Cotopaxi Short Tour, Ecuador
Private tour. No set departures
- routes are flexible to accommodate all riding levels
- view of the peculiar geological features produced by eruptions of the mighty Cotopaxi volcano
- the chance to see caracaras, vultures, kites, eagles and the Andean Condor
Guests ride out from our base in the Antisana foothills, between Pasachoa & Sincholagua volcanoes (less than 1 hour drive from Quito) to a Hacienda surrounded by magnificent Andean peaks close to the northern edge of Cotopaxi National Park.
“Just to say thank you so much for a great ride. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Galloping with the wild horses and Cotopaxi as a back drop was only surpassed by climbing to 4,200mtrs with Condors overhead. Please say a big thank you to all your team.” Julie.
Drive out of Quito, south-east direction. We meet the horses (exact start point depends on length of ride – 3 to 7hrs – riders can decide prior to the start date) and head south towards Cotopaxi Volcano, the highest active volcano in the world. We leave the cobbled roads and cross stretches of pasturelands, ride along dirt tracks and native forests. We traverse the lower slopes of the foothills of Sincholagua and follow the River Pita before fording it. En route we often see the large Andean raptors - eagles, caracaras, hawks and smaller kites. More and more frequently we spot the mighty Andean Condor soaring overhead. We spend the night at a comfortable Hacienda, very close to the northern entrance of Cotopaxi National Park, with absolutely magnificent views of the surrounding peaks including the snow-capped Cotopaxi and not another dwelling in sight!
After a hearty breakfast, we ride out for a long, challenging ride high into the wild open ‘paramo’ (7hrs) (less experienced riders can opt for an easier/shorter route). We once again cross the Pita river and ride up close to the rocky outcrops of Sincholagua Volcano. As we cross the expanses of open grassland and admire the endless views across the rolling hills there is a good chance of seeing the Andean fox, deer and the mighty Andean Condor. We are certain to meet herds of fighting bulls (caution needed!) riding through the grassy foothills of Sincholagua and have an excellent view of the peculiar geological features produced by ice age activity and then eruptions of the mighty Cotopaxi volcano as well as views out across the valleys below. Arriving back down to where the road and ‘civilisation’ begin, riders say farewell to their horses and the local horsemen and are driven back to Quito
ADDITIONAL DAYS RIDING are possible, with many route options leading out from the Hacienda including a full day ride into Cotopaxi National Park – the vast grasslands allow for some long canters often alongside the wild horses that live in the Cotopaxi area. Each night riders return to the cosy Hacienda for a delicious dinner and overnight, hosted by the owners themselves.Please consult with us for options - 3 to 5 day rides possible, there are a lot of routes in this area.
We will adapt the itinerary to suit the wishes of each group.
Depending on guide availability it is possible to have riding instruction along the way, if guests are interested.
Also, bring NON RIDERS along- we have activities for them.
Our short tours are available almost all year round and suitable for riders of all levels of ability and experience. The ride can easily be adapted to suit less experienced riders and the itineraries can include days with no riding – where guest go on visits/do other activities (hikes, mountain biking, bird watching, climbing Cotopaxi…)
Price includes: Horse 2 guides (one bilingual, 1 local), meals (lunch day 1 to lunch on last day), accommodation in very comfortable Hacienda, rooms with private en suite bathroom. Ponchos & saddlebags for each rider.
US Dollars per person, 2 days riding, based on double/twin room accommodation:
Single room supplement US Dollars 35 per person per night
Dormitory style room US Dollars 12 per person LESS per night
To 'upgrade' to a very comfortable historic, recently converted Jesuit Hacienda, first founded in 1640: Based on double/twin room share: US Dollars 75 /person per night Single room supplement US Dollars 45 per night