Day 1: Quito (9,186 ft/2800 m) – Quilotoa Shalala (3500 m)
We’ll leave from Quito (9,186 ft/2800 m) in the morning and will drive the Quilotoa Lagoon. During the tour we will stop at an Indian hut and after we will visit the Tigua community to observe the leather crafts made here.
The tour will take us about 4 hours, after which we’ll arrive at the viewpoint and observe the magnitude of the crater and its lagoon.
We will then descend along varying terrains; the walk will take us an hour until we arrive at the bottom of the lagoon to take photos, have lunch and rest. Lodging at Quilotoa shalala (B;BL;D)
Day 2: Hike from Quilotoa to the Village of Chugchilán
Hiking from Laguna Quilotoa to Chugchilán we will have beautiful views of the Toachi River Canyon. First we will walk along the crater edge with impressive views of the lagoon inside, then descend to the plateau of the small indigenous village Huayama. As we descend the switch back trails down to the Toachi River Gorge, the climate and scenery change dramatically. Soon we will be surrounded by the canyon walls and hike along the river banks. The hike ranges from 4 to 5 hours and is moderately challenging. We will be staying at Cloud Forest Hostal. It is a basic, but a friendly and clean hostel run by José Luis. Chugchilán is a well known destination for hikers and a typical mountain region village in Ecuador. It has a small plaza, a church and a school, and most of the people still use a horse or donkey as transport. Here you will feel like you have gone back a few hundred years in time.
Day 3: Walk around Chugchilán
There are a couple of options for half day hikes around Chugchilán that you can discuss with your guide; either visiting the local cheese factory, hiking towards the town of Sigchos or simply exploring the surroundings by yourself.
Or if you prefer, you can enjoy the quietness and peacefulness of the village from the hammocks Cloud Forest Hostal. Dinner and lodging at Hostal
Day 4: Hike from Village of Chucchilan to The Village Isinlivi
Hike from Chugchilan to Isinlivi. This hike follows the Toachi canyon and you will hike a great part along the river and pass through small highland villages. The hike ranges from 4 to 5 hours and is moderately challenging.
After lunch we drive back to the village of El Chaupi (Place of mountaineering) Where we will lodging at Andes alpes Hostal http://www.andesalpescafe.com
Day 5: Cotopaxi National Park – Quito
Cotopaxi National Park tour is an exciting day that begins with spectacular views of the unique Andean landscape in the “Avenue of the Volcanoes”. Inside the National Park we will first have time to take pictures and your guide will provide more information about this amazing volcano. After, you will begin a short trek around Limpiopungo Lagoon for about an hour and we will continue in the car to the parking lot at 4500m height. From there we start the walk to the José Rivas Refuge at 4864 m. Rest at the shelter with a hot tea and then we will return to the parking lot. The journey finishes with a delicious lunch at the Andes Alpes Cafe, before returning to Quito.
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