Quito │ Otavalo │ Cuicocha │ Tumbabiro │ El Angel │ Cotopaxi │ Riobamba │ Guamote │ Chimborazo │ Quilotoa
After landing at the Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Quito you will be taken to the Hacienda Cusin in Otavalo where you can relax and enjoy the rest of the evening. The Hacienda Cusin is a restored country estate from the 17th century, which is still home to various animals such as horses, lamas, guinea pigs, peachicks, turkeys and pigs.
In the morning you visit the lively and colorful market of Otavalo, the perfect place to buy your first souvenir! Thereafter you will explore the crater lake of Cuicocha in the afternoon which offers great views from different perspectives. Afterward you return to the Hacienda Cusin, where you can enjoy the installations during the evening and make use of the large variety of activities in and around the building.
You take the colorful train “Autoferro” from Ibarra, passing beautiful landscapes, bridges and tunnels along the way. Visiting the city of Salinas you will learn a lot about the salt culture of this region before reaching the charming Hacienda Pantavi in the evening. The Hacienda Pantavi is located in the “Valle del Chota” and designed with a lot of creativity and attention to detail. It comes with a garden, a picture gallery and a small pool.
Today you explore the “El Angel” Natural Reserve, hiking through the moorlands to the lagoon “El Voladero”. In the afternoon you visit the “Gruta de La Paz”, a stalactite cave with thermal waters used for purifying baths by pilgrims. Afterwards you enjoy your second evening in the Hacienda Pantavi, which joins the traditional Hacienda architecture with contemporary art.
On your way to the Cotopaxi Volcano you will stop for a visit at the Hacienda La Compañía and its plantation of roses. In the afternoon you will explore the surroundings of Cotopaxi and the beautiful Hacienda El Porvenir on horse-back. This traditional Hacienda is located in the midst of the Andes Mountains and offers a lot of activities such as bike trips, horse rides, mountain climbing, hiking, bird watching, and canopy.
In the morning you have the possibility to climb the Cotopaxi Volcano up to a refuge located at a height of 4,800m/15,748ft. In the afternoon you visit the Hacienda San Agustin de Callo which has been built on the walls of an old Incan palace. Your overnight-stay will be at the Hacienda Abraspungo in Riobamba, which is built in traditional colonial style, named after a glacial valley and offers horse rides and lessons in bullfights and polo.
On Thursdays you can visit the very authentic market of Guamote in the morning. Afterwards you drive through the Chimborazo Natural Reserve with an area of 58,560ha/226mi² where you can climb Chimborazo, Ecuador’s highest mountain, in the afternoon up to a refuge located at 5,000m/16,404ft. Tonight you will stay – like Alexander von Humboldt in 1802 – at the Hacienda La Ciénega in Lasso which is more than 400 years old and has its own chapel and a flower garden.
Your trip continues to the crater lake of Quilotoa where you can descend to the blue-green water of the lake and return upwards on a donkey (ca. 8 US$ per person)! Afterwards you drive to Quito to enjoy the evening in the capital city. Quito’s colonial hotel Patio Andaluz is a national treasure and boasts many historical personalities as former guests. Located in the historic center, it is surrounded by churches, museums, and monuments.
Walking through the historic part of Quito in the morning you will show you around the Plaza Grande as well as the churches La Compañía and San Francisco. For the afternoon, you decide between two trips: Either you take the cable car up Quito’s local Mountain “Pichincha” with a height of 4,100m/13,450ft OR you can step on both hemispheres at the same time at the Equator Monument Mitad del Mundo! You will spend your second night at the beautiful hotel Patio Andaluz.
The last day of your journey is at your disposal. You can walk through the historic district of Quito one more time and take your last photos or relax at a nice cafe before you‘re picked up and taken to the airport.