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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 !
If you'd like to make the most of your time in Ecuador, join us for an add-on, 6-day tour of Galapagos. Click here
to learn more!
: If you'd like to extend your stay, we are happy to book extra room nights before and/or after your trip at our preferred hotel for an additional 30% service fee.
: 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.
- 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!
- 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)
- Bar bills, drink bills, extra snacks, telephone bills , wifi bills and other personal expenses (shopping/ laundry)
- All expenses due to unavoidable events e.g. flight cancellation, personal illness, strikes, etc. (we recommend trip insurance coverage for these variables)
- 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.
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.
We provide all group gear which includes the following:
- Trekking poles
- Tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads
- Company-issued first-aid kit
- Satellite phone
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Guides are required to take 8 hours off each 24-hour period to sleep, recuperate, take personal/down time...etc. In addition, as part of the 8 hours off they must sleep/rest or be in their tents uninterrupted
for a minimum of 5 hours each night. We ask guests to respect these requirements and to not interrupt guides' off time and sleep time unless there is a true emergency.
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
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: