Trip Style
Tuesday & Saturday
2 days
Trip Type

Polylepis Lodge Ecuador – 2 day Trip of Polylepis and Frailejones Forest including Otavalo Market

Take trip to discover the heart of the Ecuadorian Paramo in the millenary Polylepis Forest. Take a trip to Polylepis Lodge Ecuador located just in the meeting point of two of the most unique Ecuadorian ecosystems: Polylepis Forest and the Frailejones Moorlands. Deeply compromised with protecting the area of El Angel Ecological Reserve, Polylepis follows conservation policies in their private reserve promoting sustainable tourism.  Polylepis Lodge has all the amenities of a modern hotel, while not interfering with the ecosystem of the area.

Take a walk in the world’s last remnant of a millenary and primary Polylepis forest while lodging in panoramic, classy and spacious rooms harmonizing with the unique surroundings. Your visit to the areas will support the local community as most food and resources are trades with the farms of the area. Your visit also supports the conservation fo the wetlands as you learn of the importance of the moorlands. Polylepis Lodge focuses on the development and improvement of the socio-environmental quality of the surrounding area t o Ecological Reserve El Ángel (Carchi), where it is located.


  • Spend the night and eat in a one-in-a-kind lodge in the heart of the Ecuadorian paramo
  •  Take a hike in the meeting point of two unique wetland ecosystems: polylepis and Frailejones Forests
  • Support the local community and learn about the moorland and its preservation
  • Visit a unique and isolated spot – one of the most mesmerizing landscapes in Ecuador

SHARED DEPARTURE Tuesday & Saturday
PRIVATE DEPARTURE Every day (extra cost)
DEPARTURE LOCATION Hotel of you stay in Quito
RETURN LOCATION Hotel of you stay in Quito
DEPARTURE TIME Around 07:00 am.
DURATION  2 Days / 1 Night
WEAR Comfortable and warm clothing, hiking shoes, hat, jacket and sunscreen.
INCLUDED Bilingual Professional Guide.
Transportation to/from Quito.
Accommodation in a Double Room in Polylepis Lodge (price depends on room type)
Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast in Polylepis Lodge
Unlimited Zunfo Tea in Polylepis Lodge
Guide Walks in the surrounding areas
Rubber Boots for the hiking excursions in Polylepis
NOT INCLUDED Cost of extra activities not listed (horse ride)
Additional food and drinks.
Hotel in Quito (we can arrange your hotel accommodation if need)
Tips & Gratuities (optional)


Day 1

From Quito to Polylepis Lodge (optional visit to Otavalo or Cotacachi)

NOTE: The activities on Day 1 are optional. However we highly recommend this itinerary to maket the trip towards Polylepis Lodge smoother and more fulfilling.  

You will start the journey traveling north of Quito towards Carchi Province, where the lodge is located. The journey there take 5 hours, however you may make a stop at the Province of the Lakes for a full day tour to Otavalo or Cuichocha Lake.  The highway offers a lovely view passing through Calderón and Guayllabamba valleys. We will make short stop here to get a closer look to local culture. Passing through Cayambe we can get a sight of the snow-capped volcano (5,790 m.), the world highest point crossed by the Equator Line. Cayambe is also famous for its salt biscuits with “leaf cheese” and “manjar”, delicacy we can have a small taste of if you like to make stop. Taita Imbabura mount will welcomes us to its province where we will first head to the largest lake in Ecuador, the San Pablo. Afterwards, we will enter Otavalo City that holds the Indian Market every Wednesdays and Saturdays, an ancient tradition and cultural exchange site among the Otavalo community. We will then continue towards the peaceful Cotacachi Village, famous for its leather and meet the local craftsmen. After a last visit to the charming Cuicocha Crater Lake, we hit the road once more toward Polylepus Lodge in Carchi.

You will arrive to the lodge by nighttime, the perfect timing to settle in your room and go for a short guided night walk in the entrance of the forest. The road will be lighted by torches and this will be your first introduction to the ancient Polylepis forest.

Day 2

Polylepis and Frailejones Forest hike and back to Quito

After breakfast served with home-made bread at the table, get ready for your 1st hike through the the only Millennial Primary Polylepis Forest in the world. You will be provided with rubber boots for your walk and leaded by a local guide across the most striking Paramo location. This spot is home to the oldest Polylepis trees, which have glacial origin and can be from 2 to 4 million years old. After a walk across some lagoons and small cascades, you will shortly move on to a different ecosystem:  the Paramo of Frailejones, one of the most dream-like views of the Ecuadorian sierra. This forest is made up of Frailejones trees, an endemic species of the northern Andes that can grow up to 7 meters in height remain green all year round. The forest occupies 11.34 hectares; here you can find deer, wolves, reptiles, “curiquingues” (native birds to South America) and even condors. Immerse yourself in the mist of the sierra before heading back to the hotel for lunch, usually a fresh trout form the lodge’s fountain. Don’t forget to have a try of the unlimited warm Zunfo tea (moor energy drink) with or without liqueur before heading back to Quito.

NOTE: Polylepis Lodge also offers other amenities that you may choose and pay on site sucha as SPA services and native massage. 


Climate & Altitude Conditions (IMPORTANT)

Though this tour is categorized as soft adventure, please note that you will be traveling from an altitude of 4,810m (15780 ft) above sea level. It is helopful to be prepared beforehand for this kind of altitude and make sure you are up to the hiking.  Please bring warm and waterproof clothing. We recommen acclimatizing at least one day. Please, don’t make this excursion you first right after arriving Ecuador. The hike is easy and you need no climbing expertise.

What to bring:

Warm clothes,
Eaterproof jacket
Hiking shoes
Extra pair of socks.
Extra pants

Clothing Suggestions:

Comfortable and warm clothes (appropriate for location)
Comfortable hiking shoes
Waterproof jacket
Sunglasses, hat or cap with visor, gloves and sun screen
Extra pair of shoes and socks
Walking stick


Please feel free to tip your local guides and drivers if you are content with their services. Even if not compulsory, it is regarded as gratitude gesture to the people who will take care of you during the trip. But please remember, it is not a must.

polylepis lodge ecuador tour feature

Please be aware that the prices may vary, so in order to GET THE BEST PRICE for the dates you desire please fill out the request form below.