Quito Area

  • Rucu Pichincha summit ridge  - © Flickr User - Robert Nunn
  • Pasochoa  - © Flickr User - Emma
  • Pululahua from rim
  • Pichinchas  - © Flickr User - Robert Nunn
  • Pichincha from Guago - © Flickr User - Robert Nunn
  • © Flickr user - Bella Vista
  • © Flickr user - Bella Vista
  • Pasochoa - © Flickr User - Emma
  • Pasochoa from Ruminahui flank

Key information: Quito Area


    • A huge selection of fabulous day walking from Ecuador's capital.

Walkopedia rating

  • Walkopedia rating87
  • Beauty34
  • Natural interest17
  • Human interest3
  • Charisma33
  • Negative points0
  • Total rating87

Vital Statistics

  • Length: Variable
  • Maximum Altitude: Your Choice
  • Level of Difficulty: Variable
Pasochoa  - © Flickr User - Emma


 There are numerous fine day walks around Quito, which provide excellent opportunities to acclimatize after arrival.

Consider also basing yourself in the Otavalo Area for superb walking options.

There is a plethora of great walks here, from short explorations to multi-dayers:

The Pichincha Volcanoes: a pair of volcanoes (one active) to the west of Quito. Ruca Pichincha is accessible by cable car from Quito, to 4,000m where you can tailor your walking to fit your state of acclimatization. Superb views as well as geological fascination.

Pululahua Crater: Pululahua Geobotanical Reserve, north of Quito is a fascinating place to explore on foot, a deep caldera some 5km across with exceptionally rich and varied vegetation and wildlife on its slopes, and covered on its outside in dense forests with farmland on its fertile floor.

Bellavista Nature Reserve: This magnificent tract of steep cloud forest harbours an extraordinary diversity of bird and plant life, including a delightful selection of humming birds. Explore these mysterious, often misty slopes on an excellent network of paths.

Cerro Atacazo: Another spectacular, eroded volcano with superb views, in the western cordillera. A steady ascent until you reach the crater rim, where the (visual) fireworks really start. You can get close to the top (an hour or so) with a 4WD, so a good acclimatization day walk.

El Chaupi: A gorgeous walk across rough paramo, taking in three minor peaks. Huge views of surrounding volcanoes, and also of lovely farmland valleys, so a delightful variety to enjoy. This is a (relatively) lower-level walk, so a good acclimatizer.

Cerro Pasochoa: This heavily eroded extinct volcano has superb views of the Avenue of Volcanoes. It is a day walk but would be demanding if you are fairly recently arrived. There are several approaches, and you can choose from a selection of trails on its slopes.

Papallacta Lake District: Beautiful glacially scoured lakes and mountains near Ecuador's best hot springs.

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We have a lot of helpful practical information and tips about this walk, covering everything from the best books and maps, to timing and weather, geting there, possible problems, whether you need a guide and where to find them, and useful websites. This section is only open to members.

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Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.

Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

Pichinchas  - © Flickr User - Robert Nunn

share your experiences

Add your experiences, suggestions and photos. We would be delighted to receive your writing and ideas (which will be attributed appropriately where published).

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

Pichincha from Guago - © Flickr User - Robert Nunn...

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