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Quito’s 13 bucket-list destinations for adventure tourism enthusiasts

Quito’s 13 bucket-list destinations for adventure tourism enthusiasts

In the wake of the Adventure Elevate Latin America event held last month in Quito, which was attended by 350 international adventure tourism operators, the Ecuadorian capital has emerged as one of Latin America’s leading adventure tourism destinations.

Any thrill-seeker or adrenaline junkie worth his or her salt will find the 13 activities included in Quito’s offer simply irresistible:

Rucu Pichincha Volcano
Adventurers can access the 10-km route via the Quito cable car (Teleférico) and will need about 5-6 hours to complete the hike. This unique experience all the way to the summit affords breathtaking views of the city below.

Pasochoa Wildlife Refuge
Setting out from the District of Amaguaña, visitors will need about 5-6 hours to complete this 6-trail course, covering a distance of between 1 km and 12.5 km.
Pasochoa is a dormant volcanic caldera in which a well-preserved Andean forest has formed without human intervention. It is now a wildlife sanctuary and home to a variety of animal and plant species.

Micaloma - Patourco Trail
Situated in the Antisana Ecological Reserve, in the District of Píntag, this 5,200-m trail will take two hours to complete.
As visitors ascend to the summit, located 4,130 m above sea level, they will be captivated by the typical wildlife and vegetation of the area; marvel at the beauty of the Antisana snow-capped volcano, the Cotopaxi and the Sincholagua; and contemplate the stunning panoramic views of La Mica lagoon.


Culunco Guantopungo - Pelagallo Hike
Located in the Municipality of Yunguilla in the District of Calacal, hikers will need 2 hours to complete this route.
As the course forks off into trails that reach a depth of 5 m, hikers will be taken on a semi-subterranean journey through the heart of the cloud forest.

Bear Trail, Inca Trail, Yanacocha Reserve
Situated in the District of Nono, this 3-hour hike will enable visitors to explore the most illustrious reserves of the Jocotoco Foundation - set up to protect endangered species of birds native to this area of the Andes.
Tourists are spoilt for choice with four trails that showcase the biodiversity of the zone in all its glory. In addition, there are four tunnels measuring a length of approximately 30 m which dissect the mountain and transport visitors from one landscape to another in a matter of minutes.

Pahuma Orchid Reserve
Located in the District of Nono, this 43-km route is part of a protected area which is perfect for abseiling enthusiasts. It is thought to be the second largest orchid reserve in​​ South America, with 7 trails extending over a surface area of 650 hectares.

Agua y Vida Trail
Cayambe-Coca National Park, situated 81.3 km from the city of Quito, is home to the Agua y Vida trail. During this 4-hour hike from Antenas de Papallacta to Termas de Papallacta, visitors will be mesmerised by the rich array of vegetation, wildlife and lakes that the park has to offer.

Nono - Alaspungo Route
Located in the District of Nono, this 13-km bike path is suitable for everyone, regardless of experience and/or ability. As cyclists navigate their way along the barely-used dirt tracks of the Nono-Alaspungo Route situated in the Chocó Andino Biosphere Reserve, they will have the opportunity to contemplate a number of beautiful and spellbinding landscapes before capping off their experience with awesome views of the Rucu and Guagua Pichincha volcanoes.

Pacto - Mashpi Route
The District of Pacto is home to a 39-km route located in the Chocó Andino Biosphere Reserve. It crosses a large part of the Conservation and Sustainable Use Area of Mashpi-Guaycuyacu-Sahuangal, the first Protected Natural Area of Quito.

Pacto - Santa Rosa Route
Located in the District of Pacto, this 37-km route enables cycling enthusiasts to revel in the delights of nature while basking in the warm temperatures and humid climate of the area set at the foot of the western Andes.

El Chaquiñán
Located in the District of Cumbayá, this 22-km bike path passes through the districts of Cumbayá, Tumbaco and Puembo, and also covers a stretch of an old railway line. It is one of the most prominent and traditional routes that the city has to offer.

Lloa - Palmira Route
Located in the District of Lloa, the Loa-Palmira route covers a distance of 12.4 km. Lying to the south-west of Quito, on the slopes of the Guagua Pichincha volcano, it is nestled in a narrow valley with vast expanses of meadows used primarily for livestock activities.

Pululahua Route
Located in the District of Calacalí, the Pululahua route covers a distance of 37.5 km. The Pululahua volcano is an ideal setting not only for mountain biking enthusiasts, but also for lovers of hiking, horse riding and strolling.