Cotocachi

Cotocachi is a small town, which is most known for the nearby lake and natural park. The town doesnt have a lot to offer travellers, but the huge craterlake makes for an excellent destination for hikers. The hike around the lake is pretty tough if you are not used to the altitude yet, but it is definitely worth your time if you are willing to make the effort. The hike will take anywhere between 5 and 8 hours, depending on your condition and ability to deal with the altitude.

La Esperanza is a small town a few kilometers south of Ibarra. It is pleasantly tranquil spot to visit. When you are looking for a beautiful natural environment that may make you think about the French pyrenees, La Esperanza is the place for you. In La Esperanza you can enjoy the calm life a little agricultural town has to offer. The beautiful surrounding will only add to the laid-back atmosphere.

Papallacta

The Termas de Papallacta offer the perfect quaint escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and are located just a few hours outside of Quito. Soaking in Papallacta’s mineral hot springs is a great way to unwind and relax with an amazing view of lush green hills and the soaring Andes Mountains.

Peguche

Peguche is a little community close to Otavalo. It is famous for the beautiful waterfalls not too far away from the village.

A trip to the waterfalls is a great way to enjoy the beautiful nature, without going to far off the beaten track. Just take an hour walk through the countryside from Otavalo to get there.

Quilotoa

The petite town of Quilotoa at first look appears barren with small clusters of hostels operated by ambitious Ecuadorians, but as one mounts the trail just beyond the avenue of hostels a spectacular expansive emerald lake obliterates any doubts of the quaint village’s beauty. Patches of anamorphic shapes glide across the water, originating from the bulbous billowy clouds above. Laguna Quilotoa is not a ghost town but a community whose economy centers on the bounty activities stemming from the lake. Quilotoa is the highlight destination of the Cotopaxi circuit/loop named after it. The loop begins in Latacunga and travels through the market town of Zumbahua to Quilotoa, and through Sigchos.

Saraguro

Saraguro is located between Cuenca and Loja. In Saraguro you will discover one of the most important indigenous centers of Ecuador. The native Saraguros still maintain their native roots through the Quichua language , traditional dress code, local construction and gastronomy.

Vilcabamba

A glorious getaway after a long journey, Vilcabamba boasts some of the best spas in Ecuador. The village is most famous as the “fountain of youth” of Ecuador, where rumors speak of lucid working inhabitants with ages over 100! While this is not exactly true, the residents of Vilcabamba age remarkably well, a pair of 90 year-old sisters roams the town’s center gossiping about the latest batch of tourists, and the entire community exudes a welcoming, tranquil, and gentle demeanor.

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