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Ecuador Hiking Guides
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Ecuador Guides
Ecuador Hiking Vacation

Avenue of the Volcanoes

Highlights

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

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 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, fantastic 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, which are a great highlight of this trip for many of our guests.

(This trip is operated by Wildland International, a partner company of Wildland Trekking with shared ownership, management teams, guides, and other resources.)

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Lodge-based Trekking
Difficulty:
Solitude:
Tababela, Ecuador
8 days
20+mi / 32+km
$3375 Per Person
$290 Single Supplement

Travel to Ecuador

Minimum Guests

  Private Trips

  See Trip Dates


Trip Dates & Booking

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You can also click here to request new dates or book through customer service.
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800-715-HIKE (4453)

Trip Itinerary

Day 1
  • Accommodations: Hosteria Airport Garden

On this Ecuador hiking tour a Wildland representative will pick you up at Mariscal Sur International Airport in Quito, Ecuador. We will transport you to our hotel for the night. Most flights to Quito arrive late, so there are no acitivies planned for this evening.

Day 2
  • Accommodations: Casa Mojando in Otavalo

This morning we will sleep-in and have breakfast before departing for Quisato Equator monument and el Mirador del Lago San Pablo. When we are finished with the visits, we will have lunch at the Miralago restaurant before driving to the historic town of Otavalo. Upon arrival in Otavalo, we will check into our accommodation for the next 4 nights, Casa Mojanda. You will have free time before dinner is served. Your guides will deliver the plan for the next day.

Day 3
  • Hiking Mileage: 9 miles
  • Highest Elevation: 11,800 feet
  • Trekking Duration: 5-7 hours
  • Accommodations: Casa Mojanda 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). At the end of our hike, we’ll eat lunch at the Mirador del Lago restaurant. When we are ready, we will return to Casa Mojanda for free time, dinner and peaceful sleep. Our guides will deliver the plan for the next day.

Day 4
  • 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 Laguna de Mojanda. Upon arrival we will begin our hike to the top of 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 gem-like 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 5
  • Hiking Mileage: 1.5 strenuous miles
  • Highest Elevation: 16,075 feet
  • Trekking Duration: 3-4 hours
  • Accommodations: Casa Mojando in Otavalo

Today is a major highlight of our trip! After another tasty breakfast 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 Oleas Ruales Berge climbing 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 6
  • 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 descend through changing landscapes into the Intag Valley for a visit to a coffee plantation in a tropical cloud forest. After lunch, we will journey out for a hike to checkout the native flora and unique bird life. This area has some of the highest bird and orchid diversity in the world. After the coffee tour we 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 7
  • Hiking Mileage: varies
  • Trekking Duration: varies
  • Accommodations: Hosteria Airport Garden

Today we leave before dawn for an an early morning birdwatching hike and the one in a lifetime chance to spot the world famous Andean Cock of the Rock. We'll keep our eyes out for a great variety of birds and plant life. After breakfast we travel 1.5 hours to the Americas' most famous craft market in Otavalo. We have lunch and spend 1-2 hours exploring the market and Otavalo. We then will drive 2 hours to the spectaculor Termas Papallacta thermal hot springs where we can soak our muscles with breath taking views of the Andes and the Antisana Volcano, have dinner and free time before going to sleep. Guests can also opt for optional spa and massage services. Our guides will provide the plan for the next day.

Day 8

Our last morning in Ecuador we have the option start the day with a short hike in the cloud forest, after which we can continue to enjoy the hot springs and optional spa services of the resort. After lunch, our guides will take us back to Hosteria Airport Garden arriving between 3 and 4 P.M. (please schedule flights after 5 P.M.). At this point we say goodbye to our guides and have time to rest, shower, and dine everyone catches taxis to the airport for evening or early morning flights.




Add-on Rooms: If you'd like to extend your stay, we are happy to book extra room nights at some destinations (not available at all destinations) before and/or after your trip at our preferred hotel for an additional 30% service fee.

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 (Lodging Details)
  • All meals starting with breakfast on Day 2 through lunch on the last day
  • Use of a day pack and trekking poles
  • Professional, certified Wildland Ecuador hiking guides
  • 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 (Oboz hiking shoes and boots recommended)
  • 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)
  • Dinner night 1, taxi to airport from Hosteria Airport Garden
  • All expenses due to unavoidable events e.g. flight cancellation, personal illness, strikes, etc. (we recommend trip insurance coverage for these variables)
  • Gratuity for guide(s) and crew (industry recommendation is 10-20% of total trip cost; please tip your lead guide and they will distribute responsibly to the crew. USD is recommended.)
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, 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? In the Dates section of this trip page, the green dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service team, you can click here 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 72 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). Your guide will be in contact approximately 45 days 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 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 with solid guiding backgrounds, 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.


Guide Working Parameters

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/rooms 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.


Group Size and Age Restrictions

The standard group size on this hiking tour is 12 guests and 2 guides. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 1-888-966-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


Trip Insurance

For your protection, we strongly recommend the purchase of field evacuation, repatriation, and medical trip insurance. International travel is expensive, and the modest cost of trip insurance is a sound investment in an uncertain world.

If you wish to purchase trip insurance, we recommend IMG/iTravelinsured. They are one of the world’s leading providers of travel insurance.

For information on recommended IMG/iTravelinsured policies please click here.

For even greater information, or if you simply prefer communicating with a real, live person, feel free to contact our exclusive agent Michael Bennett. Michael will help you identify the best product for your needs, and there is no cost associated with his assistance. You may contact him at:

Email: WildLandTrekking@EasyToInsureME.com
US by Phone: 877-305-9083
Direct/International by Phone: 702-448-3664
If you already have insurance or wish to purchase from anyone other than IMG/iTravelinsured, we recommend careful consultation with the provider to ensure appropriate coverage. This is because many providers have a number of policy exclusions.

If you secure an insurance policy please bring a copy of it to provide to your guides at the orientation meeting.


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

Accommodations

Hosteria Airport Garden Hotel

Hosteria Airport Garden

2 nights

Hosteria Airport Garden is situated in the breathtaking Tababela Valley, 7900 feet above sea level, only 7-10 minutes from the Quito airport. We spend the first and last night's at this charming lodge.
(pool)

Casa Mojando in Otavalo

Casa Mojando

4 nights

This beautiful Andean farm and lodge features expansive views and cozy mountain cabins. It provides a natural and modern home base for our volcano hikes in the surrounding mountains.

Refugio de Intag

Refugio de Intag

1 night

This wonderful reserve and coffee farm is located near the scenic River Toabunchi high in the Andes and is surrounded by gardens, fields, forests and views. We will enjoy one night in this very special lodge.

* These exact accommodations are not guaranteed. In some instances alternative accommodations of similar quality and location may be used.

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