trek with the possibility of seeing rare animals. Starting from Puerto Ayora, hiking Ecuador takes about an hour, and the most beautiful portion of the route is when you reach Brava Beach. Many Marine Iguanas can be found relaxing in the shade here. Playa Mansa is the nicest beach for swimming along the trip. Remember to carry plenty of water because it can get rather hot.

Rucu Pichincha

rucu pichincha

Rucu Pichincha is a 4,784m volcano located just outside of Quito, Ecuador's capital and suitable for Ecuador volcano hike. The cable car ride to the start of the hiking trail costs $8 (£5.81). It will take you three to four hours to walk to the volcano's summit from the cable car and two to three hours to return. Along the route, you'll witness a variety of unusual birds, including the Curiquingue, the Incas' sacred bird. It's preferable to hike up Pichincha in a group with a local guide unless you're an expert climber. Remember to bring lots of warm clothing and water.

Cotopaxi National Park

tourists hiking in cotopaxi national park

When you get your Ecuador visa from Pickvisa, you should visit Cotopaxi National Park. The Cotopaxi Volcano is one of the world's highest active volcanoes, rising to a summit elevation of 5,897m (19,347ft) above sea level, making it Ecuador's second-highest mountain. The last time it erupted was between 2015 and 2016 when it was briefly blocked to hikers. Hiking at this altitude necessitates extensive preparation and is not recommended for those suffering from vertigo or other health problems. Within the national park, there are several less strenuous hikes as well as numerous suitable camping areas. If you want to get a close look at an active volcano, hike up to the first shelter, which shouldn't take more than an hour to reach.

Machalilla National Park

beach in parque nacional machalilla

When you travel to Ecuador, Machalilla should be on your list. Machalilla National Park is one of the most comprehensive protected areas on Ecuador's Pacific coast, containing tropical dry forest, cloud forest, desert, and coastal ecosystems. It is located in the Manab region of western Ecuador. The park's isolated Isla de La Plata, located about 40 kilometres off the mainland, is home to many Blue-Footed Boobies and Magnificent Frigatebirds. Join a guided tour from Puerta Lopez to get here. Playa Los Frailes, on the mainland, is one of Ecuador's most stunning beaches, with pristine white sand, hidden rocky coves, and warm, clear water.

Hiking in Quito Ecuador

tourist hiking in quitoQuito

has become a popular destination for hikers and trekkers. Some visitors come to climb Chimborazo, the world's highest peak. Others come for gentler hikes in the city's surrounding highlands and volcanoes. This list of the best hiking paths in or hiking in Quito Ecuador has something for everyone, regardless of hiking expertise.

Chimborazo volcano

chimborazo volcano

Another destination will be available if you get your Ecuador visa. It is called Chimborazo. At 6,263 meters tall, Chimborazo is the highest point on the planet as measured from the planet's core rather than sea level. Multiple trails go to the summit of this hill in Riobamba's southern region, but you must be well prepared for the struggle — it is not for the faint of heart.

Parque Metropolitano

green path

Head to Parque Metropolitano in the northern Batan Alto district if you're new to Quito (or just want a short trek). It covers 600 hectares. There are marked trails here that include a 10-kilometre circuit with side paths if you want to go a little more adventurous. The volcanoes Cotopaxi, Cotacachi, Cayambe, and Antisana, can all be seen from the park.

The Pululahua

agriculture fields

The crater of the extinct Pululahua volcano is the largest in South America, measuring 4 kilometres across and 300 meters deep. The crater's lush surface is 2.4 kilometres broad and is being utilized to cultivate vegetables. Catch a bus to Mitad del Mundo, an equatorial memorial, and then another vehicle to Pululahua's Reserva Geobotanica.

Hiking trails in Banos Ecuador


The town of Banos de Agua Santa is located in the Ecuadorian highlands, in the province of Tungurahua. Baos is known as the "Door to the Amazon," as it is the final city before entering the Ecuadorian Amazon, or as "South America's Capital of Adventure Sports," due to the variety of extreme sports available in this small town. Visiting waterfalls, canopy, bungee jumping, rafting, zip-lining, climbing around the Tungurahua volcano, mountaineering, adventure cycling, kayaking, canyoning, paragliding, or swinging on one of the world's most famous swings are just a few of the extreme sports available in Baos. Mineral-rich hot springs can also be found at Baos. Daily tours and one-week excursions to the jungle and hot springs are available from Baos de Agua Santa. Because of hiking trails in Banos Ecuador, the big mountainous area is perfect for visiting or participating in adventure activities. For all your questions regarding Ecuador visa, please visit our site -

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