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We have just spent a wonderful month travelling around Ecuador with the help of Andean Trails and two of their Ecuadorian based partners.
We first became aware of what Quito and the rest of Ecuador had to offer on a trip to the Galapagos, so decided to return 9 months later.
Since the Pandemic we set ourselves the goal of hiking a few volcanoes around the World, before we get too old; having left it a little late at 58 and 62!
“The Avenue of Volcanoes” in Quito caught our attention, though this was to be our first venture into Mountaineering as well as hiking.
Our work schedule allows us to have the occasional long holiday and as such, we felt we would like to see as much of Ecuador as possible, in terms of it’s varied countryside, ecosystems, plant and bird life as well as what it’s Towns and Cities had to offer. Basically an active holiday with some challenges and cultural elements as well. We also wanted to build in time to acclimatise for the altitude of the higher volcanoes; something my partner Nick successfully achieved, though I did struggle a little with this. Having managed to climb Cayambe, I realised that I would be too slow to reach the Antisana summit in the time allowed. However with some last minute re-arrangements, I stayed in a lovely hotel whilst Nick and our guide Robin achieved it with time to spare. Definitely Nick’s holiday highlight. As for my highlights, there were many, walking in beautiful cloud forest, summiting Cayambe, seeing some superb museums and buildings, both secular and religious as well as meeting and interacting with many local people.
Upon finding Andean Trails and Kathy and her team, we were impressed by the variety of walks and climbs they offered. I initially tried to put together a programme for ourselves, only to realise that Kathy’s was much better and she had understood exactly what I was looking for.
We stayed in a wonderful range of different types of accommodation, all locally run, ranging from Grand Hacienda’s , hotels, lodges to mountain refuges. This variety in itself made it a great trip; all were wonderful with their own quirks and identities, be it a lit fire in the bedroom to an amazing view or garden. All supplied wonderful food.
Because of the length of the trip and the variety of activities in different places, we had three different guides. All of whom were outstanding and very willing to make slight ( and larger ) changes to the programme when asked to. We added a hike to Cotopaxi refuge to our itinerary instead of a rest day (thank you Juan) to aid our acclimatisation and swopped Chimborazo for Iliniza ( thank you Robin and Javier). All of which were done smoothly and logically, which we greatly appreciated. There isn’t anything regarding the whole trip that we would have changed.
Also we have to say that during the political difficulties with the introduction of emergency measures that occurred during our first few days in Ecuador, everything was calmly and well handled. We felt looked after and in safe hands and had no doubts about remaining in the country once we were told that the holiday could proceed.
A most wonderful trip.
Once again many thanks Kathy.
Henri Chidgey, Ecuador lodge to lodge trekking and volcano climbing, January 2024.
» Lodge-to-Lodge 13-day Trekking Tour, Ecuador
Tracy Horton says
"I just wanted to let you know how extremely pleased we were with Andean Trails' work on helping us plan our recent bike trip to Chile/Argentina. Tom was extremely responsive and informative right from the start and he made the whole experience of planning such a big trip that much easier and smoother. He was always very pleasant and amiable in his communications and even helped keep me from panicking when the down payment I sent for the holiday went half way around the globe before it got in to the right account! Based on our experience with Tom, I would certainly recommend your company to anyone looking to plan a holiday in South America and we would certainly use him again should we venture again to that part of the world."
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