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Quito, Otavalo & Cuicocha Crater Lake (5 Days)

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On this tour, you’ll spend a full day exploring the Otavalo Indigenous Market. You’ll also explore the Cuicocha Crater Lake, Zuelta Village and the Cotacachi-Cayapas Reserve. In Quito, you’ll have a full city tour. You will also visit the Equatorial Monument.

This tour is similar to Quito and Its Surroundings: In Depth tour but without the Saquisili Market and Cotopaxi National Park excursions.

Quito, Otavalo & Cuicocha Crater Lake (5 Days)

Day 1: Arrival to Quito

Welcome to Quito! The world’s second-highest capital is located high in Ecuador’s Andes Mountains.

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

We begin the day with a short ride through the north of the city to the Equatorial Monument. It was built as a tribute to the French scientists who determined the shape of the earth in the 1700’s.

mitad del mundoYou will visit the Ethnographic Museum inside the monument, where the colorful way of life of Ecuador’s different ethnic groups is on display. Later, 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, followed by Independence Square, flanked by the Presidential Palace, the Cathedral, the Archbishop’s Palace and City Hall.

Quito volcanico

Lunch at a fine restaurant in downtown Quito.

Continue the visit with a stroll past El Sagrario Church and 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 ends 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: Otavalo Indigenous Market

Breakfast and Lunch

While traveling to Otavalo, you will see magnificent scenery and the spectacular views of San Pablo Lake.

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 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 4: 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.


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

We will also visit the village of Zuleta, famous for its embroidery.

Lunch will be at the hacienda in the area.

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

Day 5: To Quito Airport

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

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