Photo by David Rojas

For spectacular views over Quito’s mountainous landscape, hop aboard this sky tram that takes passengers on a 2.5km ride (10 minutes) up the flanks of Volcán Pichincha to the top of Cruz Loma. Once you’re at the top (a mere 4100m), you can hike to the summit of Rucu Pichincha (4680m), about a three-hour hike for fit walkers – some scrambling is required and you should ask about the safety situation before attempting.

You can also hire horses (per hour $10), which are about 500m from the upper station (follow signs to ‘paseos a caballo’). Don’t attempt the trip to Rucu Pichincha until you’ve acclimatized in Quito for a couple of days. Vulqano Park, a children’s amusement park, is at the base station. Try to visit in the morning, when the views here are best; the clouds usually roll in by noon. A taxi here costs about $5 from the Mariscal.