Depart in the morning from Quito and drive towards the towering Cotopaxi Volcano and explore the forest canopy by zipline. The zipline provides a great vantage point for birdwatching and enjoying the scenery and is an adrenaline rush as you soar above the trees. After the flying adventure, hike to the Pita River waterfall for lunch. (zipline available starting March 2014. Or choose an alternate excursion this morning such as mountain biking or ropes course challenge). After the three hour excursion, drive to El Porvenir, a fully-functioning hacienda and our base for the next two nights, set high in the Andean paramo with spectacular views of Cotopaxi. Enjoy a nice traditional lunch, and the afternoon is free to explore the hacienda's 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 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.
After a hearty breakfast, we start the mountain biking adventure with an exciting downhill track on the slopes of Cotopaxi Volcano. Admire the stunning landscape during the descent to the Limpiopungo Valley, followed by a cross-country ride through the bed of an old landslide formed by lava and mud flows from past volcanic eruptions. We will ride by old ruins dating back to the Inca and have lunch en-route. Return to El Porvenir and transfer back to Quito.
$125 single supplement