One of the hidden gems of Ecuador, the Quilotoa and Cotopaxi Volcanoes are the Highlights of the Andes. Quilotoa is a remote and isolated area located in the Western Andes Mountains. The surrounding area is renowned for its tiny traditional highland villages such as Chugchilan & Isinlivi and they are an important centre for arts and crafts especially the town of Tigua, whose inhabitants produce colorful paintings of Andean life in sheepskin canvasses.
On top of that the landscapes from start to finish are simply breath-taking making this a must-see region of the country. Great trekking and horse-riding opportunities you will enjoy it.
This 4-day adventure package brings you from the most active volcano in Ecuador to the only one emerald sparkling lake in the mountains. Travel along the Avenue of the Volcanoes and admire the Ecuadorian highlands. Head to Cotopaxi National Park where you will have a chance to hike there and admire the flora and fauna.
Day 1: Cotopaxi National Park - Interpretation Center – Hike – Andes Landscape
Leave early in the morning and take “The volcanoes avenue” toward Latacunga. Cotopaxi is the highest active volcano in the world (5,897 msnm) located two hours from Quito.
The Cotopaxi National Park allows us the opportunity to hike around the lake at foothills then we’ll visit the Interpretation´s Center where we’ll learn about the flora and the fauna of the park and the moors protected areas. After, we’ll climb the volcano by vehicle until 4,500 meters from the parking area we’ll walk up until 4,800 meters where is a refuge and from there continue up to the glaciers 200 meters more, of course all plans depend on weather and national park restrictions. Day 2: Isinlivi / Chugchilan - Hike - Andes Landscape - Toachi Cañon
Overnight in Isinlivi - Llullu Llama Lodge
After breakfast you head to Chugchilan with our guide, the next village on our trip. Descent 400m. Ascent 300m. Distance 12 km. 4 hours hike. We will go down into the warm canyon of Rio Toachi and have some nice hours hiking and relaxing at the riverbed before going the last meters up to Chugchilan. Magnificient view of the mountains! Overnight in Chugchilan - Mama Hilda LodgeDay 3: Chugchilan Village - Horseback Riding
After breakfast you will head with our guides to Northwest of Chugchilan, along the way you can enjoy spectacular mountain Andes views. On the way you can take a horseback-riding trip or hike on hidden paths through pristine cloudforest which lead to ridges with spectacular Andes view, and visiting a local cheese store (if open) on route. You will enjoy on the route of the natural groundwater of thermal characteristics whose temperatures oscillate between 30 to 50 degrees. This natural resource and community settlement is located within the Ilinizas Ecological Reserve.
Overnight in Chugchilan - Mama Hilda LodgeDay 4: Quilotoa Loop - Chugchilan - Hike - Return to Quito
Today we head to Quilotoa Crater after breakfast to hike down and up to Chugchilan. It is about 4 to 5 hours hike, going up from 3900 m. / 12.796 ft. Up to 3200 m. / 10.499 ft. We will go through the Rio Toachi Canyon and then back up to get to the road that takes us to Chugchilan. During this 5-hour hike you will have excellent views on the Toachi Canyon, and you will get good impressions what’s life like on the countryside in the Andes. After lunch, return to Quito