Day 1 Quito
Welcome to Quito! Depending on arrival time, you can spend your day exploring the town of Quito and the surrounding area.
In the evening, one of our trip leaders will meet you at the hotel at 18:00pm for a welcome briefing and there will be plenty of time to discuss details and answer any questions you may have regarding the adventure. Our first day is an informational and acclimation day.
Day 2 Quito - Cotopaxi National Park - Hacienda Santa Ana (55 km)
We begin this adventure traveling south on the pan American highway for 2 hours through The Avenue of Volcanoes. On the way enjoy views of volcanoes suvh as Cayambe, Antisana, Pichincha, Illinizas, Pasochoa, and Corazon. Once we enter the Cotopaxi National Park we will drive on the high alpine line where we will learn from our guide about the flora and fauna of the Paramo ecosystem, along the road we will cross a pine forest and with some luck, you could spot a whitetail deer.
Commence your journey in The Avenue of Volcanoes and start biking at an elevation of 13000 feet. Travel along a dirt road where wild horses and bulls roam, surrounded by the remains of the last eruption of Cotopaxi, which took place about 140 years ago. From here we will ride on an exciting single track all the way to the Pucara Inca Ruins, here our guides will prepare a delicious lunch for you. In the afternoon, we will continue on our way for about 1 hour to the Hacienda Santa Ana.
BIKING TIME.- FROM 2 TO 4 HOURS
Biking Distance.- 20 miles ( 32 Km)
Elevation Gain.- 300 feet ( 91 m)
What to wear.- Biking shorts or pants, t-shirt, fleece, biking or tennis shoes.
Day 3 Papallacta
In this day, after breakfast, we will drive to the western part of the Ecuadorian Andes, our first stop is at the Guango Hummingbird Reserve, here enjoy the ability to view about 20 species of these marvelous birds, all while enjoying a cup of coffee or some amazon tea. Later, we continue to the Papallacta resort to check in at your cabin with location right in front of the pools of volcanic water. Today, have lunch on your own as there are plenty of choices for restaurants that offer traditional food, in the afternoon we will go for a hike in the nearby cloud forest in search of orchids, bromeliads and several other different species of flora; with some luck you could observe some birds such us tanagers, trogons, warbler, flycatchers and even a condor.
The rest of the day and night is yours to enjoy the volcanic hot springs and the Spa treatments high in the midst of the cool Andes.
Hiking time - from 2 to 3 hours depending on the weather.
Hiking Distance - 2 miles ( 3,2 Km)
Elevation Gain - 500 feet (152 m)
What to wear - T-shirt, hiking pants, tennis shoes, rubber boots for rent at the reserve, bring rain gear in your day pack as well as binoculars.
Day 4 Biking in Cayambe Coca
Travel upon a precious, exclusive road with no traffic in this high region. This is a special experience because this ecological reserve is very remote and pristine with little influence from people. While descending from 13000 ft (3962 m) to 9000 ft (2743 m), enjoy the views of the Andean fields and witness the surroundings of grassland and colorful flowers, with occasional deer and rabbits crossing. This park is home of the Spectacle Bear the only species in south America. Enjoy views of the Andean fields, the local people from region depend much upon the agriculture of products like potato, corn, fava beans, lupine, etc.
We arrive at the Hacienda to check-in during the early afternoon, later we will do an optional bike ride of 20 minutes each way to the Equator monument to learn a bit more of the Latitude 0.
Biking time: from 2 to 4 hours.
Biking Distance: miles 35 ( 56 Km)
Elevation Gain: 350 feet ( 106 m ) optional elevation gain 3000 feet
What to wear: Biking shorts or pants, t-shirt, fleece, biking or tennis shoes, biking gloves.
Day 5 Biking to Otavalo
In the morning, venture for about 1 hour to the point where we start biking. It will be along a beautiful paved road that surrounds the Imbabura Volcano and experience the great views of the San Pablo Lake and the small indigenous villages of this province. During our journey, we will stop to visit a weavers workshop and learn how they make their tapestries.
Lunch is on your own and the rest of the afternoon is for you to explore the Otavalo Indigenous Market. Here you will find the best souvenirs for the best prices, and most importantly most of the products are made locally by families from the area. The main things you will find here are ponchos, tapestries, blankets, jewelry, etc.
In the late afternoon we will go to the hacienda for a welcome drink and a delicious dinner.
Biking time: from 2 to 4 hours
Biking Distance: 18 miles (Km)
Elevation Gain: Optional 1000 feet (304 m)
What to wear: Biking shorts, t-shirt, biking or tennis shoes, biking gloves
Day 6 Pululahua - Quito
Today we drive for two hours heading south on the Pan-American highway, the first stop will be in Tabacundo town to see the rose shops. Most of the people in this town depend on the rose farms, they are considered among the top 5 largest business' of Ecuador. After, we continue to the dry valley of Guayllabamba and stop for tasting the local fruit such as chirimoya.
Our bike ride will start at the small village of Yunguilla and will enter the Pululahua Crater on a dirt road into the beautiful Cloud forest. There is actually a geo-botanical reserve that is taking place inside the collapsed caldera of this old volcano. According to the experts, an immense eruption occurred here thousands of years ago and left these great formations, specifically the lava domes in the center of the volcano. While descending on our bikes, every curve will offer a chance to enjoy the amazing scenery, the two wheel adventure will finish in the center of the caldera. We will have lunch in one of the local restaurants; and in the afternoon is optional to hike out the volcano, otherwise we continue back to Quito by bus.
Biking time: from 2 to 4 hours.
Biking Distance:15 miles (24 Km)
Elevation Gain:350 feet (106 m) Optional 1500 feet (457 m)
What to wear: Water t-shirt, shorts, sandals, expedition hat.
Day 7 Quito
Today our trip will end and you will have your International departures. Take with you your memories and photos and leave a piece of your heart, as you will want to return to Ecuador soon to experience more of this enchanted land. We wish you a "buen viaje"!