Ecuador - Trail Running

Price: 2950 EUR

A non-refundable deposit of EUR 500 is required at time of booking to secure space.

Deposit can be transferred to another trip. Full payment is required 60 days before departure date

2021

May

November

Coming soon

High altitude adventure from the Andes to the Amazon

Trail running, high altitude, volcanoes, Ecuadorian culture, amazon jungle and more...

This trip connects the Andes mountains with the Amazon jungle. You will experience volcanoes, crater lakes, high mountains, virgin jungle, amazing animals, pristine rivers, hot springs, Ecuadorian food, culture and hospitality while you run, hike, raft and even horseback ride in amazing trails with breathtaking experiences.

This is a unique opportunity to feel inspired, to run, to travel, to enjoy, to make new friends and to discover the warmth of Ecuador.

 

We have chosen exciting trails, which include beautiful landscapes good elevation and technical terrain to challenge runners of all abilities. We have selected exciting accommodation in small unique haciendas and eco-lodges. The entire trip has been planned so that you can relax and just experience!

General Recommendations

For this trip is recommended to arrive in Quito at least one day before. Take into consideration that you will be in the Andes at high altitude. We can organise your hotel and transportation for the earlier day/s.

Itinerary

Day 1 | Tumbaco (Quito)

  • Arrival and acclimatisation day (Quito is at 2800 meters)!

  • Organised airport pick-up and hotel check-in throughout the day.

  • Welcome dinner: 6:30 pm

Day 2 | Quito – Sigchos – Isinlivi

Morning departure to the town of Sigchos (3h00), which will mark the start of a three–day running journey to “El Quilotoa”. The trail goes through the Andean mountains, valleys, epic landscapes, towns, over rivers and past genuine Quechua communities to ultimately end up at an epic sapphire-blue crater lake after three days!

The trails start at the humble town of Sigchos where we will be dropped by our support vehicle, which will continue with your bags to Isinlivi. After a light snack, we will make the same journey, except by smaller trails. It is a perfect route to acclimatise ourselves for the highs of the Andes, giving us the opportunity to get use to the altitude.

  • The route: 10 Km - 450+ 430-

  • Highest point at 2900 meters

  • Afternoon chill time with beautiful landscapes (needed for acclimatisation!)

 

The cosy eco-lodge we have chosen for this night offers breath-taking views, delicious locally

sourced food, a warm stove and a great spa (at a small additional fee).

 

Day 3 | Isinlivi – Chugchilán

 

The day’s run is from Isinlivi to the town of Chugchilán. From Isinlivi the trail follows the Toachi canyon, offering amazing landscapes along the river, then climbs up to the plateaus and passing through small highland villages before arriving to Chugchilán.

  • The route: 12 Km - 740+ 480-

  • Highest point at 3220 meters

  • Afternoon relax – sauna and hot tub, ziplines and yoga

  • Want more kilometres ? The option is always available

 

The eco–lodge is located just outside of the small village of Chugchilán at an altitude over 3200 meters. It is a beautiful and cosy place, with views of the Rio Toachi Canyon, fantastic food and spectacular mountain views.

Day 4 | Chugchilán – Quilotoa Crater – Cotopaxi

 

The day’s run is at points steep, wild and at high altitude. It is the day to test what you’re made of! Following a wholesome breakfast at the eco-lodge, we will descent down the valley below us to cross a river before we can begin our climb up to 3900 meters, and the goal of this first adventure: El Quilotoa Lagoon. As we have had previous acclimatisation this should not be a problem, but be prepared to work for the reward - just imagine an azure-coloured crater lake surrounded by steep shadowy mountains and (most likely) deep blue skies overhead – this is Lake Quilotoa. The landscape along the route and the views from the crater rim, will make everything worth it! Following our arrival to the crater, we will jump into our support vehicle and drive over to El Cotopaxi National Park, which is centred around one of the world’s highest active volcanos. We will arrive in the afternoon and head out exploring and get some time in for relaxing – the national park is considered one of the most beautiful places of Ecuador!

  • The trail: 11 Km - 1000+ ­ 350-

  • Highest point at 3900 meters

  • Tansfer to “El Cotopaxi” (3h00)

  • Afternoon relax or optional walk

 

Day 5 | Cotopaxi  – Manantiales

 

Enjoy some early coffee with a fantastic view of El Cotopaxi, one of the world’s highest volcanoes (5.897 meters). A volcano with such a beauty that it leaves you speechless. Since 1738, Cotopaxi has erupted more than 50 times resulting in the creation of numerous valleys formed by mud flows around the volcano, making the surroundings of El Cotopaxi, just amazing. A variety of wild animals live in the park such as wolves, pumas, bears, rabbits, Andean condors, horses, and foxes.

After breakfast, an exciting horseback riding adventure awaits us. Before the ride, our guide will offer a quick lesson in riding, but don’t worry, the horses are gentle and the trails easy, it’s a great place to have fun. This is an opportunity to rest our legs and the perfect way to explore the unique Andean landscape of the “Avenue of the Volcanoes”, with spectacular views of the volcanoes el Pasochoa, Rumiñahui, Sincholagua, Antisana, Corazón and Cotopaxi. No experience necessary. 

  • The route: 3 hours horseback riding in Cotopaxi National Park

  • Highest point at 3800 meters

  • Afternoon, easy run to Limpiopungo Lake

Day 6 | Cotopaxi – Rumiñahui Volcano – Cotacachi

 

After having spent some days at altitude, we are ready to run/hike el Rumiñahui. This, is an extinct volcano named after the loyal general of the last Inca Emperor, Atahualpa. After the Spaniards murdered the Emperor, Rumiñahui hid the famous treasure of gold that was to be paid for Atahualpa's freedom, and led the fight against the Spanish conquerors. In the local language Quichua, the name means "stone face". We start the hike from Limpiopungo lake located at 3900 meters. Technically, it is a hike with some easy scrambling at the end. The mountain offers epic views of El Corazón, Los Ilinizas, Sincholagua, and Cotopaxi.

After the hike, we will have a well-deserved lunch and continue our journey to The Northern Andes, to a beautiful cosy hacienda in the Imbabura Province, which is one of the most visited places in Ecuador. The province, its home to the inactive volcano El Imbabura and beautiful stunning lakes. The area offers beautiful landscapes, a huge cultural heritage and its fertile green lands. 

  • The route: climb to el Rumiñahui 11 Km - 770+ ­ 750-

  • Highest point at 4620 meters

  • Tansfer to Otavalo (4h00)

 

Day 7 | Otavalo – Laguna de Cuicocha - Plaza de los Ponchos

Laguna Cuicocha - which is translated as the guinea pig lake - is a large caldera lake nearly 3 kilometres wide. The lagoon is part of the Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve. This is one of the most beautiful trail running routes in Ecuador. An undulating route at high altitude, with majestic views of different volcanos such as Cayambe, Imbabura and Cotacachi, sapphire-blue waters and vivid flora. While we run it is also interesting to appreciate the changes in vegetation due to the various micro-climates along the path.

 

After lunch its time for some cultural and a touristic visit to Plaza de los Ponchos in Otavalo, a place of history and tradition. A colourful artisanal market for alpaca-wool sweaters, scarves, textiles, blankets and more. Moreover, here we will be able to get in touch with the indigenous Otavaleño people, who make up 50% of the town population. The scene at the market is one of contrasts, with traditionally dressed Otavaleño stallholders surrounded by a modern town centre. We spend a relaxed afternoon and night at the hacienda.

  • The route: 14 Km - 450- ­ 450 +

  • Highest point at 3485 meters

  • Visit to Otavalo market

  • Free afternoon (possibility for yoga, horseback riding, biking)

 

Day 8 | Otavalo – Fuya Fuya - Tena

After breakfast, we get ready to hike up 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

  • Highest point: 4275 meters/14,000 feet

  • Transfer to Tena (6h30)

After dinner, we will go for a night walk which is an extraordinary experience! what can be observed in the day, in the night changes totally. We will be able to observe tarantulas, insects, frogs, caimans, amphibians and more. The night walk allows us to get in touch with the most virgin and uninhabited jungle ever.

 

'Day 9 | Tena

This day is one for resting our tired legs but not our senses of adventure as we will be rafting the Jatunyacu river, which is a majestic, friendly, fun, warm and pristine river. This is a once in a lifetime adventure and for sure one of the highlights of our journey.

Before starting, our experienced guides will give us a safety briefing, train the team in paddling techniques and fit you with a life jacket and helmet. Here is where the adrenaline begin and you will be submerged in this magical experience. During the trip, we’ll stop on a beach by the side of the river for a delicious picnic lunch provided by our guides, to later continue our journey on the river back to Tena, arriving around 5PM. The rest of the late afternoon, you can just enjoy of the sunset in the basins of the river, read a book or if you are not exhausted go for an easy run around the island.   

  • Transfer to from Tena to Cando (40 min)

  • Safety briefing

  • Rafting all day 25 Km

  • Highest point at 550 meters

  • Back to lodge

 

Day 10 | Tena – Papallacta

The last morning at Tena will be spent on a 2-3 hours excursion in the virgin jungle. We will hopefully see animals in their wild state, large trees and beautiful landscapes that allow us to feel the vastness of the Amazon. Later we will return to the lodge and have a delicious lunch.

Having spent some memorable days in the jungle we head back to the Andes, to finish our running adventure in great style. We will stay at one of the locals’ best secrets Papallacta. This little town is famous for its landscapes and healing volcanic hot springs.

  • Breakfast

  • Trekking around the jungle

  • Lunch

  • Transfer to Papallacta (3h00)

  • Dinner

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Day 11 | Papallacta  - Aeropuerto Mariscal Sucre)

We finish our adventure with a beautiful early run in the Andes taking the bear path. We will run along the Sucus, Mantala and other small lagoons. Be prepared, because even if it is not raining you may get wet! The route is part of the Cayambe-Coca Ecological Reserve and it is surrounded by imposing mountains and beautiful landscapes. After the run we will have our last lunch together and a relaxing - hot bath in the legendary hot springs pools in Papallacta.

 

We will be back to the International Mariscal Sucre Airport before 5 PM. If you have an earlier flight we can arrange a shuttle from Papallacta to the airport for you, or if your flight leaves next day we will help you to find accommodation.

  • Breakfast

  • The route: 12 Km - 200+­ 700-

  • Highest point at 4300 meters

  • Hot springs

  • Lunch

  • Transfer to the Airport (1h10)

A note about fitness:  This adventure involves physical activity around 5 hours per day, some days has over 1000m of ascent, at altitude up to 4,600 meters above sea level. To participate comfortably in the tour, you will require a certain level of fitness. To make a self assessment wether or not this is for you, you should consider yourself to be in good fitness, be accustomed to running/hiking, and be able to do it comfortably for at leats 3 hours in a day. Please consult a doctor if you feel that this might be a challenge before booking.

The entire tour is done in English.

*We reserve the right to change the itinerary without previous notice due to weather conditions, National Parks regulations or notifications and unforeseeable circumstances

This tour is governed by the Terms and Conditions

Price and Details

The tour includes:

  • Everything described in the tour

  • All of the scheduled activities: trail running, hiking, rafting, guides, yoga

  • All accommodation during the tour (10 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 (10 breakfast, 6 packed lunch, 2 lunch, 9 dinners)

  • All transport during the tour (except for those by feet!)

​​

The tour excludes:

  • Transport to Quito (e.g. flights)

  • Insurance. All participants are required to have their own insurance appropriate for outdoor sports; such as health, accident, mountain rescue, repatriation, cancellation, personal liability, etc.

  • Trail snack to eat on the go -  dried fruit, nuts or energy bars to last you throughout the entire runs (further info in the packing list)

  • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages

  • Tips

  • Expenses for extra activities, such as; massages, spas, sauna, hot tub

  • Any accommodations for extra days in Ecuador

Price: 2950 EUR

A non-refundable deposit of EUR 500 is required at time of booking to secure space. Deposit can be transferred to another trip. Full payment is required 60 days before departure date

​Participants: 

min 5 - max 12 

Start: Quito (Mariscal Sucre International Airport)

End: Quito (Mariscal Sucre International Airport)

We reserve the right to change the itinerary without previous notice due to weather conditions, and unforeseeable circumstances.

 

This tour is governed by the Terms and Conditions

How Challenging ?

Medium effort. This is a trail running expedition where we can expect 3-6 hours of running per day, with up to 800 meters of hight gain. Previous trail running experience is highly recommended. More info about effort levels here.

© by Vagabond Trails Handelsbolag

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