Day 1: Arrival Quito. Our driver will meet you in airport arrivals and transport you to Hotel Santa Barbara - a charming colonial-style hotel close to the newtown part of the city. Free time to relax and acclimatise to your new surroundings.
Day 2: Rucu Pichincha. A gentle start to the tour with a ride on the teleferico cable car to the top of Cruz Loma, before a 3-hour trek to the crater of the dormant Rucu Pichincha volcano. On a clear day there are spectacular views of the city of Quito below as well as the peak of active Guagua Pichincha which last erupted in 1999 sending an 18km ash cloud high above the city. The afternoon is free to rest at Hotel Santa Barbara. Includes: (B).
Day 3: Cotopaxi. A memorable day in the National Park surrounding Ecuador's most picture-perfect volcano. Cotopaxi boasts an extremely violent past but has been quiet for many decades now, nonetheless it remains an awe-inspiring sight and the andean grassland scenery in the surrounding parkland make for a beautiful daytrip. This day is flexible to your desires - there are excellent biking, trekking or horse-riding opportunities available. Overnight at the elegant La Cienega Hacienda on the border of the National Park where an open-fire and centuries of history await your arrival. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 4: Corazon. A memorable day of trekking on one of the most easily-accessible peak climbs in the Ecuadorian Andes. It is a strenuous but non-technical trek to the top of this extinct volcano. Overnight at La Cienega hacienda. Includes: (B).
Day 5: Quilotoa. The crater lake is a real highlight of the tour that will literally take your breath away! An emerald green laguna inside the crater of an extinct volcano with steep jagged cliffs and views straight down the entire valley of volcanoes. It is possible to trek into the crater to the lake shore (with optional mule ride out for those with tired limbs), and there are also many other fine trekking opportunities in the local area sometimes referred to as the Grand Canyon of Ecuador, as well as a chance to buy local handicrafts. Overnight in a simple hostel in the local village of Chugchilan. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 6: Chimborazo. This old, giant peak is famed as both the highest peak in Ecuador and the furthest point from the centre of the earth (due to the equatorial bulge). Visiting options include hiking up to the second refuge at 5000m, or visit to the nature reserve where over 800 wild vicuña roam (the vicuña is a small relative of the llama). Overnight in the attractive Abraspungo Hacienda. Includes: (B).
Day 7: Tungurahua. Today we begin the return journey north to Quito, but the trip would not be complete without a glimpse of Ecuador's most currently active volcano, Tungurahua. This volcano, meaning "little hell" in local tongue, has been on almost constant orange alert since 1999 since when it has caused many evacuations of local towns as well as its fair share of destruction. Our driver will try to find you some of the best views of it's smoldering peak during the drive. Overnight at Hotel Santa Barbara in Quito. Includes: (B).
Day 8: Departure. After breakfast our driver will transfer you to the airport for your flight out. Includes: (B).
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