Quito - Otavalo - Cotacachi - Peguche (51 km)
We take an early departure from Quito and drive north through the majestic Andes. On our way we will stop at a viewpoint to admire Imbabura Volcano and Lake San Pablo.
Once in Otavalo, you will have plenty of time to stroll along the narrow cobblestone streets, filled with the Otavalo Indigenous people wearing the traditional blue ponchos, white trousers and long braided hair. Learn all about their daily activities, typical food and native language. Explore their famous handicraft market, with its wonderful textiles, alpaca throws and rugs, knitted clothing native paintings, ceramics, jewelry, tapestries and more at bargain prices.
In the afternoon, we will drive to Cotacachi to have lunch and witness the impressive leather goods of the town and enjoy the beauty of this small village. There will be some free time for you to explore the shops or simply relax while sipping on one of the best coffees in Ecuador in the main plaza.
Finally we will go to Peguche, a small village known for its waterfalls and wind instruments production
The capital city of Ecuador sits on the slopes of Pichincha, an active volcano in the northern Andes Mountains. At an elevation of 9,350 feet, it is the highest capital city in the world.
Capital of Otavalo Canton, has a population largely made up of the Otavalo indigenous group. It is located in Imbabura Province of Ecuador. It is surrounded by the peaks of Imbabura (4,630 metres (15,190 ft)), Cotacachi (4,995 metres (16,388 ft)), and Mojanda volcanoes.
Standard Hotel: Hacienda Pinsaqui or similar
Amazon Canoe Ride and Wildlife
In the morning, we will take a motorized canoe down the largest river in Ecuador to "Amazoonico", a rescue center sheltering a number of different animals in danger of extinction such as: Monkeys, Capybaras, Caimans, Ocelots, Toucans, Parrots, and other animals in their natural environment at close range. Later, we will enjoy a cultural activity where an Amazonian Kichwa community will receive us and we learn about their way of life and the interaction they have with the forest. Appreciate the skills of the indigenous women manufacturing handmade pottery (ceramics). This little business helps to support the indigenous people in their daily life.
Today we will also have the chance to learn how to make our own chocolate from the raw fruit.
Standard Hotel: Itamandi Eco-lodge
Breakfast: IncludedLunch: IncludedDinner: Included
Parrots Clay Lick and the Road of Waterfalls
This morning explore the "Saladero" parrots clay lick. Come back for breakfast and continue our journey driving farther south to Puyo, where we will have a quick look at the balsa carving shop. From here continue onto Rio Verde, located in the UNESCO World Heritage site, Sangay National Park. Here, we will hike down to the second highest waterfall in Ecuador, the Pailon Del Diablo, where pounding water cascades on the rocks and mesmerizes you as you watch from a suspension bridge. You may also take an optional hike behind the falls. After another quick drive, we will arrive at another incredible waterfall called El Manto de la Novia, where we will ride in a cable car traversing the canyon of the Pastaza River.
In the late afternoon we will arrive to Banos. Here in Banos you can also visit a spa or another place to enjoy the hot springs of the area.
This small city in Ecuador is one of the country's top tourist destinations because of the local hot springs, the lush wilderness that surrounds the area, and the belief that the image of the Virgin Mary appeared in a waterfall.
Standard Hotel: La Floresta or similar
Devil's Nose Train - Inca Ruins - Cuenca
After an early breakfast, we will take a scenic drive to the small town of Alausi. Here, we will board the train to the Devil's Nose, where the tracks wind through the countryside in a zigzag formation, creating a travel experience like no other. After the train ride, we will continue our visit towards Ingapirca, the most impressive Inca ruins of Ecuador. We will spend the afternoon learning about this archaeological site, notable for its unique fusion of Inca and native Canari architecture, as well as for its religious meaning. Later, we will head up to Cuenca, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its colonial architecture.
Standard Hotel: Hotel Carvallo