Trail running - Ultimate Adventure Ecuador

11 days from the Andes to the Amazon

Price: 2900 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

April

November

Coming soon

This is a dream trip that connects the Andes mountains, the highlands and the Amazon jungle

This is the perfect tour to 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.

 

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 and organised so that you can relax and just experience!

Who can join?

Anyone with some experience in trail running and hilly terrain can join. Pace is unimportant on our adventures, but for several days we will be out for 3 to 6 hours and switch between running, hiking and other activities. 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.

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.

Itinerary

Day 1 | Cumbayá (Quito)

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

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

  • Welcome dinner

​​

Day 2 | Quito – Otavalo

After breakfast, we will drive to Quito downtown where we will spend a couple of hours visiting the highlights of the historic centre which was declared World Heritage in 1978 by the Unesco. Quito, the capital of Ecuador, was founded in the 16th century on the ruins of an Inca city and stands at an altitude of 2,850 m. Despite several earthquakes, the city has the best-preserved, least altered historic centre in Latin America.

After learning some history about Quito we drive to the north Andes to our first stop in a beautiful hacienda close to the town of Otavalo.

  • Highest point at 2900 meters

  • Approximate walking time 3 hours (perfect for acclimatisation)

  • Pre-breakfast short run (available)

  • Transfer to Otavalo  (2h00)

  • Evening chill time with beautiful landscapes

Day 3 | Otavalo - Mojanda - Fuya Fuya

We take this day easy and start our adventure for the day driving towards the pristine Mojanda lagoon, a volcano that has been extinct for more than 200,000 years. We will start hiking to the short but steep summit of Fuya Fuya, perfect for acclimatisation; from the top we can observe the beautiful paramo landscapes of the surrounding Andes. We will have lunch onsite surrounded by beautiful views.  

  • Distance 4.5km/2.8mi single trail. Optional adding 8km/5 miles on a gravel road

  • Elevation +/- 500m/1640ft

  • Route highest point at 4275m/14,000ft

  • Estimated time 2h30 hours

  • Sleeping altitude 2800m/9186ft

  • Transfer to Mojanda Lagoon (50 min)

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

Day 4 | Otavalo - Cuicocha Lagoon

 

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 it's time for a 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: 13 Km - 600- ­ 600+

  • Highest point at 3485 meters

  • Cotacachi town

  • Free afternoon

  • Transfer to Cuicocha Lagoon (25 minutes)

Day 5 | Otavalo – Imbabura  –  Machachi

 

Today we enjoy an early breakfast and we get ready to hike up to El Imbabura. We drive to the small village of La Esperanza – Chirihuasi where the trail starts. The long trekking to the summit will be one of the best souvenirs of the trip. It is a challenging route traversing polylepis forest and páramo terrain, if the weather allows the hike will offer fantastic views of the Imbabura province, Cayambe and Cotacahi volcanoes. Once we are back at Chirihuasi we have a well-deserved packed lunch and the the North Andes are over with this challenging hike. We will drive towards the Central Andes to a small cosy hacienda privileged located on the Avenue of the Volcanoes our next base camp.

​​

  • Distance 10km/6mi

  • Elevation +/- 1250m/4101ft

  • Route highest point at 4630m/15190ft

  • Estimated time 5 hours

  • Sleeping altitude 3100m/10170ft

  • Transfer to La Esperanza (35 min)

  • Transfer to the Central Andes from La Esperanza (3h40)

 

Day 6 | Machachi – Pasochoa

 

After breakfast, we drive towards Pasochoa. The zone is part of Ecuador's National System of Protected Areas. It has an extraordinary biological value as it holds several vegetation zones, but much of the plant-life is Andean forest with approximately 240 plant species, it is home to some 10 mammal species like deer, rabbits, pumas, skunks and bats, and 127 bird species, among them 16 hummingbird species, condors, huirac-churos, and more. The special shape of Pasochoa is the result of the eruption of the volcano some 100 000 years ago, creating as a consequence the large crater; as the mountain was difficult to access and is not suitable for agriculture the forest is relatively untouched and is one of the few remaining native forests of the Ecuadorian Andes. After the run, we drive back to our base camp for a deserved rest and dinner.

  • Distance 8km/5mi

  • Route highest point at 3800 m/12467ft

  • Elevation +/- 500m/1640ft

  • Estimated time 4 hours

  • Sleeping altitude 3100m/10170ft

  •  Transfer to Pasochoa (1h00)

Day 7 | Machachi - Limpio Pungo Lagoon (Rumiñahui Central)

After having spent some days at altitude, we are ready to run/hike el Rumiñahui. This is one of our favourite routes, it offers a panoramic view of the Cotopaxi National Park, an encounter with Cotopaxi one of the highest active volcanoes in the planet. Close to reach the summit the sand becomes heavy on our feet and the Rumiñahui gets imposing. If we are lucky, we will be able to observe Andean Condors that live in the area. On the way down the sand makes you fly with an incredible feeling of joy. After the run, we will have a well-deserved lunch and drive towards Papallacta where hot springs will be waiting for us.

  • Distance 11.5km/7.2mi

  • Route highest point at 4620m/15157ft

  • Elevation +/- 800m/2674ft

  • Estimated time 4 hours

  • Sleeping altitude 3100m/10170ft

  • Transfer to Limpiopungo Lake Lagoon (1h)

  • Transfer to Papallacta (2h45)

Day 8 | Papallacta – Cayambe Coca Ecological Reserve - Tena

 

After breakfast, we will have a beautiful 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 lunch and time to relax at the legendary hot spring’s pools in Papallacta.

  • The route: 12 Km - 200+­ 450-

  • Highest point at 3859 meters

  • Hot springs

  • Transfer to Tena (3h00)

Day 9 | Tena – Rafting

 

This day is one for resting our 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 experience 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 begins, 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.   

 

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 see tarantulas, insects, frogs and other amphibians. The night walk allows us to get in touch with the most virgin and uninhabited jungle ever.

 

  • Transfer to Cando (1h00)

  • Safety briefing

  • Rafting all day 25 Km

  • Highest point at 550 meters

Day 10 | Tena - Cumbayá (Quito)

After breakfast we will spend on a 3 hours excursion in the 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. After the walk, we will have a well-deserved lunch and drive back to Quito for our final night together.

  • Highest point at 430 meters

  • Jungle walk  (3 - 4 hours)

  • Transfer to Cumbayá (3h30)

Day 11 | Quito (Cumbayá)

We enjoy a last breakfast together and then time to pack all the memories back home. 

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

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.

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 

  • 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

  • Any accommodations for extra days in Ecuador

Price: 2900 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 4 - 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

© by Vagabond Trails Handelsbolag

  • Instagram
  • Facebook Social Icon