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The Best Hikes in Ecuador

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Whether you’re ascending the world’s tallest volcano, Cotopaxi, or scrambling down into a vast crater, you'll learn why Ecuador’s trails have gained legendary status. Acclimatize to the altitude with gentle walks. Then explore the grassland páramos and fairy-tale cloud forests. The reward for such strenuous hikes? A dip into one of the Andes' steaming, natural volcanic baths.
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While many of Ecuador’s volcanoes allow hikers to their craters, a few invite you into their mysterious interior too. At Quilotoa, 3 hours from Quito, you start at the summit. Enter into a small village, perching above one side of the 1.8...
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Azuay, Ecuador
My partner and I took a day to hike around Cajas National Park just outside of Cuenca, Ecuador. It was phenomenal! We hired a guide from Expediciones Apullacta and he was super knowledgeable about the history and geography of the place. It's such...
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Lagunas de Mojanda supplies the ideal one-with-nature retreat from the craziness of Otavalo's Saturday Market. Three turquoise lakes are nestled in the Andes Highlands amongst once-active volcanos. Look closely to discover a small world of...
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Think cloud forest, and images of a mysterious fairy tale with a princess locked in a beautiful castle might spring to mind. In reality, this environmental phenomenon is exactly what it says: a forest of clouds which occur in the high-altitude...
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The Quilotoa Loop is a 200km circuit through the carpet of patchwork farms covering the area's mountainous landscape of peaks, canyons and valleys. Travelers can get a glimpse of the beautiful yet arduous local life by trekking, horseback riding,...
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While the TelefériQo soars above Quito and permits wonderful views of the elongated city, to really feel remote you need to start hiking. Rucu Pichincha is the first peak accessible from the TelefériQo and can be reached after about a three hour...
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Volcán Cotopaxi, Latacunga, Cotopaxi, Ecuador
One of the world's highest active volcanoes (with an altitude of 4000 meters, or over 13,000 feet), Cotopaxi is also one of Ecuador's most photographed landmarks. Its snowcapped peak is beautiful but deadly: as an active volcano where mud and rock...
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Papallacta, Ecuador
Papallacta, a small village at the imposing and breath-taking altitude of 3,300 meters (roughly 10,800 feet), is known for its volcanic hot springs and both low-key hostels and a thermal resort, the Termas Papallacta, that offer pools of the...