Places of interest
Overnight trips for two or more days
Overnight trips for two or more days
LA MARISCAL / PLAZA FOCH: Do you looking for rhythm and fun? Find them in “the zone”, an area located in Quito, a place where lives together the bohemian, traditional and modern style in its bars, clubs, cafes, restaurants, shops, museums, hotels and squares, also you can taste a wide gastronomic variety, buy crafts, walking and more. this is one of the most tourist sites in Quito due to its nightlife.
QUITO HISTORIC CENTER: To 20 minutes from Hostal Alcala, you’ll find the historic center of Quito, is located in the south-central city on an area of 3.75 square kilometers, and is considered the historic site best preserved and one of the most important Latin America.
TELEFÉRICO: If you travel by cable car from Quito, on clear days, prepare your camera, because you can see at least four snow-capped volcanoes.
MITAD DEL MUNDO: 13 kilometers north of the center of Quito, the guests of Hostal Alcala can enjoy the views from the monument at the middle of the world at a height of 30 meters. Made of iron and concrete, and decorated with beautiful Andesite rock, the monument is a must see for tourists at the center of the World; Quito.
PULULAHUA: To 13 km from Quito, you will find the “Pululahua” is an extinct volcano composed of three domes, it’s one of the inhabited craters in the world and the third largest with 12 km in diameter.
Amazon tropical rain forest… incredible wildlife, tours on the rivers.
Cayambe… famous for its dairy industry, and there are many stores and restaurants which sell variety of local cheeses and milk products. Salt crackers called “bizcochos” are also produced here. And the local Salesian Monastery reportedly has an excellent library on indigenous cultures.
Otavalo… a pleasing complex of valleys and lakes. Many lovely places to stay in the area. This indigenous population is famous troughout the world for its music, artisans, and ability to keep its culture intact while dealing with the demands of the modern world. One can look forward to more than just the Saturday Market here.
The surrounding hillsides and villages are a pleasure to experience. People are gentle and open, yet, at the same time, busy with their daily activities, so the tourists experience a feeling of community. The market is on Wednesday and Saturday. Andean music is played on weekend nights, beautiful lakeside walks.
Ibarra… an attractive colonial town. About 22km north of Otavalo, a fairly quiet town. Most people are in bed by 10pm and some travelers prefer to stay here when visiting Otavalo. Once here, you can go on to San Antonio de Ibarra, which is almost a suburb of Ibarra, is famous for its wood carvers and is a nice Ecuadorian town. Take an afternoon walk through this village of wood carvers making lovely works of art.
Cotacachi… is like a factory outlet for leather goods. You can look for good-quality bargains, and walk through a small town at the same time. There are hourly buses from Otavalo and affordable acommodations are available.
Pasochoa… a wonderful National Park with trails and information about the forest. It is located in a collapsed volcano.
El Corazón… a volcano peak one days’ walk away, a night in a delightful hotel located in a former country train station.
Cotopaxi… the most popular and frequently visited national park. Has a small visitor center, an interesting lake, and lovely weather. Best if done with a guide or if you rent a car. It can be almost deserted midweek; however, weekends can be crowded, specially with Ecuadorian visitors during the June to August dry season. The train does not go all the way into the park. Think of them as two separate trips, even though the name of the train is the Quito-Cotopaxi train. Quilotoa Lake is said to be the most beautiful walking trip available in Ecuador.
Saquisilí… the most important native market in the country. Located in Latacunga, the Thursday morning market is the main reason to come here. It’s a “non-tourist” market, oriented to locals, where they can buy or sell everything from bananas, to homemade shotguns, to herbal remedies. Coupled with a tour of Cotopaxi, this makes for a very full day.
Baños… if you just arrived in Latin America, you’ll know that “Baños” means “baths”, which is precisely what this town is famous for: hot springs located at the bottom of the now-active Volcano Tungurahua. One of the most important tourist spots in the country. You must try the “melcocha” (a sugar cane candy). The surroundings are green and attractive, offering good walking and climbing opportunities. Enjoy the spectacular view of Tungurauha’s activities.
Riobamba... the saying goes: “all roads lead to Riobamba”, which is the heart of an extensive and scenic road network. You can’t miss the great views!
Chimborazo… Ecuador’s highest mountain peak. The farthest point from the center of the earth (due to the earth’s equatorial bulge). With 2 refuges, there is car access to the first one where you can buy drinks and candy. You can walk uphill to reach the second refuge and spend the night there. There is a fireplace and cooking facilities, but take your own sleeping bag and extra clothing, since the temperature is cooler there.
Mindo… a popular destination for birdwatchers and travelers interested in natural history who want to see some of Ecuador’s western forests at a reasonable cost.
Bosques Nublados… dropping down the western flanks of the Andes, there are some beautiful reserves to see on this temperate region full of beautiful forest, waterfalls, and small rivers.
Bio-region… is one of the most bio-diverse areas in the world, which stretches through Colombia and Ecuador. Its beauty is breathtaking and it is the geographical setting for the novels of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and some of Hollywood movies.
The coast… thermal bath and swimming is pleasant year-round. The north Coast is wet from December to June and the south coast is drier and more barren, with a rainy season January to April. The nearest beach town is Esmeraldas, famous for the population of African descendent and its culture, plentiful and inexpensive seafood, and a relaxing atmosphere. Almost 30km west of Esmeraldas is a small resort town named Atacames. Simple accomodations can be found right on the ocean front, so you can walk straight out of your room onto the beach. It can get extremely crowded, particularly on weekends or national holidays. To foreing visitors, the best time to go to the beach is from April to October .