day 1 arrival in Quito + transfer to Otavalo
day 2 acclimatization – indigenous market – Peguche
day 3 journey around Lake Cuicocha and to Papallacta
day 4 Laguna de Baños and to Quito
day 5 daytrip to Cotopaxi National Park
day 6 city tour of Quito and airport transfer
Otavalo: Posada del Quinde
Papallacta: Thermas de Papallacta – standard room
Quito: Antinea Hotel Junior suite
Otavalo: Hotel Otavalo – Junior suite
Papallacta: Thermas de Papallacta – suite
Quito: Casa El Eden Superior room
Otavalo: Hacienda Cusin
Papallacta: Thermas de Papallacta – deluxe room
Quito: Casa Gangotena
* All hotel nights with breakfast, transfers, domestic flights and excursions as mentioned in the program.
* Lunch and dinner in accordance with the program if stated.
* Drinks, tips and expenses of a personal nature.
* International flights to and from Ecuador.
* Travel or cancellation insurance.
This is an example trip. You can adapt the order of the trip and the choice of hotels and excursions to your wishes. For example, you can combine this trip with another example trip or a subsequent cruise to the Galapagos Islands. The extensive range of hotels, excursions and cruises can be found elsewhere on this website.
Arrival at the airport of Quito
Transfer from Quito to Otavalo in private car
You will be picked up by a Spanish-speaking driver and taken to the hotel in Otavalo in a private vehicle. This drive through the Andes Mountains takes approximately 2 hours.
Acclimatization: we suggest two activities that you can do on your own –
Otavalo – visit to the indigenous market (under your own steam)
This market in the Plaza de Ponchos is without a doubt the most famous indigenous market in Ecuador. You will find a huge range of artesanate there. The best day to visit this market is on Saturday. At the same time, 4 markets take place in different places in the city. But the artesanate market now also continues on the other days of the week – it is then a lot quieter. That in turn has its advantages.
Hike to the waterfall of Peguche (under your own steam)
The 18-meter-high Peguche waterfall is located 4 kilometers south of Otavalo in a beautiful natural park. The local population of Otavalo celebrates the solar festival of Inti Raymi there on June 21. During several days purification rituals are held. But also during the rest of the year the park is worth a visit.
Hiking tour around the crater lake of Cuicocha
Cuicocha is one of the most beautiful lakes in Ecuador. In a private car we drive to the entrance of the Cotacachi-Cayapas Reserve, where we start a 5-hour walking tour that runs between 3,100 and 3,500 meters above sea level. Along the way, we enjoy the biodiversity, the views of the picturesque lake of Cuicocha with its two islands, as well as the panorama of the mountain peaks of Cotacachi, Imbabura and Cayambe. Arrival at the airport of QuitoDifficulty: moderate Duration: approx. 7 hours
Included: English speaking local guide, private transport, meal or packed lunch
Mandatory: good walking shoes, sun protection, mosquito repellent, fleece or pull, water (min.1 liter)
Recommended: camera, binoculars, rain jacket, reasonable condition also at height
Transfer from Otavalo to Papallacta in private vehicle
You will be taken from Otavalo to Papallacta. During this 3-hour drive through the Andes Mountains, just after Cayambe you will pass a small equatorial monument and the pilgrimage site of El Quinche, known for its cathedral and its typical Native American cemetery.
Hiking tour – The lakes of Baños (Papallacta)
This hike takes about 3 hours and starts at the entrance of the thermal baths in Papallacta. By car we drive 15 minutes steep up the mountain to the entrance of the National Park Cayambe-Coca at 3800 meters above sea level. From here we walk to the lakes of Baños. On a clear day you have a beautiful view of the Antisana volcano. Along the way we look out for the spectacled bear, the mountain deer, the mountain tapir, paramo wolves etc.
Included: local guide with limited knowledge of English, transportation by private car H/T from the entrance of the thermal baths.
Transfer from Papallacta to Quito in private vehicle
You will be picked up at the hotel and taken to Quito in a 2-hour private car ride.
The Cotopaxi National Park
The Cotopaxi is with its 5 897 meters the highest active volcano in the world. The National Park is just over an hour’s drive from Quito. We first visit a small museum in the park and then walk around the Limpiopungo lake with its typical flora and fauna. Then we continue by car to the final place at 4500 meters. From there it takes us about an hour to walk to reach the refuge at 4800 meters. After a short stop we continue to the glacier. On Thursday you can combine this visit with a visit to the beautifully authentic indigenous market of Saquisili. We will be back in Quito in the late afternoon.
Included: English speaking guide and transport in private car.
Not included: meal on the go.
Duration: whole day
For this private excursion, the guide will pick you up by car from the hotel. We visit the old and the new Quito: the parliament, the presidential palace, the Plaza de Independencia and the churches of San Francisco, La Compania and the cathedral. Then we go to El Panecillo, the statue of the angel and panoramic point that sits high above Quito. The guide provides information about Quito and Ecuador. The entrance to the listed attractions is subject to opening hours.
Included: English speaking guide and private transport.
Not included: possible meal, entrance to museums and churches.
Duration: 4 to 5 hours.
Transfer from hotel to Quito airport in private car
You will be picked up at the hotel and taken to the airport.
* All transfers are done with private car and Spanish-speaking driver unless otherwise stated
* Mentioned trips and excursions are examples from a wider range. Check out our website for more options.
* This travel proposal is based on double standard rooms, unless stated otherwise. Surcharges for single rooms or deluxe rooms are on request.
* This travel proposal is without obligation, depending on the travel period and subject to availability.
* In the final travel program, certain fixed days of activities must be taken into account, such as Indian markets, departure dates of cruises and flights, etc. We do everything possible to optimally integrate the mentioned activities into the program.
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I’m Tom from Belgium and I’ll make sure your trip to Ecuador or cruise in Galapagos goes as smoothly and pleasantly as possible. I have been living in Ecuador for a decade and have been working in tourism for 8 years now. Before that, I obtained my guides diploma in Ecuador. Traveling and discovering new places is my passion.
Together with the local travel agency Descubre-Ecuador, we offer tailor-made tours in Galapagos and on the Ecuadorian mainland. Over the years, Descubre-Ecuador has built a reliable partnership with the best hotels and the best nature guides in Ecuador. Our small-scale way of working ensures easy accessibility and a lot of flexibility when traveling.
Customer satisfaction is the essence for us. And even in those rare moments of unforeseen difficult circumstances, we make sure that we are there to make sure your trip runs smoothly.
Explore Ecuador and Galapagos!
In South America, Ecuador is one of the smaller countries, but the country is hugely diverse in terms of geography, climate and population. You can visit the Andes, the Amazon rainforest as well as the tropical coast without taking extremely long domestic flights or transfers. And then you have the Galapagos Islands, a once in a lifetime experience. The diversity of flora and fauna per square mile is enormous. Ecuador is South America in a nutshell. Moreover, the country is relatively safe and little visited. The national currency is the USD and you have a wide choice of direct flights to Quito and Guayaquil from Europe and the United States.
Ik ben Tom uit België en zorg ervoor dat jullie reis naar Ecuador of cruise in Galapagos zo vlot en aangenaam mogelijk kan verlopen. Ik woon al een tiental jaren in Ecuador en werk nu 8 jaren in toerisme. Daarvoor heb ik in Ecuador mijn gidsen-diploma behaald. Reizen en nieuwe plaatsen ontdekken is mijn passie. Samen met het lokale reiskantoor Descubre-Ecuador, bieden we reizen op maat in Galapagos en op het Ecuadoriaanse vasteland aan. Descubre-Ecuador heeft door de jaren heen een betrouwbare samenwerking opgebouwd met de beste hotels en de beste natuurgidsen van Ecuador. Onze kleinschalige manier van werken zorgt voor een vlotte bereikbaarheid en veel flexibiliteit bij het reizen. De tevredenheid van de klant is voor ons de essentie. En ook op die zeldzame momenten van onvoorziene moeilijke omstandigheden zorgen we dat we er zijn om jullie reis toch perfect te laten verlopen. Ontdek Ecuador en Galapagos!