In the Avenue of the Volcanoes
Ecuador, Trek & Walk, 14 days - from £1,195 (land only) - from €1,435 (land only) - from $1,970 (land only)
- A 2-week walking and holiday in Ecuador`s Avenue of the Volcanoes
- Crater Lakes, active volcanoes and Andean Villages
- The charming towns of Otovalo and Banos
- Visit the Wymper hut on Chimborazo and option to climb Cotopaxi
- All meals are included in the holiday price
This tremendously varied trekking holiday showcases the best of Ecuador's breathtaking natural environment, as we explore amongst the country's towering volcanoes. After sightseeing in Quito we travel north to the area around Otavalo, where we enjoy a unique experience, staying as guests of the San Clemente indiginous community participating in their daily routine. We also complete a series of day-hikes, to the beautiful crater lake of Cuicocha and climb the accessible viewpoint peaks, Cubilche (3826m) and Fuya Fuya (4263m). A cultural highlight of this part of the holiday is the famous and colourful craft market of Otavalo. Heading south, we trek to the top of the active Gagua Pichincha (4794m) and visit the refuge Iliniza stunningly located between the twin peaks of Iliniza Norte and liniza Sur. Another holiday highlight is a ride on the amazing 'Devil's Nose' train which uses a Victorian marvel of engineering to drop 1000 metres from Riobamba on the Andean Plateau. We also hike up to the refuge on Chimborazo before heading for the utterly charming spa town of Banos in the shadow of the active volcano, Tungurahua. After a free morning in this delightful town, we end this superb Ecuadorean holiday with a visit to the refuge high on Cotopaxi, one of the world's highest active volcanoes, followed by a day of hiking amongst the lagoons and glaciers beneath the snowy flanks of Antizana. For those with previous mountaineering experience there is also the option (at extra cost) to make a guided ascent of Cotopaxi peak. This classic, moderately paced walking holiday is a superb tour of the highlights of Andean Ecuador.
Is this holiday for you?
During this holiday we will make ascents of a number of Ecuador's volcanoes up to and beyond 4000 metres. For the most part this involves trekking on a mixture of terrain from local village tracks, along forest roads, through open grassland, and the occasional more rugged slope of scree or loose volcanic material. The average walking time on each day's hike is between 5 and 7 hours. These hikes are not particularly strenuous but it should be borne in mind that walking at even moderately high altitudes does make extra demands, and you should aim to have a reasonable level of fitness before embarking on the holiday. The optional ascent of Cotopaxi involves climbing moderately angled snow slopes (30 - 40 degrees) and requires the use of crampons and ice axe. You should only attempt this climb if you have previous winter walking experience using crampons and are familiar with the techniques of self arrest with an ice axe. For anybody wishing to make this ascent there will normally be an opportunity to brush up on these skills on the afternoon prior to the ascent. In order to see as much as possible of Andean Ecuador, there are several transfers involved in this holiday. However, Ecuador is the smallest of the Andean countries and these transfers are generally both short (1 - 3 hours) and highly scenic.