Quito, Ecuador

Chaquiñán Trail

Jose Pablo Cordo/TripAdvisor

Though situated a little outside the city, in the suburb of Cumbayá, the Chaquiñán Trail is considered one of the greatest running and cycling routes in all of South America. This 20 km (12 mile) one-way hard dirt track is on a former railroad bed, which runners can pick up from Parque Portal Cumbaya Chaquiñán Ecológico. The trail begins in a park-like setting, then shares a stretch of road as it runs through Tumbaco. The path alternates between pretty countryside, down a canyon, and through private gardens. Near Portal La Esperanza, the trail enters a lovely natural area surrounding El Chiche River. Note that there are some hilly sections, with a total elevation gain of 525 meters over the 20 km. Bonus: it’s at a slightly lower elevation.

Add-On: Across the way, there’s a nice run 3.7 km (2.3 mile) loop around the Parque del Reservorio, a reservoir with a path around its circumference. There’s even a narrow walkway across the middle of the water.

Essentials
  • Up to 20 km (13 miles) one-way
  • 525 meters (1721 feet)
  • Parque Portal de Cumbayá
  • Bus Access from Quito: Maria Angelica Idrobo Y Oe3 Bus Stop