This full program in this attractive country is for those who have little time and favor the discovery of landscapes by walking.
During the trekking, you climb a few "4,000" easy access volcanoes that provide the best views of Ecuador and of the glacial volcanoes; you discover the many lakes in the area of Otavalo; you exceed the 5,000 meters and graze the glaciers on the slopes of Cotopaxi and Chimborazo; visit the Otavalo market and the colonial center of Quito; you relax in Baños.
A remarkable insight into landscapes of the Ecuadorian highlands, its mountains and its people.
The highlights of this trip:
- The discovery of most of the country: the Avenue of Volcanoes, the altiplano, mountains, lakes, cities and marketplaces.
- A varied program of walks, including the rise of several "4,000" and the ascent to the refuge of Chimborazo, at over 5,000 meters.
Day 1: Quito - City Tour - Otavalo
Arrival at the Mariscal Sucre International Airport of Quito. Visit Ecuador's capital placed in the hollow of volcanoes, and first city declared World Heritage by Unesco. In the afternoon, transfer to the north in the charming Indian city of Otavalo in the Imbabura region.
Day 2: Otavalo market - Peguche - Otavalo
Saturday is market day in the village of Otavalo. Indian people go down from the hills with their felt hats and their characteristic poncho, to trade all that one can imagine. In the morning visit of the animal market, local and craft market. The afternoon is devoted to visit the waterfall of Peguche, a sacred place for the Indians in the region.
Day 3: Otavalo - Laguna Cuicocha - Lechero - Otavalo
Short transfer to Laguna Cuicocha. The lake is located in the crater of the eponymous volcano that formed on the slopes of the volcano Cotacachi. A lovely trail along the crater's edges has a very varied flora and stunning views of the Imbabura province. In the afternoon, return to Otavalo and stroll at the foot of Lechero, sacred tree for Idian people.
Day 4: Otavalo - Fuya-Fuya - Quito
Transfer to Mojanda lagoons, where we start the short ascent of Fuya-Fuya volcano. We quickly forget the stiffness of the trail through the splendid panoramas we get from this volcano on the lakes below, the Cayambe glacier volcano right in front and the other peaks in the distance.
Day 5: Quito - Guagua Pichincha – Illiniza Lodge
Start of the climb to the active volcano Pichincha. This volcano, which dominates Quito, is known for its activity, which sometimes fills the sky of ash clouds and which crater presents undeniable signs of activity: fumaroles, sulfur deposits, boiling water. Transfer to the south, in the heart of the ecological reserve Los Illinizas.
Day 6: Refuge Illinizas – Riobamba
The climb offers a panoramic view of the whole "avenue of Volcanoes". The refuge is located in the crater of the volcano, at the base of the two peaks of Illinizas: South (5,260 m), with its impressive glacier, and North (5,116 m), rocky. Descent and transfer to Riobamba in the afternoon.
Day 7: Riobamba - Refuge Chimborazo - Baños
Transfer by car to 4,800 meters and then walk to Edward Whymper refuge at 5,000 meters, the highest "comfortable" refuge in the world. From the refuge, we head to the Whymper needles, at 5,300 meters in altitude. Snack in a very "high mountain" setting facing the ascent path of the Chimborazo volcano. Transfer to Baños in the late afternoon.
Day 8: Baños
Spa town famous for its hot pools and the nearby magnificent active volcano Tungurahua (5,016 m), Baños is a small paradise where it feels like time has stopped. In the morning, hiking in the area, amid tropical fruit plantations. Then we explore the city center, cathedral, balsa and tagua (vegetable ivory) workshops.
Optional (fee): Many outdoor activities are organized at Baños. Plan for the following day with your guide: canyoning, rafting, climbing, paragliding, bungee jumping, horseback riding or mountain biking, massages, spa, swimming pools.
Day 9: Baños - Rumiñahui - CotopaxiPungo
After breakfast, transfer to the entrance of the Cotopaxi National Park. We begin the ascent of the beautiful jagged ridge overlooking the laguna Limpiopungo. The walk begins in the paramo before following scree slopes to the peaks of Rumiñahui. Breathtaking view of Cotopaxi, just opposite. Back to our vehicle.
Day 10: Cotopaxi National Park - Quito
Transfer to the heart of the 32,255 hectares of the Cotopaxi Park and its majestic landscapes. Observation of the Andean Paramo (altitude steppe with varied flora) at the foot of the active volcano, the highest in the world, which cone covered with glaciers peaks at 5,897 meters. By late afternoon, transfer to Quito.
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- Accomodation in double rooms
- Full pension (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
- Free drinking water
- All entries to national parks, churches and activities as mentioned in the intineray
Trekking Level 4 of 5: For well-trained athlete. Previous experience of trekking and altitude (above 4,000 meters). Exposure to altitude (over 5,000 meters), some technical passages.
In the field
- English speaking tour guide
- A driver for driving the vehicle
- Private bus reserved for the group for the entire trip
Throughout your stay, accommodation is varied:
- Hostels 3-4 stars in cities (local standards).
- Homestay (basic comfort)
- Family inn or cozy guest room
- Lodge in the Amazon
- Breakfast served at the accommodation
- At noon picnic for hiking, restaurant meals the other days
- In the evening, restaurant meals or prepared food at accomodation
Ecuadorians products help ensure varied menus and good quality.
The luggage transport
During the excursions and activities, each participant carries a light backpack containing only personal belongings needed for the day (water bottle, camera, protective clothing, ...). Luggage transport is ensured by vehicle.
- Passport and photocopies
- Photocopy of certificate of insurance / assistance contract
- Vaccinations record and medical indications
- Currency, credit card => The ideal is to carry personal papers and money in a discreet travel pouch worn under your clothes.
- Universal Adapter
- Flashlight (frontal ideal) and extra batteries
- Sun protection (sunglasses and bag, sunscreen SPF 30 minimum, cap / hat)
- Personal pharmacy (see below)
- Tissues / toilet paper
- Travel alarm
- Toiletries and towel (microfiber type)
- Protective plastic bag (cloth, paper ...)
- Swimsuit (pools Baños)
- A backpack 30L / 50L: this capacity lets you take all you need for a day of travel: rain clothes, warm clothes, small pharmacy, water bottles, snacks, and possibly part of the picnic
- Cream / ointment after sun
- Antibiotic broad spectrum (paracetamol, aspirin ...)
- Disinfectant for wounds (type Hexomedine)
- Set bandages, tape, scissors, blister dressing
- Hydroalcoholic gel
- Survival blanket
- Travel bag easy to carry (hiking, trekking 60 / 70L)
- Light hiking trousers (avoid shorts)
- Warm hiking trousers
- Warm clothes (fleece, hat, gloves, scarf)
- Technical hiking socks
- Walking shoes (preferably high top choes) and gaiters
- A pair of leisure shoes (for the evening)
- Waterproof Jacket (high resistance)
- Walking sticks
- Spare lace / cord
- Knife / Swiss army knife
NB: note that you have free drinking water during your stay (in the vehicle) to fill your gourd. You have several snacks daily (cereal bars, fruit jellies, chocolate, fruit ...).
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No visa is required for nationals of countries of the European Union, Switzerland, USA and Canada for a stay of less than 90 days. A passport valid at least 6 months after the travel date in Ecuador is enough.
Travelling with children
The foreign minors are subject to the same obligations as adults. They must hold a passport valid at least six months after the release date of the Ecuadorian territory.
We do offer international flight booking. To plan your route in Ecuador, several international airlines provide transportation to Quito (or Guayaquil), such as Air France (via Bogota or Caracas), KLM, Iberia and Lan (via Madrid), American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Lufthansa, etc ...
No mandatory vaccine.
But vaccination against yellow fever is mandatory if you have previously been to a country situated in endemic areas.
We strongly recommend to update the classic vaccinations: diphtheria-tetanus-polio +/- whooping cough, tuberculosis, typhoid fever, hepatitis A and B.
Yellow fever vaccination is highly recommended if you go to the Amazon or to a province east of the Andes below 2,300 meters in altitude.
Malaria occurs below 1,500 meters, mainly in the Amazon area: classification 3 (high resistance). Antimalarial treatment is necessary. Consult your doctor.
The risk is moderate in the coastal provinces. It is recommended to protect yourself in some areas: Baños, on the Pacific coast and the Galapagos Islands.
Make sure you have in addition preventive personal protection against mosquito bites (repellents, loose clothing and spanning).
Ecuador is affected by the Zika virus disease transmitted by bites of Aedes mosquitoes.
In case of pregnancy, the hypothesis of a causal relationship between the event of outbreak of fetal or neonatal microcephaly and infection Zika virus in the mother is likely. It is therefore recommended for pregnant women or for those having a project of pregnancy to consider postponing their stay or to first consult a doctor to be informed about the complications that can occur during infection by Zika virus.
Acclimatization and preventive treatment of acute mountain sickness
We recommend you before your trip to Ecuador to visit a doctor to check your ability to stay at high altitude. Andean reliefs are very marked and altitudes are significant (Quito already at 2800m above sea level).
Whether on adventure, discovery, trekking or mountaineering tours, routes include acclimatization steps and time required for the body to naturally adjust to the altitude. By following a few simple tips especially the first days (drink regularly, avoid alcohol, overeating, too abrupt efforts ...), you will facilitate the acclimation process and avoid the most common symptoms (headaches, shortness of breath ...).
For more information, visit the Association for Research in Environmental Physiology (www.arpealtitude.org) or the International Medical Service (www.smi-voyage-sante.com)
The currency is the US dollar. Exchange rates (indicative price): 1 € = $ 1.12 or US $ 1 = € 0.89.
Most credit cards (MasterCard, Visa ...) are accepted in Ecuador in department stores. It is possible to make withdrawals * directly to distributors in major cities you will be going to during your trip (Quito, Otavalo, Guayaquil, Riobamba, Baños, Cuenca ...). Plan ahead among the major steps to not run out of cash for personal expenses (souvenirs ...). Moreover, it is better to have small denominations (5, 10, 20 $) because the businesses rarely have the exchange.
For stays in Galapagos, only the islands of Santa Cruz and Santa Cristobal are equipped with distributors.
NB: it is difficult to change euros, the exchange is only possible in major cities in banks (limited opening hours) and exchange offices ("casa de cambio").
* Before departure, it is best to consult your bank to know your conditions / fees abroad to avoid inconvenience.
Ecuador is located in the equatorial zone where there is no clear-cut seasons. It is possible to travel throughout the year in Ecuador. The climate is however very variable and unpredictable!
It is generally cool in Quito (15 ° to 25 °), very mild in Cuenca (18 ° to 30 °) and very hot in the Amazon or on the Pacific coast (27 ° to 40 °). Galapagos, the heat is tempered by the winds that cool constantly the islands (20 ° to 35 ° C).
Ecuador is considered to be one of the safest countries in South America. However, we advise you to avoid, as far as possible, to carry valuables. The risk of theft exists, avoid displaying wealth, be vigilant in crowded places (markets, city centers ...) and leave whenever possible valuables and significant amounts of money in the safes of hotels. Do not hesitate to ask your guide in which places it is necessary to pay particular attention and which ones to avoid.
Each participant must be aware of the fact that the tour chosen may include activities (rafting, hiking, ziplining, biking ...) which may be risky. The service providers selected for those services were chosen for their professionalism and the quality of supervision and equipment. Each activity will begin with a reminder of the safety instructions.
Language & some useful words
In Ecuador, Spanish is spoken by all the population. The Quechua language and local dialects are used in remote locations. English is practiced by persons in relation to tourism (hotels & restaurants of higher category).
We recommend that you bring an adapter because the plugs are flat type 110 volts, as in the United States.
Ecuador is located on the GMT -5. The time is the same in all the country except the Galapagos (- 1 hour).The sun rises around 6am and night falls around 6pm, all year.