Breathtaking landscapes across the Andes mountains!


For the hike and trek enthusiasts, this challenging tour is the perfect opportunity to discover the most breathtaking landscapes and trails across emblematic natural reserves in the Ecuadorian Andes, spanning 11 days. The expedition will take you across the Quilotoa Lake, Cotopaxi, Antisana & Chimborazo reserves, making it an adventure par excellence.

“Highland expedition 1” is actually the first part of this adventure, which takes place in the charming Quilotoa lake and the sublime Chimborazo reserve. Also referred to as the “Vicuñas Trek”, the program entails a 360º hike around the Chimborazo volcano colossus. Although challenging, this fascinating adventure is highly rewarding and provides an opportunity to connect with nature -by staying in refuges, hotels, or camping- in completely-isolated places, while enjoying the omnipresent view of the highest volcano in Ecuador, whose summit is indeed the closest point to the sun!

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You have the option to start with either the first or second part of this integral adventure across the Andes, or you may choose to do only one of them. Regardless of your decision, both the Highlands expedition 1 & 2 are truly magnificent!

Physical Difficulty

Culture and Visits

Nature and Activities

Recommended for

Indicative route :

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
Quito > Zumbahua (market) > Quilotoa Loop (day 1) Quilotoa Loop (day 2) > Riobamba Riobamba > Chimborazo: Vicuñas Trek (day 1)
Day 4 Day 5 Day 6
Chimborazo: Vicuñas Trek (day 2) Chimborazo: Vicuñas Trek (day 3) Chimborazo: Vicuñas Trek (day 4) > Quito

Tour highlights :

Completely private tour in Ecuador, in the Andes, with your English-speaking guide.
6 days of discovery -in an exceptional natural atmosphere-.
– Chimborazo Reserve & volcano discovery
– The challenging yet rewarding Vicuñas trek
– Hike around the magical Quilotoa lake


Explore in more detail :

About the rate

– The rate decreases as the group size increases proportionally. The estimated price, on a base of two people, of this adventure across the highlands is from $2044 to $—. The final cost of this trip depends on the way we personalize it specially for you. The exact price will be provided in your personalized quote when you BOOK THIS TRIP.

Day by day

Hike times are approximate and indicate the maximum time for the trekking day.

Day 1 : Quito > Zumbahua (Market) > Quilotoa Loop (Day 1)

After an early departure you will head southbound to one of the most authentic indigenous markets in Ecuador. The you will start your trek-adventure from the Quilotoa Lake to the Chugchilán Village.

Day 2 : Quilotoa Loop (Day 2)

This morning you will discover the isolated Isinliví village. Passing by the fantastic Toachi canyon you will get to this quiet and still place, lost in time!

Day 3 : Vicuñas Trek-day 1

First day of the most spectacular trek you will take part in during your trekking holiday in Ecuador. This trek will take you around the colossus of Ecuador, the Chimborazo (6,310m).

Day 4 : Vicuñas Trek-day 2

You will continue your vicuñas trek passing to the other side of Chimborazo in the drier part. You will see your first vicuñas. You will sleep in a simple refuge or a tent during this night.

Day 5 : Vicuñas Trek-day 3

You will continue your magnificent vicuñas trek. This day will be the hardest but also the most beautiful. You will be in a high desert plateau surrounded by vicuñas. You will arrive at the Hermanos Carrel refuge where you will spend the night at an altitude of 4,800 m.

Day 6 : Vicuñas Trek-day 4 > Quito

You will end your trek with an easier day. Then you will be transferred to your charming hotel in Quito to enjoy a deserved rest.

B: Breakfast
L: Luch
D: Dinner

Includes / Doesn't Include

Rate Includes

– All transfers, vehicles, drivers and their costs and fees.
– Accommodation
– National-licensed guides as indicated in the guidance part.
– Meals (5 breakfasts / 6 Lunches / 5 Dinners).
– Entrances to sites, museums and national parks specified in the program.
– Licenses (ITK travel agency and our guides and drivers).

Rate Doesn’t include

– International flights
– Visits indicated as “Optional” or “at an additional cost.
– Drinks in bars, hotels, restaurants or villages.
– Not indicated meals
– Tips


“Comfort” category : charming and comfortable accommodation 2/3*** category. Clean and offering an adapted-to-European and American customer service.

“Superior” category : charming accommodation 3/4**** category. Top of the range quality infrastructure and personalized service. Spacious and tasteful rooms.

=> the “luxury” (4/5 *) options are also available on request.

Guidance & Transport

Andes (from day 1 to 6): private transport with a Spanish-speaking driver + a bilingual Spanish / English private local guide (vehicle type 4 × 2, space or bus depending on the size of the group). For a group of 2 or 3 people, your guide will also be your driver.

– Vicuñas Trek(Days 3, 4, 5 and 6): Muleteers and mules during the trek in addition to the English-speaking guide.

– Toachi trek (Days 1 and 2): For groups of 4 people or more, your English-speaking guide will accompany you during this trek. For 2 and 3 groups, a Spanish-speaking guide will show you the way while your guide brings your belongings to the hostel.

Transfer : the transfer on day 6 will be carried out by a private Spanish-speaking driver.

Required level

Physical: this trekking tour requires good physical condition. There will be fairly long walks (up to 8 hours). We recommend that travelers wishing to take part in this trekking trip take a stress test before their arrival. This will limit the risks during physical exertion at altitudes around 4000m (in particular preventing coronary and vascular problems).

Technical: no technical level is necessary. You will not have climbing or ice climbing. We recommend trekking poles and good walking shoes.


Clothing :

-1 or 2 light walking trousers
-1 or 2 warm walking trousers
-2 Fleece jackets
-1 breathable warm jacket(type softshell)
-1 waterproof jacket (type gore-tex)
– light t-shirts
– hike shoes
– casual shoes
-1 pair of gloves for high altitude walks
-1 warm hat for high altitude walks
– cap

Additional :

-1 water bottle – sunglasses
– solar cream
– hiking bag (between 25 to 45L)
– hike sticks
– camera
– binoculars
– duvet between 0C et -15C (when nights in a refuge or tent are planned)
– headlamp (for nights in a tent or in a refuge)


– Transfers and visits times are indicative.
– Foresee between $ 5 and $ 30 per meal not included, per person.
– Tips: we recommend between $ 10 and $ 20 per worked day for a guide, and between $ 5 and $ 10 per worked day for a driver.