2017 May 16 to 23 – Booking closed
A Gay Travel Ecuador Adventure
Join us for a gay Ecuador tour that brings you down below … the equator, that is! Horseback riding through the hills of the Andes, hiking down into an extinct volcano crater and visiting the Middle of the World Monument await your arrival into this enchanting country.
Join us as we explore Quito, one of the best preserved historic cities in the Americas. We will make our way to higher elevation as we head up to the hacienda situated near Cotopaxi Volcano. Spend some time in the Andean Mountains and down in an extinct volcanic crater. We will have amazing views of Cotopaxi, which stands at an elevation of over 15,000 feet. Nearby is Limpiopungo Lake which is a wetland with amazing birdlife conservation. Our time here will be relaxing yet exhilarating. It is a great blend of adventure and history with a visit to a simpler time.
Day 1: Welcome to Quito!
Upon arrival in Quito, we’ll be transferred to our stylish and modern hotel. Due to late flight arrivals for many, we’ll have the evening on our own to settle in and rest from traveling. Group activities begin the next morning.
Day 2: Quito city tour and a visit to the equatorial line
Today begins with a visit to Quito’s colonial area. Quito is a UNESCO world heritage site, and is one of the Americas best preserved historic cities. The group will partake in an urban walk down the brick-laden streets of the city while discovering many of its legends, mysteries and hidden treasures. Today we’ll head to a traditional Ecuadorian restaurant for lunch and afterward make our way to “La Mitad del Mundo” where we can enjoy the splendor of having one foot on each side of the equatorial line. In this interactive museum you have the opportunity to dive into the boundless amount of knowledge regarding the effects of gravity on each of the earth’s hemispheres. We spend the evening in Quito and dine together after a full day of meandering down its bustling streets.
Day 3: Transfer to our hacienda in the countryside
Today we’ll reach great heights on El Teleférico, a cable car system that takes us to 4,200 m (13,775 feet), and offers one of the most magnificent views of the city and the Ecuadorian Andes; known also as the Avenue of the Volcanoes. After we’ve had lunch we drive to our hacienda, located on the rich slopes of Rumiñahui Volcano on the privileged Valley of El Pedregal. Later we’ll dine at the cozy hacienda where we will turn in for the next three nights.
Day 4: Horseback riding and hiking
After we’ve enjoyed a delicious traditional Hacienda breakfast we will journey out for a spectacular horseback ride to the heights of majestic Rumiñahui. Here you will become acquainted with your horse and you are welcome to trot or canter on the high plateau of Rumiñahui. The men in chaps are real cowboys! Once we reach the base of the Central Summit, there will be an opportunity to spy on soaring Andean birds, view herds of wild bravo cattle and wild horses. Rest assured, beginners and experienced riders alike will find what a superb adventure it is to be immersed into the local Chagra (Ecuadorian cowboys) culture. Jump at the opportunity to take your ride “off road” down ancient wild horse tracks. On clear days you will be impressed to view a spectacular landscape dotted with more than 12 volcanoes. A delicious lunch of local dishes awaits us at a farmhouse once we’ve had our fill of the rugged cowboy way of life.
Later in the day, we will hike to the gorgeous Manto Blanco waterfall.
Day 5: Mountain Biking and High Ropes Course
Today we will make our way to a National Park, a short 15-minute drive from the Hacienda. Here we will explore the vast plains that have “erupted” with riveting volcanic history. Journey to Limpiopungo Lake, a wetland brimming with relevance for birdlife conservation. From this point we jump on our mountain bikes and enjoy a ride as we head back to the Hacienda. If access to Cotopaxi is available, we will be doing a more intense bike ride down the side of the Volcano. After Cotopaxi erupted in 2015, the area has limited access. This activity will be added if available. If access is restricted due to volcanic activity while we are there, we will experience an adventure program, a High Ropes Course that serves up the opportunity to participate in a series of activities on a safe environment involving physical, mental and emotional challenges.
Day 6: Quilotoa Crater
We will start our morning with a drive to Quilotoa, a long extinct volcano crater full of emerald green water. The drive to Laguna Quilotoa displays a beautiful view of the regal Andean mountains, passing through many indigenous towns and farmlands and the ancient canyon of Zumbahua. The trip through these quaint villages of this area provide a fantastic glimpse into one of the most authentic parts of the country. It is possible to hike down into the crater onto the lakeshore (45 min), with an optional mule ride out if you feel too tired to make the trek back up. After this short excursion we will have a tasty packed lunch. In the afternoon we will return to the hotel in Quito and have the remainder of the evening at leisure.
Day 7: Hot Springs and spa
We will rise and travel to Papallacta Hot Springs. The morning will be free and you may choose between a self-guided hike on a beautiful, riverside, high mountain trail, a day at the spa, or a well-deserved soak in relaxing thermal baths. We will spend the evening dining together with our new best friends on our last night in Quito.
Day 8: Hasta Luego!
This morning we’ll say farewell to beautiful and surprising Ecuador!
For those with more time to spend in the area, we recommend a gay multisport adventure in the Galapagos! From hiking the rim of an active volcano, Sierra Negra, to swimming with penguins, our Galapagos gay land adventure will take us to three distinctly unique volcanic Islands. Meet blue-footed boobies, Darwin’s finches, sea turtles, marine iguanas and sea lions as we explore these picturesque islands.
Price includes: Airport transfers to/from Quito hotel; All accommodations in double occupancy for 4 nights in Quito and 3 nights at a charming countryside hacienda; all breakfasts, 5 lunches, and 5 dinners; Transfers between flights and hotel in Quito; Services of local bilingual guides; HE Travel professional tour director (subject to minimum participation); All hotel service charges, government taxes, porterage and meal gratuities when dining together; and entrance fees to activities and sites shown in the itinerary. HE Travel provides complimentary Medical & Evacuation Insurance for every US Resident on our group tours who does not have other coverage.
Not included: Transportation to and from Quito; 1 lunch and 1 dinner; Airport departure fees (total of $35-$60 depending on airports used); optional activities and spa treatments; Gratuities to guides; and personal items including: alcoholic beverages, snacks, laundry, and telephone calls.
Optional Tour Choices:
$TBA Single Supplement (for solo travelers who wish to enjoy a private bedroom and bathroom.)
“I was pleasantly surprised at how spectacular Ecuador was during my visit. We meandered our way through Quito and hiked Cotopaxi and also descended into a breathtaking crater. The view from the top of the volcano was the most gorgeous sight I’ve seen in all my travels. I am excited to introduce our HE Travel guests to this glorious destination.” – Trisha Ashcraft, Salt Lake City, UT
Most of our trips draw more single travelers than couples. When couples do join us, it’s usually because they’re looking forward to interacting with a gay group. If they wanted a holiday by themselves they wouldn’t have signed up to travel with us. Furthermore, the activities included with our trips serve as natural ice-breakers. Within a day, you’ll be traveling with friends. You don’t need to pay the single supplement if you’re traveling alone. We’ll be happy to match you with a roommate. Pay the single supplement only if you want a bedroom to yourself.
For selected trips, including cruises, we will charge half the single supplement if you request a roommate but we can’t match you with someone.
This tour starts and ends in Quito, Ecuador
The terrain on this trip is varied. Topography ranges from rolling to strenuous. Activities include horseback riding at your pace, hiking down into a crater (with the option of riding a mule back up), hiking in a National Park (not intense), biking in the National Park (rolling, rocky terrain) and walking tours. For most of the tour we will be in higher elevation, which has a colder climate. Be sure to bring warm clothes to accommodate for the colder weather and be prepared to take activities at a slower pace due to the thin air.
**If Cotopaxi is open we will hike up to the glacier which is an intense, steep, cold hike. Then we will proceed to mountain bike down the side of the Volcano, which is also very steep. This is the most intense activity.
While in Quito we will be staying in a charming, newly remodeled hotel that offers a wonderful blend of ancient and modern concepts. We will be perfectly located in Quito’s historic center.
During our time in the countryside, we’ll stay in the heart of the Central Andes at a working ranch/hacienda. The rooms are the perfect level of comfort with wood burning stoves to keep us nice and warm. The hacienda is an amazing world of its own, with a warm, friendly vibe.
For answers to your additional questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 305-294-8174