Condor trek llama

Condor Trek – Hiking Ecuador’s Ruta del Condor


The Condor Trek is one of Ecuador’s most beautiful treks for hiking in Ecuador (it’s also called Ecuador’s Ruta del Condor). It takes 5 days, walking about 6 to 8 hours per day.  Spend the nights camping under the stars. Enjoy the spectacular mountain scenery and breathtaking views as the trek ascents in the impressive Andean paramo.

Nights are spent in cozy tents and food is prepared for you by a cook who will also accompany you. You will see beautiful mountain lakes, one of the highest volcanoes in Ecuador named Antisana (18,714 ft) and maybe, with a bit of luck, the biggest bird of the Andes, the condor. With our professional mountain guide you will have an unforgettable experience on this hiking tour in Ecuador.

Great on its own, this trip gets even better when paired with a Galapagos cruise or any other Ecuador-based adventure.

Highlights: Camp in the beautiful Ecuadorian Andes, see snow-covered volcanos up close
Number of days: 6
Regions: Andes
Interests: Hiking & Trekking, Nature & Wildlife
Category: Standard
Total CO2 emission, in lb (per day for cruises): 140



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Itinerary

Day 1: Begin of the Condor Trek

You leave Quito at around 7:00 am to drive to El Tambo, a small village, a nearly 1:30-hour journey,  at an altitude of 11,200 feet. After loading the pack-horses the journey begins.

On this day, you will mainly hike on muddy paths and cross small streams, so you will need rubber boots. The first camp site will be at the shore of a small lake, “Laguna del Volcán.” The hiking time is about 6 hours depending on the weather and your physical condition.

  Overnight in tent

Meals included: Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 2: Antisana Volcano

After an early energizing breakfast, we resume the hike to ascent to the second camp site, at the foot of the Antisana at 13,500 ft. The first two hours lead through muddy terrain and small forests to the Páramo, where there are no more trees, but the typical Páramo vegetation. From here on the ground is much drier. After hiking for about four more hours you will have a magnificent views of the Antisana mountain.

You go on past the Santa Lucía lagoon, located just between the lava´s peaks of Antisanilla and the Antizana volcano and reach the second camp site, in a valley which is crossed by a small stream.

 Overnight in tent

Meals included: Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 3: Volcano Sincholagua

Wake up in the lovely highland, with a stunning  view of the  mountains and a good breakfast. The inclination today is moderate. While you hike up, you can enjoy the beauty of the Ecuadorian Paramo. Look out for condors, caracaras and the Andean fox. This part of the trek is considered the best place to spot Condor. Then you leave the Paramo and continue the ascent through the moraine of the old glacier, with a wonderful view of the Antisana’s south and central peak, and far away the Cotopaxi, Sincholagua, Rumiñahui and Cayambe. Today’s camping is at the foot of the Sincholagua. Hiking time is approximately 7-8 hours.

 Overnight in tent

Meals included: Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 4: Camp Río Pita

Today, you start early in the morning again. The hike leads you through different regions of the high Paramo, passing cows, rabbits, deer and different species of birds. Continue the trek upwards in the alpine wilderness to make your way to the pass at 14,800 ft., from where  you have  a panoramic view of the surrounding valleys, rivers and mountains, all the way to the majestic Cotopaxi. From here, you follow a long descent. You spend the night at the camp by the Río Pita.

 Overnight in tent

Meals included: Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 5: Cotopaxi Volcano

On your last day you will do a hike at the volcano Cotopaxi (19,347 ft.), which is the highest active volcano of the world. On your way you will visit the Laguna de Limpiopungo. From there you have a beautiful view of the surrounding volcanoes Cotopaxi, Sincholagua und Rumiñahui. You reach the parking site and can start a hike to the refuge José Ribas at 15,750 feet, where you can warm yourself up with a cup of coffee or tea. After the hike, transfer by private vehicle back to Quito for the night and for some well-deserved rest and a hot shower.

 Hotel: Vieja Cuba (or similar)

 

 

Meals included: Breakfast | Lunch

Day 6: Quito

Depart at any time.

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Rates and Services

Price per person: US$ 1,190.00
(based on 2 people traveling)

Price includes:

  • Four (4) nights in 2-person tents, one (1) night in hotel in Quito
  • Professional bilingual, certified mountain guide
  • Transfers: Quito – El Tambo – Cotopaxi National Park – Quito
  • Meals: Full board
  • Tent for kitchen and toilet, camping equipment, boiled water, dishes and cutlery
  • Rubber boots
  • Pack Horse

Not included:

  • International or domestic flights
  • Personal expenses
  • gratuities
  • Personal trekking equipment (sleeping bag)
  • Optional excursions and activities
  • Personal travel insurance

Map

Click on the icons to see details about each visited place.

Accommodation

You will sleep in tents. You won’t have to carry the equipment yourself, horses will be there to carry it. We will also have a kitchen tent, a bathroom tent and a cook.

Additional Information

Hiking in Ecuador is a true adventure! But you don’t need to be an experienced mountaineer to hike Ecuador’s Ruta del Condor. You just need to have a good physical condition and spend a few days in the altitude before, for example in Quito.

Read more information about the Andes on our Andes Information Page. Also, if you want to know more about the Condors importance to Ecuador, check out our blog post on The Andean Condor.

Wondering what to pack? Check out our packing list. It includes a section on what to bring for a tour of hiking in Ecuador.

Find some more general information about Ecuador as well as practical travel information.

More questions or ready to book? Purchases can be made conveniently via credit card and check wire transfer.

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