Starting in Quito, this is a short excursion to the famous Indian market town of Otavalo, with several scenic stop-overs along the way and an extra day spent at the El Angel Ecological Reserve, which was created in 1992 to protect 16000 ha of the distinctive high altitude grassland vegetation known as "paramo". Endemic to this region are the strange looking "Frailejones" which cover much of the grassland. There are also a number of beautiful lakes and trails.
On our way to the indigenous market town of Otavalo we'll visit the Cochasqui Indian Ruins, a major pre-Inkan ceremonial site or truncated adobe pyramids. Most structures are not excavated but those that are give a good impression of the grand nature of the site. There are excellent views to be had from here. Afterwards we will stop at the town of Cotacachi, famous for its leather clothes, where you will have plenty of opportunity to shop. We'll also visit the crater lake of Cuicocha, which sits at the base of Cotacachi volcano, and San Antonio de Ibarra, a town that is noted for its wood carvings, before arriving at our hotel in Otavalo.
The tour begins with an early morning car ride on a paved road to El Angel Ecological Reserve, situated at an altitude from 3400m to 4768m. The reserve is home to an incredible diversity of fauna and special "Páramo" flora, such as the spectacular fields of "Frailejones" which resemble a botanical army. This is the most extensive southernmost stand of 'frailejón plants (Espeletia hartwegiana), which can also be found in Colombia and Venezuela. The drive takes us through mountains and valleys ornate with typical Andean Villages. On our way we'll also pass the Voladero Lake, where we'll stop and have a delicious box lunch. Overnight at Hotel. (B, BL).
The next day of our tour begins with an early morning visit to the animal market. After breakfast, we will take you to Otavalo's main market. This is considered one of the biggest and most colourful Indian markets in South America. After lunch you will be able to visit the beautiful Mojanda Lakes before we begin our return journey, heading firstly to Cayambe to try the famous 'Cayambe biscuits', before we arrive in Quito in the late afternoon. (B)
|2 people||3 people||4 people|
|with 3* Hotels||US$595||US$455||US$385|
|with 4* Hotels||US$620||US$485||US$410|
|with 5* Hotels||US$765||US$630||US$555|
Otavalo Market is held Wednesdays and Saturdays - thus to arrive for market day, time this trip to leave Quito on a Monday or Thursday.
Prices are based on double occupancy and vary with group size. If you are travelling alone or in a group of more than 4 participants please ask for a quote. We are happy to book you a room for the first and last night in Quito, or arrange onward travel to another destination. Please ask for a quote.
For questions and booking inquiries please email Sacred Earth