Horseback riding in Highlands Riding Tours, Ecuador

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- Cotopaxi Adventure Ride
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Cotopaxi Adventure Ride

Other Info

Meeting: Quito - Cruz Loma Hotel
Airport:   Quito      
Transfer: Pick up and drop off at Quito Hotel Sierra Madre   

Please Note: On day 1, guests need to make their own way to Cruz Loma Hotel, usually for 7.30am.

Tack: ‘McClellan’ western style saddles with sheepskin seats
Horses: Local criollo crossed with Andalusian, Arab, Thoroghbread, Peruvian Pasos.
Pace: Pace is varied due to the terrain with canters but no extended gallops due to altitude above 4000 meters. Guests will have to lead horses from time to time. Average of 5 - 7 riding hrs per day
| Walk | Trot | Canter |
Level: Riding Level (Click for legend) (3.5 to 5 out of 5)    Strong Intermediate
Age: Min 15
Weight: Max 185-210 lbs / 85-95 kg
Riders: Min 4 riders Max 8 riders
Riding helmets are mandatory for this ride.

Riding Experience
This trip has been designed for good intermediate riders and above. You need to be able to canter in open spaces and also be prepared to ride on steep slopes and tricky terrain. Guests need to be riding fit – long days in the saddle with some tough riding. At various points, guests may be leading their horses (but not normally over long distances).
Enjoyment from the rides can be greatly increased if you are physically fit and your riding muscles are toned.

Rider responsibility
It is understood that guests booking this trip, are in a suitable condition to participate, not riding against any physician's advice and that guests know of no reason why they should not be participating in such a tour. Guests will be required to sign a waiver of liability at the start of the tour.
Guests are strongly advised to bring and use their own helmet.

The pace is very varied due to the great variety of terrain. Each day there are opportunities for fast-paced riding and on the last few days of the scheduled departure itineraries, there is ample opportunity for long canters, depending on the guests' wishes. The rides in Ecuador - due to the altitude - are not suitable for guests wanting to ´gallop flat out´ for most of the day.
All rides of more than 2 hours include regular breaks and all-day rides normally include a lunch break of approximately one hour.

The horses are mainly ‘Criollo’. These horses are ideal for the terrain we ask them to ride over and often crossed with warm/hot blood lines (English, Spanish, Arab, Pasos) for a taller, more responsive horse. They are specially selected, well trained and good natured. Our horse are usually between 14.2 and 15.2hh. Riders normally change to fresh horses at least once during the trip.
It is incredibly important that you provide us accurate riding ability details – we try to put a lot of work into selecting suitable horses for each rider.

We use McClellen saddles, a Western’ type saddle with low rounded pommel (no horn) and a thick sheepskin atop. It is easy to ride ‘English style’ on these saddles, as well as Western. The horses are used to neck reining and English style ‘2 hands’. English and western style bridles available (let us know your preference: direct rein or neck reining).

Guests are always accompanied by a guide (bilingual: English/Spanish) who has many years’ experience of riding. In addition, at least one ‘groom’ is present –usually a skilled local horseman. Both guides and grooms have excellent local knowledge and are good riders. There is also additional ground staff. Professional guides speaking other languages are available on prior request.

In case of accident, our guides carry a mobile phone so that they can contact assistance (local emergency services/back up vehicle/our Doctor in Quito) – the mobile phone coverage is generally excellent but very limited on a few days; the backup vehicle will be in the vicinity.

Weight restriction
Due to the altitude & difficult terrain a weight supplement applies to provide riders of 85-100kg (185-220lbs) and over with two horses.  Agreement prior to booking is necessary.

We strongly advise a few days acclimatization prior to the ride. We recommend at least 24 hours in Quito/at same altitude as Quito prior to day 1 of the tour as the riding portion of the trip starts at 2800 meters high (same altitude as Quito).
Guests rarely experience any problems, but please note that we ride above 3000 meters and sometimes even above 4000 meters. Guests must seek medical advice if they have any doubt as to whether they are able to be at these altitudes.

Guests are responsible for having an adequate, valid insurance policy including cover for all the sporting activities that they are likely to participate in. This is mandatory.

Passport and Visa Requirements: Passport valid for at least six months required by all nationals referred to in the chart.Passport NotePassports must be carried at all times. Not required by all nationals referred to in the chart ab. more
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Cotopaxi Adventure Ride
Tour Code: IT-ECRT04
8 days / 7 nights ~$3,175.00
Dates : Available all Year

Trip Rating :
Difficulty : Riding Level
Riding Level Explained
Beginner A rider who has limited experience, is unable to post the trot and does not canter.
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.
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.
All of the above, plus an independent seat, soft hands, and capable of handlinga spirited horse in open country.
Lodging: Standard
Lodging Level Explained
= Facilities in lodges, estancias, haciendas, resorts, etc.
Basic lodging - some with shared bathroom facilities, usually no AC or room service.
Regular standard room - usually with private bath.
 Accommodations with superior comforts.
 = Trips with nights in tent camps. Sometimes the first and last night are in hotels.
Basic tent camping - everyone helps out with camp chores.
Regular standard with some camp amenities and camp cook.
Camping facilities with superior comforts like camp shower, bathroom facility..
 = Trips that combine nights in hotels and camping.
Basic accommodation and basic camping facilities can be expected.
Regular standard with some nicer amenities.
Only assigned to hotel and camping facilities with superior comforts.

Online Reservation

Check here for details and availability
Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2021 07/10 - 07/17 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP- Cotopaxi Adv... 4 /8 Expired
A 2021 08/15 - 08/22 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP- Cotopaxi Adv... 4 /8 Reserve
A 2021 08/28 - 09/04 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP- Cotopaxi Adv... 4 /8 Reserve
A 2021 10/09 - 10/16 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP- Cotopaxi Adv... 4 /8 Reserve
B 2021 11/03 - 11/13 11d / 10n 11 day trip, AP- Volcanoes &... 4 /8 Reserve
A 2021 11/20 - 11/27 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP- Cotopaxi Adv... 4 /8 Reserve
B 2021 12/08 - 12/18 11d / 10n 11 day trip, AP- Volcanoes &... 4 /8 Reserve
A 2021 12/26 - 01/02 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP- Cotopaxi Adv... 4 /8 Reserve
B 2021 12/31 - 01/10 11d / 10n 11 day trip, AP- Volcanoes &... 4 /8 Reserve
Day to Day Itinerary
Rates | Dates
Tack: ‘McClellan’ western style saddles with...
Horses: Local criollo crossed with Andalusian,...
Pace: Pace is varied due to the terrain with...
Walk, Trot, Canter,
Airport: Quito
Location on Google Map
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Customer Trip Rating
What To Bring
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