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Quito and Its Surroundings: In Depth (6 Days)

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Get a true Andean experience on this tour. You’ll visit the Equatorial Monument (Mitad del Mundo or Middle of the World) and take a Quito city tour. On day three, you’ll visit Saquisili Market, Cotopaxi National Park and a local farm. The next day, you will visit the famous Otavalo Indigenous Market and Cuicocha Crater Lake.

This tour is similar to Charming Quito & Otavalo tour but also includes Saquisili Market, Cotopaxi National Park, and a visit to a local farm.

Quito and Its Surroundings: In Depth (6 Days)

Day 1: Arrival to Quito

Welcome to Quito, located in the Andes Mountains! Quito is the world’s second-highest capital.

Declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1978, Quito has one of the finest colonial centers in Latin America.

Transfer to the hotel.

Day 2: Quito: City Tour and Equatorial Monument

Breakfast and Lunch

mitad del mundoWe will pick you up for a short ride through the north of the city, traveling to the Equatorial Monument. It was built as a tribute to the French scientists who determined the shape of the earth in the 1700s.

You will visit the Ethnographic Museum inside the monument, where the colorful way of life of the different ethnic groups of Ecuador is on display. You will continue to the Intiñan interactive museum, which shows the different theories of the Incas in determining the middle of the world.

The tour continues through the modern section of Quito, towards the city’s historic district. You will visit San Agustín Convent and its historical Sala Capitular. You will walk through Independence Square, flanked by the Presidential Palace, the Cathedral, the Archbishop’s Palace and City Hall.

Lunch at a fine restaurant in downtown Quito.

Quito volcanico

We continue the visit with a stroll past El Sagrario Church and marvel at the exquisite stone facade of La Compañía Church. You will visit the San Francisco Church, built over the ruins of an Inca Palace in the 16th century. You can choose between a visit to the home of former philanthropist Maria Augusta Urrutia or the City Museum.

The Urrutia House has its original furniture and paintings from the 19th century, privately restored by the owners. The City Museum is housed in the old San Juan de Dios Hospital, a restored building from the 16th century. You will gain insight into what life was like in Quito.

The day will conclude with a ride up the road to El Panecillo or the Itchimbia Hills for a breathtaking view of Quito.

Transfer to the hotel.

Day 3: Volcanoes Avenue, Cotopaxi

From Quito we will drive south through the Volcanoes Avenue to Saquisili market, an authentic Indian market that is a fantastic mixture of colors, scents and sounds, where locals buy and sell animals, fruit, vegetables, medicinal plants and flowers. Afterwards, there is a choice of different walks and activities within the park according to your physical condition.


The snow-capped symmetrical summit of Cotopaxi volcano is the largest along Ecuador’s Avenue of Volcanoes. Known as the King of the Andes, it is the highest active volcano in the world with a summit of 5,897 meters (19,700 feet) above sea level. It is surrounded by the national park, a vast wilderness of sweeping plains.


The Cotopaxi National Park is the most visited of all Ecuador’s mainland National Parks. Its 34,000 hectares of wild, starkly beautiful moorland, streaked with wispy clouds and pockets of mist, is home to a variety of mammals, birds and endemic species.

RO 34Lunch will be at Hacienda La Cienega, built in the 17th century and one of Ecuador’s oldest colonial haciendas. Its mansion offers charm, history and tradition amongst the breath-taking natural beauty of the landscape and rich folklore of Ecuador’s indigenous people.

We will return to Quito in the afternoon.

Day 4: Otavalo Indigenous Market

Breakfast and Lunch

otavaloEnjoy magnificent scenery and the spectacular views of San Pablo Lake as we approach Otavalo.

Upon arrival in Otavalo, you will have time to browse through the open-air indigenous market, where colorful handicrafts are on display. Lunch will be at a hacienda (farm) in the area.

In the afternoon there is a visit to some authentic workshops that produce woodcarvings and/or Andean musical instruments.

Dinner and accommodation will be at the hacienda where you will get a taste of our traditions and culture.

Day 5: Cuicocha Crater Lake

After enjoying a traditional Ecuadorian breakfast, we will drive up to to Cuicocha Crater Lake and the Cotacachi-Cayapas Reserve.

A short hike around the edge of the lake gives you a unique view of the lake and its surroundings.


Then we will visit the town of Cotacachi, home to Ecuador’s finest leather craftsmen.

zuletaWe will also take you to visit the village of Zuleta, famous for its embroidery.

Lunch will be at a hacienda in the area.

We will get back to Quito and take you to the hotel.

Day 6: To Quito Airport

Breakfast at the hotel

Travel to your next travel segment (Galapagos, Cuenca, Guayaquil or Amazon) or take your return flight home.

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