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Trail Running Retreat:
Aventura Ecuador with Jeff Pelletier

This is a dream trip that takes you through the Andes mountains, highlands, and the Amazon jungle

Dates: April 20 - April 29, 2024

Price: 3200 USD (All - inclusive, read details below)

A 25% deposit is due to secure your reservation. The remaining balance is due 60 days before the start of the expedition.

(View the cancelation policy below in the section "Price and Details")

Jeff Pelletier trail running Ecuador

Jeff Pelletier is an ultra-distance trail runner and filmmaker based in Vancouver, Canada. Together with his girlfriend Audrée Lafrenière, he travels around the world seeking adventure in the mountains, while documenting it all on his YouTube channel.

This trip is one of our legendary and most beloved adventures. Jeff Pelletier is joining us once again, this time to explore the beauty and biodiversity of Ecuador, from the Andes mountains to the lush Amazon jungle.

 

As locals, we've carefully curated this itinerary. You'll explore one of the most biodiverse countries on Earth while running, learning, indulging in Ecuadorian culture, cuisine and hospitality, experiencing high altitudes, and traversing breathtaking trails.

Throughout the journey, Jeff will share valuable tips and expertise, including:

  • Uphill techniques, with and without poles

  • Running on technical terrain

  • Nutrition and hydration

  • Route planning while traveling

  • Safety in the backcountry

This isn't a race; it's a trail running holiday retreat, a chance to disconnect from the daily grind, connect with nature, geek out about trail running and forge amazing friendships.

When you join one of our tours, you can rest assured that everything has been meticulously arranged for you. This all-inclusive trip covers airport transfers, activities, all accommodations, and meals. We've handpicked picturesque accommodations in unique haciendas and eco-lodges.

All you need to do is pack your bags and relax. We promise that this will be an extraordinary journey. Read what some of our guests say about us!

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Is this tour suitable for me?

Whether you're a beginner, intermediate, or an experienced trail runner who can comfortably cover 9 miles per day, this trip is designed for you.  Over several days, we'll be active outdoors for 4 to 6 hours each day, mixing running with other activities. While the daily mileage isn't as extensive as some of our other tours, the high altitudes make the runs quite challenging. The better prepared you are, the more you'll enjoy. Rest assured, we've carefully crafted this trip to help you adapt smoothly to the altitude.

If, for any reason, you don't feel like running, there will always be alternative ways to make the most of your day. We'll have a support vehicle with us every day in case you need assistance.

Our itinerary is designed to ensure that when you arrive at your next overnight accommodation, you'll have time to relax, savor a glass of wine, delve into a good book, and soak in the stunning views of the Andes and the Amazon.

To keep you comfortable while running, you'll only need to carry a running vest with your essentials. Please ensure that your physical condition aligns with the itinerary described below. If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact us.

General Recommendations:

 

For this trip, it's advisable to arrive in Quito at least one day before the tour begins. We can help you arrange accommodations and transportation for the preceding day(s)."

Itinerary

 

Day 1 | Quito (Cumbayá)

Arrival and acclimatization day (Quito is at 2800 meters). We will arrange an organized airport pick-up and hotel check-in throughout the day, followed by a safety briefing and a welcome dinner at night.

Day 2 | Quito – Pasochoa – Insinliví 

 

After breakfast, we will depart for the Pasochoa Wildlife Refuge. This area boasts extraordinary biological significance, featuring multiple vegetation zones and an Andean forest teeming with diverse wildlife and plant species. Pasochoa's unique shape is a result of a volcanic eruption some 100,000 years ago, forming a massive crater. Due to its challenging accessibility and unsuitability for agriculture, the forest has remained relatively untouched, making it one of the last remaining native forests in the Ecuadorian Andes.

  • The route: 6.2m / 10km  - High gain/loss +1,476ft/430m | -1,410ft/450m approx.

  • Approximate time 3 - 5 hours​

  • Route's highest point at  4352m/11,000ft

  • Sleeping altitude 2900 m/9514ft

  • Transfer from Pasochoa to Base Camp (3 hours)

  • Afternoon chill time with beautiful landscapes (needed for acclimatization!). Yoga Studio

  • All meals included

The cozy eco-lodge we have chosen for this night offers breathtaking views, delicious locally sourced food, a warm stove and a small spa.

Day 3 | Insinliví – Chugchilán – Insinliví 

The day’s run is from Isinliví to the town of Chugchilán. From Isinliví the trail follows the Toachi canyon, offering amazing landscapes along the river, then climbs up to the plateaus and passes through small highland villages before arriving at Chugchilán.

  • The route: 7.45m / 12km  - High gain/loss +2,427ft/740m | -1,574ft/480m approx.

  • Approximate time 3 - 5 hours​

  • Route's highest point at  10,498ft /3,200m

  • Sleeping altitude 2900 m/9514ft

  • Afternoon: visit a local Andean farm where Doña Rosita awaits us

  • All meals included

Day 4 | Chugchilán – Quilotoa – Cotopaxi area

After enjoying a hearty breakfast, we will set off toward the Quilotoa Lagoon. Picture a stunning run around the azure-colored crater, encircled by towering, shadowy mountains and, most likely, under deep blue skies. The landscape along the route and the views from the crater rim are truly breathtaking.

Following our run, we'll have lunch and then make our way to our beautiful lodge in the Cotopaxi National Park area, nestled around one of the world's highest active volcanoes, Cotopaxi, which stands at an elevation of approximately 19,347 feet (5,897 meters). This national park is widely regarded as one of the most enchanting places in all of Ecuador!

  • The route: 6.5m / 10.5km  - High gain/loss +2,365ft/720m | -2,365ft/720m approx.

  • Approximate time 3 - 5 hours​

  • Route's highest point at  12,859ft /3,920m

  • Sleeping altitude 3480 m/11400 ft

  • Transfer from Quilotoa to Cotopaxi area (3 hours)

  • All meals included

Day 5 | Cotopaxi National Park – Manantiales 

Start your day with a cup of fresh coffee while enjoying a breathtaking view of El Cotopaxi and the surrounding volcanoes. The park is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including wolves, pumas, bears, rabbits, Andean condors, horses, and foxes.

Now, picture yourself running on flat terrain at 4,000 meters of altitude, surrounded by majestic volcanoes—an ideal setting for altitude training. The Manantiales is a magical spot within the park, featuring crystal-clear waters nestled between three ancient volcanic promontories, all adorned with the golden carpet of the paramo. It's a serene place to find inner peace and marvel at the world's beauty.

If running isn't your preference, you can opt for a horseback riding adventure. No prior experience is necessary. This is an opportunity to give your legs a break and explore the unique Andean landscape of the 'Avenue of the Volcanoes.' The memories of wild horses, colossal volcanic rocks, paramo terrain, and the stunning vistas of the surrounding volcanoes will stay with you forever.

  • The Manantiales route: 6.5m / 10.5km  - High gain/loss +328ft/100m | -328ft/100m approx.

  • Approximate time 3 hours

  • Route highest point at  12,859ft /3,920m

  • Alternative activity: 3 hours of horseback riding in Cotopaxi National Park

  • Route's highest point at  12,859ft /3,920m

  • Sleeping altitude 3480 m/11400 ft

  • All meals included

Day 6 | Cotopaxi National Park – Rumiñahui volcano – Papallacta

 

After several days at high altitude, our next adventure will be a hike/run towards the summit of El Rumiñahui. In the local Quichua language, its name translates to "stone face." We kick off the run from Limpiopungo Lake, situated at 3,900 meters. From a technical perspective, it's a hike with some easy scrambling at the summit. The mountain rewards us with epic views of El Corazón, Los Ilinizas, Sincholagua, and Cotopaxi. The downhill run is enjoyable, incredibly scenic, and undoubtedly one of the trip's highlights.

Following the run, we will indulge in a well-deserved lunch before heading to Papallacta, where amazing hot springs await us to unwind and relax.

 

  • The route: 7m / 11km  - High gain/loss +2,526ft/770m | -2,460ft/750m approx.

  • Approximate time 4 - 5 hours

  • Route's highest point at 15,157ft/4,620 meters

  • Sleeping altitude 3300 m/10826ft

  • Transfer from Cotopaxi to Papallacta (2 hours)

  • All meals included

Day 7 | Papallacta – Cayambe Coca Ecological Reserve – Tena

After breakfast, we will embark on a beautiful run in the Andes, following the bear path. Our route will take us alongside the Sucus, Mantala, and other small lagoons. Be prepared, because even if it's not raining, you may get wet! The trail is enveloped by imposing mountains and stunning landscapes. Following the run, we will enjoy lunch and then drive towards the Amazon jungle. 

  • The route: 7.45m /12 km  - High gain/loss +656ft/200m | -1,312ft/450m approx.

  • Approximate time 2 - 4 hours

  • Route's highest point at 12,660 ft/3,859 meters

  • Sleeping altitude 300 m/984ft

  • Transfer from Papallacta to Tena (3h30)

  • All meals included

After dinner, we will embark on a night jungle walk, which promises an extraordinary experience! During this nocturnal adventure, we'll have the opportunity to observe tarantulas, insects, frogs, amphibians, and more. The night walk immerses us in the untouched and uninhabited depths of the jungle.

Day 8 | Tena 

This day is one for resting our tired legs but not our sense of adventure as we will be rafting the Jatunyacu River, which is a majestic, friendly, fun, and pristine river. This is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure and for sure one of the highlights of our journey.

Before setting out, our experienced guides will provide a safety briefing, offer training in paddling techniques, and equip you with a life jacket and helmet. It's at this point that the adrenaline begins to surge, submerging you in this magical experience. During the excursion, we'll pause on a riverbank for a delightful picnic lunch provided by our guides, before continuing our journey down the river back to Tena.

For the remainder of the afternoon, you can savor the river's basin sunset, enjoy a good book, or take an easy stroll around the island.

 

  • ​Transfer from Tena to where the rafting starts (40 min)

  • Rafting 25 Km

  • Approximate time 5 - 6 hours

  • Route's highest point at 1,804ft/550m

  • Sleeping altitude 300 m/984ft

Day 9 | Tena 

In the jungle, life pulses in every corner, and everything is interconnected. Prepare to be entranced by the symphony of sounds, the abundance of wildlife, and the lush greenery of the forest.

After an early breakfast, we embark on an expedition deep into the pristine jungle. Here, we hope to encounter wildlife in their natural habitat, stand in awe of towering trees, and take in the breathtaking landscapes that emphasize the sheer vastness of the Amazon.

  • Approximate time 4 - 5 hours

  • Route's highest point at 1,804ft/550m

  • Sleeping altitude 300 m/984ft

  • All meals included

Day 10 | Tena – Quito

After enjoying several unforgettable days in the jungle, we'll make our way back to the Andes. Our return will take us to the International Mariscal Sucre Airport, and we aim to arrive before 3 PM. If you have an earlier flight, we can arrange a shared transfer from Tena to the airport for you. Alternatively, if your flight departs the next day, we will assist you in arranging accommodation.

  • Transfer from Tena to aiport (3h30)

  • Breakfast and lunch included

 

The entire tour is done in English.

*We reserve the right to change the itinerary without previous notice due to weather conditions, National Parks regulations or notifications and unforeseeable circumstances. 

This tour is governed by the Terms and Conditions

Handpicked accommodations in unique haciendas and eco-lodges  

Some of the amazing runs that we have curated for this trip

How Challenging ?

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Medium effort. This is a trail running trip where you can expect 3 - 6 hours of running per day at high altitudes, with up to 800 meters of elevation loss/gain. Previous trail running experience is recommended.

Price and Details

The tour includes:

  • Everything described in the tour

  • All of the scheduled activities: trail running, rafting, horseback riding, yoga

  • Airport transfers 

  • All accommodation during the tour (9 nights)

  • Most lodges and haciendas in twin or double rooms

  • All transfers during the tour

  • All meals during the tour (9 breakfasts, 2 packed lunches, 6 lunches, 9 dinners)

  • Guiding from a local certified guide

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The tour excludes:

  • Transport to Quito (e.g. flights)

  • Travel insurance. All participants are required to have their own insurance appropriate for outdoor sports; such as health, accident, mountain rescue, repatriation, trip cancellation, personal liability, etc.

  • Shared transfer from Tena to the airport (if you need it)

  • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages

  • Expenses for extra activities, such as; massages, spas, saunas

  • Any accommodations for extra days in Ecuador

  • Tips for the guide

Price: 3200 USD

25% deposit is due to secure your spot, the remaining balance is due 60 days before the start of the trip. Once the trip is confirmed your deposit is non-refundable, however, it can be transferred to any other trip. 

​Participants: 

min 8 - max 16

Start: Quito (Mariscal Sucre International Airport)

End: Quito (Mariscal Sucre International Airport)

We reserve the right to change the itinerary without previous notice due to weather conditions, and unforeseeable circumstances.

 

This tour is governed by the Terms and Conditions

Cancellation policy:

  • Trip pending: a 25% down payment is fully refundable

  • Trip confirmed: a 25% down payment is non-refundable. You can transfer this down payment to any other of our trips within the next year

  • 60 days or less before the trip starts no refund available

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