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Camp Chaski Ecuador
Running Volcano Alley

Ecuador is a hidden gem for running and hiking. With year round good weather, the most bio-diverse landscape on Earth, and trails from the most steep and technical to the smoothest spectacular single track you can imagine, Ecuador is the destination for active adventure.

Nov 5 - 14 

(10 days)

Moderate to high challenge 

$3,900

Run under snow-capped volcanoes, llama encounters, really hot hot-springs.

Details

  • Dates

    • November 5 - 14, 2021

  • Trip Length: 10 days, 9 nights

  • Price

    • $3,900 (early-bird discount, valid for signups through May 31)

    • $4,500 (for signups from June 1 onward)

    • Single supplement (want a room to yourself?): $300

    • $300 deposit, full payment due 90 days before departure, payment plans available

  • Difficulty: Moderate to challenging

  • Group Size: 6-12

  • Leaders: Two bilingual trip-leaders with years of experience in the region, available 24/7

  • Who should come? Any traveler ages 13-70* that enjoys being active outdoors**

* Contact us if you’re over 70 and interested in coming or want to bring someone under 13.

** Is this trip only for runners? Nope! We welcome hikers, cyclists, and lovers of the outdoors. The amount and intensity of the athletic portion of this trip is entirely up to you. We’ve led trips with non-runners who have still had a fantastic experience!

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Trip Overview

Picture Ecuador in your mind’s eye. Do you see tropical forests? Snow-capped mountains? Turquoise lakes? Metropolitan cities? The truth is, it has all of this and more. Ecuador is the most bio-diverse country on Earth and -- because it’s so small, about the size of Colorado -- our 10 day trip will allow us to take in a tremendous variety of sights and experiences.
 

Our adventure begins in Quito, Ecuador, the world’s highest capital city at 9,300 ft above sea level. We’ll take the first days to explore this amazing city, flanked by 15,000 ft mountains, with a trip up the Teleferiqo cable car for a hike/run at Cruz Loma (13,100 ft), a run in the spectacular Metropolitan Forest Park, a climb of Ilalo Volcano, and, of course, a sample of Quito’s amazing cuisine.
 

We’ll also hear from some of Ecuador’s greatest athletes, with possible visits from Karl Egloff (speed climbing world record holder on Denali, Kilimanjaro, and Aconcagua), Joaquin Lopez (first Latino to finish top-6 at UTMB), and Franklin Tenorio (Olympian, 2:09 marathoner and world famous track/road coach).
 

We’ll take a rest day, after lots of activity, with a trip to the Papallacta Hot Springs, nestled in the beautiful Andean highlands outside of Quito OR a trip down to the sleepy, tropical town of Mindo, where you can sip a coffee and marvel at the hummingbirds, toucans, and monkeys

Finally, push yourself to new heights during our Chaski Challenge, a (completely optional) supported running/hiking challenge we’ll build around you and your goals. Potential Chaski Challenges include the Pichincha Traverse, the Quilotoa Loop, the Cotopaxi Loop, the Polichasqui VK -- lots of options!
 

On your last day, enjoy a celebratory dinner with the group at one of Quito’s best restaurants and say goodbye to your fellow Chaski tripmates before heading home.

Note - the weather in the highlands of Ecuador can be fickle but is also extremely localized. Thus the exact routes and mountains we’ll visit will depend on the conditions and forecast and may or may not look exactly like this.

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Did you know?

Ecuador is home to roughly 8% of amphibian species, 5% of reptile species, 8% of mammal species, and 16% of bird species in the world, despite comprising only  0.2% of the world’s land area. 

 

Okay, so, what do I get?

With your payment, you get:

  • 24 hour support and access from your bi-lingual trip leaders on-the-ground and USA-based support crew

  • Private transportation from the moment you arrive to the end of your trip

  • Local, high-end and high-quality food, three meals per day

  • 9 nights lodging (double occupancy)

  • Guided runs and hikes through the most spectacular routes in Ecuador

  • All entry fees associated with group activities (National Parks, museums, etc.)

  • Meet and greet with local professional athletes and/or coaches

  • Help from your leaders to organize any free time activities/excursions

  • Support from Chaski staff ahead of your trip including training advice, packing lists, and more

  • Chaski merch item of your choice - up to $79 value

  • Free access to Chaski Community Membership - $199 value

  • Discounts on future Chaski Programs and partner brands

What else do I have to pay for?

  • International flights to/from Quito, Ecuador (Airport code: UIO)

  • Visa charges (there aren’t any for most countries), overweight baggage feesPersonal travel

  • Insurance (recommended)

  • Personal souvenirs

  • Activities outside the groups’ itinerary

  • Tips for your drivers, leaders, or anyone else outside of restaurants

  • Alcoholic drinks and food/drinks outside of meals

  • Single occupancy (i.e. if you’d like a room to yourself)

  • Optional 10th night of lodging if your flight departs on the morning of day 11.

  • Optional add-ons to the trip, like the Galapagos Islands Trip or the Cotopaxi Mountain Summit Trip

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Extend Your Adventure
Optional Add-ons

Got a little more time? I mean, you’ve come this far already. You may never be back in Ecuador.

 

Check this out.

Cotopaxi Summit Climb - 3-5 days - Contact us for pricing!
 

With 3-5 days - Challenge yourself with a summit climb to the top of Ecuador’s most iconic peak, 19,350 ft Cotopaxi Volcano. Chaski works exclusively with legendary runner, climber, and world-record holder Karl Egloff of Cumbre Tours, the most well-respected climbing guide in the region to help get you safely to the summit of your dreams. You do not need previous mountain climbing experience, but you should be in good shape and ready for a challenge.

Galapagos Island Adventure - 5-7 days - Contact us for pricing!
 

With 5-7 days - Hop over to the Galapagos Islands for a week of literally unbelievable nature. Swim with the world’s only tropical penguins, have an up-close encounter with sea lions and marine iguanas, and hike some of the most other-worldly volcanic landscapes imaginable. Cruise from island to island with a certified local guide leading you along the way to help you understand the beauty of this unparalleled chain of islands.

Sound great? Contact us for availability and pricing!

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Image by Simon Berger
 

Did you know?

The Andes Mountains, which run through the center of Ecuador, were the stomping grounds of the original Chaskis, the Incan runner-messengers who held the empire together by enabling communication across thousands of miles of rugged mountainous terrain. We'll be running and hiking in their footsteps! 

This is a SAMPLE itinerary. Your exact itinerary will be built around the (extremely localized) weather in the highlands

Day 1 - Bienvenidos! Welcome!


Welcome to Quito! Today’s the day you’ll arrive in Quito (most flights in the evening); your leaders will be waiting to welcome you and escort you via private transfer to our home base in Quito. For flights arriving earlier in the day, there’ll be time for a short hike or shakeout jog in the afternoon.

 

Sleep: Le Parc Hotel, Quito (or similar)

Max Altitude: 9,300 ft

Run: At home before you leave!

 

Day 2 - Acclimatization day: Parque Metropolitano and Old Town 


Good morning! We’ll start our first full day with a review of the trip’s plan, safety information, and a bit of get-to-know you. After breakfast, we’ll make a visit to Quito’s Parque Metropolitano - an enchanted forest just 5 minutes from downtown with miles of beautiful trails. Take the afternoon/evening for acclimatizing relaxing and an optional walking tour of the historic Old Town. We’ll wrap up our first day with a group welcome dinner at one of Quito’s finest classic restaurants.

 

Sleep: Le Parc Hotel, Quito (or similar)

Max Altitude: 9,800 ft

Run/Hike/Bike: 20-60’

 

Day 3 - La Chaquiñan Canyon Trail


We’ll head DOWN to 7,500 ft to the sunny valley of Cumbaya (yes, pronounced just like the campfire song) for lunch and run/hike at La Chaquiñan Canyon trail (7,000-7,500 ft). We’ll have meet & greet and even an option to run with friend of Chaski and mountain legend Karl Egloff. We’ll make the short drive back to Quito in time for dinner.

 

Sleep: Le Parc Hotel, Quito (or similar)

Max Altitude: 9,300 ft

Run/Hike/Bike: 20-80’

 

Day 4 - Cruz Loma and Rucu Pichincha 


Get ready for a breath-taking day! We’ll take the Teleferiqo cable car up to Cruz Loma (13,100 ft) where, depending on your altitude acclimatization, we can have a relaxing hike, sip a coffee in the Cruz Loma Cafe, or even hike/jog to Rucu Pichincha Summit (15,413 ft).

 

Sleep: Le Parc Hotel, Quito

Max Altitude: 13,100-15,413 ft.

Run/Hike/Hike: Easy walking up to 4-6 hour hike/jog round trip (7 miles, 2500 ft vert).

 

Day 5 - Volcano Summit Day


Depending on weather, we’ll either head back to the Valley for a runnable climb to the top of Ilalo (10,500 ft) Mountain or we’ll head south towards Pasochoa Mountain (13,780 ft), with spectacular views of Cotopaxi. In the evening, we’ll transfer to the Papallacta Lodge.

 

Sleep: Papallacta Lodge (or similar)

Max Altitude: 10,500 or 13,780 ft.

Run/Hike/Hike: 6-10 miles (round trip), 2,000 ft vert.

 

Day 6 - Hot Springs: Rest and Recovery


Relax and soak in the famous Papallacta Hot Springs, perched in a high, lush valley on the edge of the Amazon Rainforest. Take the day as complete rest or go for an optional hike or run on the spectacular trails through the cloud forest. Transfer to Cotopaxi National Park in the evening.

 

Sleep: Tambopaxi Lodge (or similar)

Max Altitude: 12,700 ft

Run/Hike/Hike: Rest or optional hike / run

 

Day 7 - Cotopaxi National Park


Options for running and hiking adventures in Cotopaxi National Park are nearly infinite. Want to test your altitude limits? Hike up to the Cotopaxi Glacier at 16,400 ft. Want a flatter run or hike? The beautiful Lake Limpiopungo is for you. Evening transfer to Quilotoa Lake.

 

Sleep: Quilotoa Lodge (or similar)

Max Altitude: Up to 16,400 ft.

Run/Hike/Hike: Nearly infinite options!

Day 8 - Chaski Challenge: Quilotoa Crater Lake


The spectacular Quilotoa Lake provides us with several fantastic options for you to test yourself, from the 50km Quilotoa Traverse to the incredible Rim Trail to the lung-busting ascent out from the crater basin. Your Challenge will depend on your goals and ability and is entirely optional: You can always enjoy a more casual hike or a day of relaxation in one of the most beautiful parts of the Andes.

 

Sleep: Le Parc Hotel, Quito (or similar)

Max Altitude: 13,000 ft

Run/Hike/Hike: Challenge yourself!

 

Day 9 - Extra/Back-up Weather Day 


We’ll give ourselves one extra day in case of bad weather, which can be inserted anywhere in the trip. 

 

Sleep: TBD

Max Altitude: TBD

Run/Hike/Hike: TBD

 

Day 10 - Celebration and then ¡Hasta luego, Ecuador!


Sleep in! Then Revisit your favorite route in Quito (or try somewhere new) for a recovery hike/jog. We’ll have an afternoon Q&A (and optional strength session) with Joaquin Lopez before enjoying a final celebratory dinner and goodbye ceremony with your trip-mates. Finally, your leaders will escort you to the airport for your flight home and and a tearful hug goodbye.

 

Note: Some flights may depart the following morning in which case your leaders will escort you to the Wyndham Airport Hotel. 

 

If you’re adding a Galapagos Trip or Mountain Summit Trip onto your program, your leaders will transfer you to your new lodging.

What about COVID-19?


As of this writing (April, 2021), all participants will be required to present proof of COVID-19 vaccination at least two weeks before departure from your home country. There are no exceptions to this requirement. As of this writing, there are no travel restrictions in place for vaccinated individuals inside Ecuador, though masks are still required in many public spaces.




Do I need to be super fit/an elite athlete? Am I too fit/fast for this trip?


Athletes of all levels are welcome on this trip. You do not need to be an elite runner nor do you have to have experience at high altitude. Our trip leaders are accustomed to working with athletes of all abilities, ages and experience levels. If you are super fit and want to push yourself, well, don’t you worry about that. We’ve got plenty for you.




Can I bring my partner/children if they aren’t runners?


Absolutely. While the trip is designed around running, anyone with a love for being outdoors in beautiful spaces will have a good time. There will always be multiple options for running, hiking, cycling, or simply relaxing in an amazing space.




What are the accommodations like?


In Quito, we’ll stay at a modern 4-star hotel with all the amenities you’d expect from a hotel in the USA or Europe, like spacious rooms with comfy beds, hot showers, a hotel restaurant/bar, pool/sauna/spa, etc. Outside Quito, particularly in Quilotoa and Cotopaxi, hotels will still be comfortable but you should be ready for things to be a bit more rustic. All lodging will still have private rooms, private bathrooms, and hot water. Rooms may simply be a bit less luxurious.




I’m a vegetarian/gluten free/vegan/etc., can I come on this trip? What’s the food like?


Yes! Quito is a metropolitan city with tons of great restaurants. We’ve had plenty of veggies, vegans, and others with food restrictions come to Quito without issue. In general, the food in the Andes is based around rice, potatoes, fresh fruits and vegetables, and some kind of meat or other protein like beans, lentils, eggs. There’s a huge variety of cuisine to try, from “street food” like grilled plantains to five-star restaurants serving incredible takes on classic dishes from all over the region.




Do I have to do everything with the group?


No! If you get sick of your leaders or just need some time to yourself, you’re always welcome to take an afternoon, a meal, or a whole day to yourself. Our staff are here to help make your experience as awesome as possible. Note, any meals or activities done on your own will be at your expense, though.




Can Chaski book my flights for me?


Absolutely! We’ve been doing this for a long time and know the best routes and airlines and are happy to help you select the right routing and get you set up.





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You’ve got Questions.

 

Did you know?

Rucu Pichincha Volcano (pictured here) is the inspiration for mountain in the Chaski logo?