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Vaquero on Horseback, Mountains, Clouds, Horses, Cotopaxi National Park, Ecuador

Avenue of the Volcanoes

Two hours’ drive south from Quito is the Avenue of the Volcanoes, a road that winds its way between Andean foothills dotted with volcanoes.

The area offers fantastic views of the snow-capped volcanoes, lush green valleys and mountain lakes, the perfect place for many outdoor activities. Cotopaxi is one of the highest active volcanoes in the world, conical in shape and snow-capped all year round. Not only is it a beautiful mountain to look at, but also a fun challenge to climb.

Cotopaxi Volcano, Avenue of Volcanoes, Ecuador
Cotopaxi Volcano, Avenue of Volcanoes, Ecuador

A little more about the Avenue of the Volcanoes

This area has many traditional haciendas, often remaining in the same family for generations, and representing a wonderful place to stay to get a feel of the real Ecuador. The weekly markets here also offer a colourful insight into rural life for the Andean Indian communities.

Experiences

Explore an Andean Market

Wander around one of the isolated village markets, searching for traditional handicrafts and marvelling at the packs of llamas.

Visit Local Communities

Stay in a cosy hacienda and explore the rural villages that are dwarfed by the 200-mile-long Avenue of the Volcanoes.

Summit Cotopaxi Volcano

Travel by foot up the active Cotopaxi Volcano in the Andes, the second tallest volcano in Ecuador.

Andean Horse Riding

Saddle up for to ride over the undulating Andes, with a view of the active Cotopaxi Volcano.

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Hacienda La Alegria £££££

  • Ecuador
  • Farmstead and Ranches

A family-run organic farm situated south of Quito in the heart of the nation’s Andean region, Hacienda La Alegria offers an insight into one of Ecuador’s traditional working homesteads in an area renowned for its spring climate and snow-capped mountains. With just ten comfortable rooms that cater to everyone from independent travellers to families and private groups, the property is decorated in an authentic style with cotton bedding, solid cypress floors and beamed ceilings. Most importantly, the accommodations boast spectacular views of the Avenue of Volcanoes.

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Hacienda San Agustin de Callo £££££

  • Ecuador
  • Farmstead and Ranches

Situated on the site of an Inca fortress at the base of the active Cotopaxi volcano, Hacienda San Agustin de Callo is a working farm built in a unique architectural style that reflects its 15th-century origin. Its illustrious history sees the hacienda having served as a former Inca fortress, an Augustinian convent and the temporary lodging for the French Geodesic Mission. Today it offers six suites and five classic rooms that are spread between three unique houses, each attractively appointed with beamed ceilings, hardwood flooring and working fireplaces, and brightened with bold splashes of colour and hand-painted murals. For special occasions, it is possible to horseback ride further into the Andes for a remote champagne picnic.

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Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Paul Bird

From quaint Andean villages and colourful markets to staggering volcanic landscapes and the Amazon Rainforest, Paul has explored the length and breadth of Ecuador.
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  • 01285 601 784

James Armitage

This small country encapsulates the continent of South America, and James has been privileged to visit the Amazon, the Andes, the coastal regions and the enchanting Galapagos Islands.
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  • 01285 601 784

John Faithfull

John rode the railways of Ecuador on the carriage roof before it was outlawed, but still recommends a jaunt along the Devil’s Nose – an engineering marvel that can still be enjoyed from inside a carriage.
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  • 01285 601 784

Roxy Dukes

I love to squeeze as much out of my day as possible. An outdoors fanatic, I love to delve into harsh environments having summited numerous mountains and trail running into the unknown whenever I get the chance – whether at home or overseas. Funnily enough, it didn’t start like that. It took a few years for the burning fire of adventure to truly take light with my eyes opened by the adventures travel could afford.
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  • 01285 601 784

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As usual all aspects of this trip went like clockwork, even thought we were in South America where timings can be different to other parts of the world! This we put down to the work done by Paul and his knowledge of the country.

Destination: Ecuador
Travel Expert: Paul

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise sets us apart. So too our curiosity. A curiosity of the world and of you, and your passions. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you.

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