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Active Ecuador: Andean hikes and Cotopaxi volcano

9 days from £3200pp

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Active Ecuador: Andean hikes and Cotopaxi volcano

9 days from £3200pp
 

Private Journey

 

Transport

3 road journeys. Walking from lodge to lodge around Cotopaxi.

Accommodation

This holiday incorporates small mid-range hotels with character and more simple countryside inns and mountain lodges.

Meals

Breakfast days 9,10 Full board days 2-8.

Guides

We carefully select our local partners, some of whom we have worked with for over 25 years. Their English-speaking guides understand the expectations of our clients very well, and are consistently singled out for praise by clients on their return.

Included excursions

• Half day walk to La Viudita.
• Trek around Quilotoa crater.
• Full day trek to Pasachoa volcano summit.
• Full day trek to Cotopaxi National Park.
• Climb to snow line of Cotopaxi volcano.

Summary of nights

9 days, 8 nights: Avenue of the Volcanoes 2;  Chugchilán 2; Cotopaxi 3;  Quito 1.

Included in the journey price

• Services of our team of experts in our London office.
• Services of Journey Latin America local representatives and guides.
• All land transport.
• Accommodation as specified.
• Meals as specified.
• Excursions as specified.

Not included in the journey price

• Tips and gratuities.
• Meals other than specified.
• Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket.
• Optional excursions.

Currency

The unit of currency in Ecuador is the US dollar.

Daily spend

It is very difficult to give a guideline for essential expenses but a budget of around US$20 per day pp should cover the cost of the very few meals which are not included,  any bottled drinks and the odd souvenir. 

How to take it

On this holiday you are out in the countryside for most of the time with little opportunity to spend money apart from in the markets and Quito.

We recommend that you take a reasonable quantity of US dollars cash (no more than is covered by your insurance), which you can spend as the dollar is the local currency, and possibly some travellers’ cheques (American Express are the most widely accepted), though these are gradually falling out of use. Dollar bills should be in good condition, soiled or torn bills may be refused. You can take sterling, but the exchange rate is not always competitive or even available, restricting the number of places where you can change money. Cash machines are available in Quito. 

Should you extend your holiday to spend time in Quito or other Ecuadorian cities, taking a debit or credit card with a PIN number is the most convenient way of withdrawing money and in some shops and restaurants you can also pay by card. However, since cards can get lost, damaged, withheld or blocked, you should not rely exclusively on a card to access funds.

Tipping

Tips are expected and local guides often rely on their tip as a significant proportion of their income.

Most service industry workers will expect a tip of some kind and so it is useful to have spare change for hotel porters, taxi drivers and the like. It is common to leave 10 - 12% in restaurants.

Tipping guidelines can be found in our Briefing Dossier.

Insurance

Travel insurance is essential. 

Details of our recommended policy can be found on our Travel Insurance page. 

Airport taxes

If you have purchased your flights through Journey Latin America, the international departure tax is usually included in the ticket.

Journey grade

This holiday is suitable for all able, fit visitors who have hiking experience and are used to an active lifestyle at home. 

Climate

The rainy season in the Andes runs between January and April when there are showers most afternoons. The dry season is June, July and August when the sun is strong during the day, but at night the temperature drops dramatically (maybe as low as freezing point). May, September and October are less predictable, with both rainy and sunny spells. Given the proximity to the equator, altitude is the determining factor with regard to temperature. In the mountains at any time of year you should expect a variation between 15°C and 25°C. 

Altitude

Your hikes are at high altitude (2,800-5,100m). A small minority of visitors may suffer temporarily from altitude sickness. Symptoms vary; most common are mild headaches, slight nausea and breathlessness. If you don’t recover in a day or two speak to our representatives; in very rare instances it is necessary to descend to lower altitudes. Most people are unaffected and if you drink plenty of water and allow your body to acclimatise (don’t exert yourself or drink alcohol) in the first couple of days after arrival, you will minimise your chances of suffering any symptoms..

Please refer to our Briefing Dossier for further information.

Clothing and special equipment

You should go prepared to encounter all seasons. A light fleece jacket and a waterproof waterproof/breathable shell makes a good combination for highland regions.  You will need good walking boots, waterproof trousers, scarf, hat and gloves. Some trekkers like to use trekking poles: best to bring your own.

Sun screen and sunglasses are also highly recommended.

Don’t forget your binoculars, camera, charger and cards.

Please get in touch with the office before departure if you have any doubts. Good equipment is very important and hard to come by in South America. 

Vaccinations

Preventative vaccinations are recommended against the following: typhoid; polio; tetanus; hepatitis A. You should consult your GP for specific requirements.

You can also find helpful information on the Masta Travel Health website. 

Visas

Holders of a full British passport do not require a visa, although passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins.  Anyone with a different nationality should enquire with us or check with the relevant consulate.

APIS and ESTA - important flight information:

ESTA - if flying to the US, or via the US you will need to fill in your application to ESTA online.
This costs $14 per person, and must be done by you personally.
Passports must also be machine-readable (MRP). Avoid locking suitcases if transiting the USA, as their customs authorities retain the right to break into them.

APIS - Many countries now oblige airlines to provide additional information about passengers prior to the flight departure. This Advance Passenger Information (APIS) must be supplied to us promptly in order to issue tickets and avoid fare increases. We will provide the airlines with the relevant details if we are booking your international flights. If the information is not provided you may be denied boarding.

9 days from £3200pp

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Wanderlust Reader's Travel Awards - Top Ten Tour Operator 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015

Latin American Travel Association – Award for Customer Service 2012

Sunday Times Travel Magazine – Specialist Tour Operator 2012

Sunday Times Travel Magazine – Best Value Tour Operator 2011

Sunday Times Travel Magazine - Editor's Award2013

British Travel Awards – Best Small Tour Operator Central & South America 2011, 2012

Condé Nast Traveller – Top Ten Specialist Tour Operator: 2010, 2011, 2012

Guardian and Observer Travel Awards– Top Ten Small Tour Operator: 2009, 2010, 2012

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