Trip Highlights & What’s Included

Trip Highlights

  • See the majestic Cotopaxi Volcano, one of Ecuador’s most famous sights and one of the highest volcanoes in the world – Cotopaxi
  • Toachi Canyon is a small, gorgeous canyon that is missed by many travelers. We’ll get off the beaten track and make a brief stop here to take some photos and appreciate an exquisite view of the Ecuadorian countryside – Toachi Canyon
  • Visit a lookout point for the incredible Quilotoa Lagoon, located inside the crater of an active volcano – Quilotoa
  • Ride the “Swing at the End of the World” where you can look out at the epic Mt. Tungurahua Volcano and the vast Ecuadorian wilderness below – Baños
  • Catch the famous Devil’s Nose Train, considered one of the most scenic train routes in the worlds – Alausí
  • Take in views of the extraordinary Chimborazo Volcano, the highest mountain in Ecuador and the point on Earth closest to space (due to the bulge of the equator) – Riobamba
  • Explore the impressive colonial architecture of one of South America’s most beautiful cities. – Cuenca
  • Spend some time exploring Cerro Santa Ana and the Las Peñas neighborhood, one of Ecuador’s most picturesque and culturally-rich areas –Guayaquil
  • Go diving, surfing, or just simply relax on one of South America’s best beaches – Montañita

What’s Included

  • 9 stop Hop-on, Hop-off pass allowing you to stay as long at each stop as you like, or follow our recommended plan to do everything at a perfect pace! (still not sure how Ecuador Hop works? Click here to learn more)
  • Stunning views of the Quilotoa Lagoon, located inside the crater of an active volcano for the Quilotoa Viewpoint
  • See the majestic Cotopaxi Volcano, one of Ecuador’s most famous sights and one of the highest volcanoes in the world, all from the Cotopaxi Viewpoint
  • On board local Ecuadorian expert who will give tips, advice, and can help book tours, accommodation and more
  • All local taxes, fees and service charges – no hidden fees or tipping requests like other companies
  • Local customer service team accessible via email and phone for any issue

Stop By Stop Information

Follow the different "Hopstages" of our route to see the different highlights at each of our destinations.


From Quito we’ll head towards Baños but first we’ve got a few incredible and exclusive stops to make along the way. We know that long-distance travel can be boring, so that’s why we’ve packed our routes with loads of short extra stops to give you the chance to see the real Ecuador while you’re getting from city to city.

Our first stop will be to see the stunning Mount Cotopaxi, a towering snow-capped volcano located in Ecuador’s countryside. If you’re short on time but don’t want to miss anything, a quick stop at this lookout point is ideal. If you’ve got more time and want to explore a little more, it’s also possible to hop off here and add on a tour. Those who would like some breakfast will also have the chance to order a delicious home-cooked Ecuadorian meal here.

Cotopaxi Highlights

For a small extra cost, take the chance to try an Ecuadorian breakfast at the classy Chuquiragua Lodge, located in the foothills of Mount Cotopaxi.

Visit a nearby lookout point for a panoramic view of this iconic peak.

Snap some photos of the volcano without having to pay extra to enter the park.

Hop off here if you want to take a tour of the national park, including a trip to the base camp of the volcano.

Quilotoa Highlights

Stop at a small village right on the shores of Lake Quilotoa.

Visit a lookout point where you’ll be able to see the entire lake and take some photos!

See this otherworldly place totally free with your Ecuador Hop pass (public buses from Quito to Baños do not stop here).

Hop off here to visit some local communities or do a guided tour around the lake.

From Quilotoa, we’ll head to the town of Baños, considered Ecuador’s adventure capital and the gateway to the Amazon Rainforest. Trips deeper into the jungle often start from Baños, but there are many amazing things to do near the town itself as well. You can do anything from zip-lining or cycling to paragliding, hiking and more, made even better by the gorgeous backdrop of lush tropical greenery and waterfalls.

Baños Highlights

There is something in Baños for pretty much everybody…the possibilities are practically endless. Not sure what you’d like to do? No problem! All our guides are proud Ecuadorians who would be happy to give you some local advice on the best tours.

Recommended nights in Baños:

We highly recommend spending a couple days here to take advantage of some of the amazing activities available.


From Baños we will make a stop at Riobamba for those who wish to hop off and explore this town’s colorful traditional markets or enjoy views of Mount Chimborazo.

After Riobamba, we will make an exclusive stop at the oldest church in Ecuador, and another exclusive stop at the scenic Laguna de Colta to enjoy some outstanding views of the Ecuadorian countryside. After that, there is a 45 minute stop in Alausí, where you can choose whether to enjoy dinner and then continue on to Cuenca, or whether you would like to ride the Nariz del Diablo train, known to be one of the most beautiful train rides on the planet. To ride the train and to explore the beautiful Ecuadorian landscapes, you will need to spend at least two nights in the town. (Remember to check the bus departures when planning your journey!)

Finally, we will continue on to Cuenca, a beautiful colonial city in southern Ecuador. Cuenca is a true paradise for lovers of architecture and culture, so make sure you take advantage of this fascinating place.

Riobamba Highlights

Visit the famous Riobamba market to shop for traditional textiles and other artisan handicrafts.

Take in views of the magnificent Chimborazo Volcano, the point on earth closest to space (due to the bulge of the equator).

Cuenca Highlights

Wander around one of South America’s most beautiful cities and appreciate the lovely colonial architecture.

Take a hike in the incredible El Cajas National Park, a natural protected area home to cloud forest ecosystems and diverse flora and fauna.

Visit the Ingapirca Archaeological Complex and experience the largest Inca ruins in all of Ecuador.

Stroll through Cuenca’s colorful flower market, considered one of the best in the world.

Cuenca is most well-known for its splendid colonial architecture, but there are plenty of other things to do besides exploring the historic city center. This is one of our favorite stops and you’re sure to find many incredible activities here!

Recommended nights in Cuenca:

We highly recommend at least two nights in Cuenca to be able to fully experience this city’s amazing culture.


From Cuenca we will head to the resort town of Montañita. This scenic little paradise on the Pacific coast is popular with both travelers and local Ecuadorians for its gorgeous beaches and incredible nightlife. With sunshine all year round, Montañita is guaranteed to provide good times and incredible ocean views. This is the perfect place to relax for a couple days and just enjoy the pleasant climate and beautiful scenery of Ecuador!

Montañita Highlights

Spend some time in the sun on one of South America’s best beaches.

Go snorkeling or scuba diving in some of the world’s most biologically diverse waters.

Enjoy some of the town’s legendary nightlife and meet travelers from all around the world.

Do some surfing or take surf lessons. Montañita has areas that are suitable for all skill levels.

Montañita has long been famous with surfers for its ideal waves, but even if you don’t surf you’ll find plenty to do here. With its gorgeous beaches and never-ending parties, you’re sure to have an absolutely amazing stay in Montañita. Spend some time experiencing Ecuador’s coast and enjoy the perfect sandy beaches, lovely tropical greenery, and brilliant nightlife that this coastal town has to offer.

Recommended nights in Montañita:

After you visit this coastal paradise, you’ll probably want to stay forever! We recommend at least one night in Montañita which should give you a full afternoon on the beach as well as a chance to try some local food.


From the beach town of Montañita we will head toward Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest city. It’s located on the country’s steamy equatorial coast, giving it quite a different feel from chilly Quito (the country’s other large metropolis). Guayaquil is not just a large city and important transportation hub; it also has quite a lot to offer all kinds of visitors. You can explore some of the city’s historic neighborhoods, do some shopping on the city’s modern boardwalk, or even take some hikes in a large nature reserve just outside of town. This charming city will leave you pleasantly surprised!

Top Things to Do in Guayaquil

Visit Guayaquil’s famous boardwalk, the Malecón 2000, which runs past some of the city’s most famous sites as well as many restaurants and stores.

Walk through the Guayaquil Historic Park, where you can see relics from the city’s history as well as some of the area’s native wildlife.

Explore Cerro Santa Ana and the Las Peñas neighborhood, whose scenic views and colorful buildings make it one of the city’s most impressive areas.

Take the opportunity to visit some of the city’s many museums.

Tour the nearby Bosque Protector Cerro Blanco, a large protected natural area of tropical dry forest where you can spot many types of exotic wildlife.

For travelers who are planning to visit the Galapagos Islands while in Ecuador, Guayaquil is the best place to catch a flight. Check out the Optional Hopstage: Galapagos Islands section below for more information about how to add a Galapagos trip to your Ecuador Hop itinerary!

Recommended nights in Guayaquil:

We recommend a stay of at least two nights in Guayaquil to experience the city life and explore a few different neighborhoods.


A visit to the incredible Galapagos Islands is on many people’s travel bucket list. This archipelago, located about 600 miles off of Ecuador’s coast, exhibits some of the world’s most interesting and bizarre endemic species, from massive iguanas and 500-pound turtles to colorful and unique bird species like the blue-footed booby. No nature lover should miss the opportunity to visit the Galapagos Islands on a trip to Ecuador.

The only way to reach the Galapagos Islands is via air from the cities of Quito or Guayaquil. A side trip to the Galapagos is easily incorporated into your Ecuador Hop itinerary. If you would like to fly from Quito, you’ll complete your trip to the Galapagos Islands and then begin your journey on Ecuador Hop after returning to Quito. If you would like to fly from Guayaquil, you can can complete your Ecuador Hop itinerary before arriving in Guayaquil to catch your flight. We can even help you with choosing and arranging a tour! Visit our Galapagos Guide for more information.

Bus Timetable

Quito to Cotopaxi to Quilotoa to Baños EVERY DAY
Quito (Depart) 06:30 AM
Cotopaxi Volcano Viewpoint 07:45 AM
Quilotoa Lagoon Viewpoint 10:30 AM
Baños (Arrive) 3:00 PM

Main activities in Baños: Visiting the Swing at the End of the World, riding a cable car over the Pastaza River, enjoying the natural scenery, plus outdoor activities like zip-lining, cycling, or rafting.

Note about Cotopaxi: All buses visit a lookout point to observe the Cotopaxi Volcano and then continue to the next destination. Departures at Cotopaxi are only for those planning to take a full tour of Cotopaxi National Park.

Note about Quilotoa: All buses visit a lookout point to observe the Quilotoa Lagoon before continuing on to Baños. Departures at Quilotoa are only for those who wish to take a full tour of the Quilotoa Lagoon.

Baños to Riobamba to Alausí to Cuenca TUESDAY THURSDAY SATURDAY
Baños (Depart) 02:00 PM
Riobamba 03:30 PM
Balbanera Church & Laguna de Colta 04:00 PM
Alausí 06:00 PM
Cuenca (Arrive) 11:00 PM

Main activities in Riobamba: Visiting the city’s traditional markets, taking in views of the Chimborazo Volcano.

Note about Alausí: Those who wish to ride the scenic Devil’s Nose Train can hop off at the rail station in Alausí to catch the train.

Main activities in Cuenca: Exploring the city’s colonial architecture, visiting the Inca ruins of Ingapirca, hiking in El Cajas National Park.

Cuenca (Depart) 11:00pm
Montañita (Arrival) 07:00am (next day)

Main activities in Montañita: Sunbathing, surfing, snorkeling and scuba diving, as well as enjoying the town’s great restaurants and nightlife.

Montañita to Guayaquil SUNDAY WEDNESDAY FRIDAY
Montañita (Depart) 03:00 PM
Guayaquil (Arrive) 06:00 PM

Main activities in Guayaquil: Exploring some of the city’s different neighborhoods and historic sights.

Important Info & Notes

Departure Days


Time of Departure

06:30AM Every Day

Pick up Location

All hostels and hotels in Quito (direct pick-up)

Minimum Time Needed

7 Days




Easter weekend holidays. Hostel and tour prices increase during this period. We will not be able to assist you booking any accommodations during this period. Please book in advance.


Biggest public holidays of the year. Hostel and tour prices increase during this period. MUST book accommodation in advance!

24 & 25 - 31 DEC 2020 & 1 JAN 2021 - CHRISTMAS & NEW YEARS BREAK

We will be taking a short break at the end of December for Christmas and New Year. We do this to give our bus drivers and guides time to spend with their families during these special holidays. As a business, we know this may disappoint some travelers, but we care about our employees the same way we care about our passengers and want to give them a well-deserved rest.

NO BUS FROM: 24 & 25 - 31 DEC 2020 & 1 JAN 2021

IMPORTANT NOTE: Make sure you check the bus timetables for each pass as not all routes have daily departures.

Our Buses

Ecuador Hop – #1 Bus Company In Ecuador

As well as an unbeatable safety record, Ecuador Hop is also famous for its punctuality and comfort. In South America, where things often run later than scheduled, we are very proud to say we achieve a 98.5% on-time arrival for each trip.

If comparing Ecuador Hop to other bus companies, make sure you check their safety record, past accidents, as well as their Tripadvisor page (if they even bother to have one) as often you will find there is a reason why some bus companies have “cheaper” prices than Peru Hop.

Features Of Our Buses

Short Distance Buses

  • Modern bus models: We use only up-to-date, well-maintained and high-quality buses to ensure top safety standards and comfort (this is not always a guarantee in Ecuador).
  • Climate control: We make sure the temperature is comfortable for everyone on board.
  • Highest quality brake and suspension system: Our high-quality buses will get you to your destination as smoothly and comfortably as possible.
  • GPS monitoring system: We monitor location and vehicle speed from our headquarters, ensuring your safety.
  • USB ports available: Charge your mobile phone or tablet on board the bus!

Long Distance Buses

  • Modern bus models: We use brand new, state-of-the-art buses with all the latest technology.
  • Semi-bed reclining seats: All with sponge foam pads for added comfort.
  • Modern and clean toilet: Unlike public buses that often have dirty facilities or no bathroom at all, our buses all come with modern, regularly-cleaned toilets.
  • High-tech temperature-controlled air system: We make sure the temperature is never too hot or too cold.
  • LCD TV sets: Sit back and pass the long hours of travel watching some English-language movies
  • Highest quality brake and suspension system: Our high-quality vehicles will get you to your destination as smoothly and comfortably as possible.
  • Blankets for every passenger: Each seat comes with blankets, so you’ll be able to relax and get some sleep on longer journeys.
  • GPS monitoring system: We monitor location and vehicle speed from our headquarters, ensuring your safety.
  • USB ports on every seat: Don’t stress about charging your mobile phone or tablet. You’ll be able to charge all your devices right at your seat!

Bus Safety Controls

  • Large team of drivers: Our drivers are not overworked/tired as is often the case on other buses.
  • Tour guide onboard: Our tour guide does regular checks on the drivers.
  • Seatbelts: We have a seatbelt for every passenger and ask our passengers to wear them at all times.
  • 24 hour GPS monitoring: Every bus is monitored from a secure point via GPS…we always know where the bus is and if it is taking any unscheduled stops.
  • Constant contact: The drivers and the guide communicate continuously by telephone with the Peru Hop office.
  • No tight deadlines: Our drivers are under NO pressure to arrive at a certain time, no need for increased speed or unnecessary risks.

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