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Near Quito

Those looking to escape the capital city do not have to venture far: Enveloped by stunning landscapes of golden grasslands, volcanic peaks and plunging valleys, Quito makes journeys from its bustling borders both convenient and plentiful. On weekends quiteños flee the city to soak in Papallacta’s thermal springs or take a family trip to the pretty pueblos dotted along the quaint Valley of Los Chillos.

Many travelers optimize their stay in Quito by taking day trips to Quito’s surrounding region. In less than two hours, travelers can transport themselves to the tranquility of the pretty páramo. Adrenaline-seekers can take their pick of a variety of volcanoes, including the ultimate rush of conquering the perfectly conical Cotopaxi.

Many trips can be organized through tour operators in town or in all-inclusive packages offered by the highlands’ numerous haciendas. However, independent spirits can simply arm themselves with a map and an open mind. A variety of buses from the city's northern bus stations (Quitumbe and Carcelén) head out into Quito’s surrounding area.

Other neighborhoods in Quito: Plaza Foch, San Marcos, Northern Quito, Calderón, La Floresta, Guápulo, Cumbayá, Pululahua Volcanic Crater, Valley Of Chillos and La Mariscal.

By Rachel Anderson
I'm a twentysomething dandelion floating across the field of youth. I have an unquenchable thirst for writing, exploring and cheap wine. A cross...
25 Oct 2013

Things to do in Near Quito

Thermal Hot Springs

The hot springs are the main attraction at Papallacta. Just behind the Termas de Papallacta hotel and spa (which has its own, private hot springs), these pools are heated by the Antisana Volcano, and ...
Spa/Hot Springs
Papallacta, Near Quito, Quito, Ecuador

Hiking in Papallacta

Papallacta, located approximately 60 kilometers east of Quito, is best known for its magnificent volcanic hot springs. Nevertheless, there is a rewarding three-hour hike through páramo and patches ...
Papallacta, Near Quito, Quito, Ecuador

Green Horse Ranch

108739Green Horse Ranch is located at the bottom of a volcanic crater just outside of Quito. The ranch specializes in trail rides throughout the Western Andes, and offers one- to 12-day trips venturing ...
Horseback Riding
Near Quito, Quito, Ecuador

Pichincha Volcanoes

102620PICHINCHA VOLCANOES Two volcanoes are located about 10 kilometers (6 mi) west of Quito — Guagua and Rucu Pichincha, 4,776 meters (15,670 ft) and 4,627 meters (15,180 ft), respectively. Guagua, ...
Hiking, National Park
Near Quito, Quito, Ecuador

Aldea Puma Sacha

112002An ecological paradise in the middle of the cloud forest, wonderful waterfalls and hike trips to enjoy the mountain and the river. You can stay in your own camping area. There is a modern restroom. ...
Near Quito, Quito, Ecuador

Museo de Sitio Intiñan

128678Just 200 meters (656 ft) north of the Mitad del Mundo monument you will find Ecuador’s actual “middle of the world,\" marked by the Museo de Sitio Intiñan, or Intiñan Musuem. The museum ...
Near Quito, Quito, Ecuador

Pasochoa Volcano

At 4,199 m (13,766 ft), Pasochoa’s lushly vegetated crater and slopes make for an unforgettable day hike. In recent years, due to its beautiful setting and convenient location just 30 kilometers ...
Hiking, National Park
Near Quito, Quito, Ecuador

Horseback Riding Around Quito

If your legs just aren’t up for a massive hike or trek, another great way to enjoy the stunning scenery just outside of Quito is from the back of a horse. A number of larger tour agencies and ...
Horseback Riding
Near Quito, Quito, Ecuador

Quito Zoo

Guayllabamba is 25 minutes north of Quito, and is the home to the Quito Zoo. The zoo has a great showcase of Ecuadorian animals such as the Andean spectacled bear, the Andean condor and the ...
City Park
Guayllabamba, Near Quito, Quito, Ecuador

CochasquĂ­ Archeological Site

CochasquĂ­ is one of the most important archeological sites in northern Ecuador. It was built by the Cara people between 1000 and 500 years ago, probably as an astrological observatory. The site is ...
Guayllabamba, Near Quito, Quito, Ecuador

Parque Jerusalem

Parque Jerusalem (Jerusalén) lies within a protected dry forest (Bosque Protector Jerusalén)–the only such area in Ecuador\'s highlands–in the Guayllabamba Valley, 28 kilometers (17 mi) north ...
Horseback Riding
Guayllabamba, Near Quito, Quito, Ecuador
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