Great Hikes, Haciendas, and Volcanoes of Ecuador

Explore from the Cloud Forest to an Ice-Draped Volcano

Trip Level

This trip is rated Level 3, Moderate. Cultural explorations and day hikes are the focus of the trip, with hotel, hacienda, and lodge accommodations throughout. Much of the trip takes place at higher altitudes, ranging from 8,200 feet at Otavalo to over 15,000 feet in Cotopaxi National Park. Overland travel is by van. There are five hiking days with hikes of about 2-5 hours each. For your enjoyment of the trip, we recommend you make a special effort to be in very good physical condition, and ready to hike on varied terrain (rock and sand). Driving times on Day 2 and Day 4 are on mountain roads that can be rugged, and our hikes will often be cross country, not on developed trails. Please note that your Trip Leader may make adjustments to the itinerary and hiking routes, depending on local weather and trail conditions.


Because of Ecuador’s location on the equator, the weather patterns don’t change very much during the year. Altitudes are very much the determining factor in the temperatures. In Quito, temperatures are pleasant and spring-like much of the year, with highs around 75°F and lows around 50°F. In the cloud forest at Mashpi, we can expect daytime highs of around 80°F and much cooler evenings, possibly as low as the mid-50s, and higher humidity. The central highlands of Ecuador (“la sierra”) are crossed by the Andes, with snow line starting at altitudes of about 16,500 feet. Expect the daily high to be around 75°F. Nights and mornings are considerably colder, dropping down to 50°F or even lower.

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.


We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.