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Easy Escape

“From London to awe-inspiring Andes couldn’t have been easier”

You’re looking to retreat from everything – work, politics, pandemic… But is it even doable right now? At Ride Andes, we know it is, with guests and volunteers arriving in Ecuador October and November. Below, hear from one of our volunteers on the ease of the journey into Ecuador – and start planning your trip with us.

When flying into Quito, make sure to grab a window seat to gaze at the plethora of peaks and volcanoes below. From Cotopaxi to Cayambe – the latter of which stands a picture-perfect distance away from Ride Andes’ homestead – the monoliths stand imposingly, unchanged for centuries. This year in particular, it is hard not to assign them special significance – representing the promise of remote, wild isolation untouched by the daily stresses of urban life.

However, the biggest question on everyone’s mind is the feasibility and safety aspect of travel at the moment.

In late October, I arrived at Quito Airport from the UK. Just a few days later, a second volunteer came in from Chile. Both of us had trepidations about the feasibility of the journey. Would we get stuck in arrivals for hours, filling out forms? Would there be blockades stopping us from travelling out of the city into the surrounding countryside? Were there protocols in place?

But, as onerous as you may imagine, our journey to the heart of Ride Andes backcountry couldn’t have been simpler. Ecuador is strict but efficient when it comes to hygiene practices in and around Quito Airport. Once landed, we were quickly ushered into a large arrivals room, where passengers each sat two seats apart. Airport officials came round to request our Covid test results, checked the date and stamped them. The process took less than 5 minutes – a welcome relief for anyone dreading a lengthy, bureaucratic process.

Passport control and baggage collection was similarly swift, allowing you to get through the airport in record time to meet Ride Andes’ friendly driver, Washington. On the drive through the countryside, the enthusiastic Washington pointed out sights, explained local traditions and even stopped off to buy a SIM card and snacks for me.

Once at Ride Andes accommodation, feel free to take off your mask and breathe in the fresh mountain air. You’ll have a small, charming hacienda to yourself, with protocols in place and surrounded by nothing but wide-open space.

A note from Ride Andes

For those unable to travel presently, we completely sympathize and can only offer up this note as potential inspiration for a future trip with us. We hope your situation will change sooner rather than later! For those in tenuous circumstances who are looking to book a spontaneous trip, we have no problem with last-minute inquiries and would be delighted to see how we can help you.

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