Welcome to Central Highlands


Most trips to the area will include a couple of days in the region’s exceptional national parks and reserves, including Los Ilinizas, Cotopaxi, Llanganates, Chimborazo and Sangay. The Quilotoa Loop brings hiking travelers through traditional indigenous communities to an impossibly deep crater lake. And there are rail adventures and crafts markets, plus plenty of tropical experiences in the verdant valley leading down to the ever-popular town of Baños.


Top experiences in Central Highlands

Travel guides

Starting at $24.99

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Central Highlands activities

$30 Outdoor Activities

Canyoning in Rio Blanco from Baños

ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this productThe meeting point is at 9am at our agency in Baños where we will get changed and put our wetsuits and shoes on. We can leave our clothes and bags at the entrance of the Canyoning place. Then, we are heading in a private car to Rio Blanco for about 20 minutes. After we have the safety briefing by our guide explaining the abseiling techniques and safety instructions, you will be able to practice on land before we enter the canyon. When everybody are prepared we will have to hike uphill for about 20 minutes through breathtaking scenery. Then we can rappel down 3 different waterfalls, almost at the end of the canyoning section you can experience a natural waterslide that is the icon of this trip. At the entrance of the Canyoning section you will change back into your clothes and will return to Baños. Our services end here.Duration: 4 hoursLocation: Imagine Ecuador, Banos, Tungurahua Province

$38.82 Day Trips & Excursions

Devils Nose Train Ride from Alausi

The Devil's Nose Route is, without a doubt, the most impressive section of Ecuador's railway: a hair-raising trip down the rocky slopes of the Andes departing form the town of Alausi to the town of Simbambe on the way down to the coastal region.Depart by train to Sibambe. The train will descend more than 500 meters in less than 12km doing zigzag maneuvers on the mountain. This is a unique adventure and the most attractive of this route. You will experience a different landscape combinations between mountains, vegetation, and the central Andes valley. Arrive at Sibambe and enjoy the culture of Ecuador. Discover the history of the indigenous people, and learn more about the railroad construction which took place more than 100 years ago. You will have a short free time for pictures and a visit to the artisan market at Sibambe Train Station.When your time here is complete, you will depart back to Alusi by train.Two daily departures at 8am and 11am except on Mondays.

$80 Day Trips & Excursions

Banos to Puyo Amazon Rainforest Full-Day Trip Including Lunch

Your day trip to the Amazon jungle starts with meeting at a central location in Baños at 8:30 am. There, you will meet your prepared and experienced leaders and board a private vehicle to head to Puyo. After approximately 1 hour, you will reach Puyo where your first stop will be a rescue center for animals. Here, you will see monkeys, ocelots and caimans. We will then head to the camp in Hola Vida Reserve, an ecological reserve of 225 hectares dedicated to the conservation of the environment. You will first head with your guide to visit a beautiful waterfall located about two hours away from the cabins in the reserve. Once there, you will have a chance to swim and enjoy the tranquility of the forest. Spend some time here, taking in the atmosphere and stunning settings, which make this area a memorable place. Then, it is time to head back to the cabins and camp. On your way back, you will pass through and explore the jungle with your guide. Learn about the rainforest and its flora and fauna and try to spot interesting flowers and birds. Once you reach the cabins, you will enjoy a delicious and traditional lunch and then head on an exciting paddle canoe ride on the Puyo river. After 30-minutes of fun in the river, you will visit a viewpoint to admire an exceptional view of the rainforest and then continue your tour by visiting a Quichua indigenous community. See the people and how they make necklaces and bracelets. Here, you can also try and practice the blowpipe and paint your faces with achiote, which is a natural paint. After a fun-filled jungle adventure, you will be taken back to Baños.

$880 Cultural & Theme Tours

Ecuador Cloud Forest 5 Days Hiking Tour

ItineraryDay 1: Fliying to QuitoStop At: Quito Old Town, Quito, Pichincha ProvinceTransfer in International Flight to Quito, Ecuador. Once you clear customs you’ll meet one of our Guides, then you´ll be taken to the hotel in Quito.The hotel is located in the heart of Quito´s business district and it has many facilities to make your stay very pleasant.Duration: 1 hourNo meals included on this day.Accommodation included: Overnight at Mercure Hotel **** Stars HotelDay 2: Pululahua Hike - Yunguilla Stop At: Puma Sacha, Nanegalito, Pichincha ProvinceEarly in the morning we will drive towards Pululahua Ecological Reserve to start our hike (8 miles) trough one of the active volcano calderas of Ecuador, you will enjoy the views and the Andean flora as we hike, then we will continue our tour by car until a community known as Yunguilla, where we will have lunch in a local restaurant and later we will visit all their projects at the village. Finally we will stay overnight at a family house (homestay), this is a unique experience for you and also a nice opportunity to learn more about the Ecuadorian culture. You could practice your Spanish with the families or also teach them some English!!!This First hike goes from 11550 ft. until 8500 ft.HIKING TIME: 3 HOURS Duration: 8 hoursMeals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • DinnerAccommodation included: Homestay at Yunguilla Village ** Stars homestayDay 3: Santa Lucia HikeStop At: Mindo Nambillo Cloud Forest Reserve, Mindo, Pichincha ProvinceAfter breakfast on this day we will visit a nice viewpoint known as El Chochal, where you will see some of the highest volcanoes of Ecuador such as Pichincha, Cayambe, Cotacachi, Antisana, and Pululahua, as well a beautiful view of the cloud forest.Then it is time to start our 2 hike through the cliffs, trails and magical paths surrounded by forest. Los Culuncos trail was originally used as route to exchange o products between the mountain people and the coastal natives, it was also used illegally to transport brandy from Nanegal village to Calacalí nearby Quito, but now is only used for tourism. A long the way we will enjoy lunch and rest a bet before we continue to Santa Lucia Eco lodge.Second hike goes from 8500 ft. down to 6500 ft.HIKING TIME: 6 to 7 HOURS Duration: 7 hoursMeals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • DinnerAccommodation included: Santa Lucia Eco Lodge *** Stars LodgeDay 4: Cock of the Rock - Maquipucuna Hike Stop At: Maquipucuna Reserve, Quito, Pichincha ProvinceEarly hike to visit the fantastic Andean Cock of the Rock (this is the most representative bird from the cloud forest). This is a 1 hour to get to the lek's location, but this 5:00 am effort is really worth it. A sight you will never forget as the spectacular bird men perform their dance to attract women, it will be one the highlight of this trip.Breakfast is going to be at the Bird lek.Then we return to Santa Lucia to have lunch, and then prepare to go down to Maquipucuna. This hike is mainly in the cloud forest, so if we are lucky, we might see some other colorful birds and for sure a lot of orchids along the way. In Maquipucuna Eco lodge we will have dinner and then we will do a night walk near the lodge.Second hike goes from 6500 ft. down to 4500 ft.HIKING TIME: 5 to 7 HOURS Duration: 8 hoursMeals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • DinnerAccommodation included: Overnight at Maquipucuna Lodge *** Stars LodgeDay 5: Quito City Tour / Cable CarStop At: Teleferico Quito, Quito, Pichincha ProvinceEarly in the morning we will enjoy a birding tour around the lodge, then we will have breakfast. Finally we will return back to Quito to start our city tour at Panecillo viewpoint to admire the Quito´s wonders from above, then we will walk around two hours visiting the highlights of the old city such as; San Francisco Church, Compañia de Jesús Church and Sagrario Church located on “Calle de la Siete Cruces” or Garcia Moreno Street. Then we will visit the Presidential Palace lobby at Quito´s main Square. Finally we will visit the first Gothic Church of Ecuador, considered the highest one in the city. This is another beautiful viewpoint to observe “The Avenue of the Volcanoes”.Then we will drive towards to the Teleferico or cable Car for another viewpoint of the AndesNOTICE: AFTER THE CITY TOUR YOU COULD TAKE YOUR FLIGHT HOME BY THE END OF THE AFTERNOON OR AT NIGHT.ALSO IF YOU PREFER WE CAN ADD 1 MORE NIGHT IN QUITO BEFORE YOU FLIGHT BACK HOME. (THIS LAST NIGHT COULD BE IN A HOTEL ONLY 15 MINUTES FROM QUITOS AIRPORT)Transfer Out – International Flight back home Our guide will drive you back to Quito´s international Airport, for your flight home… END OF THE SERVICES!!!From this day we can add more other excursions such as; Jungle Adventure 3 Days / 2 Nights, Galapagos Luxury Package 5 Days / 4 Nights.(We hope to see you soon in one of our other Destinations)Duration: 8 hoursMeals included: • BreakfastAccommodation included: No Included

$600 Multi-day & Extended Tours

FROM QUITO TO BAÑOS

Day 1: We start our tour from Quito early in the morning. The first day we will drive to Quilotoa Crater Lake but on the way we will have some stops. Depending of the day of departure we will stop at one of the traditional indigenous markets. This can be in Pujilí or Zumbahua that operate once a week and where the locals from the area congregate to sell their products. Another stop Tigua village and their famous painters who have achieved a prestigious name for painting indigenous traditions and Andean landscapes on goatskin. One stop more will be in the Toachi canyons before we continue to Quilotoa. This is our destination, where it will be possible to hike part of the edge of the crater or hike down to the lake (this hike is demanding but it is possible to hire a mule for the return climb.  (This cost is not included). We will have lunch at one of the locally own restaurants in the area and will move to Baños. On the way we will stop to try traditional ice-creams elaborated in the area. Our final destination this first day is a little town called “Baños” one of the most popular and interesting towns on the way to the Amazon Rainforest.Day 2: We have breakfast at the hotel and we will move east to visit the amazing route of the waterfalls where we have the chance to have a little ride on a gondola crossing the big Pastaza River to get a close view of one of the waterfalls called “Manto de la novia”. We will also visit another waterfall called “Pailon Del Diablo” or Devil’s cauldron in English. To get here we will have a hike along a forest path for around 45 minutes. We will return to Baños for lunch. In the afternoon we will go swinging on the swing at the end of the world and visit the town. The rest of the afternoon will be free for you to explore the area.Day 3: This third day we will start our return to Quito. On the way we will visit the Salasacas indigenous group and their textile shops located in the main square of this town. We will continue to “Cotopaxi Volcano and National Park”, a volcano of 5.897-m-high considered the highest active volcano in the world. This is an impressive sight to see if weather conditions are in our favor. During our stay at the National Park we will admire its natural environment, its Flora and Fauna with the explanations provided by your naturalist guide. We have a hike around Limpiopungo Lake which is located at the foot of the volcano and another one by the edge of a cliff watching the native vegetation . We will have lunch in the area of Cotopaxi and will return to Quito afterwards.

$60 Kid Friendly

Tour Ingapirca & Gualaceo Chordeleg Tour Arqueologico Artesanal

ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this productStop At: Ingapirca Ruins, Ingapirca, Canar ProvinceEste tour nos permite conocer de una manera sintetizada los lugares más importantes de tipo cultural de las provincias de Azuay y Cañar. Primero iremos al sitio arqueológico de Ingapirca, donde encontraremos parte de la evidencia de la cultura Cañari e Inca. Sitio considerado como el más importante y mejor conservado de Ecuador. En el trayecto se puede degustar la oferta de gastronomía típica de la región (Biblián).Este recorrido además nos dirigirá hacia Gualaceo y Chordeleg. Lugares donde destaca la actividad artesanal. En Chordeleg visitaremos la joyería elaborada en oro y plata con la técnica de la filigrana. Además, visitaremos un taller donde se elabora figurillas de arcilla con motivos costumbristas inspirados en la vida cotidiana. En Gualaceo visitaremos el mercado local. Este lugar es reconocido por la gastronomía tradicional y el pintoresco paisaje conformado por las cholitas (mujer típica de la región). Para finalizar conoceremos el taller “Casa de la Makana”, donde conoceremos el proceso de elaboración de la famosa Macana o chal típico, elaborado con la milenaria técnica del ikat.Duration: 2 hoursStop At: Parque Chordeleg, Chordeleg, Azuay ProvinceEste tour nos permite conocer de una manera sintetizada los lugares más importantes de tipo cultural de las provincias de Azuay y Cañar. Primero iremos al sitio arqueológico de Ingapirca, donde encontraremos parte de la evidencia de la cultura Cañari e Inca. Sitio considerado como el más importante y mejor conservado de Ecuador. En el trayecto se puede degustar la oferta de gastronomía típica de la región (Biblián).Este recorrido además nos dirigirá hacia Gualaceo y Chordeleg. Lugares donde destaca la actividad artesanal. En Chordeleg visitaremos la joyería elaborada en oro y plata con la técnica de la filigrana. Además, visitaremos un taller donde se elabora figurillas de arcilla con motivos costumbristas inspirados en la vida cotidiana. En Gualaceo visitaremos el mercado local. Este lugar es reconocido por la gastronomía tradicional y el pintoresco paisaje conformado por las cholitas (mujer típica de la región). Para finalizar conoceremos el taller “Casa de la Makana”, donde conoceremos el proceso de elaboración de la famosa Macana o chal típico, elaborado con la milenaria técnica del ikat.Duration: 2 hours