Selected one of National Geographic Traveler's 50 Tours of a Lifetime 2013 
 

ITINERARY

ECUADOR HIKING ADVENTURE

Land cost per person:
$TBD (8-9 participants)
$TBD (10-16 participants)

11 days (6 nights haciendas & 4 nights hotel)

Not scheduled.

Land cost:
(8-9 participants)
(10-16 participants)


$TBD
$TBD

Single Supplement, if requested.

$TBD

TRIP FEE INCLUDES:

• All airport transfers and ground transportation as scheduled on itinerary.

• If you are traveling alone, are willing to share accommodations, and reserve at least 180 days in advance, we will not charge a single supplement, even if we can't find you a roommate. If you reserve later we will try our best to find a roommate and if that is not possible we will only charge you half of the single supplement. If you prefer single accommodations, they can be requested at a supplemental cost.

• All accommodations in Ecuador are in fine hotels and beautiful haciendas. Based on double occupancy, rooms are shared by two people.

• All meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Vegetarian meals can be accommodated (please request in advance).

• All sightseeing tours and park entrance fees to destinations on the itinerary.

• The services of professional tour guides.

NOT INCLUDED:

• International airport departure tax in Quito (approx. $32.00 U.S), travel insurance, passport fees, excess baggage fees, gratuity to professional tour guide/leader. All items of personal nature such as: sleeping bag, personal gear, laundry, telephone calls, beverages, bottled water, etc.

Note: All itineraries are subject to change due to circumstances beyond our control including, weather, road or trail conditions and flight schedules.

EXTENSIONS:

The following extensions are available (contact us for details):

  • Galápagos Islands
  • Jungle & Rainforest
  • Climbing volcanoes

Andes Adventures travel, trekking and running in Peru - Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Ausangate, Huayhuash, Cordillera Blanca
1323 12th Street, Suite F
Santa Monica, CA  90401

Toll Free
(800) 289-9470

Phone (310) 395-5265 
FAX (310) 395-7343

Request Information

© 2000-2014 Andes Adventures, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.

CST #2030675-40
Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.

Plan your 2014 Travel Adventure today!

Day 1 - Friday, June 27: USA/Quito/Hacienda Pinsaquí

Depart the USA on a morning flight to Quito.

We arrive late morning in Quito, the Andean capital of Ecuador, located at 9,350 feet in an Andean valley between the lush base of Volcán (Volcano) Pichincha to the west and the canyon of the Machángara River to the east. After lunch we leave on a guided exploration of the architectural monuments of the colonial sector of Quito and other sites including: the stone-carved façade of Ecuador’s House of Congress, the Independence Square, the Presidential Palace and the Metropolitan Cathedral. The tour also includes the monasteries of San Francisco and Santo Domingo, and the Church and Jesuit College of La Compañía. All the rich interiors are examples of the “Baroque school of Quito,” which is a fusion of Spanish, Italian, Moorish, Flemish and indigenous art. We continue our drive through the highlands to the historic Hacienda Pinsaquí built in 1790. This uniquely restored hacienda was originally a textile workshop and its famous fabrics were exported to the United States in the late 1800s.

Overnight: Hacienda Pinsaquî.
Meals: L,D.
Today's hike: None scheduled.

Day 2 - Saturday, June 28: Hacienda Pinsaquí

Our first hike is on one of the most scenic routes along the foothills of Volcán Imbabura (15,190’), this mountain is considered sacred by the local people since Inca times.

We hike through small towns where the Otavaleños live. The people of the Otavalo valley are prosperous and skilled textile weavers. We will have fabulous views of the fertile valleys of the lake district and Lake San Pablo as well as the Mojanda and Cotacachi mountains. We continue our hike through crops of onions, potatoes and corn, where locals still use wooden plow and ox. The trail takes us down to the small village of Agato and we continue by bus to hacienda Pinsaqui. We spend the afternoon relaxing and sightseeing the surroundings of the beautiful Hacienda.

Overnight: Hacienda Pinsaquî.
Meals: B, L, D.
Today's hike: 4.5 miles.

Day 3 - Sunday, June 29: Cuicocha Lake, Otavalo, Hacienda Cusin

Hike at the Cotacachi-Cayapas ecological reserve. We trek around sapphire-blue Cuicocha Lake (Guinea Pig Lake), a volcanic crater on the flanks of Volcán Cotacachi (10,000’). We enjoy views of several volcanoes, including Imbabura, Cayambe (18,996’) and Cotacachi. On the 9 km route, it is interesting to see the changes in vegetation due to the various micro-climates it holds. We drive by the colonial town of Cotacachi, known as the leather capital of Ecuador. Afterward, we continue to Pinsaquí where we have lunch prior to our visit to the most famous and largest handicraft fair in South America, the market at Otavalo. Otavaleños are most famous for their weavings such as tapestries, sweaters, blankets, ponchos and other woolen goods. You will also find paintings, ceramics and jewelry. We spend the night at the renowned Hacienda Cusin (9,500’), a restored 16th-century estate surrounded by 7 acres of beautiful gardens and fountain courtyards.

Overnight: Hacienda Cusin.
Meals: B, L, D.
Today's hike: 5.5 miles.

Day 4 - Monday, June 30: Hacienda Zuleta/Hacienda Cusin

We drive for about 30 minutes through small villages close to the hacienda until we reach the village of Angla, where it is still possible to see the people cultivating in the traditional manner using bulls and plows. We start our hike descending to the valley reaching Hacienda Zuleta (9,600’), a 300-year-old historic retreat. The hacienda built in 1691 is a 4,000-acre working farm that thrives under the supervision of former Ecuadorian President Galo Plazo Lasso’s descendants. The farm produces a wide range of products including: milk, cheese, barley, quinoa, potatoes, wheat, organic vegetables and compost. It also boasts a wide variety of livestock, dairy cows, sheep, horses and purebred horses. The farm includes an organic garden, tree nursery, trout farm, embroidery workshop and the Andean Condor Rehabilitation project. After our hike, we enjoy a delicious lunch at the hacienda and visit this historical site accompanied by one of its owners.

Overnight: Hacienda Cusin.
Meals: B, L, D.
Today's hike: About 2 hours.

Day 5 - Tuesday, July 1: Cusin/Hacienda La Cienega

Today we will see very dramatic changes in climate and vegetation. Our route begins at Hacienda Cusin and passes through several climatic zones before ending at the “Middle of the World Equatorial Monument.” This monument was built to commemorate the French geodesic expedition in the 18th century that determined the location of the equatorial line.

We drive south to Chaupi, one of the most fertile valleys in Ecuador. Here a variety of vegetables are cultivated, including potatoes, quinoa, and lima beans. Our six-mile hike is in a small pastoral valley with impressive views of Cotopaxi and the Illinizas, two peaks more than 16,000 feet in height. During the hike we’ll be able to see a diversity of birds and learn more about the various past eruptions of Cotopaxi Volcano based on the sediments of ash and stone. After arriving at our highest point we descend to Pastocalle, a small town in the Ecuadorian Andes.

We drive to Hacienda La Ciénega. Alexander Von Humboldt lived in the historic hacienda in 1802 while studying the Cotopaxi volcano; the world’s highest active volcano that is recognized for the symmetrical perfection of its cone. Several other important celebrities resided at the hacienda in the 1700s.

Overnight: Hacienda La Ciénega
Meals: B, L, D.
Today's hike: 6 miles.

Day 6 - Wednesday, July 2: Cotopaxi/Hacienda Leito

We drive through several Andean towns. Our hike today is in Cotopaxi National Park, stopping along the way to visit a herd of llamas and a small museum about the park.

From the camping and picnicking area at Laguna de Limpiopungo (12,464'), we’ll enjoy views of Volcán Cotopaxi (19,347') Our hike is in a mountain region of grass and shrub land, known as paramo. This area has its unique flora and fauna, typical only to this area in the Andes. It has an ecosystem without trees but has hardy grasses, small bushes and flowers. The climate is harsh with cold winds, foggy conditions and occasional frosts at night. Then we’ll hike about three hours to the stone remains of some ancient Inca structures, enjoying lunch and more birding along the way. We may see Andean lapwings, caranculated caracara, the endemic Ecuadorian hillstar and possibly condors and may catch sight of wild horses, llamas and deer. We continue our drive through the Patate River valley into Leito, free time in the afternoon. The old hacienda offers an incredible view of the active volcano Tungurahua (16,457’).

Overnight: Hacienda Leito.
Meals: B, L, D.
Today's hike: 5 miles.

Day 7 - Thursday, July 3: Leito/Baños/Riobamba

Today we will have a spectacular hike. From Leito we begin our hike uphill to reach a mountainous forest. Along the route we see stunning views of the valleys. After a short uphill, we begin a dramatic descent with a view of the Tungurahua volcano. Besides the impressive sight of the volcanoes and the sound of the eruptions, we also have a splendid view of the Pastaza River that flows to the Amazon. In the descent we pass through a large number of micro-climates — starting from the paramo where potatoes are cultivated, and ending at the Patate River valley where sugar cane is grown. Afterward, we visit the picturesque city of Baños which is known for its thermal baths. The climate is subtropical and tropical fruits are cultivated in this region. After lunch in Baños we continue on a one hour drive to Riobamba. We reach Hosteria Abraspungo located in a residential suburb in the city of Riobamba. Its architectural style is “mestizo” typical of the Ecuadorian countryside, representing the type of architecture used in the ancestral manors and mansions as well as the housing of the country men of Ecuador. Stylishly decorated with all types of ancestral objects used in farming and very illustrative photographs of native landscapes and cultures, you can appreciate the richness of the natural resources of Ecuador. Abraspungo is also the name of the valley between the volcanoes of Chimborazo and Carihuairazo (16,470’).

Overnight: Hosteria Abraspungo
Meals: B, L, D.
Today's hike: About 9 miles with a shorter option.

Day 8 - Friday, July 4: Abraspungo/Ingapirca/Cuenca

We head south to Ingapirca located in the Cañar Province. Ingapirca is the most important archaeological complex in Ecuador and it is the most extensive site this far north from the Inca strongholds in Peru. The Ingapirca site is nestled amidst a patchwork of pastoral green landscape. The remains include religious chambers, cemeteries, observatories, terraces, roads, storage rooms, plazas and the site’s most impressive structure the “Temple of the Sun," which was an important ceremonial and ritual center for both the Cañari and Inca cultures. We continue to Cuenca, where we will have time to relax and explore the area before dinner.

Overnight: Hotel Crespo

Today's hike: 5 miles.

Day 9 - Saturday, July 5: Cuenca

Santa Ana de los Ríos de Cuenca is set in a valley surrounded by the Andean mountains in the south of Ecuador. This colonial town, now the country's third largest city, was founded in 1557. Cuenca's architecture, much of which dates from the 18th century, was 'modernized' in the economic prosperity of the 19th century as the city became a major exporter of quinine, straw hats and other products. The historic center of Santa Ana de los Ríos de Cuenca was declared a UNESCO World heritage site in 1990 because Cuenca illustrates the successful implantation of the principles of Renaissance urban planning in the Americas.

Our hike starts from our hotel located on the old part of the city, going through downtown and crossing the Tomebamba, Yanuncay and the Tarqui Rivers, then follow an uphill course toward to the small village of Turi. From here we follow a small road to the highest point around Cuenca, then descend through farmhouses, corn fields and potato patches. On the way back we will have the option to visit a ceramic workshop prior to returning to the hotel.

After lunch we go on a sightseeing city tour of Cuenca. For visitors from all over the world and Ecuadorians as well, Cuenca is a colonial jewel, reminiscent of Europe with its narrow cobblestone streets, its quiet demeanor and its charmingly old-fashioned ambience. The many sights of interest here include the city’s main cathedral, numerous other churches, Inca ruins and more.

Overnight: Hotel Crespo
Meals: B, L, D.
Today's hike: About 2.5 hours.

Day 10 - Sunday, July 6: Cajas/Guayaquil

Our hike starts at the entrance to the valley running along a secondary road passing several cattle farms before reaching the entrance to the “Cajas National Park” where we will find the beautiful Llaviuco Lake. From here we will follow a small path towards to the cloud forest along a small river.

Cajas has an extension of about 71,000 acres and there are about 230 glacial lakes in the park; here you will find quinoa and a variety of vegetation like paramo grasses, wild rosemary, other and a variety of birds. Trout is also found in the lakes.

We depart to Guayaquil, the capital of the province of Guayas and the main port and economical capital of the country. Upon arrival we enjoy a walk at the new Malecon 2000 prior to our farewell dinner.

Overnight: Grand Hotel Guayaquil
Meals: B, L, D.
Today's hike: About 3.5 hours.

Day 11 - Monday, July 7: USA or Extension

Morning in Guayaquil. Transfer to the airport for your flight home or continue on extension to Galapagos or rainforest.


Home | Running | Trekking | Tours | Extensions | Calendar | Trip Comments | Special Offers
| Photos | Articles | Trip Reservation | Request Info | FAQ | Contact Us | Site Map


ACCESS MOBILE SITE

Andes Adventures awarded Best Adventure Travel Companies 2009 by the editors of National Geographic ADVENTURE magazine.
Andes Adventures travel, trekking and running in Peru - Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Ausangate, Huayhuash, Cordillera Blanca
1323 12th Street, Suite F - Santa Monica, CA  90401
Toll Free (800) 289-9470  ·   Phone (310) 395-5265  ·   FAX (310) 395-7343
Request Info or E-mail
© 2000-2014 Andes Adventures, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
CST #2030675-40
Selected one of National Geographic Traveler's 50 Tours of a Lifetime 2013

Celebrating our 19th year of extraordinary value in Adventure Travel.
Plan your 2014 Travel Adventure today!


Andes Adventures on Facebook

Note: All itineraries are subject to change due to circumstances beyond our control
including, weather, road or trail conditions and flight schedules.