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El Angel Trekking - 6 Days

The Cerro Golondrinas Cloud forest Conservation Project, in the western slopes of the Andes Mountains, is working to create a 25,000 hectare reserve in which the natural environment can be respected while providing a sustainable living for local people.

Horseback Ride to la Cortadera - Ecuador Trekking
Day 01: Quito – Hostería el Angel
Day 02: Trekking to Morán
Day 03: Horseback Ride to la Cortadera
Day 04: La Cortadera – El Pailo – El Corazon – Santa Rosa
Day 05: Bospas Botanical Garden
Day 06: Drive back to Quito


Detailed Itinerary:

Leaving Quito this morning you travel north along the Pan-American Highway for approximately 2 hours before a short stop in the well known town of Otavalo. Continuing through the valley "Valle del Chota", a fascinating mix of fruit plantations and desert like elements, will bring you to the National Park "Reserva Ecological el Angel". The many lagoons in this mountain landscape are a beautiful compliment to the several meter high plants "Frailejones Gigantes" that cover area. Dinner and accommodation at the Hostería el Angel. -/L/D

After an early breakfast you will be transported by pick-up truck into the highlands of this area also known as Páramo situated above the town of El Angel (highest point El Mirador at about 4040 m). From there, you hike several hours along an old smugglers’ route - el Sendero de los Cascarilleros which is lined with the unique Frailejone plants. Lunch will be taken with great views overlooking the lower hills of the Andes. On a clear day it is possible to observe condors. After lunch you set off into the Valley of the Agua Blanca River, crossing the river several times and ending the second day in the little village of Morán at an altitude of 2,900 meters. This hike is for those accustomed to more difficult trails. Dinner and the night will be spent in Morán at a small lodge called Las Orquídeas, run by local guide Carlos Castro. Dinner with the Castro family. B/L/D

Breakfast this morning will be served at Carlos Castro’s lodge Las Orquídeas. Ride on horseback from Morán to the isolated village of La Cortadera, over La Cotinga ridge where you can observe some amazing panoramic views. En route you will visit the archaeological remains of la Ciudad Perdida (The Lost City), where once existed a pre-Colombian culture. Dinner and night in family homes in La Cortadera. B/L/D

Note: the horses are quiet and have excellent saddles, which makes the ride suitable even for inexperienced horse back riders.

Breakfast will be in La Cortadera. By horseback, ride to a beautiful spot with a waterfall called El Pailon. Then on foot to El Corazón and an impressive view of the Cerro Golondrinas peak. Lunch in the area. Descend to Santa Rosa, where you can swim in the Golondrinas River. A pick up truck will await your arrival at Las Juntas (approx. 4:30 pm) to take you to Bospas. During these 3 days in the cloud forest you will have a chance to observe toucans, wild turkeys and the famous cock-of-the-rock. Dinner and night at Bospas. B/L/D

Note: the hike on day 4 is the most demanding with approximately 6 hours walking, mainly downhill. You descend from about 2500 m to 1000 m above sea level.

Today will be a fairly relaxing day at Bosque de Paz. After breakfast take a short hike to explore the varied flora and fauna of the farm’s botanical garden, tasting the fruit of your choice along the way. Relax in the swimming pool.
Optional: hike in the afternoon along the old railway line next to the Rio Mira. The track goes through two tunnels full of interesting insects and bats.
Lunch, dinner and last night at Bospas. B/L/D

After Breakfast we drive back to Quito, where this wonderful experience ends. B/L/-

B= Breakfast L= Lunch D= Dinner

USD 690.- per person
Minimum 2 People

In the price included:
Private transportation from Quito to Quito, accommodation in double or triple rooms with private bath, camp on the other nights, meals as mentioned above, entrance fees, English-speaking guide, sleeping bag.

Not included in the price:
personal equipment, travel insurance and tips, international flight airport tax (USD 41.- per person), personal expenses, beverages.

What to bring with you:
ainwear, torch, sun cream, sunglasses, hat with brim, warm clothing, small pack, canteen, camera (film 100 ASA)

Note:
Although this is a moderate trek, it could be very hard if you are not in good shape. Be ready to walk on trails as well as on cross-country terrain, marsh and forests. Do not expect to find well-marked trails like in the Alps or in the National Parks of USA.

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