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Volcano Avenue Ride

Horse & Cattle Round ups

The "rodeo" in Ecuador means is the harvest of the year and literally means  - "walk around the farm" -  to collect the horses and cattle that are spread out all over the mountains in the wilds - isolated grazing on their own. On several Volcano Avenue trip dates we have the opportunity to take part in these local round ups of horses and cattle. It all takes place what is called environmental wasteland of the Ecuadorian Andes that is at an elevation of over 3500 meters - here is where the Chagras (cowboys)  live. Over the centuries the Chagra horseman learned from his predecessors the Spanish and Natives to handle wild cattle using their horse and lasso that allow them to maintain their traditions such as "play the bull," get some "passes" and finally if he is "brave" - take it to the bullring in the town for the "festivities". 

All this makes this collection of livestock in the Ecuadorian Andes an activity unique in the world, full of adrenaline and history. To reach these hidden corners we must travel the eastern mountains on two long riding days. We meet with the "Chagras " at the remote farm Chalupas and help them during their round ups. We will then return along the south side of the Cotopaxi Mountain -the highest active volcano in the world. On day seven we can all help rounding up a wild herd of horses and drive them back to the home ranch. Our ride will have long riding days and we will need to bring along an extra set of horses to switch every day.

Day 1  Arrival and transfer from airport to hotel and night in the ancient city of Quito 

Day 2   Visit the city  Walking around town squares and churches, transfer to the Hacienda La Alegria, lunch and rest Night at Hacienda La Alegria 

Day 3   Horseback riding on the Hacienda La Alegria, appreciation of horses and saddles, horseback riding through the area near the ranch, lunch and rest for acclimatized to the altitude Night at Hacienda La Alegria 

Day 4   We prepare our horses and went from Hacienda La Alegria eastward towards the Andes, we cross the valley and climb the volcano Machachi Rumiñahui until the shelter has all the comforts and after a hot shower and a delicious dinner by the fire we have to rest. Overnight in mountain refuge at 3750 meters. 

Day 5   The challenge of the day will cover the northern base of Cotopaxi, heading east on a long journey that ends in the plains of the volcano Quilindaña, this valley was part of an old volcano and is where the Hacienda Chalupas our destiny.

Day 6   After a hearty breakfast we prepare for a long day that began with a meeting of chagras on horseback with their ponchos and warm fur coats, forming a semicircle, where the cowboy rodeo chief distributes instructions for the day's very similar a military strategy. Several groups of chagras will be carved up the mountain to cover the largest possible area. Gradually appear the first groups of cattle, some try to return to their hideouts in the mountains, is where the strategy and requires help from all the riders to a basis of cries and horse canter cut the livestock and are able to carry as many cattle into the corral. In the afternoon we reached the corrals where chagras with a unique "work" the cattle. This is to lasso and bring to the wood post to mark, de-worm and eventually released in the group it is concerned, this will be the sales and others the returning to the moor. At the end of the day chagras get together to sing music where the bull, horse and women are remembered in their songs for hours together with sugar cane liquor.  Night at Hacienda Chalupas. 

Day 7   Today we drive wild horses from the ranch and take them to the corral. The horses introduced by man remains a unique tool in these remote places. The aim is to cut the horses hooves and de-worming. The hoof trimming is important because in these vast prairies there is no proper wear hoofs which may harm the horse in its growth. The de-worming reduce the burden of parasites, decrease the risk of disease and how best to nurture in the pasture.  We will have the opportunity to fish our trout for dinner.  Night at Hacienda Chalupas

Day 8   It is time to begin the return, we must leave the mountain and head west on long trails of large wilderness areas planted with pine, continue along the sheltered valley, we serve a snack and hopefully see the giant volcano Cotopaxi from the south side, at the end of the afternoon we arrive at the Hacienda La Cienega (built in 1570, also former owners of farm Chalupas), now a luxury hotel that will allow us to recover the energies of the long journey.  Hacienda La Cienega is located at  an elevation of 2900 meters.

Day 9   Today our direction is north through the valley of Cotopaxi to the Valley of Machachi. The colossus will be on the east by what we will have completed around the Cotopaxi. Late in the afternoon we arrive in our Hacienda  where we expect a wonderful meal and relaxing spa. Hacienda la Alegria

Day 10   A full relaxing day with the horses, the beautiful scenery and good food rounds out the exciting ride.

Day 11   Transfer to the airport. Departure


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Volcano Avenue and Haciendas Ride
Tour Code: IT-ECRT06
9 days / 8 nights ~$2,600.00
Dates: Available all Year

Trip Rating :
Difficulty : Riding Level (Click for legend) Lodging: Basic
Day to Day Itinerary
Rates | Dates
Horse & Cattle Round ups
Tack: North American style, English style, M...
Horses: Mixed Criollo (native South American),...
Pace: 4-7 hours of riding daily, moderate tr...
Walk, Trot, Canter,
Airport: Quito
Location on Google Map
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Customer Trip Rating
What To Bring
Travel Stories

Riding Level Explained
A Beginner
Beginner A rider who has limited experience, is unable to post the trot and does not canter.
B Novice
Novice A rider who is capable of mounting and dismounting unassisted, capable of applying basic aids, comfortable and in control at the walk, moderate length posting trots, and short canters.
C Intermediate
Intermediate A rider who has a firm seat, is confident and in control at all paces (including posting trots, two point canters and gallops), but does not ride regularly.
D Strong Intermediate
Strong Intermediate An intermediate rider who is currently riding regularly and is comfortable in the saddle for at least 6 hours per day.
E Advanced
All of the above, plus an independent seat, soft hands, and capable of handling a spirited horse in open country.
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