ecuador-volcano-guilotoa-gap

October 28- November 8

Status OPEN
Cost $2,091 (per person)
Travel Dates Oct. 28 to Nov. 8, 2017
Description Ecuador is the most bio-diverse country in the world. It straddles the equator on South America’s west coast and its diverse landscape encompasses many spectacular points of interest. You will be impressed with the stunning landscapes and ecosystems of Ecuador’s volcanic mountains, beautiful forest trails, cloud forest, crater lakes, and the many beautiful birds and scenery along the way. We will spend the days hiking plus touring villages, historic sites, a working coffee plantation, the famous Otavalo Market, meeting local farmers and visiting a woman’s coop.

Our accommodations will be comfortable Lodges and Hostels, double occupancy, private and shared baths. An experienced local guide and driver will lead us each day as we hike and tour these special places. The activities will range from casual walks and hikes that range from 2 to 10 miles with elevation gains of 200 and 1300 ft. Please note, the areas we will visit are in high elevation from 6,000 to over 13,000 ft. therefore the trip requires good hiking ability, acclimation and tolerance for high elevation.

Included Professional Guide and Driver, Transportation Day 2 through Day 12, Accommodations 10 nights, Food:  From Day 2 lunch through Day 12 lunch (10 B/11 L/10 D), Park Entrance Fees
Not Included Airfare, Accommodations & Food first and last days, Transportation from and to airport, Gratuity for Guides, Drivers and Hostel staff, Alcohol drinks, Trip insurance is not included in the trip price but is very strongly recommended.
Payment Policy A Deposit of $750 is due with Application forms to register for the trip. Must have at least 10 registered by June 30, 2017 for the trip to go. The Balance of $1,341 is due no later than July 1, 2017.
Cancellation Policy If registrant cancels prior to July 1, 2017, all payments received by ADK minus $100.00 will be refunded.

After July 1, 2017, refunds will only be made if the vacancy can be filled from a waiting list maintained by the leader, if any, and then all but $100.00 will be refunded.

Note that there is a $100 registration fee included in the trip deposit, which is not refundable if you have to cancel for any reason whatsoever.

If the leader decides that this trip is not for you, or the trip is canceled by ADK, all payments received by ADK will be refunded.

Accommodations and Meals
Trip Insurance It is very strongly recommended that all participants have trip or travel insurance that will cover trip cancellation by the participant, travel delays, medical expenses and medical evacuation. ADK does not provide this insurance and does not cover medical expenses or evacuation in the event you are injured or become ill during the trip. Note that if you have to cancel after the date indicated above, and cannot be replaced from the leader’s waiting list, if any, you could be out the entire amount you paid for the trip.
Daily Itinerary

Day 1- Saturday, October 28, 2017

Arrive in Quito (UIO) Ecuador.  Reservations will be available to overnight near Quito airport at Zaysant Ecolodge or similar at your own expense, estimated $92 dbl. occ. http://zaysant.ec/

Day 2 –Sunday, October 29, 2017

Breakfast at your expense, then meet our Guide and Driver for a 9am departure from Zaysant Ecolodge for a 4 hour drive to El Refugio De Intag Cloud Forest Lodge for our 3 night stay at 6,000 ft. elevation. We will stop for lunch on the way, or arrive in time for lunch about 1pm.  Then take an easy, short, afternoon walk on the property, which includes a short climb to the mirador (a turret or tower providing an extensive view) with panoramic views of the valley and nearby volcano, Volcan Cotacachi.  We will then have dinner and orientation for the days to come and a relaxing evening. Here we will start to acclimatize to prepare for higher elevation. See lodge here: http://elrefugiocloudforest.com/ (lunch/dinner included in cost of trip)

Day 3 – Monday, October 30, 2017

This day we’ll visit Gualiman, a site of pre-Columbian ruins/pyramids with over 70 structures set on a 3-kilometer (1.9 mile) plateau between two rivers. The site has fabulous views over the surrounding countryside, while the structures are mostly hidden beneath the grass. We will hike 3.7 mi. RT with 262 ft. gain. Then we will drive to the Intag Coffee Lodge for a tour, lunch and short afternoon hike 1.25 miles with minimal elevation gain of less then 100 ft. (breakfast/lunch/dinner included)

Day 4 – Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Today we’ll explore and hike in the nearby Siempre Verde Reserve. The reserve includes beautiful forest trails, with different flora and a good chance to see the Plate-billed Mountain Toucan. A short drive from El Refugio Lodge will bring us to the quiet country road where we hike uphill 4.4 miles to reach the reserve.  We will lunch at the reserve’s lodge and walk some of their trails before returning downhill to where our van will be waiting for us. The hike is a round trip of 8.8 miles with 984 ft. gain. (breakfast/lunch/dinner included)

Day 5 – Wednesday, November 1, 2017

We will hike in the La Florida Reserve, great for birding and in the late afternoon we will visit the Cock of the Rock lek (a place where males birds of certain species get together to try to attract female birds) where we will view and hear these extraordinary birds. Hiking in La Florida Reserve is mostly down and flat and takes about 40 min. The trails are steep to the lek with a gain of 821 ft. in about 1.86 mi. Then we will drive to our next hotel Casa Mojanda, near the village of Otavalo at elevation of 9,500 ft. where we will stay the next 5 nights. See the lodge here, www.casamojanda.com  (breakfast/lunch/dinner included)

Day 6- Thursday, November 2, 2017

This is a very important day in Ecuador’s culture, Día de los Difuntos (literally translated, “Day of the Deceased”). The Day of the Deceased in Ecuador coincides with the Catholic holiday of All Soul’s Day and is observed November 2. After breakfast we will walk down to Otavalo and go to the cemetery and the churches to observe the celebration. We will then continue our walk to enjoy the village of Otavalo and surrounding area. We will also visit the Raptor Center and later do an afternoon hike to the Peguche waterfall. The falls are beautiful and loud and as you get closer, you will feel the spray of the water as we cross the bridge over the stream to view the falls. (breakfast/lunch/dinner included)

Day 7 – Friday, November 3, 2017

Today we drive about 45 minutes to where we hike near San Pablo Lake across the lower slopes of the Cayambe Volcano to Zuleta Valley. Zuleta has an extraordinary view of the eastern Cordillera (mountains) and is one of the most beautiful valleys surrounded by beautiful mountains. Zuleta itself is at 2900 m (9,514 ft.) about the same elevation as Casa Mojanda. We plan to hike to the indigenous village of San Clemente (sclemente.com) a spectacular community based ecotourism project were we will have lunch, meet some local farmers and see embroideries by the local women’s coop. The hike passes between the Imabuara and Cubilche Mountains with stunning views of both mountains and valleys on both sides. The hike is 5 mi. RT and altitude gain is 1,312 ft. from San Pablo Lake to the pass before we descend to meet the van to transport us back to the lodge. (breakfast/lunch/dinner included)

Day 8 – Saturday, November 4, 2017

Today we will experience the biggest, most colorful and festive market day in Ecuador. We will start with a visit to the livestock market and then to the market in town. We will then go to the Cotacachi Cayapaz Reserve and hike around the beautiful emerald lake. The drive is 30-45 minute to Cuicocha Crater Lake, which is a nature reserve located on the slopes of the larger Cotacachi Volcano. The Cuicocha Lake is surrounded by rim walls and its name translates as Lake of the Gods. This ecosystem is a combination of Paramo (the eco-system of the regions above the continuous forest line, yet below the permanent snowline) and Andean forest where many trees and colorful flower species of the Andes can be found and is a biodiversity hotspot. The hike is 7.45 mi. with an elevation gain of 1,149 ft. and is known as the Trail of the Orchids, which runs around the crater rim with stunning views to the lake and the Cotacachi, Mojanda and Imbabura volcanoes. (breakfast/lunch/dinner included)

Day 9 – Sunday, November 5, 2017

We will hike in the Mojanda Lakes area with an option to go to the pyramids of Cochasqui. Mojanda lakes are at high elevation with scenic high mountains and paramo moor lakes. The lakes are at 12,208 ft. and the hike to the pyramids of Cochasqui is through the pass at 13,287 ft. and then down to 9,514 ft. to the pyramids.  Total elevation gain of the hike is 1,079 ft. and a descent of 3,773 ft. for a total distance of about 10 miles. (breakfast/lunch/dinner included)

Day 10 – Monday, November 6, 2017

We will transfer to Isinlivi which is a 4 hour drive and stop on the way at Cochasqui Indian Ruins/Pyramids if we did not go there the day before and then continue to our next hotel, Hostal Llullu Llama. Depending when we arrive at Llullu Llama we may have time for a short walk around the village, or just relax before dinner.  Our guide and driver will probably stay with us that night at Isinlivi and drive home the next day. From here we will use local guides.

See lodge here, http://www.llullullama.com/ (breakfast/lunch/dinner included)

Day 11 – Tuesday, November 7, 2017

After breakfast we will do a 5-hour, 7.8 mile hike through the Toachi Canyon to the town Chugchilan. We will hike down though the canyon of the Toachi River (descent of 820 ft.) and then back up to the main road that will take us to Chugchilan (+1810 ft.). In the afternoon we can explore the village then check into Hostal El Vaquero (https://www.facebook.com/Hostal-El-Vaquero-1510544515862578/) or Hostal Mama Hilda (http://www.mamahilda.com). Luggage will be transported by van. (breakfast/lunch/dinner included)

Day 12 – Wednesday, November 8, 2017

After breakfast we drive about 45-60 minutes to the Quilitoa Crater Lake and then do our final hike, 4-5 hours, partly around the rim 2 miles RT for photos, and then descend through the surrounding countryside towards Chugchilan. The hike is about 10.9-mile descent of 2,952 ft. and 820 ft. ascent. We have the option to get picked up on the plateau before the final descent back into the gorge to the lodge.  We then prepare for the drive (3-4 hours) to spend our last night near the Quito airport and conclusion of the trip.  There will be reservations available at Zaysant Ecolodge again or similar and dinner at your own expense. (breakfast/lunch included)

Notes You will fly into the Quito Airport (UIO), Ecuador most likely the day before and taxi to the hotel for overnight (at your expense) that will be designated as the meeting place and the following day meet the Guide and Driver at 9:00 AM to begin the ADK trip.

Do not make your flight arrangements until Trip Leader tells you that this trip has the minimum participants for the trip to go.

Trip prices and arrangements are subject to change due to circumstances beyond ADK’s control.

Planned activities are subject to change due to weather, trail conditions or other unforeseen circumstances, at the sole discretion of the Leader.

Registration Procedure Please carefully read the above detailed trip description and itinerary, and contact Trip Leader if you have any questions. Then, if you decide to join this adventure, please contact me (email, phone or snail mail) and I will send you the registration paperwork, consisting of the Registration form, the Health and Physical Condition Questionnaire and Release of Liability form. Complete these forms and send them to me by U.S. Postal Service with the deposit (check payable to “ADK” or the Credit Card Authorization) to reserve a spot. Please note that original signatures are required on all forms. Spaces are reserved in the order that complete and acceptable registration forms and deposit payments are received, so don’t delay.

You must be a member in good standing of the Adirondack Mountain Club to be a participant on an ADK Adventure Travel Trip. Join ADK online.

Trip Leader Phil Seward
79 Waterman Ave. Albany, NY 12205;
518-527-1851