Not many people know Pambamarca. At the end of the 15th century it was an important indigenous military base. It was a key area for local resistance forces, first during their fight against the Incas and later against the Spanish. Here you will find the so-called "pucara", that in the Quichua language means "fortress" or "castle". A pucara is characterised by its form of concentric circles of walls and pits, located at the top of a hill. Actually, there is over 30 pucaras placed on strategic locations around Pambamarca. Pucaras are mainly found in the North of Ecuador, although some exist in other areas as well.


Hill Forts around PambamarcaFrom Quito the day begins with a 1 1/2 hours drive to the town of Cangahua at the base of the hill.
From there we start the hike towards the highest pucara.
It normally takes no more than four hours up and two hours down.







Day 1On the Top

  • Pick up at Quito at around 7:30
  • One and a half hours drive to Cangahua
  • Four hours hike to the summit
  • Box lunch
  • Two hours down to the vehicle
  • Back at Quito by 17:30

Important Note: This schedule is subject to change due to unforeseen difficulties.


Also see our Interactive Map.



Pambamarca - Highlights

The Pambamarca Trekking Excursion offers you the following highlights:

      • Great opportunity to see a prosperous indigenous community.
      • A place with great archaeological importance in Ecuador.
      • Spectacular views of Cayambe volcano.
      • Just 1 1/2 hours away from Quito.
      • All year round climbing.

Pambamarca - Logistics

Duration: 1 day

Access: Drive in and drive out

Seasons: All year round

Pre-requisites: Acceptable physical condition

Equipment: Trekking Excursions Gear List
Please download the Pdf


Difficulty Level:



Pambamarca - Suggested Combinations

We suggest the following hike and two tours to complete your trip in Ecuador.
1. Pasochoa
4.200 m / 13,800 ft
2. Papallacta
Hot Springs
3.220 m / 10,562 ft
3. City Tour
We can arrange a tour to the colonial Old Town of Quito.

Trekking Excursions

Andeanface can develop a tailor made itinerary that will give you the opportunity of making the most out of your time, budget and specific interests. We offer the following Trekking Excursions; please contact us ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) for more information, suggestions, and prices about hiking in Ecuador: 
Guagua Pichincha