Ecuador – One Month Itinerary

Lake Quilotoa Ecuador  

Updated November 10th, 2019.

The Best of Ecuador… All in One Month!

Week One:

BEGIN QUITO: Start off in Ecuador’s capital city of Quito. Stay in either the old cobblestone quarter, Mariscal – Quito’s bopping area of bars, or Guapalo – the cities up and coming bohemian quarter. From Quito make sure to take day trips to the Otavalo market, La Mitad del Mundo, and Cotopaxi National Park. Stay approximately three nights.

Quito, Ecuador
The dramatic backdrop of Quito, Ecuador.

TWO NIGHTS IN MINDO: Ecuador’s cloud forest, in Mindo, is the perfect place to ease you into Ecuador’s stunning natural landscape. Spend your days mountain biking, ziplining, and birdwatching!

Week Two:

THREE DAYS IN BAÑOS: Six hours south of Quito lies Ecuador’s adventure hub of Baños. Spend a couple energy filled days rafting, canyoning, and biking through the land where mountains meet the jungle.

Jungle zip wiring in Baños, Ecuador.
Jungle zip wiring in Baños, Ecuador.

TWO TO THREE DAYS IN CUENCA: Ecuador’s southern city, Cuenca, is an artistic gem. Spend a couple of days soaking up the sophistication, café culture, and quaint markets lining the cities many rivers. Don’t miss a trip to Cajas National Park for jaw dropping scenery and wildlife.

History buffs will be relieved to hear you don’t need to head to Peru for Incan ruins either. From Cuenca, head to Ingapirca on a day trip to experience this ancient culture with a fraction of Machu Picchu’s crowds! 

Week Three:

FLY FROM GUAYAQUIL TO THE GALAPAGOS: It might be a more pricey venture but it would be a shame to come all the way to Ecuador and miss out on the Galapagos islands, a place which still belongs to nature. Swim with turtles, waddle down the malecon with sea lions, and giggle at the blue-footed boobies. We recommend at least a week for exploration and penguin chats!

Tip: Don’t overlook Guayaquil as a place to spend some time. It used to have a terrible reputation, but the place has recently really been turning itself around.

A giant tortoise on Galapagos
Giant tortoises – Locals of the Galapagos Islands!

OR ALTERNATIVELY, HEAD TO THE AMAZON: If the Galapagos isn’t in your plans this time around instead head west into the jungle. Tena is the place for rafting enthusiasts and also a great hub for onward travel. Don’t forget to book your Amazon trip or arrange your own adventures of monkey spotting and vine swinging once you get there. If you rather add a week in the Amazon into your travels, head to Tena after Baños and then move onwards to Cuenca.

Week Four:

UP THE COAST IN ONE WEEK: Spend a week surfing and relaxing on Ecuador’s ‘Ruta del Sol’. Stop for a couple nights in party hot spot Montañita, then relax in Ayampe taking day trips to Isla de La Plata and Los Frailes beach.

Ayampe Beach, Ecuador
Surf and relax in Ayampe, Ecuador.

BACK TO QUITO: One month in Ecuador well spent. Head back to Quito for your flight out or as a hub for onward travel to other South American countries!

Check out our travel guides to Ecuador here.

Our Recommended Travel Resources

  • Join Our Facebook Group: South America Backpacker Community
  • Travel Insurance: True Traveller and World Nomads.
  • Flight Search: Skyscanner.
  • Accommodation: Booking.com and HostelWorld.
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