Avenue of the Volcanoes Tour

From $1344 per person

A privately guided tour along Ecuador’s beautiful Avenue of the Volcanoes. A wonderful road trip beginning in Quito and ending in Cuenca taking the time to explore all the highlights along the way including Cotopaxi National Park, Quilotoa Crater Lake, the mountain spa town of Baños, Chimborazo Volcano and the Ingaprica Inca Ruins.

  • Activity Level: Easy
  • Duration: 6 days / 5 nights
  • Highlights: Cotopaxi National Park, Lake Quilotoa, Pailon del Diablo Waterfall, Chimborazo Volcano, Ingapirca, Colonial city of Cuenca
Pack of white, black and brown alpacas in front of Chimborazo Volcano in Ecuador's Avenue of the Volcanoes


Day 1 Cotopaxi National Park (L,D)

This morning we head south from Quito along the picturesque Avenue of the Volcanoes to the Cotopaxi province.

On arrival at the Cotopaxi National Park we enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding volcanoes including Pasochoa, Rumiñahui & Sincholagua.

We can undertake an easy one-hour hike around the Limpiopungo Lake in the ever-present shadow of one of the world’s highest active volcanoes – the perfectly cone shaped, snow-capped Cotopaxi.

As well as the immense and interesting geological features created by the volcano’s past eruptions, we are on the look-out for paramo wildlife including wild ponies, white tailed deer, Andean fox and the endangered Andean Condor.

Lunch included in a mountain lodge.

In the afternoon we return to our hacienda for some rest and relaxation time.

Dinner and overnight in a local hacienda.

Day 2 Quilotoa Crater Lake (B,L,D)

This morning we journey deep into the Quilotoa region of Ecuador – an area of the Andes which is still very much untouched and authentic.

We pass through rolling farmlands and local market towns, such as Tigua which is renowned for its vibrant oil paintings on sheepskin, and Zumbahua, a traditional indigenous market town.

Our destination today is the Quilotoa Crater Lake at 3800m. This stunning lagoon, with its incredible blue-green waters, is one of Ecuador’s most beautiful and impressive spots.

At the lake we can take a walk along part of the crater’s rim to take in the dramatic views or head down to the water’s edge.

Lunch included in a local restaurant.

In the afternoon we return to our Cotopaxi hacienda.

Dinner and overnight in a local hacienda.

Day 3 Route of the Waterfalls – Baños (B,L,D)

This morning we travel down into the pretty mountain spa town of Baños.

From here we follow the course of the Pastaza River towards Puyo, a stunning road trip which passes a number of beautiful waterfalls including the Manto de la Novia and the Pailon del Diablo.

We can enjoy the short hike to the Pailon del Diablo to get a closer look at this powerful waterfall.

Lunch included in a local restaurant.

In the afternoon we visit the infamous "Swing at the End of the World" where you can swing from a local treehouse out over the valley below with the smoking Tungurahua Volcano as a back drop. Great photo opportunity.

Later enjoy a stroll around the main square and nearby streets of Baños town with its colonial Basilica. Sample the local ‘melcocha’, a handmade toffee which is prepared on every street corner.

Dinner and overnight in a local hacienda.

Day 4 Chimborazo Volcano (B,L,D)

Today we visit the Chimborazo Faunistic Reserve.

At 6,310m, Chimborazo is Ecuador's tallest mountain. It was believed to be the tallest mountain in the world until Mt. Everest was surveyed in the mid-19th century.

After arriving at the reserve we can either hike or drive up to one of the ‘huts’ which is found at 4,900m. Amon other things we are on the look-out for the resident herds of wild vicuñas.

Lunch included in a mountain lodge.

Dinner and overnight in a local hacienda.

Day 5 Ingapirca Inca Ruins (B,L,D)

Our journey south continues today as we travel onto the little mountain town of Alausi with its colourful houses and Andean charm. We are at the heart of the Ecuadorian train system, Ecuador’s most famous train line – the Devil’s Nose - begins here. Even though the train is currently not running, the town still deserves a visit to enjoy the pretty station house and locomotives on display.

Lunch included in a local restaurant.

In the afternoon we continue our journey. En route we visit the Ingapirca Ruins, Ecuador’s largest and most intact Inca complex, a beautiful example of Inca architecture. At the end of the day we will arrive in the beautiful colonial city of Cuenca.

Dinner and overnight in a local hotel.

Day 6 Cuenca City Tour (B,L)

This morning you are picked up from your Cuenca hotel by your private guide.
Today’s tour of the beautiful city of Cuenca includes visits to the traditional and pretty neighbourhood of San Sebastian, the Modern Art Museum, Parque Caldero (Main Plaza), the Flower Market, the Cathedral of the Sagrario (old cathedal) and the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (new cathedral) considered the largest in Latin America.

We also visit a local Panama Hat museum and workshop where we can observe the elaboration of these high-quality products, which despite their name, originate from Ecuador.

Later we have time to visit the banks of the Tomebamba river, through the charming Barranco neighbourhood with its colonial architecture and natural environment.

At the end of the morning we arrive at the Turi Lookout, which offers panoramic views of the red tiled roofs and blue cupolas of the city of Cuenca, surrounded by an impressive mountain backdrop. Stop off also at the nearby home and workshop of ceramic artist Eduardo Vega.

A typical lunch included in a local restaurant.

The tour finishes in Cuenca this afternoon.

3 Star Superior: Hacienda La Cienega, Cotopaxi
4 Star: Hacienda Hato Verde, Cotopaxi
3 Star Superior: Hacienda Leito, Baños
4 Star: Samari Spa Hotel, Baños
Hacienda Abraspungo, Riobamba
3 Star Superior: Hotel Victoria, Cuenca
4 Star: Mansion Alcazar, Cuenca


3 Star Superior Prices 2024

2 people
$1809 p/p
3 - 4 people
$1552 p/p
5 - 6 people
$1344 p/p

4 Star Prices 2024

2 people
$2062 p/p
3 - 4 people
$1782 p/p
5 - 6 people
$1619 p/p

Price includes:
Private transportation, top English-speaking guide, accommodation as specified, meals as specified (B - Breakfast, L - Lunch, D - Dinner), train tickets, entrance fees to Quilotoa Crater Lake, Pailon del Diablo Waterfall, Ingapirca Inca Ruins & Cuenca City Tour.

Not included:
National & international flights, personal travel insurance, alcoholic and soft drinks, extra activities at the haciendas, tips and personal expenses

Prices are stated in US Dollars.
Prices are valid until 31st December 2024.
This tour begins in the city of Quito and ends in the city of Cuenca. We can help coordinating return flights to Quito or onward travel to Guayaquil, extra charges will apply.

Day 1: Cotopaxi Volcano, Avenue of the Volcanoes
Day 1: Limpiopungo Lake & Rumiñahui Volcano, Cotopaxi National Park
Day 1: Andean Condor, Cotopaxi National Park
Day 2: Colourful oil paintings from the Andean village of Tigua
Day 2: Quilotoa Crater Lake
Day 2: Quilotoa Farmlands & Countryside
Day 3: Tungurahua Volcano, Baños
Day 3: Pailon del Diablo Waterfall, Baños
Day 3: Swing at the End of the World, Baños
Day 4: Alpacas in front of Chimborazo Volcano, Avenue of the Volcanoes
Day 4: Wild vicuñas in Chimborazo Faunistic Reserve
Day 5: Andean railway town of Alausi
Day 5: Ingapirca Inca Ruins
Day 6: The Cupolas of Cuenca's Cathedral
Day 6: New Cathedral, Cuenca - Ecuador
Day 6: Panama Hats, Cuenca