local women wearing panama hats weave straw on otavalo escape ecuador land tour
andes highlands with patchwork crops on otavalo escape ecuador land tour
painting of otavalo at market on otavalo escape ecuador land tour
large tapestry being woven on loom on otavalo escape ecuador land tour
lone tree atop hill as fog rolls in on otavalo escape ecuador land tour
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South America Ecuador Land Tour

Otavalo Escape

If traveling through Quito, stopping at Ecuador’s Otavalo market—only 2 hours from Quito—is a must. This 3-day Otavalo Escape is a perfect in-depth and relaxing experience that highlights Ecuador’s highland region, including an Andean music house, traditional weaving workshop; Cuicocha Lake and Cotacachi, an entire town dedicated to fine leather products; a rose plantation; and of course, the Otavalo market. 

The Otavalo market, which makes the town of Otavalo world-famous, is one of the most fascinating and important markets in Latin America. Featuring a dazzling array of handicrafts including tapestries, hammocks, jewelry, paintings and colorful native clothing, the Otavalo market is a major source of income for local artisans from over 75 nearby villages. The Otavaleños are a very prosperous community of skilled textile weavers, who gather to sell their products at the market in the city of Otavalo as they have done for centuries, as regional markets have played an important role in Andean life, providing regular gathering places for trade and socializing. Today, increasing numbers of Otavaleños have also been traveling overseas to sell their handcrafts in Europe and North America. The Otavaleños are proud of their cultural heritage. They are hardworking people who have managed to overcome poverty without changing their way of life, traditions or clothing style, while at the same time taking advantage of technological advances.

The Otavalo Escape includes a 2-night stay in centuries-old colonial haciendas, namely Hacienda Cusin, whose terracotta tiles, winding cobblestone pathways, fountain courtyards, towers and perennial gardens are historical and comforting with modern amenities. Enjoy delicious cuisine in traditional style surrounded by antique furnishings, Andean crafts and local people who want to share their culture with you.

Read on for details about this trip, or learn more about AdventureSmith’s Ecuador tours.



Itinerary

Otavalo Escape Itinerary

The 3-day Otavalo Escape operates round-trip from Quito, Ecuador, offering two nights at a classic Andean hacienda with daytime visits to stunning lakes, Andean villages and the world-famous Otavalo market.

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Day 1
Andean Villages

Depart Quito early for a scenic drive north along Guayllabamba and Cayambe Valleys while enjoying spectacular Andean scenery. At lunchtime arrive at the 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. In the afternoon, visit the town of San Antonio de Ibarra, famous for its woodcarvings.

Accommodations

Hacienda Cusin (or similar)

Meals

lunch, dinner

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Day 2
Otavalo Market & Peguche Village

For hundreds of years indigenous people from over 70 surrounding villages have brought their crafts and produce to the world famous market in Otavalo. Here you can get involved in the excitement of bargaining, buying and photographing native textiles, the original “Panama” hat, flowers, fruits, vegetables, and pottery arranged in colorful displays. Enjoy another delicious lunch at a nearby hacienda or hosteria in the area.

This afternoon, visit the nearby village of Peguche. Stop and enjoy a textile workshop and take a closer look at the process of producing intricate traditional textiles on waistband looms that date back to the XVII century. Observe how the yarns are brushed, threaded and dyed before being woven into colourful traditional designs. Every step of production is open to see and both the process and the resulting stunning textiles are quite a show.

Next, visit the Tatya Gundo Kaya Wasi, which means Andean Music House in Kichwa. This traditional-style building houses a space dedicated to strengthening indigenous culture through popular Kichwa music. The cultural education project here promotes activities for children and young people from rural communities. Visit its quaint museum of wind and string instruments, as well as the workshop where these instruments are built using bamboo and other natural materials.

Accommodations

Hacienda Cusin (or similar)

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 3
Cuicocha Lake & Cotacachi

Visit Cuicocha Lake and the town of Cotacachi, an entire town dedicated to fine leather products with an abundance of shops to admire and purchase leather goods. Lake Cuicocha, or Lake of Guinea Pigs, is a beautiful caldera lake named for the two guinea pig shaped islands in the middle. These islands, along with the steep walls of the rim and the backdrop of the snow-capped Cayambe Volcano make for an impressive and postcard-worthy photograph. Experience the scenery from a boat ride around the islands, an easy walk to a viewpoint above the lake, or opt for a longer hike around the caldera’s rim for panoramic views of the lake.

Continue south for a visit to an impressive rose plantation and hacienda. As you tour the estate, learn the fascinating process from start to finish how these prized roses are meticulously cared for, harvested, and packaged to export around the world. Enjoy lunch at the hacienda before your return to Quito.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast, lunch

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Transportation, accommodations, local guides, entrance fees and meals as specified in itinerary.

Exclusions

Airfare to Ecuador, excess baggage charges, gratuities to Naturalist Staff and crew, items of a personal nature such as alcoholic beverages, and insurance of any kind.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of $200 is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, 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 Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The Otavalo Escape begins and ends in Quito, Ecuador, (UIO) and requires one pre- and one post-hotel night. Please plan flights to arrive anytime one day prior to day 1 of the itinerary and depart anytime one day after day 3, from Quito. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Activities

Activities on the Otavalo Escape may include scenic drives, photography, bartering at markets and cultural visits focused on weaving, leather work, horticulture and wood carving.

Room Configuration

Quad occupancy is in two double-occupancy rooms. Call for pricing for groups of six or more.

Families & Children

Children 11 years and under receive a 10% discount when staying in room with two full fare adults. Child rates do not apply for groups of children.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 15 or 21 days of booking (depending on plan) for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, National Park regulation or at the guides’ discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of adventure travel unique.

Rates & Dates

Trip Rates & Details

2020 Rates
From $815USD
Per Person
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2021 Rates
From $765USD
Per Person
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Accommodation

Learn About the Lodge on Your Itinerary

Lodge
Hacienda Cusin

Hacienda Cusin is a restored 17th-century Andean estate located at 8,500 feet elevation, only 20 minutes from famous Otavalo. Terracotta tiles, winding pathways, private courtyards and perennial gardens are nestled beneath a deep blue sky in a wide lake valley.

Testimonial

Hear It from Travelers Who Have Explored with Us

"Well Taken Care of at Every Stage"

The trip was really fantastic and we felt safe and well taken care of at every stage. We loved Ecuador, it was beautiful, friendly and the food was terrific. We enjoyed Quito and the Otavalo area more than we expected really. Beautiful city with lots to see.

Overall
5 /5 Star Created with Sketch.
Accommodations
4 /5 Star Created with Sketch.
Meals
5 /5 Star Created with Sketch.
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Otavalo Escape

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