Ecuador`s Avenue of the Volcanoes Trek
Ecuador, Trek & Walk, 14 days - from £1,295 (land only) - from €1,815 (land only) - from $2,100 (land only)
Day 1: Rendezvous at the group hotel in Quito . A complimentary single timed airport transfer is provided. KE Land Only package services begin with the evening meal taken at the hotel.
Day 2: At breakfast we have our first briefing from our guide. Today we see the sights in and around Quito including the Mitad del Mundo - the 'middle of the world' - where we can straddle the equatorial line. We also visit Quito's 'Old City' where there are many government buildings and churches dating form the Spanish colonial period. We spend a second evening at our hotel in Quito.
Day 3: We drive north along the Pan American Highway to the village of Zuleta, where we enjoy a beautiful walk of 3 - 4 hours through a patchwork quilt of cultivated fields and forests of eucalyptus with superb views towards the volcano, Imbabura. Reaching the lake of San Pablo we have a short transfer to the town of Otavalo where we check into our hotel.
Day 4: This morning we visit the San Clemente Community where we can gain a real insight into the way of life in rural Ecuador. Returning to Otavalo the afternoon is free to browse textiles and handicrafts for which the town is famous, in the colourful Poncho Place market. Overnight at the group hotel in Otavalo.
Day 5: From Otavalo we transfer to the amazing Cuicocha lake formed in the Caldera of an ancient volcano. We have an easy walk around the lake, taking approximately 3 hours to complete the circuit. From here we drive to Peguche and walk on a winding cobblestone path through eucalyptus forest to the 60 foot waterfall. Afterwards we return to Otavalo for our third night here.
Day 6: After a short transfer to Laguna Mojanda, we climb the volcano Fuya Fuya (4250m). This is a straightforward walk on good paths to a superb viewpoint over the surrounding lakes and of Cyambe and the Andean chain as far as Chimborazo, After lthe climb we make the return journey down the Pan-American Highway to Quito. We check into the group hotel and the rest of the evening is free.
Day 7: Today, we climb nearby Guagua Pichincha (4784m) another straightforward hike on a good trail. It takes around 3 hours to reach the active crater at the summit where we have sensational views over the city and of the Avenue of the Volcanoes including Chimborazo and Cotapaxi. We then transfer to our overnight accommodation in Machachi.
Day 8: From Machachi we travel to the road head and begin our trek to the Refuge of Iliniza (4750m), with its spectacular views of the Iliniza summits and glaciers and the full panorama of the 'Avenue of the Volcanoes'. We then transfer to Riobamba for our overnight in a hotel.
Day 9: Today we travel the recently reopenned 'Devil's Nose' train line, an amazing piece of railway engineering which takes us through some stunning scenery as it descends 1,000 metres down a steep slope on a series of switchbacks. After our excursion we return to the hotel in Riobamba.
Day 10: We drive on a switchback mountain road to just below the Whymper Refuge on Chimborazo. We hike up to the refuge for great views then drive to Banos, a spa town beneath smoking Tungaruhua volcano. We check into our hotel and have some free time to wander around this charming town.
Day 11: A free day to enjoy the many charms of Banos. This is a very pleasant town just to stroll around and browse the craft shops or it is possible to rent bikes or take a number of excursions (at extra cost). Banos is also famous for its thermal pools.
Day 12: Leaving Banos, we drive (2.5 hours) to the Cotopaxi National Park. Those opting to climb Cotopaxi continue to the Jose Rivas Refuge (4800m) for skills practice before an early night. The rest of the group will make an ascent of the non-technical central summit of Ruminahui above the lake of Limpiopungo for fantastic views of Cotopaxi. We then drive to our lodge in Pedregal. 5 - 6 hours walking.
Day 13: The Cotopaxi climbers will make their ascent early in the morning and return to the refuge to rest. The remainder of the group will drive up to the refuge where we make a short (1 hour) excursion to reach the glacier. Returning to the refuge we rendezvous with the climbers and drive (1.5 - 2 hours) back to Quito. We then have some free time for shopping before our farewell dinner.
Day 14: DDepending on flight times the morning is free for last minute souvenir hunting or independent sightseeing. A group transfer is provided to the airport where KE Land Only package services end.
This holiday involves going to very high altitude. During the course of your trip you will be spending at least one night above 4000 metres and/or trekking to 5000 metres or above. This is not something that you should worry about; the human body is quite capable of adapting to a very wide range of altitudes, but it is important that we follow some simple rules in order to acclimatise successfully. Before coming on this holiday you should read the advice on trekking at high altitude.