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Ecuador - Volcanoes and Vistas
 
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Ecuador - Volcanoes and Vistas

The ride begins close to the glacier-topped Cayambe Volcano and journey along grassy tracks into a sleepy pastoral valley, arriving at a working hacienda home to some fantastic Andalucian horses. From San Clemente you ride over a ridge and into the stunning San Pablo valley, towards Otavalo, home to the famous market which you will have the chance to visit.

The second part of the ride takes you to the remote highland village of Pinan, along stunning routes through vast paramo with its miles of swirling grasslands. In Pinan you ride along 600 year-old trading routes and ride close to the beautiful Lake Pinan. On leaving Pinan by a different route, gradually the flora becomes more tropical as you pass bamboo, coffee trees and passion-fruit trees. Spend one night in the cloud forest, home to an impressive diversity of flora and fauna.

The final part of the ride takes you to close to the conical, snow-capped Cotopaxi Volcano. This is a breath-taking place, with beautiful vistas and seldom-visited open plains high in the Andes. Here there is the chance to see Andean wildlife such as the mighty Andean Condor, eagles & owls, high altitude hummingbirds, foxes and deer. If you are lucky you may even meet up with the many herds of wild horses that roam the area as you cross a variety of terrain including rugged passes, barren, lunar-like landscapes and rolling, grassy hills. Cross old lava flows dotted with rocks catapulted out from the erupting volcano, where only lichens grow and traverse rivers fed by snow-melt. As well as being surrounded by Andean peaks, the glacial retreat followed by the volcanic activity, have helped sculpt the area producing intriguing landscapes.

On some days you will ride along old Inca routes, on others you pass by adobe cottages and patchwork fields farmed by the charming and very friendly local people. The children are often out and about herding errant pigs and donkeys.

Nights are spent in a wonderful mixture of historic haciendas, working farms, inns and remote farmhouses. Dine on delicious, home-cooked three-course dinners of local fare including exotic fruits and vegetables, preceded by hearty breakfasts and varied picnic lunches.

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Ecuadorian Riding Specialist  Abigail Wood

Abigail says:

A challenging route taking in some of the highlights of the northern highlands and Cotopaxi National Park - an incredible experience.

My top tip:

This ride is at high altitude and we do recommend that you arrive to Quito one or two nights prior to the start of the ride in order to acclimatise as much as you can.

Call: 01299 272 239 | email: abigail@inthesaddle.com
 
 

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