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Ecuador Activities

Bike down Cotapaxi Volcano, climb up a waterfall in Ecuador and soak in cloud forest hot springs

Ecuador still has the envious position as an adventure destination that many people just don't know about. For a relatively small country it packs a punch, complete with amazing surf beaches, rolling green hills, sub-alpine barren high lands, huge snow-capped volcanoes and of course, steamy jungle. We've taken advantage of this condensed geography to create a 7-day action-packed trip

Ecuador Horse Riding

On day one we'll whisk you away to the Valley of the Volcanoes, to the Hacienda La Alegria, an Ecuadorian style ranch where you'll have the opportunity to go for a horse ride (or you can try your hand at milking cows, or simply relax and take in the views from this beautiful home). This is a great way to find your bearings and see Cotapaxi Volcano, where you'll be riding the very next day!nbsp;

After riding down one of the world's highest active volcanoes our next stop is Banos, a town renowned for adventure activities like rafting, canyoning, ziplining and biking. Here, it's all up to you - catch your breath, relax and get a massage, or maintain your momentum and we'll help you to arrange an adventure for your free day.

Ecuador Jungle boat transport

Recharged, it's time to head down the Rio Pastaza Valley into the Amazon Jungle! We'll journey by canoe to an animal rescue centre and afterwards to an indigenous community to learn about a traditional way of life in the rainforest.

One of the favourite activities on this trip is our waterfalls hike, or sometimes referred to as 'reverse canyoning'! A new experience for most people, this is a wonderful way to cool off and have a great laugh, as you safely navigate your way up through the refreshing waterfalls.

On day six we'll find ourselves back in the Andean highlands - you'll be pinching yourself when you wake up at Termas Papallacta wondering 'was I really down in the jungle yesterday?'. There are plenty of hikes around here to choose from, depending on the weather and there's always the option of a rejuvenating soak in the hot springs back at the lodge.

That afternoon we'll journey back to Quito to explore the colonial city and enjoy a final celebratory dinner together. Who would have thought you could experience so much in one week!

Into the Valley of the Volcanoes

“It was a fascinating trip through the valley of the volcanoes and across the countryside. Thanks to our guide Jhayro who was very knowledgeable and helpful. I would also like to mention our driver Eduardo who was skillful, patient and helpful. He navigated through traffic in crowded towns and through steep mountain roads expertly and never made us feel unsafe.

The main highlight of this trip was the biking down the volcano Cotopaxi. We drove through rough terrain up the volcano Cotopaxi until we could feel the freezing wind coming down from the glaciers on top of the volcano. This volcano was as imposing as it was stunning. The glaciers looked magnificent and we were all tremendously excited about our ride. We started riding down on rough terrain and it was exhilarating. The sights were astonishing and frequently we would stop and admire the volcano and the stark surroundings. This was the highlight of our trip.

Our time in Banos was very pleasant. The volcano Tungurahua overlooked this picturesque little mountain town. We enjoyed hiking and rafting. We loved wandering the streets of this little town and experiencing a slice of Ecuadorian life. There was a lot of street art that was intriguing. The waterfalls and public baths were fascinating. We stayed in Hotel Samari which was excellent. There was a resident peacock and there was even a piano in a gazebo in the middle of the expansive grounds! We also enjoyed the spa and the hot tub at the hotel.

Another highlight was the boat ride on the Napo River. It was wonderful to experience the river and its surrounding rainforests which were vibrant, full of life and seemed impenetrable.

We also enjoyed the hot spring resort Termas Papallacta. While soaking in the hot springs which were right in front of our hotel rooms we were suddenly visited by a Sword-billed Hummingbird. It fed on the nectar of the Angel’s Trumpet flower that bloomed right next to the hot spring. We were shocked at seeing this amazing bird. Its bill was longer than its entire body! This was another highlight of our trip. We soaked in the hot waters until the sun set over the impressive Andes mountains.

Overall it was a fascinating and wonderful trip across mountains, rivers and rainforests. The Ecuadorian landscape will forever remain in my fondest memory. ”
Idaho, United States
Tapir, January 2015
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Trip Reviews

  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 938 reviews)

    Better than expected

    I had done one group tour before and lots of hiking with my local hiking club, but this tour was beyond what I was expecting. The people, the guide, the coordination and logistics - all were fantastic and well done. Of course, what truly made the trip was the amazing location and breathtaking adventure.
    Amy Linsky Review Image
    – Massachusetts, United States
    Condor, January 2017
  •   4.55 out of 5 (from 1341 reviews)

  •   4.48 out of 5 (from 82 reviews)

    The trip of my dreams!

    The Iguana trip was better than was advertised! I had prepared for the trip to Peru by reading about the history of the area in the book, The Last Days of the Incas, by Kim MacQuarrie. When we visited the many different Inca sites, the history came alive for me. I could picture the great battles, and the capture of the Inca rulers, and the narrow escapes. It was wonderful! Cuzco was a beautiful city surrounded by mountain peaks and full of many good places to eat. After Peru, going to the Galapagos was like a beach vacation in the most beautiful place in the world. We loved snorkeling and seeing the giant land tortoises. We saw every animal associated with the Galapagos and more! I still can't believe I was lucky enough to find this trip with Active Adventures. Top notch all the way around. Thank you to our wonderful guides who we loved!
    Brenda Peterson Review Image
    – Texas, United States
    Iguana, April 2017
  •   4.55 out of 5 (from 1341 reviews)

    Land-based tours are the way to go!

    We are so glad we chose to do an active, land-based trip rather than take a cruise ship. Staying in small hotels in the various towns on four islands and gaining an appreciation for the locals, the local food and customs was a tremendous addition to the natural beauty of the Galapagos. Knowing that we were contributing to the local economy rather than to a cruise line's bottom line felt good to us. Our guides (Lenin in Quito) and Zambo (on the Galapagos) were outstanding.
    Tom Ward Review Image
    – Massachusetts, United States
    Tortuga, January 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 938 reviews)

    Patagonia Dreaming

    I had wanted to hike in Patagonia since the 1980's when I was heavy into mountaineering in Seattle, WA. I had lost this dream until we saw that Active Adventures offers the Condor trip. I loved every windy and even drippy step of the W trek. My first view of Grey Glacier took my breath away. And then we had Fitzroy and Cerro Torre in glorious sunshine. A dream of adventure come true!
    Marilyn Glenn Review Image
    – Washington, United States
    Condor, March 2017

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Why travel with Active Adventures?

Above all, we aim to be amazing hosts. We're proud of our kiwi roots, and our professional, warm and relaxed style of running trips around the world is unforgettable.

We're VERY picky about who we select to work in our team, and we have people from all over the world lining up to guide our trips. So we get to hire the absolute BEST in the business.

As soon as you get off the plane, we've got all the details of your vacation covered – top notch meals, comfortable transport & accommodation, amazing guides and INCREDIBLE service.

Whether you’re new to adventure travel, or you’ve never travelled in a group before, you’ll find yourself arriving home positively different from when you left.

With our small groups (no more than 14), you'll get to know our team, your fellow travellers, and have the flexibility and freedom to do as much (or as little!) as you like.

It's all about getting there under your own steam – on foot, in a sea kayak, or by bike. What better way is there to experience mind blowing scenery? If it's your first time, no worries – our expert guides have got you covered.

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