This 9 day itinerary is the ultimate way for adventurers to explore the Andes mountains of Ecuador. On a mountain bike, riding a horse, taking the train and by good old fashioned hiking, you will see these majestic mountains in a different way every day, giving you the chance to soak up the beauty of this inspiring landscape.
Day 1: On arrival you will be met by our local guide, who will help you acclimatise to Ecuador and make sure the trip runs smoothly. We will take you to your hotel and, depending on your time of arrival, you can spend a few hours exploring Quito and its amazing old town before bedding down for the night.
Day 2: Today you will be driven down the Avenue of the Volcanoes through stunning mountain scenery to a working hacienda in the shadow of Cotopaxi volcano. Once you have been fitted out with poncho and chaps, you are ready to head out into the mountains on horseback with some real Andean cowboys. (B/L/D)
Day 4: The glacier-covered summit of Chimborazo tops out at 6310m and is the furthest point from the centre of the Earth due to the planet's bulge around the equator. Whizz down the mountain paths by bike, across high altitude grasslands dotted with wild flowers and past vicuñas, the sole inhabitants of these wild stretches.
Lower down you'll encounter local Quichua farmers and, more often than not, enthusiastic children on their way home from school. (B/L/D)
Day 5: Take in the landscape at a slower pace, aboard the train line that once linked the Andean highlands to the Pacific coast. The train offers unobstructed views of the countryside all the way to Chimborazo as it soars up from the horizon. The highlight of the trip is shunting back and forth down a series of switchbacks as you negotiate the sheer Devil's Nose cliff. From the final stop you'll drive up to your resting spot for the night – a beautiful converted hacienda perched above Ecuador's most significant Inca ruins. (B/L/D)
Day 6: Today you will explore two major historical locations in Ecuador - the ancient Inca citadel of Ingapirca, Ecuador's most significant Inca site, and the UNESCO world heritage city of Cuenca. Cuenca is a wonderful town to explore on foot in the afternoon, with its amazing network of beautiful old colonial buildings and streets. (B/L)
Day 7: Just outside Cuenca you'll visit the highland wetlands of Cajas National Park, a tranquil place to spend the day hiking and reflecting on your time in Ecuador. More than 200 lakes and dense pockets of polylepis forest are scattered across the terrain, creating a verdant landscape that contrasts dramatically with the rocky mountains you have seen during this activity-filled week. Aftyer all of this you will head to your final destination, Guayaquil (B/L)
Day 8: Tough decision! Fly home or perhaps continue discovering the wonders of Ecuador with an optional extension to visit the unique Galapagos Islands
Price: From £1495 per person
Services included: hotels on shared room basis, meals, transfers and activities as mentioned, entry fees, English speaking guide.
Services not included: flights, drinks, tips and personal expenses.
Note: stops can be extended, added or cut - just ask us!
Best Time To Travel
Best time to visit: Dec - Apr
Andes: Oct is the driest season offering the best views, however it is cooler. Nov to Apr is warmer but wetter with lots of cloud cover obstructing the views.
The Amazon: Jul & Aug bring the most rain but the Amazon really is a year round destination.