The Quilotoa Crater Lake is one of the highlights of Ecuador. A gorgeous deep blue lagoon in the heart of an active volcano, right in the midst of the Andes and in the middle, a 3-kilometer wide crater filled with deep blue water which, on sunny days, reflects the light and the surrounding craggy cliffs. Join us on a 9 days 8 nights horseback trip where we bring you to explore this region on a horse!
Duration: 9 Days 8 Nights
Start/ End Location: Quito, Ecuador
Availability: 13 to 21 January, 17 to 25 February, 7 to 15 April, 5 to 13 May, 2 to 10 June, 7 to 15 July, 4 to 12 August, 22 to 30 September, 13 to 21 October, 24 November to 2 December
Miscellaneous: This tour needs a minimum of 2 travelers. If your group has less than 2 travelers, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try our best to find a group for you.
Day o1: Hacienda La Alegria
On the first day, after arriving at Hacienda La Alegria, you will have dinner and call it a night. If you arrive early, you can ride around for 2 or 3 hours with no extra charge.
Day 02: Hacienda La Alegria
On the second day, you will ride in the arena and get acquainted with the horses and tack that you will use during the trip. Then, you will ride around for 4 hours at the neighboring Haciendas, before having lunch in the Hacienda house. The afternoon will see you visiting the milking barn and aging cheese cave, and enjoying the hot tub and fireplace before calling it a night at the Hacienda.
Day 03: Hacienda La Alegria – Cloud Forest – Hacienda Bomboli
The third day will see you riding for 4 hours west towards the Corazon at 4000 meters (13123 feet) above sea level, and then descending towards the cloud forest, where you will be able observe a great biodiversity of plants and flowers, including giant guneras, orchids, and birds such as guans (also known as the turkeys of the forest). In the afternoon, you will arrive for tea at Hacienda Bomboli – 3000 meters (9842 feet) above sea level – where you can relax by the fireplace, enjoying the sunset, and watch the lights of the villages near the coast following a great meal. The night will be spent at Hacienda Bomboli.
Day 04: Hacienda Bomboli – Hacienda La Alegria
On day 4, you will take a tour of the Hacienda gardens in the morning to learn about orchids and cloud forest plants, before riding for 6 hours uphill into the forest – you will use the old road that was built in 1873 to connect Quito with the coast, and arrive back at Hacienda La Alegria for lunch, before enjoying the hot tub and the fireplace.
Day 05: Hacienda La Alegria – Sigchos Village – Hacienda San Jose
For day 5, you will start the day with a 1-hour ride south of Hacienda La Alegria, where you will be transferred by car to kickstart your 4-day adventure in the Southern Andes. You will ride by the Inca trail and dirt trails that will take us to Sigchos, the village that was known as the “last home” of the Inca general Ruminahui. After that, you will ride to Hacienda San Jose, a working dairy farm and guesthouse for a good meal, jacuzzi and sauna before calling it a night after this long day of riding (8 hours).
Day 06: Hacienda San Jose – Quilotoa Crater Lake – Quilotoa Lodge
On the sixth day, you will head south towards the Quilotoa Crater Lake after breakfast, where you will find some small dairy farms and a couple of artisanal cheese makers. In the afternoon, you will arrive at the summit of the Quilotoa Volcano – 3800 meters (12467 feet) above sea level, where Quilotoa Lodge is situated. The night will be spent there, after 8 hours of riding.
Day 07: Quilotoa Lodge – Insilivi Village – Insilivi Lodge
After taking a small walk in the morning to take some last photos of the crater lake, you will start your 4-hour ride downhill via a beautiful old trail, crossing a few villages and several hills until you arrive at a small village called Insilivi – founded in 1857. Here you will spend the night at a lodge, founded by an English entrepreneur 16 years ago and is now owned by a Dutch couple.
Day 08: Insilivi Lodge – Andes Paramo – Hacienda La Alegria
Your second last day of riding will see you passing through several narrow old paths ascending to the high Andes Paramo. From there, you will make your way back to Hacienda La Alegria, ending your 6-hour ride of the day.
Day 09: Hacienda La Alegria – Quito
You will be transferred to Quito after breakfast.
After you book your experience, you will receive a confirmation email from us confirming that your payment went through. You will then be connected directly to the tour operator, in case you have any further questions. We are also happy to answer any questions about the tour, or travel in general in your country of destination.