The 10 Best Things to Do in Ecuador

November 12, 2017 Randal Brittian

Ecuador from South America region, is best know for History Museums. Discover best things to do in Ecuador with beautiful photos and great reviews from traveller around the world here!

1. Museo Templo del Sol Pintor Ortega Maila

Calle Eduardo Kingman Oe12-174 | Av. Manuel Cordova Galarza, Mirador Volcan Pululahua, Quito 022, Ecuador +593 98 484 1851
Excellent
94%
Good
3%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 2 reviews

Museo Templo del Sol Pintor Ortega Maila

Reviewed By HZambonino - Quito, Ecuador

Located nearby the "official" monument to the Middle of the World, you will find this temple at the entrance of Pululahua inhabited Crater. the sculptures will take you to other era and the sight will offer you spectacular picture opportunities. Better to visit in the morning since the clouds get down from 2pm.

2. Pro Bici

Primera Constituyente 23-51 | Larrea, Riobamba 060150, Ecuador +593 3-294-1880
Excellent
95%
Good
4%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 217 reviews

Pro Bici

We offer excursions to Chimborazo and other snowpeaks, mountain lakes, thermal pools, rain and cloud Forests and indigenous, historic and cultural sites that reveal unimagined natural and cultural wonders hidden to the common tourist.

Reviewed By Michiel H - Antwerp Province, Belgium

A big 10/10. All was perfect while downhilling the Chimborazo volcano. We paid 60USD per person for a full-day adventure and it was worth every penny. Most definitely one of my all time South America highlights.
We had done downhilling before, and after Reading all these excellent reviews, we put our hopes up high. Our expectations were more than exceeded. The Chimborazo route is a thrilling and versatile one. It is semi-technical, quick, intense and mostly off-road, and the 60USD variant takes around 9 hours. Note that the more technical parts can be replaced by simple asphalt roads if you have little mountainbiking experience. Also, different riding levels in one group is not an issue as the included biking guide allows you to go your own pace.
Pro Bici on their part does a fantastic job in providing well-maintained and medium-end bikes, as well as all necessary safety downhill gear (helmet, knee and elbow protectors, gloves). The driver/guide was extremely friendly and even assisted my brother afterwards at the police station for a camera stolen a few days before. The tour organiser, Galo, is a sincere chap with a passion for mountainbiking that will help you to perfectly tailor your tour to your needs.
I highly, highly recommend the Chimborazo activity and Pro Bici agency.

3. Pailon del Diablo (Devil's Cauldron)

Rio Verde - 18Km From Banos, Banos, Ecuador +593 99 867 2196
Excellent
81%
Good
15%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 1 reviews

Pailon del Diablo (Devil's Cauldron)

Best known for its spectacular viewing and great force of plunging water, this magnificent waterfall is formed by the crystalline Río Verde.

Reviewed By Miggss - Quito, Ecuador

I have been to pailon many times, the last time I came it was about 10 years ago everything has changed however the attraction has improved it’s very nice... the waterfall it’s great and passing through the grout it’s amazing, I definitely recommend it unless it’s a holiday, with huge crowds of people can’t be stressful...

4. Hacienda La Danesa: Charming Farmhouse and Lodge

Autopista Naranjito Bucay km 67, Guayaquil 090150, Ecuador +593 99 978 5065
Excellent
92%
Good
6%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 161 reviews

Hacienda La Danesa: Charming Farmhouse and Lodge

Hacienda La Danesa (accommodation available) is a traditional dairy and cacao farm with over 145 years of rich heritage and history, located about an hour drive from Guayaquil, Ecuador. Family-owned and managed by the third generation Olsen family, the farm offers a unique selection of tailor-made activities for guests, including horseback riding trails, hands-on artisan chocolate making and other hacienda-related programs. La Danesa offers an intimate and authentic experience for those who would like to spend the night.

Reviewed By flaneur40 - New York City, New York

Sorry to be the contrarian here, but I was disappointed with my time at this Hacienda. I opted for the $80 taxi service to the Hacienda from Guayaquil and that service was fine, albeit pricey. I was given the option with that taxi service to purchase a bilingual guide for an additional $60. I thought that was a guide affiliated with the taxi. I did not realize that by not purchasing the bilingual guide I would not be able to understand anything said to me during my visit to the Hacienda. The guide who accompanied us on bikes to the cacao demonstration and the tubing on the river did not speak a word of English, and, if not for a kind fellow guest who was bilingual and translated for me, I would not have been able to understand anything the guide said. The tubing was an awkward and excruciating experience. I was told to bring a bathing suit and towel, which I did. You should also bring a change of clothes. The tubing experience involves you sitting on an inner tube and then being pulled, yanked, and pushed along a muddy shallow and narrow winding river by the guide who is up to his chest in water manipulating you down the body of water for what seemed an interminable length of time. It is not a smooth passage. There are two obstacles involving trees laying horizontally across the river. At these points the guide basically has to lift you over the trees while you are lifting yourself up and off the inner tube. It is very difficult to balance and I almost went into the river entirely on both blockage occasions. I have had much worse experiences happen to me that were out of my control, however this was one of the least pleasurable experiences I elected and paid to experience. It is about as much fun as sitting in a car while it is being towed to the garage. The most romantic comparison I can make is Humphrey Bogart in the African Queen pulling the boat through a shallow section of the river. Luckily in the case there were no leeches! I have never been happier to reach the end of a ride. The bike ride back to the Hacienda was very muddy and I arrived for lunch splattered with mud over my shirt and legs. They have a shower which I used, but as I didn't have a change of clothes, I had no option other than to sit in the restaurant eating my 3-course lunch in a filthy shirt. The food was good but not as amazing as these reviews have made it seem. It is very good, but not worth the travel or cost.
I was greeted warmly by a young woman with limited English and served a welcome coffee and dish of plantains with white cheese. After that though I had to continually ask, "what's next?" "What do I do now?" "Where do I go?" I would have preferred that all of these needs were anticipated rather than there be a need for me to seek out a resolution. Granted this is an experience geared for couples and families. It is not ideal for solo travelers. This may have led to some of my awkwardness, but I think, given the amount of English-speaking guests this destination attracts, there should be more bilingual staff. I wanted to really love this experience and went into it with all good expectations and positive energy, but unfortunately it was not an enjoyable day.

5. Laguna Quilotoa

Ecuador +593 98 026 7215
Excellent
81%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 565 reviews

Laguna Quilotoa

Reviewed By LivingTheQLife - Colorado Springs, Colorado

Volcanoes are a common sight when you visit Ecuador and we decided to visit several of them during our visit. Although many of them are still active, Quilotoa hasn’t erupted for several hundred years. One if its last eruptions was violent enough to create the enormous crater or Caldera that has since filled with water that is 800 feet deep. You can either hike around the rim of the crater or hike down the steep trail that takes you down to the lake. We ended up doing a bit of both, but we didn’t go all of the way down to the lake itself. If you want to, there are kayaks for rent if you want to go out on the sulfur laden water, but that didn’t sound too appealing to us.
The trail down to the lake is actually deep sand and not an easy hike going down and even harder going back up. There are mules available for $10 per person if you don’t want to make the difficult hike back up the side of volcano. The spectacular views more than made up for our exhaustion when we made it back to the top. Fortunately there are a couple of restaurants on the rim, so we were able to stop and have lunch before deciding to hike partially around the rim. Going around the entire rim would have taken us about three hours, so we only made it about a third of the way before turning around and heading back.
Visiting Quilotoa is only about an hour and a half drive from Quito and we would definitely recommend going there to anyone who travels to Ecuador. This was the first of three volcanoes that we hiked on or around during our time in Ecuador, but it was also one of the most memorable. The colors of the water and the sheer size of the Caldera are quite impressive to see. We were fortunate to have beautiful weather, although hiking the trail can be very dusty when it isn’t raining.

6. Los Tuneles

SE Isabela Island | Nr. La Union Rock, Puerto Villamil 200250, Ecuador +593 99 242 3015
Excellent
83%
Good
13%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 1 reviews

Los Tuneles

Reviewed By Remi B - Sydney, Australia

You can't go to Isabela Island, or even the Galapagos, without doing this tour - we went with Pahoehoe company who were good. The snorkelling is fantastic, we swam with turtles, sharks and stingrays, and even got to see the famous seahorses. The guide took a go pro to film us underwater and we got the footage for free if you have a USB or memory card. The walking tour of Los tuneles was also cooler than I expected and we got to see the blue footed boobies up close!

7. El Cajas National Park

Cuenca 010219, Ecuador +593 7-237-0127
Excellent
78%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

El Cajas National Park

Known for its more than 275 Andean lakes and many Waterfalls, this national park is a popular destination for trout fishing, rugged hiking and camping.

Reviewed By Chuck H - New York City, New York

Brother lives in Cuenca. Had driver pick me up at Guayaquil airport and drive to Cuenca through Cajas Park. Thrilling ride, not scary although you go from sea level to 14,000 feet to 8,400 ft (Cuenca). Took three hours. Lots of lovely restaurants that have trails, lakes for fishing, burros, horses and llamas. Had no problem with altitude. Subsequently went to restaurant for lunch (good meal; upscale) and drove back to Guayaquil during the night. Road was well lit and felt safe.

8. Laguna Grande

Cuyabeno National Park, Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve, Ecuador
Excellent
86%
Good
12%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 147 reviews

Laguna Grande

Located in the Cuyabeno National Park, this large lake is a popular site for admiring ancient trees, giant palms, orchids and many species of birds and monkeys.

Reviewed By Dale S - Edmonton, Alberta

This lagoonnprovides a different ecosystem. We saw mantenee and fished for piranha. Bird life was rather limited though. It's good for an hour is It. The paddle to the lagoon was really nice. It followed a narrow stream through high canary jungle. Really cool.

9. Laguna Quilotoa

Road Northwest of Latacunga, Latacunga 050150, Ecuador
Excellent
79%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 440 reviews

Laguna Quilotoa

Reviewed By Tigerman777

I've had the great privilege of hiking many places around the world, including active volcanoes, and this hike is very high on my list!!! It's very unique to see different colors in the water of a small lake (3km/2mile wide) in a large Caldera. You can see turquoise, Emerald green and even yellow and green about the color of your lawn along the edges of the lake. It all depends on light refraction though. No sun may mean not a lot of color, but I was fortunate enough to see sunlight at times, causing intense color. There are great views from the rim, but it's great fun to hike down to the lake. Be aware this is a steep hike downward, meaning it could be hard on the knees. It is in loose terrain, lots of sand, meaning risk of falling on your backside. If you want to take a horse or mule (quite funny to see a muchacho (young man) trying to coax his mule down. I had to start yelling at it and clapping my hands loudly to get it moving) you can. Just please be aware that some have gotten thrown off. When I was there, a woman was thrown off, which messed up her shoulder. I saw another horse get spooked and the owner in at least her sixties ran after it to get it under control. Please be respectful of these animals, they're worked hard (in my opinion very overworked), which can make them act unpredictably. Don't do anything to spook them like yell or stop directly in front of them or anything else for that matter. Make sure to step aside when you see them coming. The views along the trail to the lake are great. My favorites are at the rim because the elevation helps you to see the whole lake, which is great for those who don't feel like they're in good enough condition to go down and hike back up. My second favorite is the area near the bottom at a lookout to the right, which gives great up close color if the sun is shining, with bright blue sky in the background. You can see where to camp in that area as well. There is no potable water and a pit toilet is the best you'll get. I wish I could've stayed overnight there. The hike back to the rim is not easy. It's about 200m/918ft vertical. It's quite steep, again it's on sand, which took me a little over an hour. I'm in good condition though. If you're a bit older, like myself (49), and in good condition, you can do it no problem. I was first back up from my group(with exception of the guide, who's ran in races on this trail). Just make sure to acclimatize as I did. I stayed in Quito for four days(hiking the Mindo Cloud Forest in that time), which is at 9,350 feet above sea level. It was a great workout to prepare me two days before climbing Cotopaxi volcano, another hike I highly recommend. Make sure to bring water and a few snacks to give you energy and keep you hydrated, which is, as most are aware, essential to prevent problems with elevation. One place I highly recommend if you can go on Sunday is to visit the Pujili Market, in Pujili, about 1 1/2 hours from the crater. I simply fell in love with this market❤️. There are virtually no tourists there and you get to see what Ecuatorianos really live like. Although I've been to markets all over Latin America, there's something special about this place.
In conclusion, you MUST visit the wonderful Laguna Quilotoa. It's very worthwhile.
Thanks for Reading. If you feel this review has helped you, it would be appreciated if you would tap the below. Thank you.
Simplemente la Laguna Quilotoa es asombroso. La vista de la laguna arriba es lo mejor porque puedes ver todo de los colores brillantes( como turquesa, esmeralda, amarillo e verde parecido al color de su césped) cuando hay mucho sol e es posible a ver todo de la laguna a la vez. Los colores dependen en la refracción de la luz. No es posible a ver todo al fondo de la laguna, pero puedes sentir que profundo es el cráter. Es posible acampar al fondo, pero no es agua para beber. Es disponible solamente un retrete sin agua. Sería un privilegio acampar alli. Cuidado: si quieres que caminarte hasta al fondo, es mucho arena, cual es muy resbaloso. Para subir es muy duro si no eres bien condicionado, pero es posible para hacerlo con tiempo e cuidado. Si eres bien condicionado, aun si tienes poco edad avanzada como yo (tengo 49 años), no será un problema. Yo subí en poco mas que un hora. Sí quieres que usar un caballo o burro, cuidete porque hay incidentes cuando personas tienen problemas. Ha sido veces cuando los caballos echaron personas de su espalda, e causaron mucho daño a las personas. Una persona rotó su hombro a causa de eso cuando yo subí. Esta información no es asustarte, pero para su seguridad.
En conclusión, disfruta mucho la Laguna Quilotoa, sin importar si tienes muchos años o eres un chico o joven porque este Luger es bellísimo. Es una gema de Ecuador.
Muchas grácias para leer este informaciòn. Si piense usted que esta repaso usted ayudó, apreciaría si tocaría el abajo. Muchas grácias.

10. Montanita Spanish School - Day Classes

Via Principal, Montanita, Ecuador +593 4-206-0116
Excellent
82%
Good
15%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 215 reviews

Montanita Spanish School - Day Classes

Reviewed By nicholas m - Honolulu, Hawaii

My wife and I took conversation classes here for two weeks while on vacation. Instructors were top notch and the staff were organized, helpful, and friendly. Totally recommended!

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