"Trek sacred trails in the Ecuadorian Andes!"
Head off the beaten path on this incredible hiking trip of a lifetime. Hike trails that have been used by local people for hundreds of years, right back to the Incas. You will reach the most sacred volcano in the region: Alter. See the night sky as you have never seen it before: free from light pollution and alight with stars. Learn the ancient tales of the Andes from your guides and dare yourself to reach the horizon.
This tour is lead by a team who focus on highlighting the beauty, environmental significance, and astounding cultural diversity of the area. The philosophy of these trips is to focus above all on the beauty of life and how to best protect it. Adventure travelling in this way changes people's perspectives and shows them how important it is to protect our planet.
Arrive in Quito for your first day and get to know the city and the country a little. There are no scheduled activities on your first day. Your trip leaders will meet you at your hotel to answer any questions you may have about your upcoming adventures. Depending on what time you arrive, you may have time to explore Quito and the surrounding area. Quito is the largest and best preserved city in the Americas and in 1978 it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Indeed, this city is utterly fascinating. It is considered the cultural capital of South America as well as the second most important city of the old Inca Empire. Day trips from here include a trip to the equator line, Mindo Cloud forest, Cotopaxi national park, Quilotoa crater lake, Otavalo indian market, Papallacta hot springs, Pululahua inhabitant crater and many more. Ask us if you want help to organise something.
You will begin your tour of the country with a scenic drive through the Avenue of Volcanoes. If the weather is good, you may be able to see Cotopaxi, Rumiñahui, Ilinizas, and Tungurahua volcanoes. Driving down the Panamerican highway, you will enjoy spectacular views of the colourful Andean fields. At noon you will reach the beginning of your trek. This will take until about five in the afternoon, when you will reach your campsite.
Today is the longest, and perhaps the most spectacular trek of the expedition. You will be gone for several hours, trekking along the unique trails in the Paramo ecosystem. You will be at a very high altitude and the air is thin up here. Your expert guides will tell you about the flora and fauna of the region. The Mandur Lagoon, at 4420 meters, is a breath-taking site. You will spend some time enjoying the views from here. Afterwards, you will return to your campsite, where the camp chef will be waiting with a fantastic meal for you to enjoy.
Start with a delicious breakfast to fuel your day ahead, then head off again on your adventure. You will head to another crater lake. This lake is another stunning site; it’s yellow due to the high concentration of sulphur.
Today we will return to the Hacienda Releche and drive to Cotopaxi Province and spend the night in a Colonial Hacienda. This will be the perfect chance to relax and recover from the previous few days.
After breakfast, you will head out on a car ride to the Ilinizas Ecological Reserve. On the way, you will have a quick stop at the Toachi canyon to enjoy the stunning vista. From there you will only have a ten minute drive to the Quilotoa Volcano, and get hiking to the crater. This lake is considered on of the most beautiful crater lakes on Earth. You will have the option here to kayak and later hike or take a mule ride back up out of the crater. Finally, you will drive back to Quito.
Say goodbye to the group and tour leaders before heading home.
- The price shown is a 'from' price per person
- Click 'Ask a Question' to speak to the operator directly about this tour's availability, departure dates and costs
- Accommodation based on double occupancy: 2 nights in first class hotel in Quito, 3 nights in comfortable camping in the Andes, 1 night in a Colonial Hacienda.
- Meals Included: 6 Breakfast, 5 Lunches and 3 Dinners
- Outdoor gear: Trekking stick, Dry bags, Eureka tents, air mattresses, bathroom tent, portable toilet, social kitchen
- Trip Leader: Certified EPL expert English-speaking adventure trip leader and local guides
- Own room & tent supplement: $263
- International flights
- Airport transfers to/from Quito airport
- Travel insurance (mandatory)
- Meals not described in the itinerary
- Personal expenses & Tips