Recent Searches
Clear
Things to do in Ecuador

Things to do in  Ecuador

Welcome to Ecuador

Ecuador, though one of the continent's smallest countries, is a microcosm of South America: Andean peaks, dense Amazon rain forest, sandy beaches, smoking volcanoes, big cities, and diverse wildlife showcase the region's allure. The jewels in Ecuador's urban crown are Quito, the capital, and Cuenca, about 285 miles (460 kilometers) apart and each home to their own colonial architecture, charming plazas, and outstanding food joints. In the former, ride the Teleferico (cable car) up a mountain to see the city from above and enjoy a hike or horseback tour at the top; meanwhile, in the latter, make the most of nearby small artisan villages such as Gualaceo and Chordeleg. The isolated and volcanic Galapagos Islands sit 885 miles (1423 kilometers) from shore, meaning multi-day island-hopping cruises are pretty much the only way to experience the archipelago's biodiversity. Back on the mainland, natural wonders range from the greenery of Mindo Nambillo Cloud Forest to the high mountain browns and whites of Cotopaxi National Park, both accessible on day-trips from Quito. Otavalo Market and The Middle of the World Monument (Mitad del Mundo) provide a cultural introduction the country. If you want to surf on the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean, cosmopolitan Guayaquil serves as an excellent base, while the small town of Baños—named for its thermal hot springs—lures thrill-seekers looking to go white-water rafting, ziplining, or canyoning; and offers proximity to both Ecuador's Amazon rain forests and the snow-capped peaks of the Andes.

Top 10 attractions in Ecuador

#1
Cotopaxi National Park

Cotopaxi National Park

star-5917
With sweeping plains, rocky mountain trails, and glassy lagoons, Ecuador’s largest and most-visited national park is a spectacular setting for an outdoor adventure. Located along the Pacific Ring of Fire, Cotopaxi National Park is most famous for the much-photographed Cotopaxi volcano, the highest active volcano in South America.More
#2
Quilotoa Lagoon

Quilotoa Lagoon

star-5468
Quilotoa Lagoon was formed when a now-extinct volcano collapsed and the resulting crater was filled with a startling emerald-green lake, the color resulting from volcanic minerals. Just south of Quito, the village and lagoon of Quilotoa have become a popular day-trip destination, affording spectacular views and photo opportunities.More
#3
Middle of the World Monument (La Mitad del Mundo)

Middle of the World Monument (La Mitad del Mundo)

star-5578
The Middle of the World Monument (La Mitad del Mundo) commemorates the site where the 18th-century French explorer Charles Marie de la Condamine once calculated the globe's equatorial line. A trapezoidal monument in the center of the park houses a viewing platform; a small museum on the equator pays tributes to local indigenous cultures.More
#4
Termas de Papallacta Spa

Termas de Papallacta Spa

star-5201
For a day of pampering, drive from Quito through the Amazon rainforest to this privately-owned hotel spa and resort. Set on 625 acres (253 hectares) between the Cayambe and Antiisana volcanoes, Termas de Papallacta Spa features several natural thermal baths and nature trails along the banks of the Papallacta, a gentle river that flows across the property.More
#5
Mindo Cloud Forest

Mindo Cloud Forest

star-5208
Stretching over 48,000 acres (19,200 hectares) and reaching heights of 15,700 feet (4,778 meters), the Mindo Cloud Forest—part of the Mindo-Nambillo Ecological Reserve—is one of the most biologically diverse forests in the world.More
#6
Devil's Nose Railroad (Nariz del Diablo)

Devil's Nose Railroad (Nariz del Diablo)

star-519
Back in the early 20th century, in the heyday of trains and train travel, the railway connecting Guayaquil with Quito was one of the world’s best tracks. Aside from the fact it reduced the trip from nine days down to two, what made the line such global fame was the near vertical, harrowing ascent up the mountainous “Devil’s Nose.” Rising over 2,000 vertical feet in only 7 miles, the track was engineered in a way that the train goes forward—and then in reverse—as it climbs up the switchbacking track. The building process was laced with tragedy, from snakebites and floods to deaths, but finally the track in 1908 was complete between the two cities. By the late 1970s, however, road travel had made trains impractical and the tracks were in disrepair, until the government spruced up the Devil’s Nose and made it a high end draw. While it’s no longer possible to ride on the roof of the carriages like travelers of old, the views looking down in the valleys are just as spine-tingling and steep as before, and this marvel of modern engineering continues to thrive to this day.More
#7
Cotopaxi Volcano

Cotopaxi Volcano

star-5270
The Cotopaxi Volcano, one of South America’s most famous peaks and Ecuador’s most active volcano, is perhaps the most recognizable landmark along Ecuador’s Avenue of the Volcanoes. On a clear day, you can see the snow-capped cone all the way from Quito, but a closer exploration requires a trip to Cotopaxi National Park.More
#8
El Cajas National Park

El Cajas National Park

star-5279
With its rolling lakelands, ancient quinua woods and sprawling cloud forest set against a jagged skyline of rocky peaks, the El Cajas National Park is a natural playground for adventurous travelers. Famous for its array of native wildlife, the park plays host to white-tailed deer, pumas, tapirs, llamas, Andean gulls and Violet-tailed Metaltail, as well as rare species like Andean condor and cougar, and colorful flora like wild orchids and rare bromeliads.The 29,000-hectare reserve is dotted with some 230 lakes and a vast network of walking trails, making it a prime spot for hiking, fly-fishing, horseback riding and camping. Notable highlights include the Tres Cruces and Avilahuyco viewpoints, Lake Toreadora, the Taitachungo Lagoon and Lagartococha.More
#9
Otavalo Market

Otavalo Market

star-5444
Nestled in a valley at the foot of a volcano 57 miles (92 kilometers) north of Quito, Otavalo is a highland community of indigenous locals famous for their weaving skills and colorful textiles. The local Otavaleños who sell their wares at the daily market wear traditional clothing and have maintained their culture, way of dress, and identity.More
#10
Telefériqo Quito

Telefériqo Quito

star-5202
Telefériqo Quito’s cable car whisks passengers up the Pichincha volcano in glass gondolas. The 1.5-mile (2.5-kilometer) journey up the mountain offers what are perhaps the best panoramic views of the city and ends at the Cruz Loma plateau, where hiking trails lead to Rucu Pichincha, one of the volcano’s twin peaks.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 2 Days in Quito

How to Spend 2 Days in Quito

How to Spend 1 Day in Quito

How to Spend 1 Day in Quito

Top activities in Ecuador

Half Day Bay Tour in Santa Cruz Island

Special Offer

Half Day Bay Tour in Santa Cruz Island

star-5
1
From
$56.70
$63.00  $6.30 savings

Recent reviews from experiences in Ecuador

star-5
A 2 day master class in Ecuador!
Deb_M, Jan 2022
2 Day Private Tour to Otavalo Market & surroundings from Quito
There was no topic Diego couldn’t discuss proficiently in English!
star-5
Driver was very helpful...
Kelly_M, Aug 2021
Quito Airport Arrival Transfer to Hotel
We spoke a simple English and Spanish conversation and he told us more about Quito and Ecuador
star-5
Great experience
JensPeter_O, Dec 2021
Mindo Cloud Forest Private Day Tour
Drove to the cloud forrest and took the open cable car to the other side of the wally and walked down to the water fall and then up to the car park again.
star-5
Can’t say enough!
Lizy_J, Nov 2021
Baños full day tour from Quito including all entrances and activities
If you are concerned about an English Speaking guide, she is great or even better.
star-5
Awesome, reliable, prompt service...highly recommended!
James_E, Nov 2021
Private Transfers to and from Quito Airport
They met us inside the terminal, made sure there was an English-speaking person on each leg, and got us to the hotel quickly and safely.
star-5
Great service and commitment!
James_E, Sep 2021
Private Transfers to and from Quito Airport
I guess they didn't have a driver who could speak English so another staff member came along.
star-5
Hummingbirds, Middle of the World, and beer with Wilson
Lori_P, Sep 2021
Middle Of The World, Hummingbirds Paradise, and Craft Beer Tasting
It was so cool to see the location and how folks were farming the fertile land inside the crater.
star-5
This trip is a must!!
Kelly_M, Sep 2021
Baños full day tour from Quito including all entrances and activities
The banos and extreme activities were once and a life time experiences.
star-5
Great tour Great guides!!
Lauren_W, Aug 2021
Full-Day Mindo Magical Town Tour Small Group
We got to take a quick ride on a cable car across the forest and on our hike we got to see 6 waterfalls.
star-5
Excellent tour by the best tour guide ever
Susanne_D, Aug 2021
Half day. Churute Forests, Estuary & Birds Sightings (Departure from Guayaquil)
Simon speaks impeccable English and Spanish which would make the experience excellent for many.
star-5
Excellent day trip!
Dwayne_B, Jul 2021
Full-Day Ingapirca, Gualaceo & Chordeleg from Cuenca
We don't usually take guided tours, but this tour included two things we really wanted to visit: Ingapirca and the Casa de la Makana in Gualaceo.
star-5
Great trip for nature and adventure
Ekta_C, Apr 2021
Baños and Upper Amazon Day Trip
We also did zip lining, waterfalls and zero G swing.
star-5
Great private tour in Banos with Pedro!
Jean_C, Dec 2020
Baños Tour from Quito - 1 Day- Private Tour
We had a comfortable ride from our hotel in Quito to Banos with amazing stops of the waterfalls, Casa del arbol, and Pailon del Diablo.
star-5
Full day bath
Arthur_G, Feb 2020
Full Day Baths
He was super nice, very knowledgeable and communicated with us in English very well (we know very little Spanish).
star-5
Gabriel is the best!
Jklish49, Oct 2019
Cultural Tour Laguna Quilotoa: Hiking and Descent to the Lagoon all included
Also he spoke great English.
star-5
The Cloud Forest is beautiful from...
Laura G, Apr 2018
Mindo Day Tour including Chocolate Tasting, Hummingbirds, and Cloud Forest Hike
The Cloud Forest is beautiful from the hummingbirds to tasting organic rainforest coffee and street food - on the way there to a hike to a waterfall and gondola ride over the rainforest to an Ecuadorian lunch and tour of the cacao farm.
star-5
Fantastic experience. I highly...
Tim H, Jul 2017
Full-Day Tour Cotopaxi National Park - All included from Quito
Daniel took us to Cotopaxi via back roads so we go to see local view.
star-5
The trip was well organized, the...
Carlos T, Jan 2017
Full Day Quito City Tour Including Teleférico and Mitad del Mundo
He was intelligent well informed and spoke great English.
star-5
Excellent tour...William our English...
Donna_P, Feb 2017
Otavalo, Cotacachi and Cuicocha Tour With Optional Hotel Pick-Up - "Small Group"
William our English guide was very informed of the people's, cultures and area...
star-5
Wonderful trip..our guide Natalia...
Donna_P, Feb 2017
Private Tour: Middle of the World & Pululahua Crater. All entrances included!
our guide Natalia spoke perfect English..
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the top things to do in Ecuador?
Q:
What are the top activities in Ecuador?
Q:
What are the top things to do near Ecuador?
A:
Check out things to do near Ecuador:
Q:
What do I need to know before visiting Ecuador?