Ecuador’s Avenue of the Volcanoes consists of several mountain peaks that run from the northern Andes through the central Andes area. The Avenue of the Volcanoes basically runs between the two different mountain chains that fall on either side of the valley, the Eastern and Western Cordillera. Along this route, travelers can find a number of active volcanoes,including Cotopaxi, one of the highest active volcanoes on Earth.
Through the Avenue of Volcanoes exist many local indigenous villages that operate as they have for centuries. Each has its own traditions, artisan hand-crafts and styles of dress. The indigenous markets that can be found along the way are places where visitors can buy local goods including textiles and weavings, wood work, baskets, jewelry and ceramics.
Day 1 - Quito - Cotopaxi
Just one hour south of the historic colonial city of Quito, in the region of Mt. Cotopaxi, the world’s highest active volcano, we offer the traditional mountain hospitality with a dose of adventure. We drive south from Quito and from Thursday to Sunday ride by train! We will visit Cotopaxi National Park. From here, weather permitting, you will be able to see the snow capped summits of both the Cotopaxi and the Antisana volcanoes.
Visit Cotopaxi Interpretation center to learn about the history of its major eruptions as well as the local flora and fauna. Later, you will go to Limpiopungo lake and discover the area by walking around it. Lunch at Tambopaxi a mountain refugee based in the northern side of the National Park.
Optional, if you feel like walking, after a 2 hours hike you will arrive at Cotopaxi’s J. Ribas refuge (4,800 m) where you will have a nice view of the volcano and the Andes.
Overnight: Hacienda El Porvenir (Lunch, Dinner included)
Day 2 - Cotopaxi - Riobamba
Today you will visit an Indian markets in the village of Saquisili, Pujili or Latacunga. These markets are as authentic and non-tourist as you can find in Ecuador today. They are important for the local indigenous people because the markets are the center of their social and economic worlds. Afterwards, you will head to Riobamba where you will spend the night.
*Markets take place in the following days: Pujili: Sunday and Wednesday Saquisili: Thursday Latacunga: Saturday and any day.
Overnight: Mansion Santa Isabella (Breakfast, Lunch included)
Day 3 - Riobamba - Cuenca
Early in the morning we will leave to Alausii and catch the Train to the Devil’s Nose (daily except Mondays). Arrival in Alausi, with box lunch enroute, and then the drive south to Ingapirca, where we visit the impressive Inca Ruins.
In the afternoon we move south to Cuenca a beautiful colonial town recently declared a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site.
Overnight: Hotel Boutique Santa Lucia (Breakfast, Lunch included)
Day 4 - Depart Cuenca
After breakfast, transfer to airport for ongoing flight.
Hacienda El Porvenir
On the slopes of Rumiñahui Volcano, in a truly privileged position, Hacienda El Porvenir is the ideal spot from which to explore Cotopaxi, get to know the Andean way of life at first hand and have thrilling adventures. It is located just 90 minutes from Quito, in the foothills of Rumiñahui Volcano, and 4 km from the northern entrance to Cotopaxi National Park.
The farm house is located in a very scenic spot, at an altitude of 3,600m, surrounded by four volcanoes, one of which is Cotopaxi. Guests can enjoy their stay in a comfortable, functional setting.
The farmhouse is made from local building material, with colours and style typical of this part of the country for hundreds of years, thus keeping the spirit and essence of Andean construction. The stables, saddle room and corrals add the touches of a real working farm.
Mansion Santa Isabella
The Mansion Santa Isabella is a beautifully restored colonial house in the center of Riobamba. It is the inspiration of an English/Ecuadorian couple and their family. The hotel places an emphasis on warm personalized service, modern comfort in classic surroundings and making sure that all of its guests enjoy Riobamba and its stunning surroundings as much as possible.
Hotel Boutique Santa Lucia
In Ecuador’s UNESCO-recognized city of Cuenca, the elegant Hotel Santa Lucia is housed in a 150-year-old building that was once the home of the first governor of Azuay. Today transformed into an elegant boutique hotel, it is Cuenca’s original colonial crash pad — and something of a time machine, thanks to Republican-era decor, hand-carved wooden embellishments and a location just a block from the city’s enchantingly Old World plaza.