- ITINERARY VARIES DEPENDING ON THE STARTING DAY**
Day 1 – Monday: Transfer Airport / Hotel
Day 2 – Tuesday: Breakfast. Submerge into Ancestral Otavalo Culture.
Departure from our designated hotels in Quito through the Pan-American North Highway until arriving in Cayambe, where the passengers will have the opportunity to taste the delicious “Bizcochos de Cayambe”, a type of cracker or bread baked in a clay oven (greatly paired with local cheese or caramel sauce). After admiring Lake San Pablo, we will arrive at the Otavalo Market, the largest in America, where the indigenous people of the area, known as "Otavalos", one of Ecuador's most recognized ethnic groups, make and sell their textiles and handicrafts.
Passengers may choose between to stay in this area and enjoy more time from the market and our bus will pick them up at the end of the tour (they will not have the visit to Cotacachi and Cuicocha), or continue with the journey to the town of Cotacachi, recognized for leather clothing and crafts. On the way to Cotacachi, we will visit an Andean instrument workshop "Ñanda Mañachi" located in the area of Peguche, to spend some special moments with the local people and understand the Andean culture.
In Cotacachi, you have enough time to visit the village, the shops of leather goods and free time for lunch, (not included).
Later we will visit the Ecological Reserve where the Cuicocha lagoon is located, inside the crater of the Cotacachi Volcano, which originated after a volcanic explosion thousands of years ago. And if the weather permits it will be possible to make a walk by the lagoon, that is to say, sailing in the crater of the volcano in small boats (with additional cost).
- Bus will wait for 10 minutes in Otavalo to pick up passengers that stayed there, and after that will return to Quito and their respective hotels or starting point.
Day 3 – Wednesday: Breakfast. 1914 Original trolley city tour of Quito Northern and south Hemisphere Experience in the Middle of the World
We will visit the historic center, the largest and best preserved in South America, in one of our original trolleys, which are a replica of the trams that circulated in Quito in the last century.
Visit to the Basilica del Voto Nacional Church, where we will make a brief stop during which the passengers will be able to climb up to its high domes, to later move towards the Panecillo viewpoint, an iconic place in the city, renowned for its beauty, and where is a giant statue of the ""Winged Virgin"", where you can admire a beautiful landscape of colonial and modern Quito. Later we will continue to the Plaza de San Francisco, one of the representative places of the city and full of history, from where we will walk to the Plaza Grande, historical and political center of the city, surrounded by innumerable attractions including: the Cathedral, the Palace of Government, the Archbishop's Palace and the La Compañía church.
We continue our tour meeting the traditional La Ronda neighborhood, in whose romantic setting we can find workshops where our visitors will learn with a group of authentic artisans, how their works are elaborated, and trades of yesteryear that keep alive the cultural traditions of this charming city. (Entrance to churches are not included).
We will stop at the “Zona Rosa” of the city, approximately an hour and a half to have free time for lunch (not included), and later we continue with our excursion “Northern and south Hemisphere Experience in the Middle of the World”.
We go to the "Middle of the World City", where you can see the monument that divides the northern hemisphere from the southern hemisphere of the planet. It was built during the XVII century when a French Expedition defined the precise location of the equatorial line that divides the world and it is a must-see place for those who visit Quito. Includes entrance to the Middle of the World complex, where you can live experiences that defy the laws of physics and occur only in this part of the world. After visiting this privileged place and registering it in your passport, you will always see Ecuador and the Middle of the World in a different way.
Day 4 – Thursday: Breakfast. Excursion through the Avenue of the Volcanoes.
Departure from Quito through the “Avenue of the Volcanoes” admiring the beautiful Andean landscape which is a great opportunity to take pictures, a brief stop at the Cotopaxi National Park (entrance is not included). Arrival to Riobamba and accommodation in a typical hacienda of the region.
- If it is not operating the Cotopaxi National Park due to volcanic activity, you will visit the Quilotoa volcano and the unique turquoise lagoon situated in his crater.
- Does not include access to the Cotopaxi National Park.
Day 5 – Friday: After breakfast departure to the train station located in Alausí. From her we´ll enjoy a train ride towards the famous “Devil’s Nose”, a magnificent work incrusted in the Andes, (train ride takes approx. 2 hours). After the train ride visit to the Ingapirca Inca Ruins, the biggest Inca archaeological complex in Ecuador from the XV and XVI centuries, (ticket to the complex not included). Arrive in the City of Cuenca to spend the night.
- Train Operation is subject to change
Day 6 – Saturday: Breakfast. City Tour Cuenca
We will travel through the city visiting Calderon Park, the New and the Old Cathedral, the Flower Market, Modern Arts Museum. We continue the tour to the Homero Ortega Panama Hat factory to observe the complete process of manufacturing. We will also observe the “broken bridge” and finally visit the tourist balcony of “Turi” where we can see a panoramic view of the whole city of Cuenca.
Day 7 – Sunday: Breakfast. Transfer Hotel / Airport. Flight to Quito (air ticket included). Transfer Airport / Hotel in Quito.
Day 8 – Monday: Breakfast. Transfer Hotel / Airport.