Hiking The Andes Mountains

The Andes mountains of Ecuador rise to over 6,000 meters and include many snow-capped volcanic peaks to scale, as well as offering some great hiking, trekking, mountain biking, and horse-back riding activities. If you can do it on a mountain, you can do it in Ecuador!

The table below shows all the major hiking options that are regularly offered in Ecuador. Contact us for details on any that you would like to know more about. We can also create custom itineraries.

Hiking on all these trips is at high altitude. We recommend you to acclimate yourself for a few days at around 2500-3000 meter before you start any of these.

True Ecuador Travel functions as a social enterprise - generating income to invest in social and environmental projects for indigenous and marginzalized communities around Ecuador. Your support helps us to fulfill our mission!

Name Details Difficulty Days
Cotopaxi 1-Day Hike Hiking in the Cotopaxi national park is almost guaranteed to be a great experience for nature lovers. Cotopaxi is one of the highest active volcanoes in the world and is surrounded by a stunning ecosystem full of interesting flora and wildlife.
The trip requires an early departure from Quito
You will drive over the Pan American Highway until the national park. After the entrance of the park is reached you will have to register at the entrance of the park, this will not require any extra fees.
The first stop of the hike will be the Limpiopungo Lagoon where it is pretty likely to spot some wild horses. Afterward you will head further to the main parking, which is at around 4500 meters. From there the hike continuous to the Cotopaxi Refugee, where you can have lunch and rest before you will go further to the glaciers at around 5000 meters.
You will return to Quito in the Afternoon
Be prepared for every kind of weather. Conditions are hard to predict in Cotopaxi and it can very get cold as well.
Moderate 1-Day trip
3 day hike to Cotopaxi This breath-taking 3-day trip to the Cotopaxi volcano will guide you through little trails, which will allow you to experience stunning landscapes.
  Day 1:
The trip will start early in the morning from Quito to the starting point. From there the hike goes through the valley between Sicnchola and Pasochoa where you can admire beautiful Waterfalls and the Pita River. You will continue the hike to the Chilcapamba Lodge where you will have your first overnight stay.
Day two starts with a short drive to east Pita River, which is followed by a 6 hour hike through Andean Forest and volcano lava flora. The hike will end at Tambopaxi lode with amazing views on Cotopaxi.
  Day 3:
Prepare yourself for a 5 hour hike, which will start early in the morning. The trails will be alongside the basis of Rumiñahui and Cotopaxi volcano trough beautiful Andean landscape.
In the afternoon you will head back to the starting destination in Quito.
Intermediate 3 days
Condor Trek This trip will guide intermediate hikers through the beautiful panorama of the Cayambe-Coca Reserve and Antisana Reserve.
  Day 1:
You will start this trip early in the morning from Quito and head east in the direction of the El Tambo Village. Once arrived you will follow a trail through muddy areas, crossed by gorgeous little streams and rivers. After around 5 hours you will reach the first camp side located next to the Laguna del Volcan.
  Day 2:
  The second day starts early again and after breakfast, you will start hiking for 3 hours through a small forest until you reach the higher panorama zone. After a short break, the hike continues for another 3 hours, in which you can admire the Antisana glacier, up to the campsite.
    Day 3:
  This day consists of a 6-hour hike through the base area of Antisana. Followed by a more challenging climb to reach the Lagoon Mica, which convinces with great views. You will have some time to enjoy the scenery and to look out for wild llamas and condors before you drive back to Quito in the evening.
3 days
5 Day hike in Chimborazo Nature Reserve The amazing experience of hiking in Chimborazo whilst enjoying majestic views of the Andean highlands and maybe even spotting Alpacas or Llamas in their natural habitat.
  Day 1:
Day one starts with a drive to Cuatro Esquinas at around 3300 meters. From there begins the 4-hour hike to Llama pungo at around 4000 meter Stony paths will guide you along the beautiful landscape and little mountain villages along the southeastern side of Chimborazo The final stop for the day will be Estacion Urbina, where it will possible to either camp or to stay at the guest house.
  Day 2:
  The hike will continue early after breakfast trough stunning landscape for 5-6 hours until you will arrive at the camp Alto Urbina
  Day 3:
After an early breakfast, you will hike through the Rio Mocha valley in which you can enjoy beautiful views on both the Chimborazo and the Carihuairazo Volcano. Today day the hike will go up to 4400 meters at the Abraspungo Pass. After a break, it goes further until Mechahuasca for an overnight stay.
    Day 4:
  On day four you will hike for 6 hours to Carrel’s Refuge on the west side Chimborazo
    Day 5:
The final day starts with an hour hike to the Whymper Refuge at around 5000 meters. From there you will follow the Wympers route to Chamonix Needle a spectacular viewpoint within the glacier. After this, you will head back to the Carrel Refuge where it is possible to rest for a while. From the Refuge, it is another 3-4 hour hike until La Chorrera from where your transport back to Quito leaves.
5 days
Pasochoa 1 Day hike Go and explore this mix of cloud forest and highland panorama during your hike on this extinct volcano that last interrupted in the ice age.
A stunning number of over 100 species of birds can be found here including hummingbirds and with some luck even a condor.
Departure will be early from Quito and you will drive until the park entrance of the Pasachoa reserve.
From the park entrance, you will hike up through cloud forest to the rocky peak. It will roughly take around 2 hours to reach the summit from where you will have a majestic view.
After a short rest, you will hike back the mountain on a different route to the park entrance
Beginner  1 day
Inca Trail Discover this amazing trail, which was once created by the Incas to connect Quito and Cuzco. You will be able to hike pieces of this trail at the southern parts of Ecuador. Be prepared for panorama landscapes and interesting indigenous communities but also for altitude and all weather conditions.
  Day 1:
  This trip will start early in the morning from Riobamba from where you will travel south to Achupallas village at around 3400 meters The hike will start along the Cadrul River between magnificent mountains and will take around 4 hours until an old Inca town where you will have your first overnight stay.
  Day 2:
The second-day hike will last for around seven hours and will lead towards the Tres Cruces Lake. Later in the afternoon, you will arrive at the ruins of Paredones, an ancient resting place of Inca travelers. From there you will follow the path further until the village San José where you will stay and camp for the night.
  Day 3:
  On the last day, you will hike for another 4 hours through a beautiful Andean landscape and then reach the final highlight of the trek, which is the Ingapirca Ruins at around 3100 meters. It is considered to be the most important archaeological monument in Ecuador.
After you have explored this unique site you will drive back to Cuenca where the trip ends.
Beginner 3 days
Day Trip to Antisana Reserve You will start this hike from Quito and travel to the Antisana Reserve. Before your hike starts you will make a stop at the Antisana Páramo for bird watching to spot the famous Andean Condor.
You will hike on the condor trails for about 4 hours. After returning to the starting point, you can have lunch at a local restaurant.
Since the weather in the Andeans is often changing rapidly be prepared and best bring warm and waterproof clothing.
Moderate 1 day
Cajas National Park Day Trip The Caja National Park is a mystical place with stunning nature. This day trip from Cuenca will give you the opportunity to discover the most beautiful part of it.
You will get picked up early from your accommodation in Cuenca and drive for around one hour until the national park. Once arrived in the national park you will first discover the higher part of the park, which lies at around 4000 meters. Get to know more about moorland vegetation and enjoy gorgeous Andean mountain views.
After having lunch in a local restaurant you will discover the lower part of Cajas at around 3100 meters with a different ecosystem. Explore a beautiful lake and mountain forest before you will head back to Cuenca.
The duration of the trip will depend on weather conditions and the condition of the group, but will roughly be around 6-7 hours.
Beginner 1 day
Hiking Sangay National Park In this 3-day tour, you will hike in the Sangay National Park and discover the Altar Volcano. Be fascinated by colorful lagoons and stunning waterfalls. Altar got its name from its nine peaks shape, which is remembering on a cathedral altar.
On day one you will start to walk up a valley towards the Volcano. Discover the 200-meter waterfall and admire the peak of Altar in the distance. Afterward, there will be an overnight stay in tents.
Day two will be physically more demanding since you will be hiking and climbing up to 4500 meters. The path will guide you alongside beautiful lagoons and waterfalls.
On day three you will make your way back to the entrance of the Sangay Park. Before you will head back to Riobamba, you will have the opportunity to spot the majestic Chimborazo Mountain in the far distance.
Difficult 3 days
Six Day hiking in the Andes On this six-day tour, you will discover the beauty of the Ecuadorian Andeans to it’s fullest. You will hike through the so-called “Volcano Avenue” where you will be stunned by several volcanoes. Discover Quilotoa and the magical trails around it. You will hike through the Chimborazo Reserve with the highest mountain peak in Ecuador and lots of wildlife. On top of that, you will dive into the landscape of lush forests and breath-taking waterfalls in Baños.
  Day 1: The day starts early in the morning with a transfer from Quito to Isinlivi. Already the drive is a fascination by itself since you might be able to see the Rumiñahui, Pasachoa and the Illines volcanoes. After having lunch in Isinlivi you will start the first hike where you will be trekking for 3-4 hours before you will have a hotel overnight stay.
    Day 2: On day two you will hike along the Toachi Canyon and river until you reach the charming town Chugchilan at the Quilotoa Loop. This beautiful trail will take you around 4 hours of hiking. You will have some free time in the afternoon to explore the village or to relax yourself. This day will end with an overnight stay at Hostal Llullu Llama.
  Day 3:   Right after breakfast you will you start hiking on small trails across canyons. Later own you will climb up the rim crater. This might be a little challenge but it will be plentiful rewarded with the fascinating view on the Quilotoa Lagoon. All in all, this will take you around 5 hours of hiking, before you will be accommodated at the Chukirahua Hostel.
  Day 4:   In the morning you will start your hike towards the base of the Quilotoa crater while you have a fantastic view of the lagoon with its turquoise water. The hike will last for around 2-3 hours before you will have a transfer to Riobamba where you will be staying for the night.
  Day 5:   The exciting day 5 will start early in the morning when you will drive towards the Chimborazo Volcano with a stunning evaluation of 6310 meters. Be prepared to spot some unique wildlife like the Ecuadorian Condor while you hike towards the glacier. In the evening you will have the opportunity to relax in the hot springs of Baños or to experience the town's nightlife.
    Day 6:   On day six you will be hiking to see various waterfalls around Baños. The first destination is the Bride’s Veil waterfall followed by a cable car ride to cross the Pastaza River. After hiking down for another hour you will reach the breath-taking Pailon del Diablo waterfall, which is amongst the highest in Ecuador. In the late afternoon, you will drive back to the starting destination Quito. 
Intermediate 6 days