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Avenue of the Volcanoes

Highlights

  • Multiple towering volcanoes in the Andes
  • Caldera lakes, glaciers, cloud forests and more
  • Wonderful, hand-picked lodges
  • Kichwa villages, markets, weavers and more
  • The only glacier on the equator
  • One of Ecuador's tallest volcanoes
  • A soak in the best hot springs in Ecuador

Description

Our Avenue of the Volcanoes lodge-based hiking tour pairs amazing, carefully selected day hikes with fantastic food and wonderful accommodations to create a truly unforgettable hiking and traveling experience in Ecuador. Traveling with Wildland in South America is a once in a life time experience! This trip will open your eyes to the beautiful natural and cultural environments of urban and rural Ecuador. It takes place in the northern part of the country and is centered around the historical Kichwa strong hold community of Otavalo. On this unforgettable lodge-based trekking tour, you will experience indigenous cultures, fanastic hiking, stunning views, amazing glacial lakes, the impressive Volcano Cayambe and the most ecologically diverse rain forest in the world! Additionally, our accommodations consist of quaint, stunning lodges in various communities, which are a great highlight of this trip for many of our guests.
Join us for a once-in-a-lifetime experience of one of the Earth's most impressive hiking destinations - Ecuador! Give us a call at 888-966-TREK (8735) to learn more or book your spot today!
Click here to have a detailed PDF information packet emailed to you, or request a reservation today. You can also call us at 888-966-TREK.

This trip is officially operated by Wildland International, a partner company of Wildland Trekking.
Click here to read more about Wildland International.
 

Photos of this Trip

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Accommodations: Casa Mojando in Otavalo

On this Ecuador hiking tour a Wildland representative will pick you up at Mariscal Sur International Airport in Quito, Ecuador. Once we have everyone, we will begin our tour at the ancient archeological site of the Cochasqui Pyramids. After visiting the site we will transfer, roughly 1 hour, to the Kichwa community of Otavalo. We will check into our hotel and have free time until dinner is served. Our wonderful acccommodations consist of a central lodge and cabins spread over a charming Andean farm. Each cabin provides expansive views and a very cozy, rural allure. The lodge serves healthy and delicious home-cooked meals (with produce harvested from their organic gardens) served family-style, the dishes based on traditional Ecuadorian and international recipes. Over tonight's dinner your guide will provide the plan for the following day.


Day 2

Hiking Mileage: 12 miles
Highest Elevation: 11,800 feet
Trekking Duration: 5-7 hours
Accommodations: Casa Mojando in Otavalo


Today we’ll depart early in the morning for the beautiful Laguna Cuicocha, a deep blue lake that sits in the caldera of a towering volcano (over 11,000 feet in elevation). We will spend the day hiking around the beautiful crater lake, which offers stunning views, not only of the lake and its signature islands, but of the magnificent, neighboring Cotacachi Volcano (16,220 feet). We'll stop for a delicious picnic lunch overlooking the lake and take our time to absorbe the magnitude and beauty of this place. At the end of our hike, we’ll venture to the town of Cotacachi for a nice lunch, while having a chance to explore the town known for its leather goods. When we are ready, we will return to Casa Mojanda for free time, dinner and eventually peaceful sleep.


Day 3

Hiking Mileage: 2.5 miles
Highest Elevation: 13,986 feet
Trekking Duration: 4-6 hours
Accommodations: Casa Mojanda in Otavalo


After a delicious, hearty breakfast we depart for Lagunas de Mojanda. Upon arrival we will begin our hike to the Fuya Fuya Volcano (13,980 feet). Fuya Fuya and Mojanda together form a complex of two volcanoes, which were active simultaneously until 165,000 to 200,000 years ago. Fuya Fuya offers views (weather permitting) of stunning lakes below, sitting in the calderas, and surrounding volcanic peaks. Depending on the pace of our hike, we'll enjoy a picnic lunch on the slopes of Fuya Fuya or return to Casa Mojanda for lunch. Either way we'll have ample time this afternoon free to relax, enjoy the lodge, explore the surrounding area and recover from today's steep hike at high elevation.


Day 4

Hiking Mileage: 1.5 strenuous miles
Highest Elevation: 16,075 feet
Trekking Duration: 3-4 hours
Accommodations: Casa Mojanda in Otavalo


Today is a major highlight of our trip! After another tasty breafkast we’ll visit one of Ecuador’s highest volcanoes, Mount Cayambe (18,996')! Our day begins in a small mountain town at the base of the giant Cayambe where we’ll start our ascent via 4x4 taxi up to the Mount Cayambe Refuge (named after 3 climbers who sadly died high on this mountain in an avalance in 1974). From the refuge, we’ll hike to the edge of the only glacier to exist on the equator, Glaciar Hermosa (only 1.5 miles but this is a strenuous hike at high elevation)! We'll take some time to snap pictures, relax, absorb the magic of this place, and contemplate the exhilarating humility that exploring high mountains has on most visitors. After our hike, we’ll have a picnic lunch at the refuge before descending for our return to Casa Mojanda.


Day 5

Hiking Mileage: ~1 mile
Trekking Duration: 2.5 hours
Accommodations: Refugio de Intag


Today is a change of venue and a rest day to recover from all of our high altitude hikes we've embarked on thus far. We will pack our things and say "Adios" to Casa Mojanda after breakfast. We will enjoy a change in environment today while resting our legs and experiencing a taste of Ecuador’s wild diversity. We board our transportation and travel through changing landscapes into the Intag Valley for a visit to a coffee plantation in a tropical cloud forest. After lunch, we’ll visit a local community based producer of soaps and a producer of products made from the strong fibers of the Cabuya (Fique) plant. After the tour we will check into Refugio de Intag, our cozy cabins located in a breathtaking cloud forest. We will have free time until tonight's delicious dinner is served.


Day 6

Hiking Mileage: varies
Trekking Duration: varies
Accommodations: Refugio de Intag


Today’s hike is in the cloud forest, which takes us through jungle-like landscapes with truly phenomenal biodiversity. We'll keep our eyes out for a great variety of birds and plant life. The distance and duration of today's hike varies depending on the preferences of the group - it can be as short or as long and adventurous as you desire. There are multiple guides so if part of the group wants to hike farther or longer than others, we can easily accommodate that. We'll return to our lodge by late afternoon and settle in for another fantastic dinner and relaxing evening in the mountains of Ecuador.


Day 7

Accommodations: Termas de Papallacta Resort

After breakfast, we will pack our things and head to the famous Otavalo Saturday morning market. By attending this Saturday morning market, we will be participating in a historical and cultural tradition of the Kichwa people that goes back hundreds of years. After the market, we'll enjoy an outdoor lunch and then visit the home of a traditional weaver outside of Otavalo. From there, we’ll head to the beautiful Termas de Papallacta resort where we’ll have time to enjoy Ecuador’s nicest hot springs complex (and hike a bit if desired). We will have our farewell dinner and overnight at Termas de Papallacta resort.


Day 8

Today we will enjoy a leisurely morning to again soak in the hot springs or partake in a short hike before our shuttle takes us back to Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Quito. This will conclude our Lodge-Based tour to the Avenue of Volanoes !


Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however occasionally trips are subject to itinerary changes based on a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to: extreme weather, political or bureacratic obstacles, earthquakes, fires, flooding and more.

Trip Details

What's Included

  • A detailed trip packet that takes the guesswork out of your travel, training, packing, and preparing for the trip
  • Access to our Adventure Consultant team 7 days a week
  • Transportation for the duration of the tour starting on Day 1 and ending on the day you depart
  • Lodging for the duration of the tour
  • Meals for the duration of the tour
  • Use of a day pack and trekking poles
  • Professional, knowledgeable, certified Ecuador hiking guides (U.S. and local)
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
  • You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!

What's Not Included

  • Transportation to Quito, Ecuador
  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Trip insurance that includes medical coverage and at least $200,000 in evacuation and repatriation coverage (strongly encouraged)
  • Gratuities (industry recommendation is 15-20% of the trip cost, distributed as guests feel appropriate to their guides, chefs, porters...etc)
See the Packing Lists page for more information.


Meals: What To Expect

This Ecuador hiking tour features a combination of in-town meals and meals prepared by your guide. We'll have dinners at carefully selected, wonderful restaurants in Quito as well as meals prepared on the trip by your guides and by the lodges.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables. In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

We can often accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee, and in some countries may be more difficult to accommodate than others. Please inquire with us for more information about the specific trip you're interested in.


Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:
  • Backpacks
  • Trekking poles
  • Tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Satellite phone


What Gear To Bring

We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are two 1-liter water bottles per person and basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.


What Clothes to Bring

Please refer to the trip packet for a recommended clothing list (we email you a detailed trip packet when you inquire and when you register). All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots (reliable brands include Montrail, Lowa, Merrell, Vasque, and Salomon), rain gear, and non-cotton and cotton clothing layers. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

NOTE: See the Packing Lists page for more detailed information on what clothes and gear to bring on your hiking tour. The trip packet you receive when you contact us will have the most accurate clothing and gear list for the tour you're interested in.

Trip Logistics

How do I Register?

Ready to hike? Simply click here and complete the form to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you're ready to register we'll email you a link to a registration profile. You'll have 48 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit ($500).

Feel free to call us for more info - we're here 7 days a week!


Where Do We Meet?

We will meet you at the airport on Day 1 and transport you to the first night's hotel (included), where we'll conduct an orientation meeting at 5:00 PM the first evening (your flight should arrive before 5PM). Your guide will be in contact approximately 4 weeks before your trip to coordinate your rendezvous and answer any last-minute questions you have.


Safety Considerations

Your safety is our top priority. Our Global Destination trips are led by professional hiking guides (U.S. and local) along with additional support staff. All of our guides are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT's, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. Finally, we've developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and all tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-888-966-TREK (8735) for more information.

In the interest of your safety, it's important to refer to the Center for Disease Control website for up-to-date recommendations on immunizations before your trip.


Guides

Your tour will be led by trained, experienced professionals (both U.S.-based and local, click here to learn more) with a solid guiding background, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.


Group Size and Age Restrictions

The standard group size on this hiking tour is 10 guests and 2-3 guides, with a minimum of 4 guests and 1 guide. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 888-966-TREK (8735) and we'll answer all your questions.

Age restrictions are as follows:
  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 5 and older to join private tours, with final approval and specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis


Weather in Ecuador

Ecuador is home to part of the Amazon Rainforest as well as the towering Andes Mountains. Because of the wild elevation changes and diverse climates, the temperatures and weather can also vary dramatically.

The average temperatures and precipitation in the high mountain elevations of Ecuador are:

Month Hi Low Precip
March 81.8° F 69.3° F 6.6 inches
April 81.9° F 68.9° F 5.6 inches
May 80.7° F 68° F 3.5 inches
June 79.3° F 66.7° F 2.4 inches
July 77.9° F 65.7° F 1.6 inches
August 78.4° F 64.8° F 1.5 inches
September 78.6° F 65.3° F 1.7 inches
October 79° F 65.9° F 2.3 inches