Print this trip dossier

Journey Latin America asks you to accept cookies for performance and social media purposes. We use cookies on our website to personalise content, evaluate website traffic and enhance performance. You can delete or restrict cookies via your web browser. To get more information about these cookies and the processing of your personal data see our Cookie Policy. Do you accept these cookies and the processing of personal data involved? Find out more


Active Ecuador: Andean hikes and Cotopaxi volcano

Send an Enquiry
*
*
*
*
*
Enquiry
*
Print-Friendly dossier

Ecuador is an ideal destination for hikers. This lodge to lodge trek will appeal to those who wish to avoid camping, and to meet local people. The walks are always picturesque, with views over snow-dappled mountain landscapes, plains of rough wind-battered grass and icy lagoons. The thrill of arriving at the rim of a volcanic crater cannot be exaggerated, nor can the feeling of achievement when you arrive at the snow-line of Cotopaxi, one of the highest Andean volcanoes.

There are simple but warm and cosy rural farms and inns to stay in, where you will receive a warm welcome and be able to relax after the day’s exertions.

The tiny republic sits at the crossroads of the equator and the high Andes and encompasses an extraordinary diversity of geography and climate. It's easy to get around, so journeys tend to be short and scenic, leaving you plenty of time for your hikes.

Holiday itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Quito. Transfer to countryside hacienda in the Avenue of the Volcanoes.

Day 2

3hr gentle acclimatisation walk.

Day 3

By road to a rural inn via a traditional market. Overnight at mountain lodge.

Day 4

Walk from Quilotoa to Chugchilán, 3,900m, 7hrs Overnight at mountain lodge.

Day 5

Trek around the Quilotoa volcano’s crater, 6hrs. Overnight on countryside hotel.

Day 6

Climb to Pasochoa volcano summit 4,200m, 7hrs. Overnight at mountain lodge.

Day 7

Hike the Cotopaxi Trail.

Day 8

Climb to the snow line on Cotopaxi volcano, approx. 5,100m. Return to Quito.

Day 9

Transfer to Quito airport for flight home.

VIEW FULL ITINERARY DETAILS
ReadMore
Close

Visit Us

What our experts say

The spectacular scenery of the Ecuadorian Andes lends itself perfectly to hiking and so I’ve created this holiday for keen walkers who want an exciting, active trip. A real highlight is climbing to the snowline of Cotopaxi volcano, one of the highest volcanoes in the Andes. And if you don’t like the idea of camping then you’ll find the rustic mountain lodges we’ve selected for this trip ideal – they’re cosy, comfortable and offer a warm welcome after a day out in the mountains.

Caroline Maber

Caroline Maber

Travel Consultants

Places visited on this holiday

Active Ecuador: Andean hikes and Cotopaxi volcano

Back to list of places visited
Avenue of the Volcanoes
Avenue of the Volcanoes
The aptly named Avenue of the Volcanoes is flanked by eight dizzyingly-high snow-mantled mountains striding south of Quito down the Andean spine. It passes through a valley rich with a landscape of dense forest and tiny fields plastering impossibly steep slopes. Dotted around is a mix of deeply traditional indigenous and colonial settlements with horticultural and artisan markets and cottage industries. There’s also a clutch of old estates gifted to conquistadores where the grandiose buildings are now countryside hotels. This is supreme hiking country, with trails leading to craters harbouring turquoise volcanic lakes, usually with views of the biggest peaks, Chimborazo and Cotopaxi.
When to go

The central highlands have an all year round spring-like climate with temperatures averaging 21°C.  The best time for a visit is Dec-Jan, while a lot of rain can be expected Mar-May. Jul-Aug are the driest months.  Visit Saquisili on a Thursday to see the market. Other towns have different market days.

Language

Spanish

Time difference

GMT -5 hrs

Combines with

Ecuador’s colonial southern city, graceful Cuenca, 250 km from Riobamba by road (3.5hrs) or rail and road.

Getting there

It’s a drive of 190 km from Quito to Riobamba, taking 2 hrs 40mins if you drive direct.

Key events
Fiesta de la Mama Negra, Latacunga, 23-25 Sep, a multi-cultural event with a historical narrative and costumed dancing and parades.  
Corpus Christi:  Pujili, Quilotoa Loop:  May-Jun. Masked parades, fireworks and competitions. 
Riobamba: There are several fiestas and parades, including one in celebration of Jesus in January; Holy Week, and the Fiesta de Abril on the town’s independence day, 21 Apr.

Getting local money

Ecuador uses the US dollar. There are banks in Riobamba but it’s best to take out money in advance in Quito where there are many ATMs.

Back to list of places visited
Quito

Quito has long been a city of two halves. Occupying a highland valley at 2,850m and flanked by volcanoes, the setting of its historic centre and adjoining modern quarters is breathtaking. The formerly dark and run-down colonial heart has been magnificently restored. Cobbled lanes and whitewashed façades, scrubbed up churches and renovated theatres now gleam and echo with the sounds of the everyday life of its traditional inhabitants. Beyond are the skyscrapers and broad avenues of the contemporary commercial city, La Mariscal, with flashy shops, offices and restaurants, where busy young workers flock to the many bars and nightclubs.

When to go

The capital is an all-year destination. Lying at 2,850m on the Equator, Quito has a year round spring-like climate.  Most days have a sunny morning but there may be rain in the afternoon. Feb-Mar are the wettest months, Jul the driest.

Language

Spanish

Getting local currency
Ecuador uses the US dollar. Notes can be withdrawn from the many ATMs using a UK credit or debit card. 
Time difference

GMT -5 hrs.

Combines with

A visit to Otavalo market in the northern highlands, 58km (1-2hrs by road); the bird-filled cloud forest in the Mindo region, 100km (1hr 40mins by road); the Avenue of the Volcanoes, 77km (2hrs by road); the Galápagos Islands, (2-3hrs by air).

Getting there

Average flight time is 15 hrs. There are no direct flights from the UK to Ecuador, popular routes to Quito involve a change of plane in Amsterdam, Paris or Madrid.

Key events

Dia de Quito: Quito, 6 Dec. The city’s own festival is actually celebrated from 1st Dec, with parades, street music and bullfights, right up until the fiesta’s climax on 6th. It can be quite boisterous.

Speak to an expert Travel Consultant or send us your enquiry today.

Tailor-made holiday

Our specialists have been expertly crafting award-winning tailor-made holidays to Latin America for over 37 years.
We would be delighted to create a truly personalised trip which perfectly matches your wishes and requirements.

97% of our clients rated their experience with us as Excellent or Good.

Articles you may like

Browse our inspiration area of the site. It's packed with insider travel tips, Top5s, competitions, events, recipes and holiday ideas for Central and South America sure to whet your travel appetite.

More inspiration

Other holidays you may be interested in

View all holidays
Cotopaxi

Walking in Ecuador and Galapagos

Private journey

12 days from £4,228pp

Blue Footed Boobies

Signature Ecuador and Galapagos: Volcanoes to the ocean

Private journey

16 days from £6,612pp

Bluee footed boobie

Paloma: Andean Ecuador and land based Galapagos

Group tour

10 days from £3,260pp

tren crucero ave of the volcanoes

Ecuador by train and Galapagos cruise

Private journey

14 days from £6,422pp

 
Please note
Explore the dates and prices of this unique holiday to Latin America.

Due to flexible pricing and minimum room night requirements during peak times (such as New Year, Carnival and Easter) we may not always present all the dates we have available.

If your ideal travel date is not shown, call us on 020 8747 8315, or click on the 'Make an Online Enquiry' button to the right.

Prices exclude international flights at the beginning and end of the trip.

Do you have a question?

Ask about this trip

Or speak to an expert on 03098589426

Close

Please select a Start Date

Please select who's going

Please select the number of rooms

Not enough rooms have been chosen

Active Ecuador: Andean hikes and Cotopaxi volcano

Check available dates and pricing for this trip in four easy steps.

When Would You Like to Travel?

Step 1 of 4

If your preferred travel date is not shown there are a number of reasons why this might be. Please just let us know and we'll be happy to take a closer look for you.

Who's going?

Step 2 of 4

Our online booking system allows for up to four travellers per booking. If your group is larger than this please get in touch and we'll be happy to help process this for you.

Number of rooms required

Step 3 of 4

Our online booking system allows for up to four travellers per booking. If your group is larger than this please get in touch and we'll be happy to help process this for you.

Holiday price total

Step 4 of 4

Tour :

Active Ecuador: Andean hikes and Cotopaxi volcano

Departure date :

Travellers :

Room type :

Total :

The total price above excludes international flights at beginning and end of your trip. To add flights speak to one of our experts on 020 8747 8315.

Active Ecuador: Andean hikes and Cotopaxi volcano

9 days from £3,348pp

Price excludes international flights at the beginning and end of the trip

 

Private Journey

 

Sign up to our newsletter

Sign up to our twice monthly newsletter and be the first to know about our latest news, offer and competitions.

Sign up with...

Your email

Or...

Using a social account is fast and means you don't need to remember a password.

We never share your data either - see our terms & conditions

Facebook Connect

Remember, you can unsubscribe at any time.

To see how we take care of your data please review our Privacy Policy

Thanks for subscribing – we’ll be in touch!

You are not subscribed. Some error happened.

Share this Page

Social share page will open in new window

Send a friend

reCaptcha_try_again

Page Full Path: /sitecore/content/JLA/Home/destinations/ecuador/holidays/active-ecuador-andean-hikes-and-cotopaxi-volcano

Page ID: {27C31A2A-04B0-4570-A51B-260DCC8B5CC4}

Page Name: active-ecuador-andean-hikes-and-cotopaxi-volcano

Page Display Name: Active Ecuador: Andean hikes and Cotopaxi volcano

Page Template Name: T013-Private-Tour-JJ

Page Template ID: {1987AD35-218E-4B05-8DCF-B80B79F469E7}

Parent ID: {92CEAD38-7193-4E8A-8CF8-4F67B8DF0DEC}

Parent Name: holidays

Parent Display Name: Holidays

Parent Template Name: T007-Tours

Parent Template ID: {C007F36D-3091-4A02-8D0A-2302CE1DCA8E}