Ecuador Secrets: Hiking the Hidden Paths (5)

Tour/Activity in Quito, Ecuador

About this activity

Get off the beaten path and discover Ecuador's secrets in the the rarely explored region of the Altar volcano

Your Travel Experience with Galapagos PRO

Day 1

First trek

Today we have an scenery drive through the Avenue of Volcanoes, on the way you may be able to see Cotopaxi, Rumiñahui, Ilinizas, and Tungurahua volcanoes. The Panamerican highway offers views of the colorful fields on the mountains, with the plantations of corn, potatos and the grain of gods: quinoa. About noon you will trek for about 5 hours to reach your campsite.

Accommodation: Camping at 3,843 meters. Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 2

Trekking to the Mandur lagoon

Today you will tackle the longest hike of this expedition. Explore several hours of the unique trails of the Paramo ecosystem, known for its high altitude and thin air. You will learn a lot about the flora and fauna of this area from your expert guide. A highlight is the Mandur Lagoon (4,420 meters), which invites you to linger and perhaps photograph its breathtaking beauty. In the afternoon you will return to the campsite where a fantastically prepared dinner awaits you.

Accommodation: campsite Included meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 3

Trekking to the Yellow Crater Lake of the Altar Volcano

Today after a healthy breakfast of champions, continue your adventure with a trek as amazing as yesterday's but less challenging in distance. This hike culminates in a view over an impressive crater lake (4,250 meters), which is yellow because of the high concentration of sulfur. Head back to the campsite in the afternoon.

Accommodation: Camping Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 4

Day of Relaxation at a colonial hacienda

Today we will return to the Hacienda Releche and drive to Cotopaxi Province and spend the night in a Colonial Hacienda.

Accommodation: Colonial hacienda Meals included: Breakfast and lunch

Day 5

Quilotoa Lagoon

After breakfast, you'll drive to the Ilinizas Ecological Reserve. After 2 hours you will have a quick stop at the Toachi canyon to enjoy the amazing view of this place, then continue 10 minutes to the Quilotoa Volcano. Hiking into its crater, you will be rewarded with a view over the Quilotoa Lagoon, considered one of the most beautiful crater lakes on earth. You may also opt to kayak here. Hike or ride a mule back up ($2) and then drive to Quito.

Meals included: Breakfast and lunch

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