Those seeking a bit of adventure can spend the day rock-climbing, hiking amidst volcanoes and cycling – all within city limits.

Cycling

Local mountain-biking companies rent bikes and offer excellent tours, including one-day rides through the páramo (high-altitude Andean grasslands) of Parque Nacional Cotopaxi as well as downhill descents, and trips incorporating a stop at Papallacta hot springs. Two-day trips take in Cotopaxi and Chimborazo or Cotopaxi and Quilotoa. Single-day trips cost about $60. Compare prices and trips before committing to a particular operator.

Free Wheeling in Quito

Every Sunday, the entire length of Avenida Amazonas and most of the Old Town closes to cars from 9am to 2pm as thousands of cyclists take to the street for the weekly ciclopaseo. The entire ride (some 30km), which you can cycle part or all of, stretches past the old airport, through the Old Town and into the southern reaches of Quito. It’s a marvelous way to experience the city. Bikes can be hired along the way for $3 an hour.

Another good place for cyclists to check out is the bicycle-loving cafe La Cleta Bici Café.