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Crater lake at Quilotoa
Trekking through Toachi Canyon
Views of Cotopaxi Volcano

Avenue of Volcanoes Trek

Ecuador Trek
TrekHotelTerrainRED 1
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About the Challenge

The Avenue of the Volcanoes, named in the early 1800s by famous explorer Humboldt, is a volcano-lined corridor stretching south through Ecuador. Many of these towering snow-capped cones are still active.

Between the volcanoes lie verdant valleys of tropical forest and farmland dotted with indigenous villages; our trek explores this diverse landscape, taking in dramatic canyons and mountain passes over 3000m. Our goal is Quilotoa, a vast volcanic crater known for its vivid turquoise colour lagoon.

With time to acclimatise to the altitude, this is a challenging trek through breathtakingly beautiful landscapes full of colourful Andean culture. Time to explore Quito’s colonial old town and relax in hot springs book-end an unforgettable experience.


Avenue of Volcanoes Trek


OPEN 9 DAYS
  • Arrive in Quito and transfer to hotel; dinner and trip briefing (time permitting). Night hotel.

  • Quito, located close to the equator in the foothills of the Andes, is one of the best-preserved colonial cities in the Americas, and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site over 40 years ago. We spend the morning exploring the beautiful old town, soaking up the cobbled streets and colonial architecture. In the afternoon, you can explore independently or take the opportunity to visit a foundation supporting local homeless children. At an elevation of 2850m, our bodies will already be acclimatising to the altitude. Night hotel.

  • An early start sees us heading out of the city through the Avenue of Volcanoes to Cotopaxi National Park. Cotopaxi is one of the most famous active volcanoes in the world, and Ecuador’s second-highest summit. Our warm-up trek takes us onto the slopes of nearby Rumiñahui, an impressive volcano in its own right, where we follow trails uphill from beautiful Limpiopungo Lake towards the central summit of this rocky mountain (its Quichuan name means ‘rock face’.) Not only are we rewarded with magnificent views over Cotopaxi’s symmetrical snow-capped cone, but, in heading up to approximately 4000m, this trek aids our acclimatisation for the coming week. After descending, we transfer to a hacienda on the outskirts of the Park. Night lodge.

    Trek approx 4-5 hours; total drive approx 2-2.5 hours

  • A short, scenic drive takes us to our trek start point at the small Andean village of Sigchos. Here we set off into increasingly inspiring mountain landscapes, following the dramatic Toachi canyon and passing rural communities living and farming traditionally in the heart of the sierra. A relatively gentle start as we head downhill on good track, but there are more tiring uphill sections after crossing the river. The combination of spectacular scenery and indigenous culture makes this a day packed with ‘wow’ moments. Night guesthouse (2800m).

    Drive approx 1 hour; trek approx 5-6 hours / 13-14km

  • The scenery ramps up a notch or two today, as we continue along the Toachi canyon, passing small villages and following the river for part of our way. Once again, the going gets tougher once we cross the river, with a long ascent which becomes particularly steep at times. We should be well-acclimatised to elevations around 3000m now, but everything is more of an effort at this altitude, so we take it steady. At the top of the steep section we come to another small community, adding colour to the magnificent natural surroundings, and continue more gradually uphill to our friendly accommodation. Night guesthouse (3200m).

    Trek approx 5 – 6hours / 11km

  • We head deeper into the mountains on small trails used for generations by small Andean communities for trading and visiting neighbours; it’s still quite common to see local people bartering and exchanging goods and livestock. We descend gently for our final river crossing – marking today’s lowest point at around 3000m – and then it’s relentlessly uphill trekking for the rest of the day. Most of the gradient is relatively gradual, but it’s our most challenging day for most. Our reward comes as we reach the crater rim of Quilotoa, an extinct volcano, with unrivalled views over Quilotoa Lake, which for most of the year is a striking vivid turquoise. We continue around the rim to our last night’s accommodation in the mountains. Night guesthouse (3400m).

    Trek approx 5 – 7 hours / 11km

  • After breakfast, we trek fairly steeply down into the caldera to get a closer view of the lake; the views on the way down are mind-blowingly beautiful. At the bottom, we take some time to enjoy exploring the crater – it’s possible to swim in the volcanic water, or rent kayaks (optional), or simply sit and drink in the views. We then tackle the last steep haul to the top again, where there are plenty of options for lunch. Our vehicles then whisk us away to the comfort of our wonderful hotel, where we can relax in the volcanic hot springs and admire the views of the majestic mountains and cloudforest that surround it. Night hotel.

    Trek approx. 3 hours; drive approx. 3 hours

    (Lunch not included)

  • We transfer directly to the airport at Quito for our international flight back to London.


Prices may vary depending on date.

  • Available pricing options

    This challenge requires a minimum of 10 participants
    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £349 Fundraising target £3,650 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £349 Fundraising target £2,650 Tour Cost £500.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £349 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £1,575 Airline Taxes £250.00 Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 or 6 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 or 4 weeks prior to trip departure

     

    WHAT'S INCLUDED

    Flights from London to Quito return, and all transport

    All meals except where specified & accommodation

    Discover Adventure leaders; doctor with group of 15 or more participants; local guides and support team

    Local support and back-up equipment

    WHAT'S EXCLUDED

    Any meals specified 'not included' in the itinerary

    Travel insurance

    Personal spending money, souvenirs and drinks

    Ecuador entry visa (no visa required for stays under 90 days at the time of writing)

    Tips for local guides and support crew

    Inbound airport departure tax

    Fees for any optional sites, attractions or activities

    Airline taxes; we cap these so £250.00 is the maximum you will pay

    Any applicable surcharges as per Terms and Conditions

    Download Challenge Details
  • Available pricing options

    This challenge requires a minimum of 10 participants
    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £349 Fundraising target £3,700 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £349 Fundraising target £2,700 Tour Cost £500.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £349 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £1,600 Airline Taxes £250.00 Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 or 6 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 or 4 weeks prior to trip departure

     

    WHAT'S INCLUDED

    Flights from London to Quito return, and all transport

    All meals except where specified & accommodation

    Discover Adventure leaders; doctor with group of 15 or more participants; local guides and support team

    Local support and back-up equipment

    WHAT'S EXCLUDED

    Any meals specified 'not included' in the itinerary

    Travel insurance

    Personal spending money, souvenirs and drinks

    Ecuador entry visa (no visa required for stays under 90 days at the time of writing)

    Tips for local guides and support crew

    Inbound airport departure tax

    Fees for any optional sites, attractions or activities

    Airline taxes; we cap these so £250.00 is the maximum you will pay

    Any applicable surcharges as per Terms and Conditions

    Download Challenge Details
  • Available pricing options

    This challenge requires a minimum of 10 participants
    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £349 Fundraising target £3,700 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £349 Fundraising target £2,700 Tour Cost £500.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £349 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £1,600 Airline Taxes £250.00 Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 or 6 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 or 4 weeks prior to trip departure

     

    WHAT'S INCLUDED

    Flights from London to Quito return, and all transport

    All meals except where specified & accommodation

    Discover Adventure leaders; doctor with group of 15 or more participants; local guides and support team

    Local support and back-up equipment

    WHAT'S EXCLUDED

    Any meals specified 'not included' in the itinerary

    Travel insurance

    Personal spending money, souvenirs and drinks

    Ecuador entry visa (no visa required for stays under 90 days at the time of writing)

    Tips for local guides and support crew

    Inbound airport departure tax

    Fees for any optional sites, attractions or activities

    Airline taxes; we cap these so £250.00 is the maximum you will pay

    Any applicable surcharges as per Terms and Conditions

    Download Challenge Details

Detailed Information

  • Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Our trips are designed and planned with safety in mind. Your crew will be equipped with communication devices (eg phones, radios and/or emergency satellite phones), medical kit and other safety apparatus appropriate to the destination. Our leaders always have access to our 24-hour emergency UK back-up. They are responsible for safety on the trip, and will make any changes to the itinerary they deem necessary, should local conditions dictate. Pre-trip administration - such as medical questionnaires and travel insurance as appropriate - is all done with your safety in mind.

Preparing for the Challenge

  • We plan our trips around the optimal weather conditions, but could still be exposed to bad weather at any time. It is vital you are prepared for all conditions. We provide you with a detailed packing kit-list on registration, as well as details on useful discounts you are entitled to as a Discover Adventure customer. We are always available if you need advice.

Challenges 2019-2020

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