Ecuador Volcano and Jungle AdventureTapir

4.26 out of 5 (from 143 reviews)


Trip Introduction

For an extraordinary way to see mainland Ecuador, the 'Tapir' is packed with exciting and varied activities, wonderful scenery, and the chance to meet the local people. On this Ecuador adventure tour you’ll hike through virgin Amazon rainforest, around high volcanic plateaus and the fertile highlands surrounded by ‘The Valley of Volcanoes’. You’ll cycle down Cotopaxi, one of the world’s highest active volcanoes, visit an indigenous family, and soak in hot springs in an incredible Ecuadorian highland setting. You’ll go on a waterfall hike in the Amazon jungle, and explore Quito – Ecuador’s cosmopolitan and colonial highland capital city – it’s all here!


  • Bike down Cotopaxi volcano
  • Explore the Amazon jungle
  • Waterfalls hike Hike Cayambe-Coca Ecological Reserve
  • Visit an indigenous Amazon family
  • Explore Baños Visit a traditional hacienda
  • Soak in hot springs
  • Explore Quito

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Sunday — Arrive Quito, explore Ecuadorian ranch

Your trip begins in Ecuador’s capital city, Quito. If you’re flying in today, your Active Adventures South America trip leader will meet you at the airport or your accommodation in the late morning. This afternoon, we’ll head to Cotopaxi, one of Ecuador’s most spectacular mountains in the heart of the Valley of the Volcanoes. Here we’ll make ourselves at home at Hacienda La Alegria, a typical, family-run Ecuadorian ranch, and meet our hosts, locals Gabriel and Patty. Try your hand at milking the cows, wander around and check out the amazing scenery, or just relax inside this beautiful home and enjoy Patty’s incredible cooking!
Hacienda La Alegria, Cotopaxi (Lunch, Dinner)

Monday — Cycle down Cotopaxi volcano

Today is definitely a highlight of the 'Tapir' trip. The centrepiece of Cotopaxi National Park is the perfect cone-like, snow-capped peak of Cotopaxi at 5897 metres (19,347 feet). If you’re game, we’ll hike up to the snowline of this majestic volcano for some of the best views in Ecuador. This afternoon we cycle down one of the world's highest active volcanoes! You can ride downhill at your own pace through the volcanic landscape and beautiful lakes that encircle Cotopaxi, ending your ride at about 3000 metres (10,000 feet). The scenery is magical. Afterwards, we’ll drive through the 'Valley of the Volcanoes' to Baños, a beautiful mountain village in the Rio Pastaza Valley.
El Marques Posada, Baños (All meals)

Tuesday — Free time in Baños

Baños, nestled between the Rio Pastaza canyon and Tungurahua volcano, is a playground for adventure activities. There are lots of optional activities here, including canyoning, biking, rafting, horse riding and even salsa dancing lessons! The magnificent, subtropical cloudforest here offers incredible hikes and the town is charming too. There are hot springs, great cafés, a beautiful town square and rows of little stores along the sidewalk where the locals weave melocha (toffee).
El Marques Posada, Baños (Breakfast, Dinner)

Wednesday — Amazon jungle hike, visit an indigenous family, night hike

Today we’ll head out of Baños and down the Rio Pastaza Valley. The high cloud forest gives way to lush rainforest, sweeping all the way down the canyon walls into the river below as we descend into Ecuador’s Amazon jungle lowlands. We’ll get straight into the action when we arrive at our jungle lodge, with a hike through an area of primary rainforest. You’ll learn about the forest and medicinal plants from a specialist guide while we hike along. We’ll also take the time to visit a local family. This is a real highlight of the trip – you’ll learn how these small indigenous communities maintain their traditional ways of life and get some sense of the important role the rainforest plays in their lives. After dinner, we’ll have the opportunity to return to the forest for a night hike where we will observe the wildlife that comes out after dark, including a curious assortment of insects.
Iyarina Lodge, Upper Napo River (All meals)

Thursday — Waterfalls hike, soak in hot springs

We’ll travel deeper into the rainforest today and hike along a stream to a series of waterfalls. With our guides by your side, we’ll safely pick our way up through the plunging water. This is a wonderful chance to cool off and it’s a lot of fun! Once we’re above the waterfalls, we traverse a rainforest ridge to the trailhead. After lunch, we head back into the highlands to Papallacta, taking in the cloud forest and mountain views along the way. Tonight, we’ll soak in glorious hot springs that sit right outside our rooms.
Termas Papallacta, Ecuadorian Cloud Forest (All meals)

Friday — Hike in Cayambe-Coca Ecological Reserve, Quito

This morning we’ll hike in the wet Andean grasslands, beginning at the South American continental divide around 3000 metres (10,000 feet) and make our way back down to the lodge. The weather here is changeable, so we have a variety of hikes to choose from depending on the conditions. This reserve, full of grasslands and little lakes, is the natural habitat of the spectacled bear, so we’ll keep our eyes peeled for the chance to see one. Then we’ll travel back to Quito where we’ll have the afternoon free to explore the city. We’ll meet again this evening for our final celebratory dinner in Ecuador.
Hotel Sebastian, Quito (All meals)

Saturday — Quito, depart for home

Today is the last day of your 'Tapir' trip. If you have time to spare, we’re happy to help with some ideas for what you can do for the rest of your time here. You’ll return home relaxed and refreshed from all the great activities, fine food and friendly people you’ve met while travelling with us in Ecuador!

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Trip Date Status
Nov 16th 2014 – Nov 22nd 2014 Filling up Check Availability
Dec 14th 2014 – Dec 20th 2014 Great Check Availability
Dec 28th 2014 – Jan 3rd 2015 Filling up Check Availability
Jan 11th 2015 – Jan 17th 2015 Great Check Availability
Feb 8th 2015 – Feb 14th 2015 Filling up Check Availability
Mar 8th 2015 – Mar 14th 2015 Great Check Availability
Apr 5th 2015 – Apr 11th 2015 Filling up Check Availability
May 3rd 2015 – May 9th 2015 Filling up Check Availability
May 31st 2015 – Jun 6th 2015 Great Check Availability
Jun 14th 2015 – Jun 20th 2015 Filling up Check Availability
Jul 26th 2015 – Aug 1st 2015 Filling up Check Availability
Aug 23rd 2015 – Aug 29th 2015 New date Check Availability
Sep 20th 2015 – Sep 26th 2015 New date Check Availability
Oct 18th 2015 – Oct 24th 2015 New date Check Availability
Nov 15th 2015 – Nov 21st 2015 New date Check Availability
Dec 13th 2015 – Dec 19th 2015 New date Check Availability
Dec 27th 2015 – Jan 2nd 2016 New date Check Availability
Jan 10th 2016 – Jan 16th 2016 New date Check Availability
Feb 7th 2016 – Feb 13th 2016 New date Check Availability
Mar 6th 2016 – Mar 12th 2016 New date Check Availability
Apr 3rd 2016 – Apr 9th 2016 New date Check Availability
May 1st 2016 – May 7th 2016 New date Check Availability
May 29th 2016 – Jun 4th 2016 New date Check Availability
Jun 26th 2016 – Jul 2nd 2016 New date Check Availability

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Useful Info

Useful Info

No Forced Single Supplement:

Most other travel companies charge all solo travellers a single supplement fee. We don't! When it comes to accommodation, our trip fares are based on a twin-share rate, which means we'll match you up with another person of the same gender to share a room with. If there's no one suitable to share with, there's no forced single supplement! Having said that, if you specifically request your own room, you can opt to pay the additional single supplement fee.

Trip start:

If you arrive on the first day of the trip, an Active Adventures South America representative will meet you at the airport at 11am. If you’re already in Quito, you’ll meet your trip leader and the rest of your group in the lobby of Hotel Sebastian at 12 noon.

Trip end:

You can fly out at any time on the last day of the trip.

Recommended flights:

You can fly into Quito first thing in the morning on the first day of the trip, but we recommend you arrive anytime the day before. On the last day of the trip you can fly out any time. If you need to fly out earlier, you can fly out of Quito anytime after 7pm on Friday. If you want to arrive earlier or leave later, we’re happy to help you out with extra hotel accommodation bookings.


The 'Tapir' is an active adventure trip that takes you to some wild and remote areas of Ecuador. We’ve chosen accommodations for their comfort, cleanliness and charm – not the number of channels available on the television. Having said that, even the remote jungle lodges have private rooms with mosquito nets, a hammock outside and great views!

What's Included?

Our trip fares are all shown in US dollars, so our guests from all over the world can more easily relate prices to their own currency. The fares quoted on each itinerary include taxes and are pretty much all-inclusive, it specifically includes:
• All guiding services. We have an experienced trip leader with every trip and also have a specialist guide on many of the activities to provide extra local knowledge
• Comfortable accommodation for the entire trip. We can also organise pre- and post-trip accommodation for you if you let us know
• All meals, as indicated, except on free days
• All drinking water and puritabs where drinking water isn’t readily available. (Alcohol and other drinks are not included)
• All activities as described in the itinerary – such as hiking, snorkelling, canoeing, sea kayaking, biking and jungle boat tours – and you’re welcome to sit out or do your own thing from time to time
• Tips for local specialist guides, drivers and boat captains are taken care of by Active Adventures South America
• Transport including buses, boats, trains and domestic flights as indicated

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  • I love Ecuador :)

    “Jhayro was an excellent tour guide and did an outstanding job of showing us his country. The itinerary is well thought out with great food and accommodations. From the bike ride down Cotopaxi to the trip in the Amazon and canyoning up waterfalls - all was great!! I would recommend this trip to anyone.”
    Amy Schliem – South Carolina, United StatesSeptember 2014
  • A multisport trip in an Ecuador you never imagined!

    “I expected a fun trip but I was nicely surprised. It was really a great trip. Very well paced and Jhayro (our guide) was very accommodating! It was nice to meet with his family too. I liked the introduction to the different fruits and unusual snacks. The highlight of my trip was the waterfalls hike in Pimpilala but everything else was well done. La Hacienda was amazing and the horseback ride across the fields was very relaxing. I am a novice rider and the owner himself together with his crew made sure each one of us was assigned a horse suitable to the level of the rider. The experience was so uplifting that I am thinking about riding horses now. As for the bike ride, there was a van behind us at all times. If we wanted to rest, they picked up the bike and we joined the group when you feel like it. The rainforest and the thermal baths were another show of what Ecuador has to offer. If there is anything to change in this trip, maybe make it a couple of days longer to enjoy Ecuador diversity. With 4 solo travellers, Active Adventures can definitely advertize itself as the best available option for solos in adventure tourism. I will definitely choose Active South America again. Thanks”
    Manal Hassan – Ohio, United StatesSeptember 2014
  • A Round Trip of Equador

    “Each day was packed from beginning to end. We rode horses on day one, then mountain biking on day two. Although the weather was a bit difficult I felt comfortable on my very first trip on mountain bikes as Jhayro made sure that the other guides stayed with me and helped me all the way to the end. The next day was delicious with a much needed massage and relaxing around Banos. I also experienced my first zip-line which was extremely scary, but a great experience. The waterfalls were beautiful and worth the hike through the narrow cave-like walkway. But the best part of the trip was conyoning the waterfalls. Besides a beautiful hike expertly led by Jharo who again took care that I was not ever left alone as the last hiker, he encouraged me to climb the falls and made sure I was secure and comfortable in accomplishing the task. It will be the part of this section of our two weeks that I will always remember. The Amazon was amazing, the family wonderful, the experience fun. Finally the last day at the spa relaxed us and prepared me for the next juncture of the trip. Needless to say the food and accommodations were better than I ever expected.”
    Marion Touzel – South Carolina, United StatesSeptember 2014
  • Ecuador, and amazing country!

    “When I signed up for the TAPIR trip, I had no idea I was in for a total immersion in all of the varied and different areas of Ecuador. From the busy city of Quito, to the vast beauty of Cotopaxi, then to Banos for relaxation and shopping and the Amazon and Highlands, Ecuador has something to offer everyone. I was very impressed with how very nice and cordial all of the Ecuadorian people were. Many asked me where I was from and welcomed me to their country. The Ecuadorians are very proud of their country. The food was fabulous also and I enjoyed getting to experience both home made meals and local restaurant fare. And the activities chosen kept us busy but the schedule also allowed us relaxation time. The activities were challenging but not so much that they could not be done. I loved the waterfall canyoneering and our unplanned side trip that Jhayro arranged to zipline the valley. The visit to Ivan and his Amazon home was an experience I will never forget. I have wonderful photos of the happy children and our face painting. I really cannot think of anything that I did not like about this trip. If anyone in our group needed something, Jhayro was right on it and it was done. All you had to do was ask. My friends are very intrigued with this trip and I have sent them the information. It truly is a bucket list trip, and I was very pleased with the variety of things we accomplished on the trip!”
    Pat Maccariella-Hafey – South Carolina, United StatesAugust 2014
  • Variety is the spice of life

    “I had no idea Ecuador has so much to offer. This trip provides a great combination of activities to showcase the beauty of Ecuador.”
    Jen Hallett – Georgia, United StatesJune 2014
  • Superb Adventure

    “Exactly what the web brochure promised and more. Every day was filled with fun activities, beautiful vistas, and plenty of very good food. Moreover, we got to experience the real Ecuador: local food, coffee, great ice cream, the Amazon, and so many native animals! To remember the trip were many unique souvenirs, picturesque accommodations & sites and wonderful people. Sooo special...!”
    Tim Touzel – South Carolina, United StatesSeptember 2014
  • Great experience

    “I decided to do the Tapir trip without knowing much about Ecuador and was pleasantly surprised to discover an amazing country with tons of activities and such a variety of climates- it was like seeing three countries in one trip! Definitely recommend it”
    Jackie Brown – New York, United StatesSeptember 2014
  • A Trip to Remember

    “It usually takes less than a day, for work to negate all the good a vacation has done for my peace of mind. Not with this trip. I came home jazzed enough to drive my colleagues nuts with all my renewed energy and zest for life!”
    Laura-Lee Love – California, United StatesMay 2014
  • Active Tapir

    “Both mind and body loved it! This trip fulfilled the "active adventure;" fun physical activity while exploring the diversity of culture and regions that mainland Ecuador has to offer.”
    Geoffrey Love – California, United StatesMay 2014
  • An amazingly action-packed week in a super diverse country!

    “Such a fun way to explore some of Ecuador's highlights! Why stand outside yet another plaza or church taking photos, when you can instead be speeding down Cotapaxi on a mountain bike, climbing waterfalls in the Amazon, and rafting through the rivers of Banos?! From the point of initial enquiry, right through to trip delivery, Active Adventures were a thoroughly professional and super friendly company to deal with. Definitely look forward to going on more adventures with them in the future.”
    Vanessa Thomas – New South Wales, AustraliaMay 2014
  • Tapir trip review

    “I'd say it exceeded my expectations!”
    Richard Wohl – Ontario, CanadaMarch 2014
  • So much fun stuff in one week!

    “Mountains, then Jungle, then back to the mountains. This sums up Tapir. Everyday I found myself challenged and had fun doing it. A MUST for anyone who wants an active trip in Ecuador.”
    Jason Waitkins – New York, United StatesMarch 2014
  • Traveling Tapir

    “Lots of varied activities and interesting cultural experiences on this mainland Ecuador trip. This is a good adventure for those wanting to experience various eco-systems in Ecuador.”
    Laura Johnston – Colorado, United StatesDecember 2013
  • From Volcanos to the Amazon Jungle

    “This trip was quite good and Jhayro was great! The highlight for me was the hike up the river climbing up the waterfalls. The active piece definitely pushes you, but not beyond what you are capable of. Would have enjoyed slightly less driving around, but overall a very good trip and I'm glad we tacked it on to the Galapagos (Tortuga) trip.”
    Lisa Fagan – California, United StatesNovember 2013
  • Tapir trip

    “It was an amazing trip with our guide Jhayro and the eight members of our group. I liked the fact that most of the decision making was done by Active Adventures and they seemed to know exactly what we wanted to do. It was nice to have someone else take care of all the details including lodging, meals and transportation. All we had to worry about was to enjoy the beautiful scenery, the adventure, and the comradery of our group. Our guide was all that we could ask for and more. He clearly had us and our enjoyment in his best interest. I loved the fact that this flatlander from Kansas could spend time and bond with interesting people from Russia, England, Singapore, Venezuela and Colorado. The conversation around the dinner table each evening was incredible. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone!”
    Chuck Thomas – Kansas, United StatesAugust 2013
  • Great experience!

    “Tapir was a great way to explore Ecuador, from the Cotopaxi Volcano to the Amazon Jungle. The highlight of the trip was being able to taste home-cooked Ecuadorian cuisine made by the wife of our guide - Jhayro.”
    Joyce Lim – , SingaporeAugust 2013
  • We highly recommend the trip.

    “Great trip. Excellent mix of adventures. Lodging was super. Food local and tasty.”
    Kim Caroline-Strange – , PanamaJanuary 2013

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