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Avenue of the Volcanoes Guided Walking Holiday
Guided | 14 days | 13 nights | Please call us for latest prices.

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Tour Summary


A 2-week walking holiday in Ecuador`s Avenue of the Volcanoes

· Crater Lakes, Active Volcanoes and Andean Villages
· The charming towns of Otovalo and Banos
· Visit the Wymper hut on Chimborazo and option to climb Cotopaxi
· The breathtaking Devil`s Nose Train Ride

13 nights hotels and lodges, 12 days walking and sightseeing, Max altitude up to 5200 metres. Join in Quito, MEAL PLAN: 13 breakfasts; 11 lunches and 11 dinners included

Tour Introduction


This tremendously varied trekking holiday showcases the best of Ecuador’s breathtaking natural environment, as we explore amongst the country’s towering volcanoes.

After sightseeing in Quito we travel north to the area around Otavalo, where we enjoy a series of day walks and have a unique experience as guests of the San Clemente indiginous community participating in their daily routine.

Our day-hikes during this period will include Zuleta to San Pablo, a circuit of the beautiful crater lake of Cuicocha and a climb of the accessible viewpoint peaks of Cubilche (3826m) and Fuya Fuya(4263m).

A cultural highlight of this part of the holiday is the famous and colourful craft market of Otavalo.

Heading south, we trek to the top of the active Gagua Pichincha (4794m) and visit the refuge Iliniza stunningly located between the twin peaks of Iliniza Norte and liniza Sur.

Another holiday highlight is a ride on the amazing ‘Devil’s Nose’ train which uses a Victorian marvel of engineering to drop 1000 metres from Riobamba on the Andean Plateau.

We also hike up to the refuge on Chimborazo before heading for the utterly charming spa town of Banos in the shadow of the active volcano, Tungurahua.

After a free day in this delightful town, we end this superb Ecuadorean holiday with a visit to the Cotopaxi National Park where we make a non-technical ascent of the central summit of Ruminahui (4631m), which rises above the lake of Limpiopungo and offers a superb viewpoint for Cotopaxi.

For those with previous mountaineering experience there is also the option (at extra cost) to make a guided ascent of Cotopaxi peak.

This classic, moderately paced walking holiday is a superb tour of the highlights of Andean Ecuador.

Day-by-Day Walking Holiday Itinerary


Day 1: Arrive in Quito

Rendezvous at the group hotel in Quito. A complimentary single timed airport transfer is provided. Land Only package services begin with the evening meal taken at the hotel.

Day 2: Sightseeing Around Quito

At breakfast we have our first briefing from our guide. Today we see the sights 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: Otavalo

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 the town of Otavalo where we check into our hotel.

Day 4: San Clemente Community

This morning we visit the San Clemente Community where we can gain a real insight into the way of life in rural Ecuador. Returning to Otavalo the afternoon is free to browse textiles and handicrafts for which the town is famous, in the colourful Poncho Place market. Overnight at the group hotel in Otavalo.

Day 5: Cuicocha lake

From Otavalo 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 for our third night here.

Day 6: Laguna Mojanda

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 lthe climb we make the return journey down the Pan-American Highway to Quito. We check into the group hotel and the rest of the evening is free.

Day 7: Machachi

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: Riobamba

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: ‘Devil’s Nose’ train line

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: Chimborazo

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 Banos

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: Pedregal

Leaving Banos, we drive (2.5 hours) to the Cotopaxi National Park. Those opting to climb Cotopaxi continue to the Jose Rivas Refuge (4800m) for skills practice before an early night. The rest of the group will make an ascent of the non-technical central summit of Ruminahui above the lake of Limpiopungo for fantastic views of Cotopaxi. We then drive to our lodge in Pedregal. 5 – 6 hours walking.

Day 13: Quito

The Cotopaxi climbers will make their ascent early in the morning and return to the refuge to rest. The remainder of the group will drive up to the refuge where we make a short (1 hour) excursion to reach the glacier. Returning to the refuge we rendezvous with the climbers and drive (1.5 – 2 hours) back to Quito. We then have some free time for shopping before our farewell dinner.

Day 14: Departure

Depending on flight times the morning is free for last minute souvenir hunting or independent sightseeing. A group transfer is provided to the airport where Land Only package services end.

Is this holiday for you?

This is principally a walking holiday for regular hill walkers. At the same time we will get to know the ‘real’ Ecuador with a stay at the San Clemente rural community and through visits to its principal towns and sights.

During the holiday we will make ascents of a number of Ecuador’s non-technical volcanoes up to and beyond 4000 metres. For the most part this involves trekking on a mixture of terrain from local village tracks, along forest roads, through open grassland, and the occasional more rugged slope of scree or loose volcanic material. The average walking time on each day’s hike is between 5 and 7 hours.

These hikes are not particularly strenuous but it should be borne in mind that walking at even moderately high altitudes does make extra demands, and you should aim to have a reasonable level of fitness before embarking on the holiday. We also have time for relaxation around Otovalo and in the spa town of Banos.

In order to see as much as possible of Andean Ecuador, there are several transfers involved in this holiday. However, Ecuador is the smallest of the Andean countries and these transfers are generally both short (1 – 3 hours) and highly scenic.

Map & Route Information

Is this holiday for you?

This tremendously varied trekking holiday showcases the best of Ecuador’s breathtaking natural environment, as we explore amongst the country’s towering volcanoes.

After sightseeing in Quito we travel north to the area around Otavalo, where we enjoy a series of day walks and have a unique experience as guests of the San Clemente indiginous community participating in their daily routine.

Our day-hikes during this period will include Zuleta to San Pablo, a circuit of the beautiful crater lake of Cuicocha and a climb of the accessible viewpoint peaks of Cubilche (3826m) and Fuya Fuya (4263m).

A cultural highlight of this part of the holiday is the famous and colourful craft market of Otavalo.

Heading south, we trek to the top of the active Gagua Pichincha (4794m) and visit the refuge Iliniza stunningly located between the twin peaks of Iliniza Norte and liniza Sur.

Another holiday highlight is a ride on the amazing ‘Devil’s Nose’ train which uses a Victorian marvel of engineering to drop 1000 metres from Riobamba on the Andean Plateau.

We also hike up to the refuge on Chimborazo before heading for the utterly charming spa town of Banos in the shadow of the active volcano, Tungurahua.

After a free day in this delightful town, we end this superb Ecuadorean holiday with a visit to the Cotopaxi National Park where we make a non-technical ascent of the central summit of Ruminahui (4631m), which rises above the lake of Limpiopungo and offers a superb viewpoint for Cotopaxi.

For those with previous mountaineering experience there is also the option (at extra cost) to make a guided ascent of Cotopaxi peak.

This classic, moderately paced walking holiday is a superb tour of the highlights of Andean Ecuador.

Where does the holiday start?


View Larger Map

Tour Route Map

Tour Information

Holiday Information


What’s Included?

• English speaking local leader
• All land transport involved in the itinerary
• Single timed airport transfers
• All accommodation as described
• Meals as detailed in the Meal Plan

What’s Not Included

• Travel Insurance
• Tips for local staff
• Airport transfers other than group transfers
• Some meals as detailed in the Meal Plan
• Miscellaneous expenses – drinks and souvenirs etc.

Meal Plan

All breakfasts plus 11 lunches and 11 dinners are included in the holiday price.

There is a very wide range of dining options in Quito and it makes sense while staying here to leave the choice of what to eat and how much to spend to you.

Other than the ‘Welcome’ and ‘Farewell’ dinners on the first and last evenings of the holiday, we have not included lunches or dinners while staying in Quito in your holiday price.

This amounts to a total of 2 lunches and 2 dinners you will have to pay for directly.

We suggest you make an allowance of £30 – 50 to cover these non-included meals.

Accommodation

Hotel accommodation for this trip is in a variety of comfortable, tourist class hotels and hostals.

For those opting to climb Cotopaxi there will be 1 night in a mountain hut where the accommodation is in dormitories.

All accommodation except the hut is on a twin sharing basis. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex.

For the trip, single rooms are available for a supplementary cost.

Additional hotel nights in Quito are also available.

For Hotel prices and single supplement costs please refer to the dates and prices page of the trip on our website.

Hotels are subject to availability and prices may vary.

Is this holiday for you?

This is principally a walking holiday for regular hill walkers. At the same time we will get to know the ‘real’ Ecuador with a stay at the San Clemente rural community and through visits to its principal towns and sights.

During the holiday we will make ascents of a number of Ecuador’s non-technical volcanoes up to and beyond 4000 metres.

For the most part this involves trekking on a mixture of terrain from local village tracks, along forest roads, through open grassland, and the occasional more rugged slope of scree or loose volcanic material.

The average walking time on each day’s hike is between 5 and 7 hours.

These hikes are not particularly strenuous but it should be borne in mind that walking at even moderately high altitudes does make extra demands, and you should aim to have a reasonable level of fitness before embarking on the holiday.

We also have time for relaxation around Otovalo and in the spa town of Banos.

In order to see as much as possible of Andean Ecuador, there are several transfers involved in this holiday.

However, Ecuador is the smallest of the Andean countries and these transfers are generally both short (1 – 3 hours) and highly scenic.

Optional Climb of Cotopaxi The optional ascent of Cotopaxi involves climbing moderately angled snow slopes (30 -40 degrees) and requires the use of crampons and ice axe.

You should only attempt this climb if you have previous winter walking experience using crampons and are familiar with the techniques of self arrest with an ice axe.

For anybody wishing to make this ascent there will normally be an opportunity to brush up on these skills on the afternoon prior to the ascent.

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Your Prices

Avenue of the Volcanoes, Ecuador, 14 days, 13 nights,

Please call us on 0161 703 5819 for latest prices and availability.

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Holiday Price: £Call
Single Supplement: On Request

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