and 315 kb Topographic Map)
From Quito, we travel by private bus through the Avenue of the Volcanoes, passing such snow-capped giants as Cotopaxi (5.897m), Illinizas (5.263m) and the tallest peak in Ecuador, Chimborazo (6.310m). On the way to Alausi, a small steep mountain road leads us to Achupallas (3.400m), passing through a number of communities where the biggest and most colorful Indian markets in the country are held on specific days each week: Saquisili (Thursdays), Latacunga
(Tuesdays / Saturdays) and Ambato (Mondays). Lunch is provided during the trip South and dinner prepared at the overnight campsite near Achupallas.
We awake in an area which has not changed much in the last five centuries, from which we begin the trek to Ingapirca. The Inca road follows Rio Cadrul through hilly country on the way to Laguna de las Tres Cruces, passing Cerro Callana Pucara on the West and the pyramidal Cerro Mapaihuana (4.365m) to the East. To reach the lagoon, we make our way, through a natural rock arch and cross the river before climbing to 4.000m. From this point, it is only a few kilometers to the lagoon and our campsite. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are prepared by our staff.
After breakfast, we continue Southward through a mountainous pass, with fantastic views of Laguna Sanshavin and Cerro Quilloloma. We follow the ancient road to Laguna Culebrillas and the nearby Inca ruins at Paredones, arriving two hours later. We pitch camp and have our last dinner under the stars near the quarry from which the Incas mined Diorite, the igneous stone used in the construction of Ingapirca.
This morning is devoted to the trek to Ingapirca along a portion of the Inca road which is 7 meters wide. After lunch, we have the opportunity to explore the ruins, visit the on-site museum and question the local guides about the Incan culture. Our charter bus then takes us to the charming colonial city of Cuenca, for dinner and hotel accommodation.
Day 5. In the morning we take a city tour of Cuenca. Following lunch, we are transported to the airport for our flight to
Quito (not included).
||DOES NOT INCLUDE:
||YOU SHOULD BRING:
- Transportation from Quiuto to
Tents, and camping equipment
- All meals
Professional bilingual guide and Cook
Transportation from end of trail to Cuenca
- Hotel in
International or local airfare
Meals while in the cities
- Personal expenses
- Personal sleeping bag and mattress
Back pack, or duffel bag
- Flash light
- Rain gear