Northern Sierras, Ecuador - Cotopaxi Centre Based Tours
1 - 4 Days
Private horseback riding tour. No set departures
- Snow capped Cotopaxi
- No minimum riders required
- Maximum flexibility to cater for all riding abilities
We offer full flexibility on this horseback riding tour depending on time available and your riding ability. Day 1, 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.
Day 2 can be a circuit ride (2-7 hours) in Cotopaxi National park. The last day we can ride out via a different trail giving the opportunity to ride at different paces in very varied terrain and scenery. We will adapt the itinerary to suit the wishes of each group.
We have many activities for non-riders if someone in your party does not wish to ride.
Drive out of Quito, south-east direction (1hr). We meet the horses (exact start point depends on length of ride – 3-7hrs – 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 ride through 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!
Day 2 or final day of ride
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.
Depending on guide availability it is possible to have riding instruction along the way, if guests are interested.