Dates: November 24th – December 7th, 2019
Duration: 14 days, 13 nights
Prices range from: €3,477.05 per person
You will pay a deposit of 10% to secure your spot. Once confirmed, your tour operator will charge the remaining amount. The remaining balance is due by August 1st, 2019.
Terrain: Trail run
Group size: up to 12 participants
TABLE OF CONTENTS
See Additional Information for more details on Payment Procedure and Cancellation Policy.
*NOTE: The itinerary can be subject to changes without previous notice. This can be due to weather conditions, National Parks regulations or notifications and unforeseeable circumstances.
DAY 1 | QUITO – TUMBACO
Arrival and acclimatization day. There will be organized airport pick-up and hotel check-in throughout the day. In the evening, we’ll get settled with a welcome dinner.
DAY 2 | QUITO – OTAVALO
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel. Afterward, we will drive to Quito downtown where we will spend a couple of hours visiting the highlights of the historic center which was declared World Heritage in 1978 by the Unesco. After lunch, we will drive to the Mitad del Mundo Monument. Here, we will be able to place a foot in each hemisphere and enjoy to be in the middle of the world.
After a full day in Quito, we drive (2.5hrs) to the northern Andes to our first stop in a beautiful hacienda close to the town of Otavalo. Dinner and relax with beautiful landscapes at Hacienda Mojanda (a hacienda is a large estate or plantation found in Spanish-speaking countries).
Highest point: at 2900 meters
DAY 3 | MOJANDA – FUYA FUYA
Breakfast at the hacienda. Today, we will run/hike to Fuya Fuya (4270 meters), which is a short but steep climb in páramo terrain. On a clear day, the hike affords the most beautiful views of the Mojanda lagoon, the paramo, and the surrounding countryside.
The route: 5 km/500+/500-m
After lunch at the hacienda, we’ll visit Plaza de Los Ponchos in Otavalo, and bask in the culturally rich market atmosphere. It will be a great opportunity to get in touch with the Otavaleño people. In the evening, we will relax and eat, taking in the beautiful surroundings of Hacienda Mojanda.
Highest point: 4275 meters
DAY 4 | MOJANDA – CUICOCHA LAGOON
After breakfast at the hacienda, we will drive to Laguna Cuicocha (about 1hr drive) where we will embark on one of the most beautiful running trails in Ecuador offering the most stunning views of volcanoes and vivid flora.
The route: 13 km/600+/600-m
After lunch, we visit the town of Cotacachi, famous for its leather products. Dinner and relaxation will be spend back at the hacienda.
Highest point: 3485 meters
DAY 5 | MOJANDA – IMBABURA – PAPALLACTA
Today, we will run/hike up to El Imbabura.
The route: 9 km/1250-/1250+m.
We drive to the small village of La Esperanza – Chirihuasi (1.5 hr drive) where the trail starts. It is a challenging but rewarding trek to the summit, spanning across Polylepis forest and páramo terrain. Once we are back at Chirihuasi we have a well-deserved packed lunch. The North Andes are over, and we drive to Papallacta (3.5 hrs drive). Here, your sore muscles can finally get a well-deserved evening of relaxation as there’ll be hot thermal springs for us to soak in. Dinner and night will be spent at the Termas Papallacta.
Highest point: 4630 meters
DAY 6 | PAPALLACTA – CAYAMBE COCA ECOLOGICAL RESERVE
Enjoy a hearty breakfast, because today we’ll have a beautiful run in the Andes.
The route: 12 km/-200/+200m.
We will take the route along the Sucus, Mantala, and enjoy the astonishing mountains as we make our way. Once finished, we’ll have lunch and take the rest of the day off to relax in the mythical hot spring pools in Papallacta.
Highest point: 3859 meters
DAY 7 | PAPALLACTA – TENA
After enjoying some relaxing time, we will drive (3.5 hrs) towards our Amazon lodge. Here, we will venture on a 2-3 hours excursion in the virgin jungle. So be on the lookout for wildlife, and enjoy the unique nature. Dinner and night will be at the Tena hotel.
Highest point: 430 meters
DAY 8 | TENA – RAFTING
Resting our legs today, we will have a different kind of adventure as we’ll be rafting the Jatunyacu river (1 hr drive). An experienced guide will train us in everything from paddling techniques to safety briefing. Once back in the late afternoon, you have leisure time to spend however you see fit (maybe a little run?). After dinner at the Tena hotel, we will go for a night walk where we’ll be on the lookout for all those things we cannot see in daylight. Be prepared to spot tarantulas, frogs, and other amphibians!
Highest point: 550 meters
DAY 9 | TENA – BAÑOS
After experiencing the wonders of the jungle, we will drive towards Baños (3.5 hr drive). On the way, we will make a stop in The Pailón Del Diablo (“Cauldron of the Devil”), a magnificent 80 m high waterfall in the Rio Verde area.
We’ll have some lunch on the way and continue our travel to Baños, aiming at arrival in the afternoon. Just in time to start our steep hike for the day.
The route: 6 km/-700/+200m.
Venturing up the path by stairs, we will continue on a green-muddy trail above Baños, which should offer us a most beautiful view of the town and its surroundings.
Highest point: 2646 meters
DAY 10 | BAÑOS – BAÑOS
After an early breakfast at the hotel, we will drive to the little parish of Ulba where the trail for the day begins.
The route: 17 km/- 1350/+1350m.
After an hour of hiking up the steep and wild route, we will arrive at the first peak, Cabeza de Perro. From here we will continue through the different sections, all offering varying but breathtaking views. We will have a late lunch and a free afternoon to enjoy the little town of Baños.
Highest point: 2450 meters
DAY 11 | BAÑOS – COTOPAXI AREA – HORSEBACK RIDING
Enjoy some early coffee and breakfast with a fantastic view of the mountains in Baños. Today, we will drive to Cotopaxi National Park (3.5 hrs) where the beautiful Cotopaxi volcano is located. After lunch, an exciting horseback riding adventure awaits us. Before the ride, our guide will offer a quick lesson in riding but worry not if you have no previous experience as these trails are easy and the horses are gentle. It is the perfect way to experience the unique Andean landscape of the “Avenue of the Volcanoes”.
Highest point: 3800 meters
DAY 12 | COTOPAXI AREA – RUMIÑAHUI VOLCANO
After the last couple of day at altitude, our next adventure will be hiking/running el Rumiñahui.
The route: 11 km/-850/+850m.
We will begin the adventure by Limpiopungo lake located at 3900 meters. The mountain offers epic views of El Corazón, Los Ilinizas, Sincholagua, and Cotopaxi. The run downhill is fast and beautiful (definitely a highlight of the trip!). After the hike, we will have a well-deserved lunch and drive back to Quito (3 hrs drive) for our final night together.
Highest point: 4720 meters
DAY 13 | QUITO (CUMBAYÁ)
Today, we will go by the El Teleférico (1hr drive), a cable car that will take us from Quito to 4050 meters of altitude. From here we will run/hike up towards Ruco Pichincha volcano (4730 meters), one of the most famous hikes around Quito and a favorite route for trail runners, when they want to train in altitude.
The route: 9.5 km/- 770/+770m.
Highest point: 4730 meters
DAY 14 | QUITO – DEPARTURE
Enjoy your final breakfast at the hotel. There will be transfer to the airport.
What Level of Running is this Trip suitable for?
Anyone with some experience in trail running and hilly terrain can join. Pace is not important on this adventure, but you should expect to be out and about for 3-6 hours for several days, switching between running, hiking, and other activities. Most of the routes have been selected to give the runners the possibility to enjoy at their own pace, joined by a guide. Some runs/hikes are at altitude and will be challenging – the more prepared you are, the more fun you’ll have and the further you’ll be able to go.
Are there any Alternatives for Non-runners?
If for any reason you do not feel like running, there will always be alternatives to enjoy your day. For most of the runs, there will be a support vehicle with us in the case you need it. Also, if the kilometers and the altitude are not enough for you, there will be an opportunity to extend your run.
What’s Included in the Price?
- Swag from supporting sponsors
- A percent of your payment goes to sponsor a child from Children of Uganda
- All of the scheduled activities
- All accommodation during the tour (12 nights). Most lodges and haciendas in shared rooms (single occupancy room option available for an extra price in some lodges)
- All meals during the tour
- All tips – we pay our guides well
- All transport during the tour (except for those by feet!)
What’s NOT Included in the Price?
- Transport to Quito (e.g. flights)
- Insurance. All participants are required to have their own travel insurance appropriate for outdoor sports; such as health, accident, mountain rescue, repatriation, cancellation, personal liability, etc.
- Trail snack to eat on the go – we recommend that you bring dried fruit, nuts or energy bars to last you throughout the entire runs (further info in the packing list)
- Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
- Expenses for extra activities, such as; massages, spas, sauna, hot tub
- Any accommodations for extra days in Ecuado