New Trip
New Trip

 Ecuador

Trek the Avenue of Volcanoes in Ecuador

Trek in the famous Avenue of Volcanoes in the Ecuadorian Andes. Discover an incredible world of stunning landscapes, hidden communities, indigenous cultures, and massive volcanoes on narrow trails used by the local mountain people.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Quito

Welcome to Quito - America's largest and best-preserved colonial city - declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. The city is considered the Cultural Capital of South America and is located on the equator in a valley at the foothills of the Pichincha volcano.

Depending on your arrival time, spend your day exploring the old town of Quito and the surrounding area. Your local Host can help you organize a day tour.

In the evening, your trip leader will meet you at the hotel’s lobby at 6:00 PM for a welcome briefing. We'll discuss the details and questions you may have regarding the adventure.

ACCOMMODATION: Wyndham La Quinta or similar / MEALS: none

media_CHS8WTHGUZ8EZTAE

The adventure begins when we drive south on the Pan American highway for around 2hrs. The area, known as The Avenue of Volcanoes, was named by the famous German Explorer, Alexander Vond Humboldt. On the way, enjoy views of volcanoes like Cayambe, Antisana, Pichincha, Illinizas, Pasochoa, and Corazon.

Begin by hiking the sierra climate around the Limpiopungo lagoon (13,000ft/3,800m) on the foothills of the Rumiñahui volcano. From here, we have the best views of Cotopaxi, the highest active volcano in the world. We may also see wild horses, wild bulls, and some bird species.

If the weather conditions permit, we'll attempt to trek to the base camp at 16,000ft (4,876m).

To end the day, we drive to Isinlivi where we overnight.

Trekking time: 2hrs on flat terrain around Limpiopungo lagoon. Elevation gain: 1,000ft. Distance: 5mi

ACCOMMODATION: Hostal Llullu Llama or similar / MEALS: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

media_PHDN4N7NLCJ5MZ62

The charming Andean Mountain landscapes provide today's inspiration as we trek along the Toachi Canyon for 8.4mi (13.5km). Experience stunning views of small villages and indigenous people working in the fields.

We hike down to the canyon of the Toachi River, and then back up to the main road that will take us to Chugchilán, a small town located in the middle of the Quilotoa Loop. Here we will find our Eco-house accommodation.

In the afternoon, explore the village with the great opportunity to gain a bit of cultural experience with the locals.

Trekking time: 2hrs downhill from 10,810ft (3,295m) to the Toachi River at 9,500ft (2,896m). Then 2 hours uphill to Chugchilán at 10,498ft (3,200m)

ACCOMMODATION: Hostel Mama Hilda or similar/ MEALS: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

media_NJ5LNBRSBBAQSWX5

After an early breakfast, we start our hiking adventure for 6.9mi (11km) on small trails blazed by the mountain people. The trails are still used by locals to transport products and to travel across the canyons to reach neighboring communities. It's common to see the traditional custom of exchanging goods (bartering) on this trail.

We 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 Quilotoa Lake. The majesty of this place will take your breath away.

Enjoy a beautiful picnic with the best views from the volcano. Then, transfer 2.5hrs to a lodge in a magical hacienda in the foothills of Chimborazo volcano.

Trekking time: 1hr downhill from 10,498ft to the Toachi River at 9,800ft. Then 2.5hrs uphill to 13,000ft. After, 1.5hrs on flat terrain.

ACCOMMODATION: Andaluza Hacienda or similar / MEALS: Breakfast & lunch

media_FUPYLGU8Q7PCP9P8

Getting an early start to the day, we drive through valleys and farming villages to reach the Chimborazo Volcano. This is the highest mountain in Ecuador with an elevation of 20,702ft (6,310m) above sea level; whose summit is the furthest point from the center of the earth on the entire planet.

On a clear day, the majestic peak of Chimborazo dominates the view for many miles. Visiting this spectacular national park includes a short hike of around half a mile to reach the elevation of 16,404ft (5,000m) where the glacier begins.

On the hike, try to spot some of the animals that inhabit this volcanic climate, such as the Andean condor, cara- cara, hummingbirds, and the timid wild Vicuñas. Once extinct in Ecuador, they were reintroduced into the wild and are now protected.

Enjoy a delicious picnic at the base camp before we leave.

Trekking time: 1.5hrs uphill from 15,748ft. to 16,732ft. Then 45mins downhill the same way back.

ACCOMMODATION: La Casa de Luis or similar / MEALS: Breakfast & lunch

media_KKFD8KW7APPTJKYA

Today, we trek in Llanganates National Park, famous for its amazing landscapes and storied mystery. Legend has it that the Inca General Rumiñahui has a large sum of gold hidden somewhere in the Tungurahua Mountain range.

Start the hike at 10,498ft (3,200m), reaching 12,024ft (3,600m). As you hike upward, watch the changes in vegetation. Expect stunning views of the Tungurahua Volcano and the Sangay Volcano (if visibility is good).

After this beautiful trek, we return to Baños to spend the last night in this magical town. You'll have a good opportunity to visit the spa and get a massage after a day of trekking. In the evening we can soak in the famous hot springs of Baños and experience the thriving nightlife of this town.

ACCOMMODATION: Casa de Luis or similar / MEALS: Breakfast & lunch

media_8MQ6RNKJTZ7P88WK

Baños town is well known for its spectacular location at the foothills of the active Tungurahua volcano. It's an excellent place for outdoor activities, including horseback riding, canyoning, hiking, mountain biking, climbing, and rafting.

This morning, we hit the Road of Waterfalls. The first stop is at the Bride’s Veil Waterfall, where we take the Tarabita (cable car) to get across the Pastaza River. Then, hike down for 1hr 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.

Trekking time: 45mins downhill from 5,249ft to 4,950ft. Then 1hr uphill same way back.

ACCOMMODATION: Hotel Wyndham La Quinta or similar / MEALS: Breakfast

media_648SWRRY5SMMKLGE

Today our trip ends. Take your memories and photos with you, 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"!

MEALS: Breakfast

media_H2L4NSF6JF3PG8W7

What's Included

Included
  • Private & comfortable land transportation.
  • Accommodation based on double occupancy.
  • Activities described in the itinerary.
  • Meals outlined in the itinerary.
  • Certified AJ expert English-speaking adventure Trip Leader and local guides.
  • Gear: hiking sticks, bikes.
Not Included
  • Single room supplement: US$470.
  • Airport transfer (international flights).
  • Travel insurance (suggested).
  • Meals not described in the itinerary – estimated budget US$120.
  • Tips for guides & drivers – estimated budget US$120.
Have a question?

If you have any questions about this trip or want to speak with an expert, get in touch.

We're ready to help.

Team Images
Team Images
Team Images

FAQs

Before you go

This is a moderate to challenging trip. This program will run from the high Andean Mountains to the tropical cloud forest of the Amazon, which involves trekking for 4 to 5 hours a day along canyons and volcanoes.

IMPORTANT: - Passports (and visas) - Travel insurance documents - Airline tickets - Credit or debit card CLOTHING: - Waterproof jacket - Lightweight down jacket  - Waterproof trousers - Breathable wicking layers - Thermals (top and bottom, merino ideal) - Fleece or warm mid-layer - Sneakers  - Comfy shoes  - Comfortable long pants - T-shirts (preferably long sleeve) - Underwear & socks - Sunglasses - Hat or cap - Winter hat - Gloves - Waterproof hiking boots (worn-in) OTHER: - Camera - Universal travel plug adapter - Power bank or solar charger - Earplugs - Insect repellent - Suncream - Personal first-aid kit (should contain sea sickness pills, lip salve, aspirin, band-aids, antihistamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may be taking) - Quick-dry towel - Alcohol hand-gel - Head torch or torch - Reusable water bottle (x1 liter) - Biodegradable wet-wipes - Energy bars and snacks - Water purification tablets/treatment system

Currency used in Ecuador is the U.S. dollar (USD). It is advisable to bring cash, as the trip is to remote places such as the Amazon and the Galapagos Islands, you will not easily find ATM machines.

On your trip

You'll trek between 1,600m to 5,100m above sea level (16,732ft to 5,249 ft).

All prices are based on double occupancy. If you are traveling solo, you will be matched with another participant of your same sex. If you prefer to have a single room, please contact AJ before your departure to arrange your accommodation at an extra cost.

Guests can usually leave their extra suitcases at the first hotel in the city of Quito at no additional cost.

Vegetarians, Vegans, and Gluten Free people are very welcome on our trips. The guides are always ready to coordinate with chefs and restaurants for substitute meals for them, as Ecuador is very well known for its great diversity of gastronomy.

The average daily temperatures are between: Day: 15-34ºC / 59-93ºF Night: 12-17ºC / 53-62ºF

During your daily activities, you should bring a day pack for your personal and necessary belongings. Your suitcases will be placed in the luggage compartment of the transport.

Traveling with Adventure Journeys you'll experience and taste local food and snacks. Your guide will help you identify typical food and suggest the best places to enjoy it. Some meals are not included to give you some flexibility about where, what, and with whom to eat. You have the option to share these meals with the group, however there is no obligation to do this. If you have any allergies or food restrictions, please inform AJ prior to your departure. You can do this by filling out the information in your Guest Trip Form in your Skyhook dashboard.

We average between 3 to 6 hours a day.

MEETING POINT: La Quinta by Wyndham, Av. de los Shyris 37-53 y, Quito 170506, Ecuador Start time: 8:00 AM END POINT: This activity ends back at the meeting point.

Other FAQs

Please inform AJ of any existing medical conditions (i.e. pregnancy, diabetes, etc). Yellow fever, Hepatitis B vaccination and Malaria Medication are recommended when traveling to the tropics. Please ask your doctor for advice.

All AJ guides and trip leaders are highly experienced, licensed by the Tourism University to operate in Ecuador, and certified as Wilderness Adventure First Aid respondents. All have taken several extra certified training courses for kayaking, rafting, biking, and horse riding. Besides this, they all are Ecuadorian and have a fantastic personality. We always carry a complete first aid kit on our trips. In some locations and for some activities, local guides join the trip leaders to provide an added service and make sure we practice sustainable tourism involving local indigenous people in our operation.

We educate our Guests about the ecology and conservation of the Andes, Amazon Rain Forest, and Galapagos Islands, and the factors that threaten it. As a tour operator, we aim to promote long-term conservation of both local people's cultural identity and the environment. We transport out and recycle all non-organic garbage and we prefer to work with local suppliers. Your visit will encourage the local communities to support responsible eco-tourism as a sustainable alternative for their living.

Check our best recommendations to explore Quito and its surroundings. RECOMMENDED TRIPS FOR YOU (PRICE PER PERSON) - Quito City Tour Experience US$90 - Quilotoa Enchanted Crater Lake US$165 - Mindo Cloud Forrest US$165 - Otavalo Market US$113 - Papallacta Hotsprings US$165 Transfer in / out (per way): 1-2 people max US$75

Foreigners may enter Ecuador upon presentation of a travel document proving their identity. Likewise, the immigration control agent must verify the immigration status invoked by the foreigner at the time of presentation at the official immigration control point. Requirements: -Valid and valid passport (valid for 6 months). -Identity card or DNI for citizens of South America. -Countries that require a visa to enter Ecuador. Interministerial Agreement No. 0000003 - Afghanistan - Angola - Bangladesh - Cameroon - Cuba - Eritrea - Ethiopia - Gambia - Ghana - Guinea - India - Iraq - Kenya - Libyan Arab Jamahiriya - Nepal - Nigeria - Pakistan - Democratic Republic of the Congo - Democratic People's Republic of Korea - Senegal - Syria - Somalia - Sri Lanka - Venezuela (as of August 26, 2019)

The recommended age range for this trip is from 10 to 65 years old. Note: Under-age children must be accompanied by their parents.

Your head guide is Paola

All trips on Skyhook are run by small, hand-picked local guiding companies. For this trip your guides run Adventure Journeys, based in Quito.

By booking through Skyhook you'll be joining a small-group trip. This can make it nice and sociable (you'll be added to a group chat after booking), and guarantees great value for money!

Paola