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Otavalo & Northern Highlands

3 Days | From $790 per person


Highlights

  • Visit rural Kichwa villages
  • Explore an active crater lake
  • Bargain at the Otavalo artisans' market

Pricing

  • TRIP LENGTH3 days
  • SUPERIOR PRICE$790 (4/5 star hotels)
  • GROUP SIZEPrivate
*Prices based on 4+ travelers

Included
  • Private tour with professional Andean Discovery guides
  • Accommodations based on double occupancy
  • All activities, transfers, and entrance fees as per itinerary
  • Most meals as per the itinerary
Not Included
  • International round-trip airfare to Quito
  • Fees for passport and travel insurance
  • Gratuities

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Detailed Itinerary >>

After breakfast, meet your guide and private vehicle and head north to the province of Imbabura, a region known for its ancient volcanoes, pristine highland lakes, and thriving indigenous culture. This area is home to the Otavalenos, Kichwa-speaking Indians famous for their traditional garments, ancient handicrafts, and expansive outdoor markets. The journey takes you through green, Andean valleys and over picturesque plateaus, where you may catch a glimpse of Cayambe or Cotopaxi, among the highest snowcapped volcanoes in Ecuador.

This morning visit the famous market in Otavalo. This bustling, outdoor bazaar is one of the largest in South America and boasts indigenous handicrafts, fruits, vegetables, and livestock. Chat with artisans and have a shot at bargaining for local handicrafts. This afternoon visit the active crater lake, Laguna Cuicocha, literally translated, “Lake of the Guinea Pigs.” Enjoy spectacular views of the emerald-green lake as you walk along the crater rim and descend to the water’s edge. A short boat ride to the islets in the middle allows you to observe native birds and witness sulfuric gases bubble up from the still active caldera. Stop for lunch in the artisan community of Cotacachi, one of the best places in Ecuador to find handcrafted leather goods. Continue you on to the historic Hacienda Cusin, a restored 17th-century Andean estate. It is now a charming, boutique guesthouse and your home for the next two evenings. Dinner at Hacienda Cusin.

Overnight: Hacienda Cusin (B, L, D)

This morning board the train in Ibarra and travel north through the Andean highlands to the less-visited Chota Valley, a vibrant center of Afro-Ecuadorian culture. Most of the locals here are descendants of slaves who worked on sugar plantations owned by the Jesuits until the 19th Century. Today, “El Chota,” as its known, still has many farming communities scattered throughout the valley and boasts rich traditions based on its deep African roots. The valley is also home to some of the country’s most famous soccer players. Enjoy a live presentation of Bomba del Chota, a well-known music and dance form in which the dancer often balances a bottle on her head. Enjoy a traditional plate of local favorites including chichi, morocho, and guandul. Visit a modern-day sugar plantation and converse with local farmers before returning to Hacienda Cusin.

Overnight: Hacienda Cusin (B, L, D)

This morning you will be transferred to the airport in time for your international flight or opt to include an additional extension.

(B)



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  • Hacienda Cusin

    Hacienda Cusin is a historic 17th-century estate converted into a boutique guesthouse.



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