Day trip from Quito: the surrounding mountains

We yearned for a fresh escape out of Quito, the smoggy capital of Ecuador. We planned a little day trip to the surrounding mountains to get a closer look at the Pichincha volcano and admire the city from above.

The Teleférico (a cable car) takes you smoothly from the Quito centre up to Cruz Loma viewpoint area. If you are struggling with the altitude in Quito, keep in mind that Cruz Loma sits on 4100 m asl. Pack your energy snacks and plenty of water to keep yourself up and running, the altitude is no joke.

From Cruz Loma, you can hike to the active stratovolcano Pichincha.

Cruz Loma viewpoint in Quito
Views from Cruz Loma

Quito is huge, but once up in the mountains, you can truly realise the size of it. Sit down and enjoy the fresh mountain air while admiring the views. We were lucky with a warm day, but the weather can change rapidly. And warm in the elevation of 4000 asl doesn’t mean wearing flowy summer dresses.

Cruz Loma is also a great starting point for some trekking, by foot or on horseback. We rented horses to get a closer glimpse of Pichincha. I love riding so what could be a better way to enjoy outdoors and explore the highlands a little. What a perfect escape to the mountains out of the smoggy Quito.

How many volcanoes you can spot on the surrounding mountains?

• Quito, Ecuador

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