This is a fascinating cultural tour around the highlights of our country. In this tour we visit Andean markets, Indian villages, private rose plantations, natural reserves, national parks, etc. We stay in the best old haciendas. Come and join us!
90 km north of Quito we have the most interesting and biggest Indian market in South America. En route we visit Calderon, well known for the manufacture of bread-dough figurines, then continue northwards through dry Andean valleys until we reach Otavalo, where we can see the Ecuadorian indians trading and selling their handicrafts.
Lunch will be served at "Hacienda Pinsaqui” on of the oldest haciendas in Ecuador that dates from Spanish colonial time and which is locates close to Cotacachi, a small town which is famous for the manufacture of leather goods. After lunch you will visit the town and "Cuicocha Ecological Reserve” which is in the high Andes and where a native vegetation proper of this altitude can be appreciated.
In the late afternoon, you will go to your hotel which is also a traditional hacienda from the Spanish colonial time. Cusin is a 17th century restored hacienda located close to San Pablo lake. Its beautiful gardens, cozy rooms and friendly staff will make you feel like home.
Today we visit some of the most important Indian villages around Otavalo where we can see our Indians living in the countryside the way they did centuries ago. We will witness our natives operating back-strap as well as Spanish looms, making wall hangings, sweaters, scarves, etc. We will also see how they make their typical musical instruments before they play some of the Andean instruments and perform music for us.
A short drive will take you to see one of the most important industries of Ecuador, “roses” its cultivation, plantation and commercialization; learn all about to the rose industry and see the many varieties of roses that we have in Ecuador.
Lunch will be served at Hacienda “San Luis” a traditional old hacienda that had an important role in agriculture back in the day when Jesuits priest were converting the people of the area into Catholicism.
In the afternoon, a drive will take you to “Thermas Papallacta” a thematic hotel located in the high Andes and which main attraction is its thermal healing pools. You can enjoy the pools in such a great location surrounded by beautiful mountains or you can also get a treatment at the spa.
Your guide will meet you after breakfast and will start a new day filled with adventure, this time you will hike in one of the most unexplored natural reserves “Antizana”, where you will have the opportunity to spot the majestic Andean condor among some other birds proper of the Paramos. Learn about our flora and fauna, see the amazing Antizana volcano and identify new birds never seen before.
Lunch will be served at Hacienda La Guaitara and then you will continue your drive to Hacienda “San Augustin” an old hacienda that was once and Inca temple and then was possessed by the Augustinians order, now hosts the best Ecuadorian potato soup “locro”.
You will be able to rest while enjoying amazing views of Cotopaxi volcano.
After a relaxed evening in San Augustin del Callo, you will visit "The Cotopaxi National Park", where you will find the magnificent, Cotopaxi volcano (5.897m - 19.460ft above sea level), considered the highest active volcano in the world. You will have an opportunity to take short hikes and learn about the flora and fauna of the Paramo, Also, depending on the weather conditions, visit to the “refuge” (4.800m - 15.840ft).
Lunch will be served at Tambopaxi base camp with a fantastic view of this most scenic volcano.
After lunch you will return to Quito through the Pan-American highway to your selected hotel or airport if that is the case.