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Volcano Pichincha

Hike or drive up the mountainous slopes of Quito’s twin-peaked volcano and enjoy stunning views across the Andean mountain ranges.

Just outside of Quito lies Pichincha, an active volcano with two peaks. Take a four-wheel drive to the peaks and observe beautiful views of the valley all the way to Quito on the volcano’s eastern slopes. Visitors who are more active can hike to the summit of the two peaks or embark on an adventurous mountain bike ride around the face of the volcano.

The volcano’s two peaks are named Guagua, which means “child” in indigenous Quechua, and Rucu, meaning “old person.” Standing at 15,696 feet (4,784 meters) and 15,413 feet (4,698 meters) respectively, Guagua and Rucu dominate the city’s western landscape. Access the stunning peaks of Pichincha by four-wheel drive from the small village of Lloa, where a dirt road leads directly to the Guagua summit. If you prefer more physical adventures, climb Guagua accompanied by a local guide. The hike takes approximately 4 hours, and a small refuge about 20 minutes from the peak offers lodging and refreshments. Climb Rucu, the inactive volcano peak, from Cruz Loma lookout in about 3 hours. Cruz Loma is easily accessible by the TelefériQo (gondola).

Take in magnificent views from atop Pichincha, stretching across the other peaks in the Andes mountain ranges to Padre Encantado and Condor Guachana. Guagua’s last major eruption occurred in 1999 and coated the city with a layer of ash. The volcano is historically significant to Ecuador because it was the site where Antonio José de Sucre led and won the Battle of Pichincha and secured the territory’s independence from the Spanish colonial army.

Pichincha is located approximately 6.2 miles (10 kilometers) west of Quito. Four-wheel drive tours, guided hikes and mountain bike trips can be arranged in the city. Smaller mountains nearby, such as Antenas or Condor Guachana, are also great spots for hiking and mountain biking. Ensure you are properly equipped for the trip. Pack adequate water, wear appropriate footwear and take some time beforehand to acclimatize to the altitude in Quito.


Best Lodging Options Near Volcano Pichincha

See all 561 Properties near Volcano Pichincha
Hacienda Rumiloma $180
Hacienda Rumiloma

Hacienda Rumiloma

Obispo Diaz de la Madrid s/n, al final de la calle, Quito, Pichincha
     
    5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in La Primavera, this luxury hotel is 1 mi (1.6 km) from Calle La Ronda and 2.9 mi (4.7 km) from Foch Square. Metropolitan Hospital and Casa De la Musica are also within 2 mi (3 km).

    Escape the City Noise in 5 Minutes in a Cozy Green House $36
    Escape the City Noise in 5 Minutes in a Cozy Green House

    Escape the City Noise in 5 Minutes in a Cozy Green House

    Quito, Pichincha
       
      0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated in Quito, this romantic bed & breakfast is 0.9 mi (1.5 km) from Central University of Ecuador and within 3 mi (5 km) of Foch Square and Independence Square. Catedral Metropolitana de Quito is 2.3 mi (3.7 km) away.

      Casa Gangotena $279
      Casa Gangotena

      Casa Gangotena

      Calle Bolívar OE 6-41 & Cuenca, Quito, Pichincha
         
        4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Quito Historic Center, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of San Francisco Church, Catedral Metropolitana de Quito, and Independence Square. Foch Square is 2.4 mi (3.8 km) away.

        Estancia de la Campiña $68
        Estancia de la Campiña

        Estancia de la Campiña

        Vía a La Campiña, Sobre el Bario La Curv, Nono, Pichincha
           
          2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated in the mountains, this hotel is 5.4 mi (8.7 km) from Chiquilpe and 9.2 mi (14.8 km) from Mindo Cloud Forest. Estadio Rodrigo Paz Delgado and Parque Bicentenario are also within 16 mi (25 km).

          Casa Amistad, Greatest Location in Quito! $12
          Casa Amistad, Greatest Location in Quito!

          Casa Amistad, Greatest Location in Quito!

          Quito, Pichincha
             
            0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in the heart of Quito, this vacation home is within 2 mi (3 km) of Centro de Arte Contemporaneo, Catedral Metropolitana de Quito, and Independence Square. Foch Square is 2 mi (3.1 km) away.

            Swissotel Quito $78
            Swissotel Quito

            Swissotel Quito

            Av 12 de Octubre y 1820 Luis Cordero, Quito, Pichincha
               
              4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              This family-friendly Quito hotel is located in the business district, within a 15-minute walk of Trude Sojka Cultural House and Foch Square. Independence Square and Catedral Metropolitana de Quito are also within 3 mi (5 km).

              La Casa Amarilla
              La Casa Amarilla

              La Casa Amarilla

              Selva Alegre Oe5-70 y, Antonio de San Miguel y Solier, Quito
                 
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in La Granja, this guesthouse is within 1 mi (2 km) of Metropolitan Hospital and Central University of Ecuador. TelefériQo and La Mariscal Craft Market are also within 3 mi (5 km).

                Casona El Descanso $66
                Casona El Descanso

                Casona El Descanso

                Calle Ambato, Calle Bahía de Caráquez, Quito, Pichincha
                   
                  2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Quito Historic Center, this bed & breakfast is within a 15-minute walk of Quito Eterno, Catedral Metropolitana de Quito, and Independence Square. Foch Square is 2.6 mi (4.2 km) away.