Follow Me. I Have a Mule.

Destinations, May 1997


Follow Me. I Have a Mule.

The right outfitter can keep a highlands trip low-stress
By Bob Payne


While it's possible to plan and outfit a trip through the Ecuadorian highlands on your own, the logistics of doing so can be daunting. Many people prefer instead to leave the planning to the pros. The following companies are old Ecuador hands and can supply all necessary equipment, guides, and lodging. Call for itineraries and departure dates. Prices listed below do not include airfare.

Climbing
Most trips begin with an acclimatization clamber up Pichincha, outside Quito, followed by ascents of the higher peaks. American Alpine Institute, 15 days, $2,190, 360-671-1505. Condor Adventures, 15 days, $1,900, 800-729-1262. High Road Adventures, ten days, $1,545, 800-569-4229. Mountain Travel-Sobek, 16 days, $2,150, 888-687-6235. Southwind Adventures, ten days, $1,675, 800-377-9463.

Trekking
Organized treks often include mules for carrying gear, a godsend at these altitudes. Condor Adventures, 15 days, $1,595, 800-729-1262. Explorandes, eight days, $950, 011-593-2-441-587. High Road Adventures, ten days, $1,499, 800-569-4229. Southwind Adventures, ten days, $1,625, 800-377-9463.

Mountain biking
Even better than a mule, from these folks you get a sag wagon. Andisimo, one day, $50-$135, 011-593-2-223-030. High Road Adventures, ten days, $1,549, 800-569-4229. Southwind Adventures, nine days, $1,595, 800-377-9463.

River running
These outfitters provide rafts and the wherewithal to guide them. Andisimo, one day, $70, 011-593-2-223-030. Orange Torpedo Trips, ten days, $1,995, 800-635-2925. ROW, ten days, $1,895, 800-451-6034.

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