A private transportation and a bilingual guide will pick us from Quito for the drive to Hacienda El Porvenir near Cotopaxi Volcano. Then we will be received with a canalazo (cinnamon tea), drop-off our luggage, and continue to the Cotopaxi National Park.
An hour hike takes us to the climbing hut (refugio) and a nearby glacier at 4,800 meters (14,760 ft) above sea level. After returning to the interpretative center, continue by vehicle to visit Laguna de Limpiopungo, a shallow Andean lake with great birdwatching. Continue to Pucara del Salitre, an Incan military fortress before returning to a good lunch at the Hacienda El Porvenir. The afternoon is free to explore the hacienda grounds.
Click here to watch Youtube video to learn more about El Porvenir and the Tierra del Volcan's area near Cotopaxi.
A brief orientation is given in the morning at Hacienda El Porvenir to get acquainted with the horses. We 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 we cross the paramo, enjoy the bird and wildlife, and the native guides will share their knowledge of medicinal plants. Afterwards a delicious lunch of local dishes awaits us upon our 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. Late afternoon return to Quito.