Follow the different "Hopstages" of our route to see the different highlights at each of our destinations.
QUITO TO BAÑOS
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.
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.
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.
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.
QUITO TO BAÑOS DEPARTURE DETAILS
Departure: EVERY DAY
Departures From: All hostels and hotels in Quito (direct pick-up)
Departure Time: 06:30am
Arrival Time: 03:00pm
Recommended nights in Baños:
We highly recommend spending a couple days here to take advantage of some of the amazing activities available.
BAÑOS TO MONTAÑITA
From Baños 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. The weather is sunny all year round, and there's always good times to be had in town. Montañita is the perfect place to relax for a couple days and just enjoy the pleasant climate and beautiful scenery!
Top Things to Do in Montañita
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.
BAÑOS TO MONTAÑITA DEPARTURE DETAILS
Departures: Saturday, Tuesday, Thursday
Departures From: Library at Juan Montalvo Park (Located on Calle Juan Montalvo between 16 de Diciembre and 12 de Noviembre)
Departure Time: 10:30pm
Arrival Time: 09:00am (the following day)
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.
MONTAÑITA TO GUAYAQUIL
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!
MONTAÑITA TO GUAYAQUIL DEPARTURE DETAILS
Departures: Sunday, Wednesday, Friday
Departs From: Any hotel/hostel in central Montañita
Departure Time: 09:00pm
Arrival Time: 12:30am
Recommended nights in Guayaquil:
We recommend a stay of at least one night in Guayaquil to experience a little bit of 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.