Follow the different "Hopstages" of our route to see the different highlights at each of our destinations.
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.
GUAYAQUIL TO BAÑOS
From Guayaquil, we'll head towards 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.
Top Things to Do in Baños
Cycle around the “Ruta de las Cascadas,” a loop bringing you past some of the area’s most beautiful waterfalls.
Go zip-lining and take in the incredible jungle scenery from above as you soar through the sky.
Do some white water rafting on the nearby Rio Pastaza for some adrenaline-pumping action.
Visit the “Swing at the End of the World” to ride a treehouse swing over a cliff (really!) and take in a phenomenal view of the surrounding mountains.
In addition to all these amazing adventure activities, Baños is also a great place to just relax for a couple days in a beautiful setting. The town's name (Spanish for “baths”) is a reference to the many thermal baths in the area that you can enjoy while in town. Baños is also home to many retreats and wellness centers offering massages, spa treatments, and more. Whether you prefer a canyoning expedition in the jungle or a day in the hot tub (or maybe both), Baños has something for everybody and that’s why it’s one of Ecuador’s best destinations.
GUAYAQUIL TO BAÑOS DEPARTURE DETAILS
Departures: Monday, Thursday, Saturday
Departs From: Primax Terminal Terreste Gas Station opposite Guayaquil Bus Terminal. Click here for directions.
Departure Time: 12:45am
Arrival Time: 07:00am
Recommended nights in Baños:
We recommend you stay at least two nights in Baños, which should give you sufficient time to participate in one of the popular outdoor activities listed above.
BAÑOS TO QUITO
From Baños we’ll head towards Quito but first we’ve got some 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 of the trip will be at the Quilotoa Lagoon, an unbelievable crystal-blue lake located right inside the caldera of an active volcano. Don't worry, it's safe!
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 do visit some local communities or do a guided tour around the lake.
After another hour on the road, we’ll make a stop at the stunning Mount Cotopaxi, a towering snow-capped volcano located in Ecuador’s countryside. Those who plan to take a tour of Cotopaxi National Park can hop off here and spend the night at the scenic Chuquiragua Lodge before beginning a tour the next morning.
After our stop at Mount Cotopaxi, we’ll begin heading towards our final destination of Quito. Once we arrive, there’s no reason to stress about hailing a taxi or finding your hotel/hostel, since all Ecuador Hop buses do direct pick-up and drop-off in Quito. Just sit back and enjoy the amazing sights along the way! To learn about the best tours and things to do in Quito, don’t forget that all Ecuador Hop guides are proud locals who are more than willing to give some friendly advice!
BAÑOS TO QUITO DEPARTURE DETAILS
Departures: EVERY DAY
Departs From: Library at Juan Montalvo Park (Located on Calle Juan Montalvo between 16 de Diciembre and 12 de Noviembre)
Departure Time: 1:00pm
Arrival Time: 8:30pm
Recommended nights in Quito:
We recommend you stay two nights in Quito. This will give you the chance to spend one full day exploring the city and one full day for a day trip to a nearby attraction such as the Mitad del Mundo.
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 itinerary on Ecuador Hop before arriving in Quito to catch your flight. If you would like to fly from Guayaquil, you can simply hop off there, complete your trip to the islands, then return to Guayaquil and pick up your Ecuador Hop itinerary where you left off. We can even help you with choosing and arranging a tour! Visit our Galapagos Guide for more information.