At a glance

7 days
Arrival Airport
Quito (UIO)
river grade
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Average rainfall/month


Ecuador is the world’s most biodiverse country. Nowhere else in the world can hikers enjoy such an ecological variety of day hikes –from glaciers to cloud forest– in such a small area, all the while enjoying fantastic cuisine, learning from ancient cultures, and relaxing in top notch alpine lodging. This itinerary also functions as an acclimatisation program for those who want to culminate their trip with an ascent of the stunning, glaciated Cayambe Volcano.


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What you will be up to


Your guide will meet you at 9AM at one of the following hotels near the Mariscal Sucre International Airport: Airport Garden, Hotel San Carlos, or the Wyndham. If clients are already in country we can meet in Otavalo as well. We travel north to Casa Mojanda in the foothills overlooking Otavalo, stopping at the Quisato equator monument and Lago San Pablo for lunch. After settling into our cabins, we enjoy an afternoon walk to a local waterfall. After dinner we will have an orientation meeting, going over the details for the rest of the trip.

Included: Lunch and Dinner


Today we’ll depart early in the morning for beautiful Laguna Cuicocha, a deep blue lake that sits in a collapsed volcanic caldera. We will spend the day hiking around the rim of the crater lake which offers stunning views, not only of the lake and its’ signature islands, but of the magnificent, neighbouring Cotacachi Volcano (16,220 feet) At the end of our hike, we’ll eat lunch at the Mirador del Lago restaurant. After lunch, we visit a tree nursery and reforestation project to learn about the carbon offsetting of our trip. Dinner and jacuzzi!

Terrain: 7.5 miles, 5-6 hours, High point 11,510 feet, low point 10,150 feet.

Included: All meals


This morning we descend the wild western slope of Andes! Ecuador’s incredible ecological diversity is on full display as we transition from a high alpine environment to subtropical cloud forest in less the 3 miles of walking! Toucans are often seen in the cloud forest. We keep our eyes open as we learn about this unique subtropical ecosystem. Dinner and jacuzzi!

Terrain: 7 miles, 6-8 hours, High point 9980 feet, low point 6930 feet.

Included: All meals


Today we take a rest from trekking and immerse ourselves in local Kichwa culture. After breakfast we travel to world famous Otavalo artisan market where we pass the morning experience the rich colors and textures of craft, food, and textiles. After lunch in Otavalo we visit the sacred Peguche waterfall and the Condor Park, a raptor rescue project that offers great views of the Avenue of Volcanoes and a falconry demonstration. Dinner and jacuzzi.

Included: All meals


This morning we ascend a 14,000 foot volcano high in the Andes! The Fuya Fuya volcano towers over the Laguna Mojanda crater lake and makes an excellent acclimatisation hike for tomorrow’s glacier walk. The high páramo ecosystem is home to the Andean bear, foxes, deer, and condors. On a clear day we enjoy an amazing view of the entire Avenue of Volcanoes and its snow capped summits: Cayambe, Antisana, Cotopaxi, and Chimborazo. Last night at Casa Mojanda. Hot tub anyone?

Terrain: 3 miles, 4-5 hours, High point 14,062 feet, low point 12,247 feet.

Included: All meals


After breakfast we travel 2.5 hours to the mountain climbing refuge at 4600 meters on the flank of the Cayambe Volcano. We hike up to the glacier through a rocky alpine moonscape and keep an eye out for frequently spotted condors. This is the highest point on the Equator line in the world, and the only place along it where you can find snow and ice! At over 16,000 feet you will feel the altitude. We walk a circuit route that takes us to the lower edge of Cayambe glacier before descending to an alpine lake and returning to the refuge. After lunch we travel in the afternoon 2 hours to Termas de Papallacta hotel and spa. We enjoy a well deserved soak in the volcanic hot springs with stunning views of the Antisana volcano.

Terrain: 3 miles, 3-4 hours, High point 16,076 feet, low point 15,092 feet.

Included: All meals


We savor the morning relaxing at the hot springs. Optional spa treatments (not included). Optional walk along a river through high altitude cloud forest. After lunch we travel 1.5 hours to the Airport Garden Hotel located 10 minutes from the airport, arriving by 5PM. Your room is already reserved and paid for. End of Services. If guests have an evening flight they can shower and rest up. Guests with morning flights spend the night and can dine at the hotel or one of the nearby restaurants.

Included: Breakfast

Speak to an MBN Advisor

UK 01709 802203

USA 303-261 8896

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Dates & Prices

Dates Duration
Sunday 25 July 2021 - Saturday 31 July 2021 7 days $3250 £

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