Have questions? We're here.
Braving the rapids!

Ecuador Adventure

Example 9 Day Tour
Talk with an expert
Customize any aspect of your Ecuador trip. 1.800.344.6118
Help Me Plan My Trip
Ask a Question
Travel by raft, bike, and horseback while exploring four of Ecuador's ecosystems: high altitude Andean forest, paramo (grassland), cloud forest, and glaciers on Cotopaxi Volcano. Jump right into the action with a fast-paced mountain bike descent down Pichincha Volcano to begin your Ecuador travel. Then settle into your lodge perched above the cloud forest canopy, and begin exploring the miles of trails that wind through waterfalls and steep ravines. Continue the adventure with an exhilarating whitewater rafting trip before you set off to explore the high Andes near the Cotopaxi Volcano on foot and horseback.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Arrive in Quito
Day 2 : Pichincha Volcano Biking
Day 3 : Bellavista Cloud Forest
Day 4 : Whitewater Rafting near Santo Domingo de los Colorados
Day 5 : Horseback Riding
Day 6 : Ecological Reserve and Paramo Hiking
Day 7 : Cotopaxi National Park
Day 8 : Morning Adventure | Market Visit
Day 9 : Return home

Highlights

  • Bike down the slopes of Pichincha Volcano to Bellavista Cloud Forest
  • Explore miles of trails in Bellavista Cloud Forest & search for wildlife
  • Raft down Class III rapids in the Western Andes
  • Horseback ride across the páramo next to wild horses and bulls

Places Visited

  • Ecuador
  • South America
  • Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve
  • Cotopaxi
  • Hacienda El Porvenir
  • Hosteria Granja La Estacion
  • Machachi
  • Mindo
  • Quito

Activities

Trip Type

  • Adventure Life Exclusive

Activity Level

Moderate

Trip Snapshots

Braving the rapids! On a biking our of Ecuador at Pichincha Volcano Horseback riding - La Chagras Way Hiking Cotopaxi Mountain with Santiago Zipline in Mindo Cotopaxi Volcano with snow What a rush! Horseback riding in Ecuador

Day 1 Arrive in Quito

Arrive Quito and overnight.

Day 2 Pichincha Volcano Biking

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Begin your Ecuador travel adventure with an exhilarating descent down the slopes of Pichincha Volcano to the Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve. The tundra grass of the Andean paramo (high altitude grassland) changes before your eyes (and the knobby tires of your bikes) as you roll into the lush cloud forest. Steep gorges and ridges covered by impenetrable jungle provide spectacular views on the 3-4 hour downhill ride. In the afternoon, settle into Bellavista's cloud forest lodge and begin your first explorations of this unique ecosystem.

Day 3 Bellavista Cloud Forest

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Bellavista protects 1800 acres of endangered cloud forest on the western slopes of the Andes. Bordering the Choco bio-region, the forest is part of something that scientists refer to as a biodiversity "hotspot" - a place of extreme biodiversity in danger of extinction. Today explore the miles of trails at Bellavista, passing by waterfalls, steep ravines, and thick gardens of hanging epiphytes in search of some of the 320 bird species recorded here. Learn more about the area's complex ecology, what Bellavista is doing to protect it, and about the endangered mammals such as the spectacled bear, mountain lion, Andean coati, and others that take refuge here.

Day 4 Whitewater Rafting near Santo Domingo de los Colorados

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Time to hit the Class III+ rapids of the best whitewater in the Western Andes! During the winter months, raft on the Rio Blanco and in the summerl paddle the Rio Toachi. On these exhilarating rides, pass through forested canyons and isolated villages as you descend towards the Pacific lowlands. This afternoon, you return to the highlands to the western flank of the Cotopaxi Volcano for dinner and to rest after an exciting day.

Day 5 Horseback Riding

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After breakfast drive to El Porvenir, a fully-functioning hacienda and your base for the next three nights, set high in the Andean paramo with spectacular views of Cotopaxi. After a brief orientation is given to get acquainted with the horses, head out on horseback in the spirit of the Chagras (Ecuadorian highland cowboys) to visit the foothills of Rumiñahui Volcano, riding side by side with herds of wild horses and bulls. As you cross the paramo, enjoy the birds and wildlife while the local guides share their knowledge of medicinal plants. Afterwards a delicious lunch of local dishes awaits you upon your return to the farmhouse.

The afternoon is free to explore the hacienda grounds, and there are a couple of self-guided paths to the Manto Blanco Waterfall and to lookouts with nice views of the mountains and surrounding landscape. Click here to watch a video to learn more about El Porvenir and the Tierra del Volcan's area near Cotopaxi.

Day 6 Ecological Reserve and Paramo Hiking

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
A thirty minute drive takes you to the Hacienda Santa Rita Ecological Reserve and the impressive 270 foot high Condor Machay Waterfall. Continue on foot along a trail that takes you through a very unique native forest of the Andes known as the "paper bark tree forest". Continue to the village of El Pedregal where you have the chance to experience the local culture of the area before continuing to El Porvenir. Today's hike is 11 kilometers (7 miles).

Day 7 Cotopaxi National Park

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After enjoying the views of the volcano over the last three days, drive for 45 minutes into the Cotopaxi National Park. An hour hike takes you to the climbing hut (refugio) and a nearby glacier at 4,800 meters (14,760 ft) above sea level.

Continue by vehicle to visit Laguna de Limpiopungo, a shallow Andean lake with great birdwatching, and from here you start your ten kilometer (7 mile) trek back to El Porvenir. Stop at the Chusig Machai Cave for lunch and continue on foot through beautiful mountain valleys before returning to a good dinner and the last night at the hacienda.

Day 8 Morning Adventure | Market Visit

This morning you get your choice of excursions, such as mountain biking or a ropes course challenge.

In the afternoon, travel to Sangolqui, a village with a traditional market. Browse the market stalls with traditional arts and crafts and sample some of the local produce, particularly the fruits. Return to Quito in the evening.

Day 9 Return home

  • 1 Breakfast
Return home, or with more time, extend your trip in Ecuador's mainland or travel to the Galapagos or Peru!

Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve

Hacienda El Porvenir

Hosteria Granja La Estacion

Quito - Hotels

Per person starting at
$2,325

Notes

$410 single supplement

Included

  • 8 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 6 Dinners
  • 8 Nights Accommodations
    • 2 Nights Hotel
    • 6 Nights Lodge
  • 5 Days Private Guide Service
  • 2 Days Locally Hosted Guide Service
  • Gear Rental
    • Rafting and biking gear

Excluded

  • Both International Arrival and Departure Transfers are excluded.
  • International Flights

Recommended Budgeting

  • $40 Meals not Included
  • $55 Airport Departure Tax
  • $10 Park Entrance Fee
Payment & Cancellation Policies
Change & customize to make it yours.
Jessica L

We Love to Talk Travel

Call 1.800.344.6118
or
Chat Now
Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

When to Go

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.

Popular Add-ons

Ecuador Travel Links

Why Travel With Adventure Life

More Reasons
Us with our Maasai guide Dennis
Tailored to You
Tell us your travel interests, dreams and desires, then let our experts tailor the perfect trip for you!
Monks conversing in a Buddist temple
Peace of Mind
You can have confidence in our experts' dedication to traveler safety, comfort, & providing a seamless trip.
A pair of friendly sea lions
Responsible Travel
We are fully committed to low impact travel that not only preserves but gives back to the amazing places we visit.
A man photographs a King Penguin at only a few feet away.
Insider Access
Our personal expertise & experience, local partners in our destinations, & access to over 150 small ships are all invaluable to designing your unique journey.

Awards and Accolades

All News