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 - Isinlivi (55 km)
Begin by hiking the sierra climate around the Limpiopungo lagoon (13000 ft/3800 m) on the foothills of the Ruminahui volcano. From here, we have the best views of Cotopaxi, the highest active volcano in the world. There is also the possibility to see wild horses, wild bulls and some bird species. If the weather conditions permit, we will attempt to trek to the basecamp at 16000 ft. (4876 m). Concluding our day, we will drive to Isinlivi where we will spend the night. Trekking time: 2 hours on flat terrain around Limpiopungo lagoon
Day 3 Toachi canyon - Chugchilan
The charming Andean mountain landscapes will inspire us today on a trek along the Toachi canyon for 13.5 km (8.4 mi). Experience stunning views of small villages and indigenous people working in the fields. We will hike down to the canyon of the Toachi River and then back up to the main road that will take us to Chugchilan, a small town located on the middle of the Quilotoa loop. Here we will find our Eco-house accommodation, and in the afternoon we can explore the village with the great opportunity to gain a bit of cultural experience with the locals.
Trekking time: 2 hours downhill from 10,810 ft. (3295 m) to the Toachi River at 9,500 ft (2896 m) and then 2 hours uphill to Chugchilan at 10,498 ft. (3200 m) Total steps: 25,481
Day 4 Trekking to Quilotoa
Early in the morning after breakfast we will start our hiking adventure for 11 km (6.9 miles) on small trails blazed by the mountain people and still used by locals to transport products and to travel across the canyons to reach neighboring communities. While trekking on this trail, it is common to see the traditional custom of exchanging goods with one another, bartering is still being utilized today. We will venture down into impressive canyons to later climb back up to the top of the crater rim, where you will be rewarded with spectacular views of the Quilotoa Lake. The majesty of this place will take your breath away. We will lodge in Quilotoa village and enjoy the local cuisine.
Day 5 Trekking into Quilotoa crater lake
Our objective today is Quilotoa crater lake. After breakfast, Descend this steep 1.2 km (0.75 mi) path with beautiful views of the crater lake. Seize the opportunity to take photos of the turquoise water-filled caldera. Once at the bottom where the lake sits, we will have some time to explore the crater of this mythical, active volcano. You can go for a swim or kayak in the volcanic water. For the way back up to the top, it is possible to rent a mule and ride the challenging steep trail. In the afternoon we will transfer to the area of Riobamba, located in the central part of the Ecuadorian highlands.
Day 6 Chimborazo Volcano - Banos
Early in the morning, we will drive through valleys and farming villages to reach the Chimborazo Volcano, . On a clear day, the majestic peak of Chimborazo dominates the view for many kilometers. Visiting this spectacular national park includes a short hike for 0.9 km (0.57 mi) to reach the elevation of 5000 m (16404 ft) where the glacier begins. On the hike, we will try to spot a few of the animals that inhabit this volcanic climate such as the Andean condor, cara-cara, hummingbirds, and the timid wild Vicuņas. Once extinct in Ecuador, they were reintroduced into the wild and are now protected; this beautiful animal is related to the alpacas and llamas. A delicious picnic will be organized at the base camp before we leave the moon-like landscape of Chimborazo and drive on to the tropical town of Banos. In the evening we can soak in the famous hot springs of Banos and experience the thriving night life of this town.
Trekking time: 1.5 hours uphill from 15,748 ft (4800 m) to 16,732 ft (5100 m) and then 45 minutes downhill same way back. Total steps: 14,974
Day 7 Banos - Quito
This morning we will hit the road of the waterfalls. The first stop will be at the Bride's Veil waterfall, where we will take the Tarabita (cable car) to get across the Pastaza River. Then, we will hike down for one hour to the Pailon del Diablo waterfall, the second highest in Ecuador. After a day full of adventures in the cloud forest, you will enjoy the scenic ride returning us to Quito City.
Day 8 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"!