Ecuadorian Andes Volcano Trek

Ecuadorian Andes Volcano Trek

Ecuadorian Andes Volcano Trek

Prices

From $1,000USD

Difficulty

Guided

Camping, Mountain Huts

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Highlights

Experience the magnificent scenery of El Altar as you trek this Ecuadorian volcano

Travel the Route of Volcanoes and experience incredible views as you travel to Riobamba.

Enjoy local cuisine and a warm welcome in the charming mountain town La Candelaria.

Discover the stunning natural beauty of the Ecuadorian paramo as you complete daily hikes from Altar base camp.

Fall asleep to the sounds of the mountainside while you camp under the stars.

Discover the incredible beauty of the Ecuadorian Andes on this 5-day guided trekking tour of El Altar. Leave busy Quito behind as you’re transported to another world in Sangay National Park. This tour will allow you to challenge yourself as you trek into the wilderness of the volcano and discover places of natural beauty few people will ever see.

Your trip will begin with a night in La Candelaria, where you’ll prepare for your trek and enjoy the warm Ecuadorian hospitality. Then you’ll spend the rest of your time sleeping on the mountainside and trekking to hidden lagoons and exploring the paramos. Your last hike will be over the crater itself and will reward you with spectacular views of the surrounding peaks. Book the Ecuadorian Andes Volcano Trek for thrilling hikes and spectacular scenery that will stay with you for a lifetime!

Ecuadorian Andes Volcano Trek Itinerary

Day 1 Travel the Route of Volcanoes to La Candelaria

Your tour begins in the morning with an early pickup from your Quito hotel. The four-hour drive along the Route of Volcanoes is full of spectacular views of the surrounding peaks, so make sure you have your camera ready!

You’ll arrive in the charming little town of La Candelaria, which is the gateway to some of the most challenging summits in the region. Spend the afternoon preparing for your trek and exploring La Candelaria.

Overnight Location
Mountain hut near La Candelaria (2,450m / 8,038’)
Distance
None
Meals
Lunch, dinner

Day 2 Trek to Altar Basecamp

This morning your adventure truly begins! You’ll trek down a horse path through the alpine plateau, known as a paramo. This beautiful ecosystem exists just below the alpine snow line and, in stark contrast to the peaks, is lush green and full of wildlife and colourful flowers.

You’ll need to have your rain boots on, as your trail will be muddy and a little challenging. You’ll hike past mountain streams and dense foliage and may even run into Zuko, the local dog who likes to greet hikers. Your bags will be brought up to basecamp for you on horses or mules.

Overnight Location
Camping on El Altar (3,800m / 12,467’)
Distance
5 to 6 hours
Meals
Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 3 Hike to the Mandur and Azur Lagoons

Today you’ll hike up the foothills of El Altar, the extinct volcano that has been on your horizon since your arrival yesterday. You’ll be trekking to Mandur Lagoon, which reflects the stunning mountain peaks.

On your way to the next lagoon, you’ll be watching for whitetail deer, cara-caras, Andean lapwins, eagles, hawks, and other species of bird that live on the paramo. You’ll know where Azur Lagoon gets its name when you reach its bright blue waters. Enjoy the view while you eat your picnic lunch before hiking back to camp.

Overnight Location
Camping on El Altar (4,530m / 14,862’)
Distance
5 to 6 hours
Meals
Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 4 Crater Trek

Your path today begins as you climb up into the crater of the Altar Volcano. You’ll continue hiking to the Laguna Amarila where you’ll enjoy breathtaking views of the seven peaks that form the “Altar” and gave the mountain its name.

If you’re feeling bold, take a dip in the ice-cold lagoon! Locals say that swimmers brave enough to enter the water are blessed by the volcano. After lunch at the lagoon, you’ll have time to explore before hiking back to camp.

Overnight Location
Camping on El Altar (4,530m / 14,862’)
Distance
5 to 6 hours
Meals
Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 5 Return to Quito

This morning you’ll trek out of the reserve and meet your driver, who’ll take you back to Quito. Safe travels!

Overnight Location
None
Distance
5 to 6 hours
Meals
Breakfast, lunch

Ecuadorian Andes Volcano Trek Price and Dates

This guided tour of El Altar is run either as a group tour or a private tour. The prices below are per person sharing a double or a triple room:

  • Private tour: $1,125USD per person -

    Now $925USD per person

  • Group tour: $1,000USD per person -

    Now $775USD per person

Important Notes

  • You can book extra nights in Quito before or after the tour for an extra charge (please enquire about the pricing)
  • Single room supplements will apply to single rooms required
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Accommodation on the Ecuadorian Andes Volcano Trek

On this tour, you will stay in mountain huts and camp. The lodges offer rustic dormitory-style rooms and incredible views. Prices are based on double occupancy and single travellers will pay a supplement.

In some cases, the accommodation listed below may need to be substituted for other comparable accommodations.

Single Rooms and Solo Travelers
You can pay a supplement to have a private room in a hotel (please inquire for the pricing). We can try and match single travellers up where possible.

Hacienda Releche in La Candelaria

This rustic mountain lodge has shared accommodations and is surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery.

Night 2-4

Campsite, El Altar Basecamp

Sleep out on the slopes of El Altar Volcano. The conditions may be rustic but you’ll have epic views!

Hotels on Standard Tour

What’s Included in the Ecuadorian Andes Volcano Trek?

Meals

4 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners, snacks, and water are included.

Accommodations

Accommodations for 4 nights are included. Accommodations before and after the tour in Quito are not included.

Transportation during the Tour

Transport for you and your luggage is included as per the itinerary. Your bags will be transferred for you to and from the Altar Basecamp. Airport transfers are not included, but you will be driven from Quito to La Candelaria and back.

Also Included

  • Experienced English-speaking guide
  • Private transportation
  • Sleeping bag
  • Trekking poles

Not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Flights to and from Ecuador
  • Airport transfers
  • Lunches and dinners not previously mentioned
  • Tourist taxes if applicable
  • Visas if required
  • Personal equipment
  • Fees not mentioned as ‘included’’
  • Gratuities for tour guides and drivers

Frequenty Asked Questions about Ecuadorian Andes Volcano Trek

How hard is the Ecuadorian Andes Volcano Trek?

We rate this tour as a 4/5. The hiking on this trip doesn’t require any technical climbing skills. However, the trails are challenging, and the altitude is over 4000m, which can make hiking and breathing difficult. You will also be camping in rustic conditions for a few nights. Fit hikers will be able to get the most out of this tour.

Do I need a visa to travel to Ecuador?

Check with your local country about visa requirements. You could also try this website, though you should verify with your government.

Are meals included on the Ecuadorian Andes Volcano Trek?

5 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 2 dinners, water, and snacks are included.

Do I need insurance?

Yes, it is mandatory to have Health and Medical insurance to join this trip. Get your Travel Insurance.

How do I get to Quito to start this tour?

The best way to reach Quito is to fly to the Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO). You will be driven between Quito and La Candelaria, but you will need to arrange any interim transportation.

Is the Ecuadorian Andes Volcano Trek guided?

Yes, you will have an English-speaking guide for the duration of the tour.

Where does the Ecuadorian Andes Volcano Trek end?

The tour ends when your driver drops you off at your hotel in Quito. You will need to arrange a ride to the airport

Are equipment rentals included?

Trekking poles and sleeping bags are included. Please bring any other equipment desired.

Do I need special vaccines to travel to Ecuador?

Check with your family doctor.

Are there any travel restrictions for Ecuador?

Please check with your local government about travel restrictions before you book your tour. This map from the US Department of State provides an overview of the current status in countries around the globe. The UK‘s Foreign Office and Government of Canada also provide advice on foreign travel. Note that the travel advice may change depending on your nationality.

When is the best time to travel to Ecuador for this tour?

The best time to travel for this tour is December, Ecuador’s driest month.

Reviews

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Prices

From $1,000USD

Difficulty

Guided

Camping, Mountain Huts

Start Your Booking

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Rated 4.9 on Google Reviews

Tour Difficulty

We rate this tour as a 4/5. The hiking on this trip doesn’t require any technical climbing skills. However, the trails are challenging, and the altitude is over 4000m, which can make hiking and breathing difficult. You will also be camping in rustic conditions for a few nights. Fit hikers will be able to get the most out of this tour.


Read about our scale for Tour Difficulty Ratings.

Local guide

Cesar Romero

Quito, Ecuador

Get in touch

+1 (587) 327-9828

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