ContentsWILDLIFE ENCOUNTERSEXPLORE THE AMAZON RAINFOREST WITH LA SELVA LODGEBICYCLE TOURINGCYCLING THE QUILOTOA LOOPROCK CLIMBINGCLIMBING IN BAÑOSSCUBA DIVINGGALAPAGOS ISLANDSMOUNTAINEERINGCLIMB TO THE SUMMIT OF CHIMBORAZOHIKINGTREKKING TO THE YELLOW LAGOON OF EL ALTARCANYONINGRAPPELLING DOWN TOWERING WATERFALLS IN BAÑOS OTHER ADVENTURESCAMPING ON COTOPAXI VOLCANO Are you heading to South America soon and looking for the best Ecuador adventure tours? You’ve come to the right place. This small country is an incredible place for outdoor and adventure lovers. It’s packed with unique experiences. From the Amazon rainforest, to the high peaks of the Andes to the world class diving in the Galapagos, Ecuador has an adventure for everyone. Here’s our top recommended adventures, the very special ones, along with all the information you need to enjoy them. WILDLIFE ENCOUNTERS EXPLORE THE AMAZON RAINFOREST WITH LA SELVA LODGE The Amazon Rainforest is home to millions of species of mammals, birds, bats, plants, insects, fish and reptiles, making it one of the most biodiverse locations on our planet. It’s a peaceful place, an outdoor adventure lovers paradise. In the most remote parts of the jungle, it is most convenient to base yourself at a lodge. From there you can explore the jungle with a guide by canoe and hiking trails. PRACTICAL INFORMATION Tour Information: La Selva Eco Lodge Tour You will be exploring the jungle on foot and by canoe day and night, while you rest in a luxury accommodation at night. The perfect combination of luxury and adventure. There are 4 and 5-day itineraries are available. One of our favourites! BICYCLE TOURING CYCLING THE QUILOTOA LOOP One of the greatest cycling adventures you can have in Ecuador is the Quilotoa Loop. It’s a popular backpackers attraction, but the good news is travelers are concentrated in 1 or 2 towns along the route and the best sections are seen from the road. Having your own bicycle will allow you to stop at the best corners, enjoy the best views, and chat with locals. On these backroads you’ll encounter more people riding horses than driving cars. Riding this route is a ticket straight into the Ecuadorian culture in the countryside. ROCK CLIMBING CLIMBING IN BAÑOS Giant volcanic rock walls shoot up into the sky along a raging river in Baños, Ecuador. The cliffs were formed centuries ago by magma flows from the nearby Tungurahua Volcano. These cooled lava rocks create a climber’s paradise in San Martin, just outside of town. Rock climbing in Baños is a fun way to spend the day. PRACTICAL INFORMATION Tour Information: Rock Climbing with GeoTours Recommended Accommodation: Finca Chamanapamba, Baños. The Finca Chamanapamba has a stunning rural location, just 4 km from Baños town centre. It offers spectacular mountain views, tropical gardens with BBQ facilities and charming wooden bungalows with free Wi-Fi. A great option for those looking for a quiet place in nature. SCUBA DIVING GALAPAGOS ISLANDS Photo by Daniel Kwok, licensed under CC BY People come from all over the world to dive Darwin’s Enchanted Isles for a chance to get up close with hammerheads, mola molas, sea lions, whale sharks, marine iguanas and manta rays, among others. While shore diving is a possibility, the best way to get the most out of your time in the islands is to take a liveaboard diving trip to the more remote islands. If you want to check off your Big Ocean Creatures Bucket List, this is the place to do it. As scuba divers, the Galapagos Islands are high on our bucket list. Unfortunately we didn’t make it there on our last trip to Ecuador but plan to come back to dive here one day. MOUNTAINEERING CLIMB TO THE SUMMIT OF CHIMBORAZO Photo by Eduardo Navas, licensed under CC BY At 6,268 meters, Chimborazo is the tallest mountain in Ecuador. Since the Earth bulges near the equator, this snowcapped giant is not only the highest mountain in Ecuador, but also the highest in the world if measured from the core of the Earth outward to the peak. If you are up for the challenge you can summit this extinct volcano. Before attempting this hike, climbers must acclimate their bodies to high altitude. HIKING TREKKING TO THE YELLOW LAGOON OF EL ALTAR The hike to the Yellow Lagoon of El Altar is a real off the beaten path adventure. It’s a 3-4 day hike that takes you through Sangay National Park to reach El Altar. It’s a truly spectacular extinct volcano located in the heart of the Ecuadorian Andes. Up to 12 snow-capped peaks over 5,000mts (16,000ft) protect the yellow lagoon forming a C-shape, with the open side facing a magnificent glacial valley. PRACTICAL INFORMATION If you want a real off the beaten path trekking experience, this is the hike for you. Although you should be prepared to hike in the mud if you go out of the dry season, El Altar Trek is one of our favourite hikes in Ecuador. CANYONING RAPPELLING DOWN TOWERING WATERFALLS IN BAÑOS Just outside of the town of Baños you will find Canyon Río Blanco. It’s raging river and high waterfalls offer some fun opportunities to rappel and zip line. You’ll make your way through the canyon being surrounded by high rock walls covered with thick rainforest vegetation. Here you will rappel down 5 waterfalls, one of which is over 30 meters (100 ft) tall! Canyoning in Baños is a fun way to spend the day learning some new skills and challenging yourself. PRACTICAL INFORMATION Tour Information: Canyoning with GeoTours Recommended Accommodation: Finca Chamanapamba, Baños. The Finca Chamanapamba has a stunning rural location, just 4 km from Baños town centre. It offers spectacular mountain views, tropical gardens with BBQ facilities and charming wooden bungalows with free Wi-Fi. A great option for those looking for a quiet place in nature. OTHER ADVENTURES CAMPING ON COTOPAXI VOLCANO Shooting up into the sky 5,897 m (19,347 ft) Cotopaxi is Ecuador’s highest active volcano. Cotopaxi is an active stratovolcano with an almost perfectly symmetrical cone, similar to Mt. Fuji. It’s located 50 km South of Quito in the Andes Mountains and is part of the chain of volcanoes known as the Ring of Fire. The best way to get a clear view in the morning is by camping in Cotopaxi National Park, and if you are up for the challenge you can climb to the summit.