Imagine yourself to take off from the summit of a majestic volcano, paragliding and landing like a condor on the "paramo" altitude. A dream ! Yes, but totally achievable by very good weather.
This trip provides an excellent overview of the main landscapes of "the avenue of volcanoes", the Otavalo region and its lakes to Banos and its hot springs.
The highlights of this trip:
- A graudal acclimatization
- The best paragliding spots in the country in 15 days
- Relaxation and rest on the Pacific coast at end of stay
Day 1: Arrive Quito - Otavalo
Arrival at the Mariscal Sucre International Airport of Quito. Visit of Ecuador's capital placed in the hollow of volcanoes, and first city declared World Heritage by Unesco. In the afternoon, transfer to the north in the charming Indian city of Otavalo in the Imbabura region.
Day 2: Otavalo Market - Lechero
Saturday is market day in the village of Otavalo. Indian people go down from the hills with their felt hats and their characteristic poncho, to trade all that one can imagine. In the morning, visit of the animal market, local and craft market. In the afternoon, ride on the upper part of the city: Lechero, sacred place for the Indians of the region.
Day 3: Summit and Volcano flight Cubilche
Today we start our acclimatization in the Andes.We start the ascent of the volcano Cubilche for our first flight. Discover the Andean paramo and its special flora. The relief of the summit makes the takeoff easier. In the evening return to Otavalo.
Day 4: Summit and flight Fuya Fuya - Quito City Tour
Transfer to Mojanda lagoons, where we start the short ascent of Fuya-Fuya volcano. We quickly forget the stiffness of the trail through the splendid panoramas that we get from this volcano on the lake below, the glacier volcano and other peaks in the distance. We enjoy a flight before returning to Quito and visit its historic center.
Day 5: Quito - Summit and flight Guagua Pichincha - CotopaxiPungo
We continue our acclimatization by reaching the summit of Pichincha. We can see from the edges of the crater fumaroles of this active volcano, while dominating the Ecuadorian capital. After a memorable flight over the massif, transfer to the south, at the heart of the Cotopaxi National Park.
Day 6: Summit and flight Rumiñiahui
We begin the ascent of the beautiful jagged ridge dominating the laguna Limpiopungo. The walk begins in the paramo before following scree slopes to the peaks of Rumiñahui. View on the nearby Cotopaxi during the takeoff and the flight time. Transfer to the lodge for the next night.
Day 7: Summit and flight Illiniza North
Today, a short walk takes us on the slopes of Illiniza Norte at 5,124 meters in altitude. The climb offers a panoramic view of all the "Alley of the Volcanoes". Takeoff and flight over the ecological reserve in front of the Cotopaxi. We reach the Cotopaxi Park for the night.
Day 8: Cotopaxi National Park - Baños
Hiking day in the heart of the 32,255 hectares of Cotopaxi Park and its majestic landscapes. In the afternoon, we change of environment and leave for the city of Baños, little paradise located at the foot of the Tungurahua volcano (5,016m). With its semi-tropical climate reliefs and waterfalls, this is the benchmark for all travelers looking for adventure.
Day 9: Baños
Day devoted to exploring the environs of the city and to flying over the region with a pleasant climate. Baños has two beautiful paragliding sites, including one which requires landing in the middle of the football field: aim carefully! Your guide will help you organize outings. Other activities (surcharge) are also possible (rafting, canyoning, mountain biking...) on request.
Day 10: Baños - Quilotoa
We leave Baños for the mountains towards the famous Laguna Quilotoa. Located in the hollow of a huge crater, the lagoon provides an absolutely wonderful view, with tinted hues of green and turquoise. Something to enjoy from the viewpoint ... or from the air!
Day 11: Quilotoa - Crucita
Last day in the heart of the Andes. You have the morning to enjoy the surroundings of the lake and to prepare a flight. Then we leave for a transfer to the town of Crucita, Ecuador’s cradle of paragliding. Arrival at the hotel and end of the day free to enjoy the Pacific coast.
Day 12: Crucita
Within the excellent paragliding school of Valodores, founded by the famous paraglider Luis Tobar, you will have many opportunities for flight and landings directly on the beach. You fly in the middle of the gulls and frigate birds to tame the ocean currents before taking a dip in the hotel pool.
Day 13: Crucita - Canoa
In the morning you will enjoy the paragliding school’s tips and suttle or the hotel’s facilities only a few meters from the sea. Then we go to another famous spot for flights: Canoa. Discovery of this "mulstisport" town where we will spend the next few days.
Day 14: Canoa
With a delightful setting and an ideal exposure (facing west), the city of Canoa and its surrounding area provide many flights options. From the high reliefs of Bahia de Caraquez flying over El Nido, this soaring day will be full of surprises. By late afternoon, you can rest on the beach, soothed by the comfort of the coast.
Day 15: Canoa - Manta - Quito
In the morning, transfer to Manta airport and national flight to Quito. Connection with your international flight. End of services.
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- Accomodation in double rooms
- Full pension (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
- Free drinking water
- All entries to national parks, churches and activities as mentioned in the intineray
Andes & the Pacific
Paragliding level 3 of 5: For keen walker. Several hiking days from 5 to 7h. The altitude has to be taken into account
In the field
- English speaking tour guide
- A driver for driving the vehicle
- Private bus reserved for the group for the entire trip
Throughout your stay, accommodation is varied:
- Hostels 3-4 stars in cities (local standards).
- Homestay (basic comfort)
- Family inn or cozy guest room
- Lodge in the Amazon
- Breakfast served at the accommodation
- At noon picnic for hiking, restaurant meals the other days
- In the evening, restaurant meals or prepared food at accomodation
The luggage transport
During the excursions and activities, each participant carries a light backpack containing only personal belongings needed for the day (water bottle, camera, protective clothing, ...). Luggage tranport is ensured by vehicle.
- Passport and photocopies
- Photocopy of certificate of insurance / assistance contract
- Vaccinations record and medical indications
- Currency, credit card => The ideal is to carry personal papers and money in a discreet travel pouch worn under your clothes.
- Universal Adapter
- Flashlight (frontal ideal) and extra batteries
- Sun protection (sunglasses and bag, sunscreen SPF 30 minimum, cap / hat)
- Personal pharmacy (see below)
- Tissues / toilet paper
- Travel alarm
- Toiletries and towel (microfiber type)
- Protective plastic bag (cloth, paper ...)
- Swimsuit (pools Baños)
- A backpack 30L / 50L: this capacity lets you take all you need for a day of travel: rain clothes, warm clothes, small pharmacy, water bottles, snacks, and possibly part of the picnic
- Cream / ointment after sun
- Antibiotic broad spectrum (paracetamol, aspirin ...)
- Disinfectant for wounds (type Hexomedine)
- Set bandages, tape, scissors, blister dressing
- Hydroalcoholic gel
- Survival blanket
- Poncho or rain jacket
- Equipment or underwater camera
- Light clothes for the day + some warmer clothes for the evening
- Open shoes (sandals ...) up in water
- Anti-mosquito (type Tropic) and anti-itch cream
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No visa is required for nationals of countries of the European Union, Switzerland, USA and Canada for a stay of less than 90 days. A passport valid at least 6 months after the travel date in Ecuador is enough.
Travelling with children
The foreign minors are subject to the same obligations as adults. They must hold a passport valid at least six months after the travel date.
We do not offer international flight booking. To plan your route in Ecuador, several international airlines provide transportation to Quito (or Guayaquil), such as Air France (via Bogota or Caracas), KLM, Iberia and Lan (via Madrid), American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Lufthansa, etc ...
No mandatory vaccine.
But vaccination against yellow fever is mandatory if you have previously been to a country situated in endemic areas.
We strongly recommend to update the classic vaccinations: diphtheria-tetanus-polio +/- whooping cough, tuberculosis, typhoid fever, hepatitis A and B.
Yellow fever vaccination is highly recommended if you go to the Amazon or to a province east of the Andes below 2,300 meters in altitude.
Malaria occurs below 1,500 meters, mainly in the Amazon area: classification 3 (high resistance). Antimalarial treatment is necessary. Consult your doctor.
The risk is moderate in the coastal provinces. It is recommended to protect yourself in some areas: Baños, on the Pacific coast and the Galapagos Islands.
Make sure you have in addition preventive personal protection against mosquito bites (repellents, loose clothing and spanning).
Ecuador is affected by the Zika virus disease transmitted by bites of Aedes mosquitoes.
In case of pregnancy, the hypothesis of a causal relationship between the event of outbreak of fetal or neonatal microcephaly and infection Zika virus in the mother is likely. It is therefore recommended for pregnant women or for those having a project of pregnancy to consider postponing their stay or to first consult a doctor to be informed about the complications that can occur during infection by Zika virus.
Acclimatization and preventive treatment of acute mountain sickness
We recommend you before your trip to Ecuador to visit a doctor to check your ability to stay at high altitude. Andean reliefs are very marked and altitudes are significant (Quito already at 2,800m above sea level).
Whether on adventure, discovery, trekking or mountaineering tours, routes include acclimatization steps and time required for the body to naturally adjust to the altitude. By following a few simple tips especially the first days (drink regularly, avoid alcohol, overeating, too abrupt efforts ...), you will facilitate the acclimation process and avoid the most common symptoms (headaches, shortness of breath ...).
For more information, visit the Association for Research in Environmental Physiology (www.arpealtitude.org) or the International Medical Service (www.smi-voyage-sante.com)
The currency is the US dollar. Exchange rates (indicative price): 1 € = $ 1.12 or US $ 1 = € 0.89.
Most credit cards (MasterCard, Visa ...) are accepted in Ecuador in department stores. It is possible to make withdrawals * directly to distributors in major cities you will be going to during your trip (Quito, Otavalo, Guayaquil, Riobamba, Baños, Cuenca ...). Plan ahead among the major steps to not run out of cash for personal expenses (souvenirs ...). Moreover, it's better to have small denominations (5, 10, 20 $) because the businesses rarely have the exchange.
For stays in Galapagos, only the islands of Santa Cruz and Santa Cristobal are equipped with distributors.
NB: it is difficult to change euros, the exchange is only possible in major cities in banks (limited opening hours) and exchange offices ("casa de cambio").
* Before departure, it is best to consult your bank to know your conditions / fees abroad to avoid inconvenience.
Ecuador is located in the equatorial zone where there is no clear-cut seasons. It is possible to travel throughout the year in Ecuador. The climate is however very variable and unpredictable!
It generally cool in Quito (15 ° to 25 °), very mild in Cuenca (18 ° to 30 °) and very hot in the Amazon or on the Pacific coast (27 ° to 40 °). Galapagos, the heat is tempered by the winds that cool constantly the islands (20 ° to 35 ° C).
Ecuador is considered to be one of the safest countries in South America. However, we advise you to avoid, as far as possible, to carry valuables. The risk of theft exists, avoid displaying wealth, be vigilant in crowded places (markets, city centers ...) and leave whenever possible valuables and significant amounts of money in the safes of hotels. Do not hesitate to ask your guide in which places it is necessary to pay particular attention and which ones to avoid.
Each participant must be aware of the fact that the tour chosen may include activities (rafting, hiking, ziplining, biking ...) which may be risky. The service providers selected for those services were chosen for their professionalism and the quality of supervision and equipment. Each activity will begin with a reminder of the safety instructions.
Language & some useful words
In Ecuador, Spanish is spoken by all the population. The Quechua language and local dialects are used in remote locations. English is practiced by persons in relation to tourism (hotels & restaurants of higher category).
We recommend that you bring an adapter because the plugs are flat type 110 volts, as in the United States.
Ecuador is located on the GMT -5. The time is the same in all the country except the Galapagos (- 1 hour).The sun rises around 6am and night falls around 6pm, all year.