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: Arriving in Quito we are met at the airport by our guide who will arrange the transfer to the hotel. After an initial introduction to Ecuador, our guide will brief us on the activities for the days ahead. We take our dinner at the hotel and stay overnight in Quito.
Day 2: Today we see the sights and major highlights 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 San Clemente where we stay as guests to a family in this rural community.
Day 4: This morning we spend time with our host families joining in community activities. Later we drive to Otavalo for a short hike to see 'El Lechero’ and for views over Laguna San Pablo. We will also have some time to look around Otavlos famous craft and textile shops in 'Poncho Plaza'. Overnight in a hotel in Otavalo
Day 5: 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.
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 the climb we drive (2 - 3 hours) back to Quito where we check into our hotel.
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: We have a day for activities in and around Banos which can include biking, horseriding, walking or a cultural experience. Banos is also famous for its thermal pools including one with a waterslide and swing.
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. Those opting to climb Cotopaxi stay at the refuge tonight.
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 times the morning is free for shopping or independent sightseeing. A group transfer is provided to the airport where KE Land Only package services end.
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.