Your only form of transportation during this trip will be your horse. They will be your partner throughout this adventure in the endangered habitat of the Ecuadorian cloud forest.
These subtropical mountain cloud forests used to cloak much of the steep western slopes of the Andes between 1,000 and 3,000 meters, but are now classified as threatened. These luxuriant forests rank among some of the most bio-diverse habitats on the planet, with an astonishingly profusion of plant life, wax palms, giant guneras, majestic trees covered with moss, orchids, epiphytes (air plants), high-altitude bamboos and fern trees, the oldest species in the world. There are hundreds of different Orchids. Bird-watching is popular, with hummingbirds, nightjars, and other exotic species present boasts than any other country.
At the cloud forest you will enter a completely different environment and see an exciting change in the surrounding vegetation. Spectacular riding ascending up to 40000 meters and experience a lush native tundra landscape. Descent toward the coast and experience incredible sub-tropical vegetation along the way.
Here, nestled deep in the mystical cloud forest, learn about medicinal plants and trees that are native to the area, and be regaled by tales of the remote life of living in the Cloud Forest.
Ride in the arena and get acquainted with the horses and tack that we will use during the ride. We then ride around the neighboring Haciendas and mountains as Viudita or Corazon. Our first experiences at altitude starts this first day. Lunch in the Hacienda house, visit the milking barn and aging cheese cave, and enjoy the hot tub and fireplace.
Accommodations: Hacienda La Alegria
Riding hours: 4 hours
In the morning we ride west towards the Corazon to 4,000 meters and descend to the cloud forest. At the cloud forest, we can observe a great biodiversity of plants and flowers, including giant guneras, orchids, and birds such as the turkey of the forest (guan). In the afternoon, we arrive for tea at Hacienda Bomboli (3,000 m), relax by the fireplace, enjoying the sunset, and watch the lights of the villages near the coast following a great meal.
Accommodation: Hacienda Bomboli
Riding hours: 6 hours
We leave behind the cloud forest and ride the old road that until1960 connected Quito with the coast. From there we can appreciate the green and fertile Machachi Valley and we can also see the routes we will take the next day along the east mountain chain. Crossing extensive pastures and eucalyptus forests we arrive to the valley at time for a Delicious late lunch at the Hacienda.
Riding hours: 4 hours
• 3 days quality horseback riding in the Ecuadorian Andes with all the necessary equipment, including wool ponchos, rain ponchos and chaps, horse bag, and helmets.
• Bilingual guide (Spanish/English)
• All meals feature delicious, gourmet international and Ecuadorian food, wine and beer included.
• Lunch boxes on the second day ride, the first and third day are with lunch at the hacienda.
• Your choice of wool protected saddles. You may also bring your own equipment.
• Suitable for families with children 12 years and older with good riding skills and capacity for long journeys. 15% discount for children up to 15.
• Two riders on the ride will incur an additional fee of $50 per rider.
• Single supplement $150 dollars
• 100% horseback trip (Once you start the ride you are not transferred by car on any day of the trip)
• Pace: Moderate, trots and canters
• High quality, easy to ride, trained horses full of stamina
• Optional riding training
• High-quality, well-maintained tack and equipment
• Visits to several friendly haciendas throughout the countryside
• Visits and horseback rides at the VOLCANO AVENUE
• We promote the preservation of the local culture and educate visitors about the “chagras” (local cowboys).
• Environment-friendly tour (we produce organically, conserve energy and water, and compost waste).Smart Voyager Certified, Calidad Q
The following is a personal equipment list suggested for traveling this circuit. Day temperatures can vary considerably in the mountains (65º F during the daytime, 40º F at night). Average temperatures will range in 50’s.
Shirt: Cotton or wool, long sleeved
Sweater: Heavy wool or fleece sweater or vest
Trousers: Full length, wool, blend, pile or other warm pants.
Underwear: Light-weight (polypropylene) thermal underwear, top and bottom
Headwear: Helmet (provided) bandana, and sunglasses.
Jackets: Insulated or Gore-Tex mountain parka for rain and wind (important)
Gloves: Wool, waterproof highly recommended
Socks: Wool or polypropylene
Footwear: waterproof lightweight hiking boots.
Sun-blocking lotions +30 and lipstick ointments (important)