Reisprogramma

Day 1: Arrival Quito - Otavalo

Upon arrival in Quito, you will be welcomed at the airport. Subsequently, you are brought to your charming hacienda in Otavalo located north from Quito (transfer takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes).

Overnachting:

Hotel: Hacienda Pinsaquí

Day 2: Otavalo - Cotacachi - Cuicocha Lake - Peguche Waterfall

Otavalo Market (main market is on Saturdays)
After breakfast, you explore the heart of Otavalo. This colorful town has about 50.000 inhabitants and is the capital of the canton of the same name. This village is world-famous for its indigenous population, the ‘Otavaleños’, of which many travel around the world to sell their famous handicrafts or play in Andean folk music groups. The Otavaleños are considered the economically most successful indigenous group of Latin America. You visit Plaza de Los Ponchos, to admire a rainbow of textiles; blankets, scarfs, sweaters, and of course the typical ponchos. Also beautiful leather bags, jewelry, carpets, and other handmade items can be found at the largest artisanal market in South America.

Cotacachi & Cuicocha Lake
In the charming town of Cotacachi, you can find a varietyof shops where top quality leather products, such as wallets, purses, belts, bags, and shoes are sold for friendly prices. Then, you continue to Cuicocha, a beautiful lake created 2000 years ago when the volcano with the same name erupted.Fun fact: Cuicocha means guinea pig in the Quichua language (the small islands in the lake are shaped like a guinea pig).

Next, you head to the small village of Peguche for a unique cultural experience. ‘Pachamanka’ is a tradition originating from the Inca era. In the Quichua language ‘Pacha’ means Earth and ‘Manka’ cooking pan. During this ritual, hot volcanic rocks with vegetables, fruit, and vegetables are placed in a hole in the soil. This is covered with cabbage leaves and a blanked which is then covered with earth. This pure, traditional dish contains: potatoes, yams, melloco, beans, corncob, carrots, beets, banana, cabbage, and chicken and is served with chili sauce, cheese sauce, and a seasonal drink (for example lemonade, tea, or chicha). As dessert, you can enjoy a delicious smoked pineapple. While the food is slowly cooked the earth is decorated with flowers and turned into a spiritual Andeanaltar.

The ceremony and lunch takes about two hours. While the food is cooking, you visit the surroundings of Peguche like the sacred waterfall and, if time allows, an Andean music workshop. Then, you return to the Pachamanka site to healthy and natural lunch. In the afternoon, you visit the Condor Park, located close to San Pablo Lake, in the outskirts of Otavalo. Here, you can observe condors and other birds that are rescued from illegal captivity were found wounded. At the Condor Park, they can recover in peace until they are ready to be released, if possible. None of the birds were taken directly from nature.

Overnachting:

Hotel: Hacienda Pinsaquí

Opmerking:

Included: breakfast and lunch

Day 3: Otavalo - IBARRA (train ride) - Salinda - Middle of the world - Quito

In the morning, you head to the city of Ibarra to board the train. The Liberty Train (Tren de la Libertad) is named after Ecuador’s struggle for liberty and independence from Spain about 200 years ago. Its traditional route was one of great commercial importance for Ecuador; the northern part of the country has always been famous for its textile production and the train was used to transport these materials throughout the country. After leaving Ibarra, the train makes its way through beautiful landscapes, passing rivers and valleys. This route is unique because it passes several tunnels that are carved out of the rocks over 100 years ago by workmen using little more than picks and shovels. The route ends in Salinas, where a population of Afro-Ecuadorians started to live a long time ago. Visitors are welcomed with a traditional dance show and invited to visit a salt museum before traveling to Quito.

On the way to Quito, you make a brief stop at the Middle of the World (Mitad de Mundo) to visit the Intiñan museum, just 200 meters north of the Mitad del Mundo monument. This museum is built on what modern-day GPS has proven to be the true location of the equator line. Here, your device will actually read zero degrees latitude and zero degrees longitude. After this journey full of adventure, you arrive at your hotel of Quito.

Extra informatie:

NOTE: the train ride of la Libertad doesn’t operate on Monday and Tuesday.

Overnachting:

Hotel: Hotel Quito

Opmerking:

Included: breakfast and (box of) lunch

Day 4: City tour of Quito - local market - Teleferico

This interesting city tour goes through several neighborhoods for a look at both colonial and modern Quito. Your guide takes you to top attractions such as historic plazas, churches, and colonial buildings, like the Independence Square, the Presidential Palace, the Archbishop Palace, the municipal building (City Hall), and the Cathedral. The church La Compañia should be missed; it is one of the most impressive churches in Latin America. You also visit a local market of groceries, where you have the choice to taste traditional food and fresh fruit juices. Finally, you head to the most famous hill in Quito, the Panecillo viewpoint, where you can see the contrast between colonial and modern Quito.

This wonderful day is concluded with a visit to the Teleferico Cable Car, where you go to an altitude of around 4000 meters for a splendid view over the city. On the other side, you can see the incredible Pichincha Volcano. You can hike a little, just be aware of the altitude! Afterwards you will be dropped off at your hotel.

Overnachting:

Another night sleep at Hotel Quito

Opmerking:

Included: breakfast

Day 5: Quito - Papallacta - Cotococha

You leave Quito in the morning to drive up the Eastern Cordillera, where you travel over a 4065 meter high mountain pass. It can be foggy up here, but when the weather is clear you will be amazed by the magnificent views of the paramo highlands and the Antisana Volcano in the background. Next, you reach the hot springs of Papallacta, Ecuador’s most beautiful thermal hot springs located in the middle of the mountains. It has been proven that the thermal waters of Termas de Papallacta have medicinal properties that guarantee health benefits.

Afterwards, you continue the trip while the landscapes gradually change until you reach the Amazon Rainforest. After the beautiful drive, you relax for a while in the beautiful spacious bungalow built in a rustic native design surrounded by gardens full of amazing jungle plants and flowers. A delicious dinner is served in a romantic candlelight setting at the attractively decorated restaurant. Afterwards, you enjoy a welcome drink while relaxing around the fireplace and discussing next day’s activities with the local crew. You will feel absolutely comfortable in this lovely peaceful setting filled with the sounds of the jungle.

Overnachting:

You will stay at the beautiful Cotococha Amazon Lodge

Opmerking:

Included: breakfast and dinner

Day 6: Cotococha Amazon Lodge

You wake up in the beautiful rainforest and enjoy a wonderful breakfast. Afterwards, you prepare your gear to get ready to begin your jungle adventure! You board a canoe and start our journey downstream through the enchanted Amazon Jungle along the imposing Napo River. Subsequently, you visit AmaZOOnico, a rescue center contributing to the conservation of the unique Amazon species. They take care of animals that became victims of   illegal trafficking and prepare them for their return into the wild. With some luck, you can observe a great variety of species, such as toucans, colorful parrots, several kinds of monkeys, jaguars, and capybaras. Afterwards, you enjoy a delicious picnic lunch on the river shore. Afterwards, you can swim in the river or just relax and enjoy the wonderful natural atmosphere.

Then, the motorized canoe brings you to an Amazon community where Quichua women welcome you. They take you to a traditional hut to teach the group about the traditions of their ancient culture, like pottery making and preparing the typical ‘Chicha’ drink. You also have the unique opportunity to learn how to use the ‘serbatana’ (blow pipe), traditionally used to hunt. This wonderful experience is concluded with learning how the Amazon people search for gold in the river, which still is an important livelihood today. In the afternoon, you return to the lodge for dinner and another night around the fireplace.

Overnachting:

You will stay at Hotel: Cotococha Amazon Lodge

Opmerking:

Included: breakfast, (box of) lunch and dinner

Day 7: Cocotocha Lodge

After breakfast, you travel upstream by canoe for ten minutes to a small shore where you begin a fun and thrilling one-hour walk allowing you to enjoy the secondary rainforest. At the end of the trail, you find a beautiful waterfall, called La Cascada de Latas. Taking a refreshing bath in its clear crystal waters in the middle of nature is a beautiful experience you will never forget. After enjoy nature to the fullest, you return to the lodge for lunch.

In the afternoon, you put on your rubber boots again to start an exciting walk in the rainforest to discover the wonders of the mysterious jungle. Your guide tell you about the flora and fauna, and which plant species have medicinal properties. With some luck, you can also observe different species of insects, groups of monkeys in the treetops, and several species of birds. After about three hours of walking you arrive back at the lodge. In the evening, a wonderful dinner awaits.

Overnachting:

Hotel:  Cotococha Amazon Lodge

Opmerking:

Included: breakfast, (box of) lunch and dinner

Day 8: Cotococha - Baños

After breakfast, you continue the trip to Baños, located in the transition area between de Andes Mountains and the Amazon Rainforest. On the way, you will visit the highlight of this area: the Route of the Waterfalls. The route takes you to the biggest and most impressive waterfall of all, the Pailon de Diablo. Along the route, you will make several stops at waterfalls, like Agoyan and Manto de la Novia. Here, you can take a cable car or do bungee jumping (extra cost). You then drive to the entrance of Pailon the Diablo, where you park the car and walk down the short trail to see the waterfall.

After exploring the Route of the Waterfalls, and if you have enough time, you can go up to the mountain to the famous swing at the Casa de Arbol, known as the ‘Swing at the End of the World’. From this point, you have a breathtaking view of Baños and the Tungurahua Volcano.

Overnachting:

Hotel: Hotel Samari Spa

Opmerking:

Included: breakfast

Day 9: Free time in Baños

Today you have free time in Baños for optional activities (extra cost) like kayaking, canopy, bungee jumping, rafting, and other adventurous activities. Of course, you can also enjoy the facilities of the hotel and relax. Your guide will be available to assist today.

Overnachting:

Hotel: Hotel Samari Spa

Opmerking:

Included: breakfast

Day 10: Baños - Chimborazo - Guamote

After breakfast, you head south into the Andes Mountains. Your first destination is the Chimborazo Reserve, located near the historical town of Riobamba, to admire the highest volcano of Ecuador. Although the Chimborazo is not officially the highest mountain in the world, it is considered to be the furthest point from center of the Earth. The scenery of this place is amazing, with vicuñas (the smaller sister of the llama) wandering around in the moon-like landscape. In the afternoon you head to our hotel in the traditional town of Guamote, located further south.

Overnachting:

Hotel: Inti Sisa Hostel

Opmerking:

Included: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 11: Intisisa Community

The activities of today depend on which day of the week it is, the weather, and the local activities of that day. In most cases, you start the day with a visit to Inti Sisa’s Educational Center in Guamote (from Monday to Friday during the school season). This place has a kindergarten and has projects teaching sewing, computer skills, and English. Every Sunday, a traditional Andean music course takes place. Subsequently, a beautiful ride by car through the mountains shows you more of the area while the guide explains you more about the history of the region and the local culture, which is still very traditional.

 

Normally, you make a stop at the primary school where the kids tell you about their daily school life (be ready to play some football or a pato-ganzo game). Sometimes, there is the opportunity to also visit the agricultural college where you will get an explanation about local agriculture and medicinal plants. Next, you can go to the house of a traditional weaver who shows you how they make the typical ponchos from sheep and alpaca wool. Finally, you have the opportunity to visit an indigenous family and see their authentic housing (choza) to get an idea about how people live in this area. Then, you continue your scenic drive back to Guamote. People who want, can walk back to Guamote (+/- 1,5 hours).

Overnachting:

Hotel: Inti Sisa Hostel

Opmerking:

Included: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 12: Intisisa - Salcedo

This morning, you have the unique opportunity participate in a cooking class organized by the community. The best way to get to know a country is by its cuisine! The class starts with a visit to the local fruit stands and shops to buy the necessary ingredients for your cooking class. This interactive shopping trip will teach you some interesting facts about shopping in Ecuador. With the ingredients you go back to Inti Sisa, where you will start making your fruit salad and empanada. Empanadas are small dough packages that can be filled with virtually everything: chicken, cheese, meat, and more. All-time favorites are empanadas filled with white cheese and topped with sugar. And then comes the best part: sit down and enjoy all the wonderful things you prepared.

After a wonderful experience sharing with a local community, you travel back north.

Overnachting:

Hotel: Hacienda Porvenir

Opmerking:

Included: breakfast and a snack

Day 13: Salcedo - Quilotoa - Tigua - Salcedo

You leave the hotel early in the morning to visit the Quilotoa Crater Lake. Quilotoa is a beautiful lagoon located in the crater of the volcano with the same name. It is one of the most spectacular places in the Ecuadorian Sierra. Its name comes from Quechua words ‘Quiru’ (tooth) and ‘toa’ (queen), because of the shape of the lagoon. The water of the lagoon has an emerald green color, which can vary from yellow-green to blue, depending on the season and the light.

You can hike down to the lagoon and then back to the top of the crater (you can either walk or rent a donkey to get back up). Subsequently, you visit the small village of Tigua famous for its paintings; here you will find colored paintings made on sheep skin, and masks of symbolic representations. In the afternoon you return to the hotel.

Overnachting:

Hotel: Hacienda Porvenir

Opmerking:

Included: breakfast

Day 14: Salcedo - Quito Airport

Today, you are transferred to Quito’s airport (about 2 hours driving) for your flight back home. If your flight departs late in the afternoon, you can enjoy a short visit to the Cotopaxi volcano.

Opmerking:

Included: breakfast

(exclusief internationale vluchten) 14 dagen
vanaf3350,00
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