Transport from Quito to the Green Horse Ranch inside the crater and National Reserve Pululahua. While riding around the volcanic cone - covered with cloud forest - we witness volcanic history and nature, interesting geological formations, mineral avalanches blooming with wild orchids and traditional Andean agriculture. Accommodation in a cosy, peaceful B&B in the mystical surrounding of the crater walls.
Forests of bamboo are marking our way, while we start climbing gently but continually in order to leave the crater to the west. On our way, we'll pass over narrow mountain ridges with spectacular views. In the remoteness, we only come across a few small farmhouses, where the highland farmers scratch a meagre income from the steep, infertile land beside the forest. The higher we climb, the more we overlook the cloud-forest covered mountains and valleys we leave behind. Our cottage camp and a hot evening meal await us in the mountain village of Yungilla.
This section of the trip is not suited for horses anymore, so we enjoy a day out hiking, giving us the chance to have a closer and more detailed look on our surroundings and nature in the land of the Tucan. In companionship of a local guide explaining about plants, wildlife and sustainable agriculture, we hike along hidden trails between highland and thick jungle, narrow hollow earth tunnels, to the edge of the Maquipucunanature reserve. Return to Yunguilla in the afternoon. In the village, we can learn about cheese-production and organic fruit farming.
We change our means of transport again and keep on travelling by car. This time, the road leads to the ceremonial baths of the Yumbo culture in Tulipe. We learn about pre- colombine history in Ecuador, then stop by at Heike's exotic bird garden, a German expert in hummingbirds, and enjoy moments of peace and wonder on her wooden terrasse. Heike and her husband Pedro have been dedicated to forest protection for decades. Return to Quito in the evening.
Price/person: 595,- USD