Discover the beauty of the Andes Mountains and rich cultural heritage of Ecuador's northern sierra region on this active cultural exploration. Visit rural Andean villages known for hand made crafts, the world famous market at Otovalo and take a guided hike between rural indigenous villages. Accommodations include luxurious, centuries old haciendas, now converted into comfortable inns and living museums.
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Day 1 - Andean Villages
Depart Quito early to visit the nearby villages of Peguche to observe traditional weaving, Calderon, known for its bread doll art, and Peguche which is known for its weaving and textiles. The relaxing drive allows you to enjoy spectacular Andean scenery. This afternoon visit nearby villages and hike to the Cuicocha Crater Lake. This evening drive to Hacienda Cusin, a restored 17th-century estate, in the nearby village of San Pablo. The hacienda offers a luxurious taste of Ecuador's colonial history among individually decorated rooms, gardens and courtyards.Accommodations:
Hacienda CusinIncluded Meals:
lunch and dinner
Day 2 - Otovalo Market & Imbabura Hike
For hundreds of years indigenous people from over seventy surrounding villages have brought their crafts and produce to the world famous market in Otovalo. Here you can get involved in the excitement of bargaining and buying or merely photograph native textiles, flowers, fruits, vegetables, and pottery arranged in colorful displays. A short drive from Otovalo leads to the outskirts of San Pablo Village and Lake where indigenous Ecuadorian farms adorn the hillsides. Begin a three hour guided hike between villages where you can meet local people working in the fields, see their crafts and learn about traditional Quecha Indian culture. (A road connects the villages so you can hike part way or ride if you wish.) Pass under the shadow of the Imbabura volcano as you descend into a fertile agricultural valley. Conclude the hike at another traditional ranch called the Hacienda Zuleta. Originally built in 1690 the hacienda is the only working hacienda remaining in Ecuador. This evening dine with members of the Plaza-Lasso family, owners and caretakers of the hacienda for over 100 years. Overnight Hacienda Zuleta.Accommodations:
Hacienda ZuletaIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 3 - Hacienda Zuleta
Today the history of Zuleta can be experienced throughout the Hacienda. The ranch is a showcase of progressive sustainable agriculture, ranching and industry in harmony with its natural and cultural surroundings. While at Zuleta you can enjoy a wonderful array of activities (at added cost) within the private 1800 hectare property. Miles of meandering mountain roads and trails make Zuleta an oasis for horseback riding, mountain biking, and hiking. Archaeological tours of the Caranqui Pyramids take you back in time to when the Zuleta valley was populated by ancient civilizations. The working farm itself offers a variety of entertaining possibilities with a trout farm, cheese factory, dairy farm and many other activities. Guests are also invited to visit the Gallo Plaza Foundation's projects which include the women's community embroidery project and the condor repopulation project. Dinner and overnight at Hacienda Zuleta.Accommodations:
Hacienda ZuletaIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 4 - Mitad del Mundo
A final morning at the Hacienda before returning to Quito. Along the way stop at the Mitad del Mundo equatorial Monument located on the equator. Arrive Quito early afternoon and transfer to your hotel.Accommodations:
We may occasionally alter itineraries slightly for safety, or to take advantage of weather, wildlife, and unplanned discoveries. Our ability to be spontaneous makes our style of travel unique.
Transportation, accommodations, local guides, entrance fees and meals as specified in itinerary.
Airfare to Ecuador, excess baggage charges, taxes and port fees, Quito airport international departure tax, gratuities to Naturalist Staff and crew, items of a personal nature such as alcoholic beverages, and insurance of any kind.
Single rates available upon request. Share rates are available.
Families & Children:
The Amazon rainforest is a wonderful place for family travel. Minimum age for the Ecuador Amazon Adventure is 5 years old. Children 5-12 years old receive a 30% discount when sharing with parents.
Arrival & Departure:
The Andes Highland Haciendas adventure begins and ends in Quito and requires a pre and post hotel night. Please plan flights to arrive anytime the day prior to day 1 of the itinerary and depart anytime on day 5 from Quito International Airport.
Payment & Cancellation:
In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of $500 is required at the time of booking. A Reservation Form
, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Cancellations are subject to the following fees, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 91 days - 50% of deposit
90 to 31 days - 50% of total trip cost
30 to 0 days - 100% of total trip cost
Terms & Conditions:
This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions
. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information is sent upon confirmation.
We highly recommend our travelers protect their investment with travel insurance. Please note that you must purchase your travel insurance policy within 14 days of booking your trip for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions. Click the link below for a selection of policies from our partners at Travelex.
These trips will be enjoyed by anyone with a love for nature and the outdoors.
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