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Trekking Along the Avenue of Volcanoes in Ecuador

Example 8 Day Tour
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Join the 8-day trekking adventure trip through the Avenue of the Volcanoes. Begin the journey by driving along the Pan American highway, where you can marvel at the views of Cayambe and Pichincha. Immerse yourself in the experience by hiking near Limpiopungo Lagoon, where you'll encounter the best views of Cotopaxi, one of the highest active volcanoes in the world. Explore the captivating Toachi Canyon, interact with locals in Chugchilán, and trek the trails that reveal the tradition of bartering and offer breathtaking views of Quilotoa Lake. Venture to Chimborazo Volcano, spot wildlife and savor a picnic. Experience the beauty of Llanganates National Park and conclude the adventure in Baños, engaging in thrilling outdoor activities and discovering enchanting waterfalls before returning to Quito City.
QuitoTrek to ChimborazoTrekking through the Toachi CanyonTrek in Llanganates National ParkHike to the road
Highlights
  • Witness Cotopaxi, the highest active volcano as you hike Sierra's climate
  • Trek along Toachi canyon, marvel at indigenous villages and landscapes
  • Explore Chimborazo Volcano, highest peak with stunning panoramic views
  • Discover storied mystery and lush landscapes in Llanganates National Park
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrive in Quito

Arrive in Quito. Spend the overnight preparing for your adventure.

Day 2: Trek in Cotopaxi National Park

  • Hotels
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Start the adventure by driving south on a famous road called the Pan-American Highway. It takes about 2 hours to reach a place known as The Avenue of Volcanoes. This name was given by a famous explorer named Alexander Vond Humboldt from Germany. Along the way, you'll have the chance to see several volcanoes like Cayambe, Antisana, Pichincha, Illinizas, Pasochoa, and Corazon.

Next, go hiking in a mountainous area called the Sierra. You'll be at an elevation of about 13,000 feet (3,800 meters) near a lake called Limpiopungo, which is at the base of the Rumiñahui volcano. From here, enjoy amazing views of Cotopaxi, which is one of the highest volcanoes in the world. There's also a possibility of seeing wild horses, bulls, and different kinds of birds. If the weather is good, you may try to hike even higher to a basecamp at 16,000 feet (4,876 meters). Drive to Isinlivi at night to spend the night after a long day.

Trekking time: 2 hours on flat terrain around Limpiopungo Lagoon
Elevation: 12,631 ft, elevation gain 1,000 feet,
Distance: 5 miles
Total steps: 15,345

Day 3: Toachi Canyon | Hike to Chugchilán

  • Hotels
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today, go on a 13.5 km (8.4 mi) trek along the Toachi Canyon, surrounded by the enchanting Andean mountain landscapes. Along the way, be captivated by breathtaking views of quaint villages and indigenous people tending to their fields. The journey leads you down to the Toachi River canyon and back up to the main road, which guides you to Chugchilán, a small town nestled in the heart of the Quilotoa Loop. There, find your Eco-house accommodation and have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture by exploring the village in the afternoon.

Trekking time: 2-hour downhill trek from 10,810 ft (3295 m) to Toachi River: 9,500 ft (2896 m), then 2-hour uphill climb to Chugchilán at 10,498 ft (3200 m).
Total steps: 25,481

Day 4: Trek to Quilotoa

After breakfast, set off on an 11 km (6.9 miles) hiking adventure in the morning. Follow small trails that were marked by local mountain people and are still used by the community for transportation and travel between neighboring areas. Along the way, witness the traditional practice of exchanging goods through bartering, which is still prevalent today. Explore stunning canyons and ascend back up to the top of the crater rim, and be rewarded with breathtaking views of Quilotoa Lake. The beauty of this place will leave you awe-inspired. Later, enjoy a delightful picnic with magnificent views of the volcano and then travel for approximately 2.5 hours to reach a charming hacienda nestled in the foothills of the Chimborazo volcano.

Trekking time: 1 hour downhill from 10,498 ft. to the Toachi River at 9,800 ft., followed by 2.5 hours uphill to 13,000 ft., and then 1.5 hours on flat terrain.
Total steps: 27,518

Day 5: Chimborazo Basecamp

In the morning, drive through valleys and farming villages to reach the Chimborazo Volcano, which is the highest mountain in Ecuador. It reaches a height of 6310 meters (20702 feet) above the sea. Its summit is the farthest point from the center of the Earth on the whole planet! On a clear day, you can see the majestic peak of Chimborazo from many kilometers away. Visit the national park around the volcano, and take a short hike of about 0.9 kilometers (0.57 miles) to reach an elevation of 5000 meters (16404 feet), where the glacier starts. During the hike, try to spot some of the animals that live in this volcanic area, like the Andean condor, caracara, hummingbirds, and the shy wild Vicuñas. The Vicuñas were once extinct in Ecuador, but they were brought back and are now protected. They are really beautiful animals and they are related to alpacas and llamas. Before bidding farewell to this remarkable location, indulge in a delectable picnic at the base camp.

Trekking time: 1.5 hours uphill from 15,748 ft. to 16,732 ft., and 45 minutes downhill on the return.
Total steps: 14,974

Day 6: Llanganates National Park | Baños

Take off on a 6-hour trek through Llanganates National Park, renowned for its breathtaking scenery and intriguing tales. It is said that the Inca General Rumiñahui concealed a significant amount of gold somewhere in the Tungurahua mountain range. Commence the hike at an altitude of 3,200m (10,498 ft) above sea level and ascend to 3,600m (12,024 ft). Witness a multitude of vegetation changes as you trek to higher altitudes. If the weather permits, enjoy captivating vistas of the Tungurahua Volcano and the Sangay Volcano. Following this splendid trek, return to the enchanting town of Baños for your last night's stay.

This presents a great opportunity to indulge in a revitalizing massage at a nearby spa, rejuvenating your body after a day of traversing the moon-like landscapes of Chimborazo. Continue your journey to the tropical town of Baños, where you can unwind in the renowned hot springs and immerse yourself in the vibrant nightlife this town has to offer in the evening.

Day 7: Hike to the Trail of the Waterfalls | Return to Quito

Baños, a charming town, is renowned for its remarkable location nestled at the base of the active Tungurahua volcano, making it a prime destination for outdoor enthusiasts. It offers a plethora of thrilling activities such as horseback riding, canyoning, hiking, mountain biking, climbing, and rafting. Recognized as one of the country's top tourist spots, Baños attracts numerous Ecuadorian families seeking a memorable vacation. The town's lush green surroundings are a sight to behold, untouched and remarkably pleasant. The journey begins this morning as you go on the waterfall route. The first destination is the captivating Bride's Veil waterfall, where you will traverse the Pastaza River using the Tarabita (cable car). From there, take on a one-hour hike to the impressive Pailon del Diablo waterfall, Ecuador's second-highest waterfall. After a day filled with adventures in the enchanting cloud forest, enjoy a scenic return journey to Quito City.

Overnight in Quito.

Day 8: Return Home

  • 1 Breakfast
Depart for Home.

Accommodations

Cotopaxi - Hotels

Quito - Hotels

Riobamba - Hotels

Banos - Hotels

Dates & Prices

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Per person starting at
$2,163
Rate is based on a private group of 2. Group rates are available for set departure dates. Inquire with a Trip Planner.

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Included
  • 7 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 3 Dinners
  • 7 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Hiking sticks and Bikes
  • Certified AJ expert English-speaking adventure Trip leader and local guides
  • Private and comfortable land transportation.
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • International Flights
  • Airport transfer

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Kate was great to work with in the planning stage. She was prompt, helpful, and efficient. Our tour guide, Edwin, was knowledgeable and passionate. We were very happy to have traveled with Adventure Life, it made the trip easy and a true pleasure. We could concentrate on enjoying the experience rather than the details of travel.
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