Otavalo 3D-2N / Las Palmeras INN
Las Palmeras Inn: It is a 150 year old hacienda in which the architecture represents the traditional Andean house with its imposing palm trees and cabins with chimneys, it is hidden in a lush mountain valley less than two hours north of Quito, Ecuador.
Day 1: Quito – Otavalo
- We leave Quito early in the morning, after a hearty breakfast. The mornings are usually spectacularly clear and crisp in the high mountains, and the 90-minute drive to our destination (2,000 meters /6,561 feet above sea level) is full of breathtaking sightseeing. This is a region surrounded by majestic mountain ranges 64 kilometers / 40 miles wide, full of fertile valleys and unmatchable scenic beauty Our first stop is at the Quitsato Sundial, a cultural-tourist site located on the equatorial line close to the Cayambe volcano, where you will learn about the astronomical knowledge of the region’s pre-Hispanic cultures.
Then we will drive to the Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve for a visit to the Interpretation Center and a nice view of Cuicocha lagoon, a deep-blue crater lake on the lower southern flanks of Mount Cotacachi, after the hike we will stop at the picturesque colonial town of Cotacachi, famous for its leatherwork.
After lunch we will continue to our picturesque Hotel.
It is a 150 year old hacienda in which the architecture represents the traditional Andean house with its imposing palm trees and cabins with chimneys, it is hidden in a lush mountain valley less than two hours north of Quito.
The earth walls with a tile roof contain an ever-blooming perennial garden with hibiscus, bougainvillea, orchids, cholan, eucalyptus, etc., which attract an abundant variety of birds including hummingbirds, robins, vermilions, etc.
Night at hotel Las Palmeras Inn
Today we will head to the town of Otavalo, either on foot (a recommended 1-hour hike on a back road) or a 10-minute drive). This is truly one of the most interesting towns in Ecuador, where the local Kichwa indigenous culture is not only plainly visible, but on their rise.
The town´s famous craft market is one of the most visited sites in Ecuador, and with good reason. The market is filled with interesting colorful and sometimes rare objects and crafts. Do remember to bargain, but only if you´re interested! The market is held every day on one of the town squares at the foot of the majestic Imbabura Mountain. And to help you navigate the market, you will be given a short explanation of the market and provided with a map of the area.
As part of our day at the market we will visit the workshop of Master weaver Miguel Andrango, in the village of Agato. Miguel’s art has taken him abroad, mainly to exhibitions and fairs in the United States where the quality of his work is widely acknowledged. In the small store in the courtyard of his Tawantinsuyo workshop, the walls are covered with bright designs, most with an indigenous motif; the designs are based on Inca patterns but are the work of Miguel and his family. The workshop uses only pure wool and Alpaca; the weavers card and spin it themselves and then dye it with natural inks made from mosses (for yellow) or seeds such as ‘Achiote’ (for red).
Later we will have lunch in a local restaurant. Afterwards we will return to our Hotel.
Night at hotel Las Palmeras Inn
Day 3: Otavalo Quito
Raptor Rescue Center – Parque Cóndor
After breakfast, we will visit a rescue center for the protection and recovery of a number of species of birds of prey. Amongst these is the magnificent Andean Condor, whose wing span can reach more than eight feet. This is a must if you are interested in this marvelous bird and its close association with Andean indigenous cultures. Here we will also see some of the other fascinating and beautiful birds of prey to be found in the Northern Andes.
Exhibition days: Wednesday to Sunday and Holidays
Private transportation with spanish speaking driver from Otavalo to Quito.