von 28.12.2013 bis 15.01.2014
A trip to Ecuador offers a very varied spectrum.
Whether in the highlands of the Andes between the two cordilleras, or in the lowlands of the jungle at the origin of the Amazon tributaries. Whether in the primary forest to the border with Colombia or on the Pacific coast from Guyalaquir to the north.
In a very small space, you have many vacation regions practically on your platter. Mountain climbing in the Andes, jungle adventures in the jungle, untouched botany, fine sandy beaches on the Pacific Ocean and not to forget the famous Galapagos Islands.
Spanish is a prerequisite if you want to explore this country on your own.
This article, however, is dedicated exclusively to the highlands of Ecuador.
Famous mountains adorn this extraordinary landscape between the cordilleras.
Cotopaxi , Chimborazo, Cayambe to name a few. These mountains are of volcanic origin and some are still active. The highlands are located at an altitude of about 2700 and 3,300 m. However, the mountains around rise from 4,200 to 6,300 m in height.
For mountaineers a pleasure to deal with high altitude mountaineering for once.
At any time you can take guided tours on one of these mountains. But attention:
Proper and timely acclimatization is mandatory. You should also have enough stamina to be able to walk uphill for 4-7 hours.
For acclimatization, the vucans scattered around Quito are suitable. The local mountain of Quito the Rucu Pichincha (4.784m), the Pasochoa (4.200m), or the Corazon (4.790m).
All these mountains are snow-free and reachable in 4-5 hours.
The wildlife offers besides the famous condor also some other species of birds of prey such as the mountain caracara, many different species of hummingbirds that can be seen even as a traveler. In Chimborazo National Park there are some herds of vicunas (a wild llama species).
To climb Cotopaxi (5.897m) it is necessary to have already completed the acclimatization. The day before, you will go by car to an altitude of about 4,600 m below the Refugio Jose Rivas. This refuge (4,800m) can accommodate 60 people and currently has no toilet facilities.
You can get to the refuge via a hiking trail on volcanic sand in about 45 min.
You have to bring your own food or hand over the organization to a mountain guide, who will also take care of the food.
The ascent from the hut starts at 2 am and takes about 6-7 hours.
At this altitude you need this time for about 1,100 hm.
The ascent is only possible with rope safety and crampons.
After successful summit victory, the descent is doable in 2-3 hours.
The highlands are dominated by agriculture, and the population is mainly indigenous. The locals speak besides their native language Qichua of course Spanish and are very sociable. They are not averse to a chat at the market with tourists.
Famous to immerse in the rural hustle and bustle is the Indio market of Otavalo. Here, in addition to the numerous pets that are sold, there are all kinds of hats, bags, musical instruments and all kinds of clothing and handicrafts of the Indians to admire and buy.
The gateway to the Amazon rainforest can be found in either Banos or Papallacta, the latter being a very pleasant resort in the mountains with hot springs right outside the hotel room.
In Banos you can observe beautiful waterfalls and the famous still very active volcano Tungurahua (5020 m).
You can get to know the country on a round trip, go on hiking or mountain tours and experience the fascinations of the Amazon jungle. Ecuador is easy to travel all year round.