Chachapoyas to Pedro Ruiz: 1 hour by taxi
How to get there: Walk behind the bus station and take a left (south). Follow the dirt road until you come to a paved road. Follow the paved road up the hill for about 1km. You will come to a small bridge with a sign that says, “hosteria Izhcayluma.” Look on the other side of sign and follow trail “C” up the dry river bed beneath you (it was dry in July.) About a 4 hour hike to the top and back. Not sure of the loop route.
How to get there: Walk behind the bus station and take a left (south) on the dirt road. Follow the dirt road until you come to a paved road. Walk up the paved road (right) for about 2 or 3 blocks until you come to a stone entranceway on the right that says, “Mandango.” Now they used to charge money to hike “Cerro Mandango,” but it was closed when I went. Take a right at the stone entranceway and walk up the dirt road toward Cerro Mandango until you come to a fence. Go under the fence and walk through the bushes to your left. There you will find the trail and you can proceed up the mountain.
It is very easy to live on 15 dollars per day in Ecuador. Now when you are moving around the transportation expenses will increase your daily expenditures. But when you are stationary you can easily find a place to stay for 6 dollars per night and that is usually in a private room. You might find yourself sharing the bathroom, but if you would like a private bath in your room then you would have to pay about 8 dollars per night.