Ride Overview - High Road Trail
A breathtaking horseback riding vacation in Ecuador! Many riders have exhausted their cameras’ memory chips and batteries in an attempt to record the amazing sights. This is the land of great alpaca and llama herds, the Carihuayrazo and Pan de Azucar volcanoes, hidden valleys filled with wildflowers and hummingbirds, condors circling majestic mountains and coastal rain forests. In addition, you will have the opportunity to visit historic Quito and the colorful animal and produce market of Simiatug. Along the way, you will stay at historic hacienda B & B’s. Your evenings will be enjoyed next to a hot chimney fire with a cup of tea or locally burnt brandy (Pajaro azul) while local hosts regale you with interesting stories of the people and their lifestyles. RIDING IN ECUADOR
“I would recommend this trip anyone and everyone. The horses are amazing…and spoiled! I always worry about the animals, but you could really see how much Fernando loves his horses, and how much his horses love their job. The days are long, so I would definitely recommend packing a pair of cycling shorts to wear under your riding pants. The food and accommodations were fantastic. Breath-taking views every day. I would do it again in a heartbeat.” B.C.
Ride Itinerary - High Road Trail
After the pick up from the airport, you have time to explore Quito on your own or a city tour can be arranged (extra). The city with its beautifully restored colonial center, as the first town worldwide, to be declared cultural patrimony of humanity in 1975. With 15 tons of gold along its walls, roof, and altar, “La Compañía” is supposed to be the richest decorated church in the world.
You will be transferred by car on the Pan-American highway towards the city of Ambato with a detour to the Province of Bolivar, south-west of Quito. The landscape changes rapidly as you are driven through picturesque farming villages where crops are grown on steep slopes shadowed by the domineering Chimborazo mountain.
This ride incorporates visits to the Carihuayrazo and Pan de Azucar volcanoes, and, of course, you will see the majestic Chimborazo volcano from as many different angles as possible throughout your journey. The only form of transportation during your trek will be your horse. They will be your partner and friend throughout this authentic adventure. Your itinerary incorporates trips through dozens of authentic working haciendas dedicated to the production of regional dairy products, potatoes, broccoli, and flowers. Around the cozy fireplace of each hacienda, you will reminisce with your fellow riders about the day’s events and discuss local traditions of the culture here.
Today, you will visit the colorful animal and produce market of Simiatug and later you will ride through the narrow forest paths, surrounded by literally thousands of plants and animal species. One can’t help but be amazed by the sheer biodiversity of this area. Many riders have exhausted their cameras’ memory chips and batteries in an attempt to record the endless and amazing sights.
This trail will be filled with a diversity of both geography and weather. Be prepared for a period of intense equatorial sun followed by the chill of the Andes’ wind – all within the space of a few hours. The locals say that the highlands experience all four seasons within the same day. As you ride through the paramos, you will see the great alpaca and llama herds that roam at this altitude. The shaggy coats which protect them from the harsh elements of mountain life are also the key ingredient to a great sweater or poncho. Seeing these herds gallop together with Cotopaxi in the background is a truly amazing experience! We cross extensive properties, some with more than 40,000 acres, and with our sturdy and well-trained horses we climb to altitudes exceeding 12,000 feet (4200m) and ride down to hidden valleys
Enjoy a spectacular ride (6 hrs.) Part of this ride follows the main Inca highway which linked Quito with Cusco, Peru. Close by, there is a route running west, along which the Incas went to the coastal rainforest. Passing a shallow lake, we leave the plates – riding up and over a series of ridges we climb over the rocky crest and lava slopes of this peaks. Follow trails marked out by the horses as we leave the park and start our descent into the Bucay Valley. The ground is covered with wildflowers. Hummingbirds and birds of prey are often spotted and sometimes the mighty Andean condor.
You will be riding across the Valley of Echandia, Chillanes, across green, hilly pastures, passing several stately farms, where we can observe fighting bulls and flower crop, getting a good impression about present and past of the country. Some extensive canters along fields and pastures make our way shorter this time. This picturesque valley is also the home and breeding place for many beautiful horses. Drawing closer to Chimborazo volcano, which towers above us at almost 6.300 m, you shall reach the colonial village of Chillanes, where you will find shelter in a traditional farm-house B & B. Next to a toasty chimney fire, our host, known as the “Wild West Cowboy” is always willing to tell some interesting stories about people and lifestyles, while sharing tea and locally burnt brandy (Pajaro azul ) with us.
Transfer to the Quito airport.
Ride Details - High Road Trail
Dates: January 23rd – 30th, April 12th – 19th, June 21st – 28th, July 16th – 23rd, August 1st – 8th, August 15th – 22nd, September 16th – 23rd, October 20th – 26th, November 22nd – 29th
Best Months to Ride: June – September. Peak season is October to December.
Airport: Quito Mariscal Sucre
Riding days: 5
Daily Riding Hours: 4 – 7
Group size: 2 – 20
Riding Ability: INTERMEDIATE: Confident and in control at all paces including posting trots and canters. Comfortable with descending and ascending trails.
Saddles: Western and English
Horses: Spanish, Criollo
Hotel/s: 3* historic haciendas
2 – 3 riders: $3,200.00 per person, double occupancy $1,280.00 single supplement
4 – 9 riders: $2,495.00 per person, double occupancy $998.00 single supplement
10 – 16 riders: $2,169.00 per person, double occupancy $868.00 single supplement
Includes: lodging, meals, horse, guide, transfer to and from airport
Not Included: airfare
ANNUAL TEMPERATURE AND RAINFALL:
High Road Trail: Gallery
High Road Trail