Horseback in The Andes

Ride the Andes Mountains of Ecuador . . .

The Andes Mountains of Ecuador offer some spectacular sights for horseback adventures, with snow-capped volcanos, jagged mountains peak, and incredible views along the "Avenue of the Volcanos." Tours can last from one day up to a week or more.

Here are some of the best options for horseback riding in the Andes Mountains of Ecuador.

Name Details Difficulty Days
Andean Adventure, Ecuador -Horse riding tour through the heart of 'condor country'
-Gallop across seldom-visited plains
-One night in a local village, supporting a local community Project
A route that takeshorse riders into the remote Andes in the eastern foothills of the perfectly conical, snow-capped Cotopaxi volcano.
We cross a huge variety of scenic terrain, firstly horseback riding across the patchwork of tiny fields on dirt tracks then riding through luna-like landscapes, picking up speed on vast grassy plains. The pace is varied, including plenty of chances for long canters across rolling hills mixed with a steadier pace over more challenging surfaces.
A horseback ride for experienced riders capable of riding over a multitude of challenging terrains and spending long days in the saddle (maximum 7-8 hours).
We strongly advise a few days acclimatization prior to the tour
8 days
Colonial Haciendas, Ecuador -Canter along ancient Inca highways
-Stay in some of the best preserved haciendas of South America
-Hanging valleys, perfectly conical hills, wild flower covered grassy slopes, crater lakes and rocky summits.
We follow the ‘Avenue of Volcanoes’, skirting the towering, snow-capped peaks of Cayambe and Cotopaxi (the highest active volcano in the world) and wandering through the maze of patchwork fields below.
Guests need to be riding fit – long days in the saddle with some tough riding. At various points guests may be leading their horses (but not normally over long distances)
Riding ability: intermediate and above – able to canter in open spaces and also be prepared to ride on steep slopes and tricky terrain. 8 days
Volcanoes & Vistas, Ecuador -Fast paced horse riding across the Cotopaxi plains, alongside the wild horses
-Vastly varying landscapes - from the mountains to the cloud forest
-Ride the 'highest canter in the world'
We horse ride down into the cloud forest passing tropical fruits and coffee – a complete change of vegetation. The birdlife is amazing- from tiny hummingbirds to the great Andean Condor.
This horse riding tour Includes a visit to the famous Otavalo market, stays at a working ranch, comfortable cottages in a local village & at a remote hamlet on an Inca trading route.
Suitable for fit, experienced horse riders. 11 days, 10 days horse riding
Northern Sierras, Ecuador - Cotopaxi Centre Based Tours -Snowcapped Cotopaxi
-No minimum riders required
-Maximum flexibility to cater for all horse riding abilities
Day 1, guests ride out from our base in the Antisana foothills, between Pasachoa & Sincholagua volcanoes (less than 1 hour drive from Quito) to a Hacienda surrounded by magnificent Andean peaks close to the northern edge of Cotopaxi National Park.
Day 2 can be a circuit ride (2-7 hours) in Cotopaxi National park. The last day we can horseback ride out via a different trail giving the opportunity to ride at different paces in very varied terrain and scenery. We will adapt the itinerary to suit the wishes of each group.
We have many activities for non-riders if someone in your party does not wish to horse ride.
Confident riders 1-4 days
Private horseback riding tour. No set departures
La Finca, One Centre Based Tours, Ecuador One centre based horseback rides
-Modestly priced accommodation in stunning location
-Experienced & beginner horse riders welcome
-Great, tranquil stop over on way to/from the famous Otavalo market
From La Finca there are variety of circuit rides, covering different terrain and of different lengths, allowing us to tailor the horse rides to our guests’ requirements. Some routes lead us up into the surrounding hills, providing breath-taking views over the valleys below us or of the snow-capped peaks, the closest of which is Cayambe.
Other routes wind along wide grassy trails, through conifer forests, and past some of the local hamlets, allowing for some faster paced riding.
All levels possible depending on tour. 1-4 days
Private & group horseback riding tours
Northern Sierras, Ecuador - Colonial Haciendas Short Tour -A choice of routes depending on riders level
-Otavalo market visit
-Stay at a beautiful working hacienda
Horse riding in the green valleys below the jagged peaks of the picturesque northern Andes. Riding between adobe cottages and patchwork fields, passing locals in their colourful indigenous dress, cantering along grassy tracks with views of the ancient tumili and earth pyramids erected by the pre-Inca population seldom visited by tourists. Staying at farms & haciendas with stunning locations and charming Ecuadorian hospitality.
Our short tours are available almost all year round and suitable for riders of all levels of ability and experience. The ride can easily be adapted to suit less experienced riders and the itineraries can include days with no riding – where guest go on visits/do other activities (hikes, mountain biking, bird watching, climbing Cotopaxi…)
We will adapt the itinerary of this horseback riding tour to suit the wishes of each group. Depending on guide availability it is possible to have riding instruction along the way, if guests are interested. Also, bring NON RIDERS along- we have activities for them. 3 days
Private horseback riding tour. No set departures
Luxury Haciendas, Ecuador -Enjoy 5* luxury
-Journey through spectacular scenery between Ecuador’s historic country houses
This ride can be adapted in length and content to suit the wishes of each individual group. Ideal for groups with ‘part time / non riders’ and for families
Indulge on a journey on horseback through landscapes made for riding, including overnights at beautiful old Colonial country houses, filled with antiques, surrounded by manicured gardens- the very best accommodation the Ecuadorian Andes has to offer. Guests canter along ancient Inca highways and across vast plains in two stunningly beautiful, yet very distinct areas of the highlands.
-Great for a honeymoon or special occasion.....
This ride can be adapted in length and content to suit the wishes of each individual group. Ideal for groups with ‘part time / non riders’ and for families 3 days and up Private horseback riding tour.
No set departures
Cotopaxi National Park Ruins Springs Limpiopungo Lake We will drive south through the Pan-American Highway along the Avenue of Volcanoes until we reach the small location of Machachi; here we will take a detour along a dirt road that will lead us passed the village of El Pedregal and on to the north entrance of the Cotopaxi National Park at 3,700 meters above sea level. Here, our horses will be waiting ready to start the adventure!
We will ride through amazing Andean paths filled with flora, fauna, fresh air and amazing views. We will also visit the Pre-Incan ruins of El Salitre that used to serve as a strategic military viewing point for our ancestors. We will ride to the natural springs to finally arrive to the Limpiopungo Lake for lunch and a well deserved rest for us and our horses.
We will return to Quito on our private transportation.
1 day
The Pedregal Cotopaxi National Park - Ruins We will leave Quito behind and head south through the Avenue of Volcanoes along the Pan-American Highway until we reach the small town of Machachi, here we will detour on a dirt and cobbled paved road until we reach the small village of El Pedergal at 3,500 meters above sea level.
Our local guide and horses will be waiting at this meeting point to start the tour. We will ride along the most amazing landscapes admiring the different activities that the indigenous populations engage on their day to day lives.
We will be able to admire beautiful landscapes, enjoy the cold fresh Andean air, observe the endemic flora and fauna and finally arrive to the Cotopaxi National Park. Once inside the park we will ride our horses to the “El Salitre” pre-Incan ruins that served as a strategic military viewing point for our ancestors; here we will stop to rest and enjoy lunch.
Afterwards we will ride back to El Pedregal to leave our horses and head back to Quito in our private transportation.
1 day
Ilinizas Ecological Reserve Refugee Our driver will take us south along the Pan-American Highway, along the Avenue of Volcanoes until reaching the small town of Machachi. From here we will head west passing through the small village of El Chaupi until reaching the parking lot at Los Ilinizas located at 3,900 meters above sea level.
This first part of our journey normally takes about 3 hours. Here at “La Virgen” our local guide and horses will be waiting for us to start riding along the most spectacular Andean landscapes. On the first segment of our journey, we will ride through a Polilepis forest, also known as the “paper tree”; this will be followed by sand trails and rock roads, from which we will be able to admire much of the local flora and fauna, observe most of the volcanoes in the area and enjoy the virtually untouched nature.
Our final destination is the Ilinizas refugee at 4,750 meters above sea level in between and north and south Ilinizas; here we will rest while enjoying a well deserved lunch. After that, we will ride back to “La Virgen” parking lot and enjoy our ride back to Quito.
The estimate time riding is about 6 hours.
1 day
Andes Horseback Adventure Discover the wilderness of the volcanoes in Ecuador and pure nature on our tailor made horseback riding tours. These horse-riding tours are available for either two, four or six hours.
Taking place in the beautiful trails near the Hostería PapaGayo, horse trekking is the perfect way to admire the famous Andean scenery and see stunning views of the Corazon, Illinizas & Cotopaxi volcanoes. All tours are starting from the Hostería PapaGayo.
The tours are for experienced riders, to beginners we offer lessons and a short tour of one hour through beautiful nature. You can choose between an English/Western and Colombian comfort saddle.
All tours begin with matching the horses to their riders, followed by a training session which will allow you to become accustomed to our trained, thoroughbred horses and to pick up some basic riding tips.
Experienced riders 1 day
Cotopaxi Paramo Gallops Our 3-day private horseback riding tour is the most impressive and memorable option to experience the famous Cotopaxi National Park.
Your horseback riding tour can be booked fully flexible depending on time available and your riding ability. The tour begins with an instruction in a safe enclosure with the help of an experienced guide. This allows riders to gain confidence with their horse. Our horses are well – trained and ideal for great riders.
This tour is highly recommended for nature lovers waiting to experience life in the open Andean mountains. The highlight of the tour is riding in the breathtaking Cotopaxi National Park with views on the Cotopaxi volcano. Besides the gorgeous vegetation of this park, you might spot wild horses, alpaca herds, condors Andean seagulls and many wild rabbits.
This tour covers 30 km (18 miles approximately) each day so it is therefore recommended to riders with experience.
This tour covers 30 km (18 miles approximately) each day so it is therefore recommended to riders with experience. 3 days
Hosteria Papagayo The tour begins with an instruction in a safe enclosure with the help of an experienced guide. This allows riders to gain confidence with the horses. The trail begins from PapaGayo Hosteria and heads towards the many volcanoes in the area such as Corazon Mountain and the Illinizas Volcanoes. From the trail, you have great sightseeing of the famous Cotopaxi and Rumiñahui Volcanoes. All levels You can choose from a 2, 4 or 6 hours tour.
The Green Horse Ranch The Green Horse Ranch is a German operated horse ranch, located at the bottom of a volcanic crater close to Quito, capital of Ecuador. We specialize on trail-rides through the Western Andes since 1995 and therefore are one of the oldest and highly experienced horse ride operators in the country.
Astrid Müller, owner of the ranch, lives in Ecuador since 1990 and went after her childhood-dream working with horses. All of our knowledgeable international and local staff has life-long riding experience, wishing to make your holiday most enjoyable.
All levels Half-day and whole day rides
Moonshine Ride We'll be leaving Quito at 4 pm in order to get on our horses at dusk and start riding into slowly falling darkness.
Eventually, only moonlight will be guiding our way.
A cozy dinner-place is awaiting you at the end of the ride. Accommodation, breakfast in bird garden and return trip the following morning.
Confident riders 1 day/night
Pululahua Exploration Trail B These rides will take us from areas of traditional Andean agriculture to lush tropical vegetation, passing by eroded volcanic avalanches blooming with wild orchids, sugar cane fields, remote mountain villages, exotic flower crops, deep canyons and cloud forests.
We will also observe prehistoric ruins and interesting geological formations along our way.
We get a good impression of the present and past of the country life in Ecuador, of its geology and botany. But most of all we'll discover the pleasure to explore healthy nature on horseback!
Confident riders 2 days
Sacred Valley Ride The most popular part of our Cloudforest-Highland Ride, combined with a new trek along the Pululahua crater edge leads us on hidden trails towards, along and above the beautiful and magical Guayllabamba river valley, that was visited and settled by ancient Ecuadorian cultures a long time even before the arrival of the Incas. The Sacred Valley and ancient paths are nearly forgotten nowadays, traced and used for over 1000 years, some of who's many different testimonies we shall encounter and admire on our ride:
This trip is for experienced riders, as it is a great combination of steep adventurous climbs through dense vegetation, and gallop stretches on mountain ridges with wide open views. 3 to 4 days
Secrets of the Andes Ride This trip will take you through the very heart of the Western Andes and their unbroken beauty. It includes the highlights of our shorter rides.
Enjoy an incredible variety of Andean landscapes - jungles and deserts, hot valleys and cool windy heights, volcanoes and pristine streams, culture land and tropical wilderness - combined with fascinating in-looks into Ecuador's natural and social history.
Experienced riders 8-9 days
Mystic Cloud Forest At the cloud forest you will enter a completely different environment and see an exciting change in the surrounding vegetation.
Spectacular riding ascending up to 4000 meters and experience a lush native tundra landscape. Descent toward the coast and experience incredible sub-tropical vegetation along the way. Here, nestled deep in the mystical cloud forest, learn about medicinal plants and trees that are native to the area, and be regaled by tales of the remote life of living in the Cloud Forest.
Experienced riders 3 day ride-2 Nights
Quilotoa Loop As we ride through the Andes Mountains, you will experience a diversity of geographical landscapes and climates.
Be prepared for a period of intense equatorial sun followed by chilly Andes’ wind—all within the space of a few hours. The locals say that the highlands experience all four seasons within the same day.
We cross extensive farmland; with our sturdy and well-trained horses we climb to altitudes exceeding 11,000 feet (3900m) and ride down to hidden valleys, where we are able to experience the Andes mountains. Long after our return to Hacienda La Alegria and the end of our journey, our memories of this rugged but beautiful world will linger as a life-time ride.
At this ride we have the opportunity to ride at the Quilotoa crater lake area, this is a unique experience across rugged terrain that is around the crater.
Experienced riders 6-8 day Program 5-7 day ride
Volcano Ride Quilotoa One of the unique features of our ride is the variety of natural environments we will experience during the trip.
We will begin our ride by visiting the endangered habitat of the Ecuadorian cloud forest. These subtropical Montagne Cloud forests used to cloak much of the steep western slopes of the Andes between 1,000 and 3,000 meters, but are now classified as threatened ecosystems.
In the second part of the ride we will head towards a higher altitude and experience a more arid volcanic environment filled with canons, rock peaks and at the bottom the Toachi River. We will climb mountain ridges and switch from the eastern to the western Andes Mountain Chain experiencing rolling hills of high altitude fauna typical of the Andes as we make our way to the spectacular Quilotoa Crater Lake.
Experienced riders 7-day ride, total 9-day program
Wild Andes Expedition We begin our expedition at Hacienda La Alegria – a family-run horse and organic dairy farm located in the heart of Ecuador’s magnificent, Volcano Avenue. The Hacienda sits on 135 hectares, nestled in the fertile valley of Machachi, near the small village of Aloag. Built a century ago, the Hacienda has retained its stately elegance and original character, as well as its exquisite surrounding gardens awash with colorful roses, native flowers, graceful trees and intricate outdoor stone work. Filled with historic charm, the Hacienda’s large rooms are filled with antiques that have been in the Espinosa family for hundreds of years. To reach the Hacienda, one drives along a cobblestone road originally built by the Spaniards and Incas, lined with tall, majestic Cedars, Eucalyptus and Cypress trees and lush greenery. Experienced riders 12-day program, 10-day ride.
Volcano Ride Cotopaxi Hacienda La Alegria is situated south of Quito in the verdant valley of Machachi. As it is surrounded by eleven volcanoes, this region is often referred to as “The Volcano Avenue”. Uniquely, the only form of transportation during your trip will be your horse. They will be your partner throughout this adventure. We will thoroughly explore and experience the grandeur of the Andes, marvelling at the diversity of flora, fauna, and landscape. Experienced riders 7 day ride, 9 day program