School Trek - Volcanoes of Ecuador
Ecuador, School Expeditions, 14 days - from £1,395 (land only) - from €1,745 (land only) - from $2,300 (land only)
Day 1: Rendezvous at the group hotel in Quito Airport. KE Land Only package services begin with a timed group airport transfer. During dinner we have our first briefing from our guide on the week ahead. We stay overnight at the group hotel.
Day 2: In the morning we make an excursion out of Quito to visit the 'Mitad el Mundo' which marks the equatorial line as it passes through the country. In the afternoon we have a tour of the Old City with its historic government buildings and churches dating from the Spanish colonial period. We spend a second night in Quito.
Day 3: We drive north along the Pan American Highway to Cuicocha lake, today we walk around this spectacular crater lake and visit the waterfall at Peguche. Overnight in Otavalo
Day 4: Today we climb our first volcano of the trip, Cubilche (3832m). The trail passes through farmland to reach the open grassland known as Paramo. We have the second night at our hotel in Otavalo.
Day 5: After a short drive to the village of Zuleta, 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, to reach the lake of San Pablo. Overnight in Otavalo.
Day 6: Transfer to Laguna Mojanda, where we climb the second of the volcanoes, Fuya Fuya (4250m). After lunch we walk out from the town to the sacred tree known as 'El Llechero'. Overnight in Otavalo
Day 7: We have a free morning in Otavalo to experience the colourful Saturday market for which the town is famous. After lunch we leave Otavalo and return to Quito. Overnight in the group hotel.
Day 8: Today, we climb Guagua Pichincha (4784m). It takes around 3 hours to reach the active crater at the summit. We then transfer to the overnight accommodation in Machachi.
Day 9: 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 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 Cotopaxi and hike (30 - 45 minutes) to the Jose Rivas Refuge (4800m) where we enjoy breathtaking views before returning to the bus and driving (1.5 hours) to our accommodation in Machachi.
Day 13: This is a day for participation in a rural schools or community project. Alternatively, a 1.5 hour transfer takes us to the wild park of Antizana Volcano where we can have a 4 - 5 hours hike among beautiful lagons, glaciers and other volcanic features. Afterwards we have a 1.5 hour drive back to Quito where we check into our hotel.
Day 14: Depending on flight schedules, the morning is free for souvenir buying before we transfer to the airport for our homeward flight.
Learning Outside the Classroom
If you have a particular part of your curriculum that needs fulfilling whilst you are away, we are more than happy to work this into your itinerary. Incorporating learning objectives into your School Group Adventure allows the pupils to engage with the learning process. If you send us your list of criteria, we will write the programme for you.