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Ecuador is a country both rich in heritage and nature reserves. This tour takes you to exciting places through varied landscapes including the Avenue of the Volcanoes and the Andean Highlands! You have the opportunity to discover the diversity of Ecuadors’s flora and fauna while learning about the cultural variety of this multifaceted country. We offer you a unique combination of indigenous community encounters, exposures to ancestral traditions, sounds, flavors and natural experiences with adventurous activities.
As one of the highest active snow-caped volcanoes in the world, Cotopaxi’s (5,897m) symmetric cone rises up from a vast plain that is home to llamas, condors and herds of wild horses. Cotopaxi National Park tour is an exciting day that begins with spectacular views of the unique Andean landscape in the “Avenue of the Volcanoes”. Inside the national park we hike up to the refuge, which is situated at 4,810m on the Cotopaxi snowline.
Depending on conditions we will then hike up to 5,000m where it can be possible to see the glacier. This tour goes to a height of 4,810m, it is important that you are prepared for this kind of altitude. We recommend acclimatizing at least two days around 3,000m.
We will then have a short safety briefing before our descent on mountain bikes! There are two sections to the mountain biking, the first of which we recommend to experienced riders. The journey finishes at the beautiful lagoon at the base of Cotopaxi.
Ever growing in popularity and understandably so, Quilotoa is a must-see when visiting Ecuador. This volcanic crater is filled with crystal-blue water and holds a special place in local indigenous mythology for being bottomless. Along the drive to reach the crater you will pass by local markets in Saquisili (Thursdays) or Pujilí (Sundays) where you will gain an appreciation for the indigenous way of life. You’ll also pass through the canyon of Zumbahua which makes for a great photo opportunity and close to there you will visit an indigenous family. When you reach Quilotoa itself you can walk down from the rim to the waters edge and appreciate its beauty up close for yourself. The hike back up is rather steep however there is always the option of renting a mule for a few extra dollars.
Your horseback riding tour begins by being matched with an appropriate horse for your skills and experience. Following this your guide will give you instructions on how to control the horse and you will have time to get to know your horse in a safe enclosed area before you embark on your journey. All of our horses are well cared for and are trained for this type of riding so they are ideal for riders with little experience or for experts.
During the tour you will have amazing views of the Valley of the Volcanos as it is known. The trail begins along a cobble stone road where you will pass the local rose farms and head towards the pastoral lands. Along the way you will gain a feel for the local agricultural life against the backdrop of snowcapped volcanos.
Professional bilingual guides
Spanish speaking guide for horseback riding
2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 lunch box after horseback riding
2 nights at Hostería PapaGayo
Transportation from Quito on the first day
Mountain bike and helmet for Cotopaxi biking tour
Quilotoa entrance fee ($2)
Mules at Quilotoa for the way back up (optional rent: $10)
Contribution to the communitiy and dinner
Transportation back to Quito on the last day