25-day itinerary in Ecuador

Ecuador is a country that has a lot to offer: heavenly beaches, the Amazon rainforest, unique biodiversity, volcanoes, colonial architecture and a very rich culture To see the essentials of this multiple country and take advantage of its many parks essential national, you will need at least three weeks! We have prepared for you a 25-day itinerary in Ecuador.

This circuit will allow you to visit both nature and the main cities of Ecuador, without forgetting the magnificent Galapagos archipelago, located some 1,000 kilometers from the coast of the country. You can of course adapt this itinerary in Ecuador according to your interests and desires.

Quito – the start of your itinerary in Ecuador

You are probably arriving in Ecuador via Quito International Airport, the capital of Ecuador. Quito is an extremely rich city from the historical and cultural point of view. Its historic center has been listed as World Heritage by UNESCO since 1978. In Quito, be sure to visit the main churches, which are real architectural jewels: the Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesús, the Church of San Francisco and the Basílica del Voto Nacional. Take a tour of the museum dedicated to the work and collections of the Ecuadorian painter Oswaldo Guayasamín, as well as the museum that the Capilla del Hombre built in Quito. Stroll through La Carolina and El Ejido parks and wander the aisles of the San Francisco market. Finally, take advantage of your stay in Quito to climb Panecillo Hill, from where you can admire the whole city of Quito.

Recommended length of stay: 2 days

Quito trip to Ecuador

Quito – Otavalo

From Quito, continue with your itinerary in Ecuador and head to the village of Otavalo, a must-see center for the culture of the Otavaleños. It is an indigenous people descended directly from the Cara. In this picturesque and colorful village, you will discover the famous artisanal weaving technique passed down from generation to generation by the Otavaleños. You will come across many men and women dressed in these colorful and hand-woven clothes. You can also admire them at the indigenous handicraft market of Otavalo where ponchos, hats, clothes and woven rugs are sold. Leather bags, pottery, Ecuadorian fruit and vegetables are also sold on the market. The Otavalo market is a destination not to be missed if you want to immerse yourself in Ecuadorian indigenous culture. Taste the food specialties and bring back an authentic souvenir of your trip.

Route: About 1.5 hours by car

Recommended length of stay: 1 full day on site

Otavalo – Cotopaxi Volcano National Park

The national park surrounding the Cotopaxi volcano is one of the most beautiful natural sites in Ecuador. The volcano rises to more than 5,900 meters and it offers incredible landscapes and biodiversity. During your stay in Ecuador, you must spend at least a full day inside the park to discover the hiking and trekking trails. Venture to the Limpiopungo lagoon, a magnificent site which offers a very beautiful panorama of the Cotopaxi National Park. The ideal way to see the maximum of the park is to follow a trek of two to three days: you will have the opportunity to gradually acclimatize to the altitude, observe the flora and fauna of the volcano and contemplate its landscapes. as changeable as sublime.

Route: About 3 hours by car

Recommended length of stay: 2 to 3 days

Cotopaxi National Park

Cotopaxi National Park – Quilotoa

Unlike the Cotopaxi volcano, Quilotoa, located south of the Andes, is now inactive. If after your trek in Cotopaxi National Park, you still want to spend a few days hiking in the heart of nature, embark on the famous trek of the Quilotoa Loop, which will take you between 3 and 5 days. This hike begins in the village of Quilotoa, which is worth visiting for its very typical market, which is almost 4000 meters above sea level. It then climbs to the top of the crater, from where you can admire the volcano and the turquoise blue lagoon that now occupies the interior of the Quilotoa crater. To descend to the lagoon, it takes half an hour and to go around the crater, count four to five hours.

Route: 1 hour and a half to 2 hours by car

Recommended length of stay: 3 to 5 days

Quilotoa volcano, itinerary in Ecuador

Quilotoa – Yasuni National Park

From the Quilotoa volcano, reach the Napo Wildlife Center, gateway to Yasuni National Park. From here, you can hire a guided tour of the heart of the park, located in the heart of the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest and classified as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. Yasuni National Park is the most important protected nature reserve in Ecuador. Its biodiversity is incredibly rich (one of the richest in the world) and you will come across several hundred rare, endemic and endangered species. Thus, more than 4,000 plant species and more than 100 reptile species, 110 amphibian species, 610 bird species, 260 fish species and 200 mammal species are listed inside Yasuni National Park.

During your visit to Yasuni National Park with a guide, you can test unique experiences like sailing along the black water canals aboard a canoe, participating in night walks in the Amazon rainforest, visiting a toucans reserve or parrots or taste guayusa, an energy drink consumed by Kichwa indigenous communities.

Route: between 5 and 6 hours by car

Recommended length of stay: 3 to 4 days

Yasuni National Park – Baños

From Yasuni National Park, continue your itinerary in Ecuador and reach the small village of Baños. It lies at the foot of the Tungurahua volcano at an altitude of more than 1,800 meters. From Baños, you can cross the valley which extends in front of the Tungurahua volcano, where more than 60 majestic waterfalls follow one another. Make sure you don’t miss the Paia de Diablo.It is the tallest waterfall and certainly one of the most beautiful.

Route: about 2.5 hours by car

Recommended length of stay: 1 day

Baños – Patate

Close to Baños, the village of Patate is also worth a visit. From here, you can observe the magnificent and surprising Tungurahua volcano, which rises to more than 5,000 meters. Still active today, it presents landscapes absolutely different from what you know, with its black lava flows. If you are lucky enough to be able to observe an eruption at night, you will have a unique and magical moment.

Due to their proximity to the volcano, Patate and its surroundings offer an incredible biodiversity that can be discovered on hiking trails, on foot, by mountain bike or on horseback. In the area, you can also indulge in sports activities such as rafting or climbing.

Route: Half an hour by car

Recommended length of stay: 1 half day

Patate – Riobamba (Chimborazo)

From Patate, you can easily reach the Chimborazo volcano. Asleep since about 10,000 years ago, this volcano is the highest in Ecuador since it rises to 6,310 meters above sea level. Its peaks are snow-capped throughout the year, which gives it a very special charm. It is possible to climb the volcano. But beware, this ascent is reserved only for confirmed mountaineers. Indeed, the path is not only steep and difficult to practice. But in addition, it climbs to altitudes which will be much too high if you are not used to heights.

The climb of Chimborazo volcano starts in the city of Riobamba. If you do not wish to climb the Chimborazo, stop all the same at Riobamba. You can contemplate the snow-capped peaks of the volcano. Moreover, you can discover the traditions of the indigenous communities, from dance to dress, passing by gastronomy. Located at 2750 meters above sea level, the town of Riobamba is also worth a visit for its historic center where you will see many houses typical of the colonial era.

Route: about 1.5 hours by car

Recommended length of stay: 1 half day

Riobamba, itinerary in Ecuador

Riobamba – Guamote

South of Riobamba, reach the picturesque village of Guamote, which seems frozen in the past. If you are lucky enough to stop there on a Thursday morning, take a trip to the market to taste the fruits and vegetables that you will only find in Ecuador. This market is one of the largest and most beautiful in the country! Guamote is a village which will not fail to disorient you since its population.

Route: about 1 hour by car

Recommended length of stay: 1 half day. If you are visiting Guamote Market, it is recommended that you arrive in the city the day before so that you can start your visit at the earliest, upon opening.

Guamote – Ingapirca

From Guamote, you can reach the site of Ingapirca, an ancient Inca fortress built over 500 years ago. Today it is one of the best preserved Inca constructions in Ecuador. Both a military fortress and a center of religious worship, the site of Ingapirca was probably of major importance during the Inca period. Today, its ruins in a surprising state of conservation are a perfect witness to the architectural advances of the Inca people. It is a place to visit absolutely during your itinerary in Ecuador, especially if you like history, archeology and culture.

Route: between 3 and a half to 4 hours by car

Recommended length of stay: 1 half day

Ingapirca trip to Ecuador

Ingapirca – Cuenca

The colonial city of Cuenca, located not far from the site of Ingapirca, is a must in Ecuador.Iit is one of the most beautiful cities in the country. Its colonial center has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999. It dates from the 16th century and shows very fine examples of colonial and religious architecture.

Don’t miss the Cathedral of the Inmaculada Concepción (“new cathedral”) and the Church of Sagrario (“old cathedral”). Visit the flower market in Plaza de las Flores, the 10 de Agosto food market and the craft market in Plaza de San Francisco. Get to know the Panama, Ecuadorian hat woven by hand, through the exhibitions of the Sombrero Museum, and take a tour of the Museum of Aboriginal Cultures to learn more about the history of the Ecuadorian peoples. Finally, climb up to the Turi viewpoint to enjoy a very beautiful panorama of Cuenca.

Route: about 1.5 hours by car

Recommended length of stay: 2 days

Itinerary in Ecuador

Cuenca – Gualaceo – Chordeleg – Sigsig – Cuenca

From Cuenca, you can take a day trip on the craft route during your itinerary in Ecuador. You will discover the artisanal practices of the indigenous communities of the villages of Gualaceo, Chordeleg and Sigsig.

The village of Gualaceo is renowned for being the birthplace of Ikat. It is an ancient technique of hand weaving and dyeing cotton. If you are in Gualaceo on a Sunday, take the opportunity to stroll through the weekly market where many items of clothing woven using the Ikat technique are sold. The rest of the week, you will have to travel eight kilometers from Gualaceo in the small village of San Pedro de los Olivos to find good craft shops.

Chordeleg’s specialty is jewelry making. For centuries, natives have used the filigree technique of creating a complex pattern using a very thin ribbon of gold or silver.

In Sigsig, you will find the famous panama, hand woven according to an ancestral technique, using palm leaf fibers. This is an opportunity to bring back to Europe an authentic copy of this hat. It has become fashionable in recent years!

Route: about 2.5 hours for the loop by car

Recommended length of stay: 1 day

Itinerary in Ecuador : Cuenca – Cajas National Park

Still from Cuenca, you will easily reach Cajas National Park, one of the most beautiful nature reserves in Ecuador. This park covers more than 28,000 hectares and includes more than 250 lakes. Its biodiversity is extremely varied. The park has almost 145 plant species, nearly 150 different bird species and many endemic or threatened animals, such as the Andean tapir, puma or jaguarondi. Several hikes will allow you to discover a good part of the park. There is a trek of two to three hours which will take you past a dozen different lakes or a shorter trail of one and a half hours. You will take you through the Llaviucu Valley. and up to the viewpoint Tres Cruces, located at around 4200 meters above sea level.

Route: about half an hour by car

Recommended length of stay: 1 day

Cajas National Park, itinerary in Ecuador

Cajas National Park – Guayaquil

After your visit to Cajas National Park, head to Ecuador’s shopping center, Guayaquil. This city founded in 1535 has a rich history and culture. Guayaquil is located in a very prosperous agricultural region, where coffee, cocoa and many exotic fruits are grown.

In Guayaquil, the district of Las Peñas is to be seen. It presents a very beautiful architecture, old as well as recent. You can also choose to discover the city from the river that runs alongside it, the Guayas, by taking a boat tour. Finally, visit the Bolivar Park, a garden that hosts a community of iguanas.

Route: About 2.5 hours by car

Recommended length of stay: 1 full day

Guayaquil Ecuador

Guayaquil – Galapagos Islands

From Guayaquil, take a plane to the Galapagos archipelago. It is a true paradise on Earth that you cannot miss during your stay in Ecuador. This archipelago is of volcanic origin. It is home to an extremely rich animal and plant biodiversity. The archipelago has earned it recognition as a “Living Museum and Showcase for Evolution” by UNESCO. The Galápagos are made up of a dozen main islands, surrounded by many smaller islets.

Its ecosystem has been protected for many years now. There is the largest preserved marine reserve in the world, which covers an area of ​​over 133,000 km²! It is therefore the ideal place for diving or snorkeling.

Since the Galapagos Islands are very protected, it is impossible to visit them alone. You will necessarily have to go through an agency to organize your itinerary. Some agencies offer cruises in the archipelago so as not to miss anything of the most beautiful islands: stays can therefore range from 4 to 15 days. Make sure to visit the most famous islands (Santa Cruz, San Cristobal and Isabela). But also less frequented and just as paradisiacal islands (Santa Fe, Floreana, Espanola, Bartolome and Fernandina).

Route: 1 hour and 45 minutes by plane from Guayaquil Airport

Recommended length of stay: 4 to 6 days

Trip Ecuador Galapagos, itinerary in Ecuador

Now it’s up to you to find a niche for your vacation, book your flight to Ecuador and pack your bags!

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