The snow-dusted peak of Cayambe looms over the rolling farmland surrounding the town of the same name, 64km north of Quito along the Panamericana. Enormous rows of blooms blanket the nearby hillsides – the region is considered Ecuador’s flower capital: as the old saying goes, stop and smell the roses. Most people, however, breeze through town on their way to Otavalo.
While Cayambe itself doesn't have much to offer travelers (kids might want to check out the truly elaborate playground equipment in a park lining the highway), it does serve as a base to less-visited spots in the region. And you can drive fairly high up the flank of the volcano for magnificent views.
Cayambe is the home of the country's beloved bizcochos (biscuits), so pick up a bag for your road trip at one of the locations listed here.