South Expeditions

Cover Itinerary - South Expeditions Andean Hikes and Colonial Haciendas

Ecuador

Hike through lush Andean valleys, visit vibrant colored markets, and spend charming nights at colonial haciendas.

8 DAYS/ 7 NIGHTS

Andean Hikes and Colonial Haciendas

A trip to the Ecuadorian Andes would be incomplete without staying in a colonial hacienda nestled among the Andean mountains. They are expansive farms founded by Spanish settlers in the 16th century, which had local indigenous population as laborers. These country states have been renovated while maintaining their original architecture, gardens, and old world ambiance. In addition to learning about the country’s colonial roots and unique farming traditions, we will visit a rural school, South America’s largest indigenous market in Otavalo, the famous Cotacachi leather town, the weaving village of Peguche, and San Pablo Lake, one of Ecuador’s biggest lakes.

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TRIP HIGHLIGHT

Rating:

*****

Activities:

Culture - Walking - Biking - Horseback - MultiSport – SpecialInterest

PRICE PER PERSON

8 DAYS/ 7 NIGHTS

  • Stay at traditional, 16th century haciendas.
  • Visit Quitsato Sundial, the actual middle of the world.
  • Visit picturesque handicraft towns and markets.
  • Visit the rural school of Angla and interact with the locals.
  • Ride El Teleférico, a gondola lift in Quito, considered the highest in South America.

Day by Day

DAY

1

Transfer-In Quito

Upon arrival, a representative will meet us at the airport, assist us with our luggage, and transfer to the hotel.

DAY

2

Quitsato Sundial – Hike to Zuleta

Today, we will visit the Quitsato Sundial, a cultural-tourist place located at La Mitad Del Mundo, the actual Middle of the World. We will continue our trip to Pesillo, from where we will take a 3-hour hike through the high Andean grasslands along an old hacienda trail. We will arrive at Hacienda Zuleta, an authentic XVI century property that belongs to the family of a former president.

DAY

3

Cubilche Volcano & Andean Condor Huasi

We will go for a 3 to 4 hour hike to the top of a young volcano called Cubilche. The summit has stunning views of the nearby Cayambe Volcano and the surrounding valleys. In the afternoon, we will visit and learn about the Andean Condor Huasi Project, a rehabilitation program for Andean Condors. On our way, we will have the opportunity to observe the largest and best-preserved archeological sites of the ancient Caranqui culture.

DAY

4

Hike and visit rural school of Angla

In the morning, we will take a walk to San Pablo Lake, one of Ecuador's biggest lakes. Along the way, we will pass through barley, corn, and wheat fields and will enjoy incredible Andean vistas. We will make a stop in the small town of Angla, as we will visit the rural school to spend some time with the local children and teachers, giving them a hand with their daily school activities. Then, we will continue to Hacienda Cusin, a restored XVII century estate surrounded by 7 acres of beautiful gardens and fountain courtyards.

DAY

5

Peguche - Visit local weavers

Today, we will hike on the foothills of Imbabura volcano locally known as Imbabura Urcu, with great views of the San Pablo Lake, Fuya Fuya Mountain, Cotacachi Volcano, and the surrounding valleys and farmland. Our hike will lead us to the weaving villages of Agato and Peguche, the main producers of Ecuadorian woven cloth and fabrics. We will meet and interact with local weavers and craft makers, and learn about local traditions, legends, and history.

DAY

6

Cuicocha Crater Lake – Otavalo Market

Once we arrive in Laguna de Cuicocha, a deep-blue crater lake, we will set out for a hike along the caldera's rim for approximately 4 hours. Next, we will visit Cotacachi’s renowned, high-quality, handcrafted leather goods market. And then, one of the most famous and largest handicraft fair in South America: the market at Otavalo. Nowadays, indigenous artist from all over the country bring their arts and crafts to the Market. One of the highlights of the visit will be provided by the Otavaleno culture, their costumes, language and food can be fully appreciated during this visit.

DAY

7

Visit Teleferico – Quito City Tour

Our day will begin with a visit to El Teleférico, a gondola lift in Quito, considered the highest in South America. We will appreciate unique views of the city cradled by the Andes Mountain range. Later, we will visit the colonial temples and monasteries of this urban jewel, declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site. We will admire St. Augustine Convent, the Independence Plaza, flanked by the Cathedral, La Compania de Jesus, the Presidential Palace, the Municipal Building and the Archbishop’s Palace. Continue to the Church of San Francisco, one of the greatest religious buildings of the New World.

DAY

8

Transfer-Out

Today, one of our representatives will meet you, assist us with our luggage, and take us to the airport in time to catch our flight.

Hotels

Hotel Boutique Patio Andaluz

An elegant, colonial style boutique hotel located a short distance from the main square and the monasteries of San Francisco and Santo Domingo, and the Church and Jesuit College of La Compañía.

http://www.hotelpatioandaluz.com/

Garden Hotel San Jose

The hotel is a restored colonial building, Hacienda San Jose, which dates back to the XVIII century. It offers both, national and international cuisine.

http://en.gardenhotelsanjose.com/

Hacienda Zuleta

Hacienda Zuleta is an authentic XVI century colonial working farm that belongs to the family of Mr. Galo Plaza Lasso, a former Ecuadorian president. Bedrooms are beautifully decorated, each with its own fireplace, and antique gardens surround cosy living and reading rooms. It offers many culturally engaging and fun activities throughout the state and delicious Ecuadorian cuisine.

http://zuleta.com/

Hacienda Cusin

Hacienda Cusin, a restored XVII century estate, is surrounded by 7 acres of beautiful gardens and fountain courtyards. This hacienda lies in a lush green valley under Cotacachi and Imbabura volcanoes' shade.

http://www.haciendacusin.com/

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