day 1 arrival in Quito + transfer to Otavalo
day 2 on your own: visit indigenous market / waterfall of Peguche
day 3 hiking tour Lake Cuicocha
day 4 Visiting indigenous villages – transfer to Cotopaxi
day 5 excursion to Cotopaxi National Park
day 6 transfer to Quito
* 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 in Quito.
Transfer from Quito to Otavalo in private car (SP-speaking driver)
You will be picked up by a Spanish-speaking driver at the hotel (or airport) and transferred in a private car to the hotel in Otavalo. This drive through the Andes takes about 2 hours.
Acclimatization – we suggest two activities that one can do on one’s own:
Otavalo – visit to the indigenous market (on your own)
This market in the Plaza de Ponchos is without a doubt the most famous indigenous market in Ecuador. You will find a huge selection of artesanate. The best day to visit this market is on Saturday. There are 4 markets going on simultaneously in different parts of the city. But the artesanate market now also goes on the other days of the week – it is much quieter then. This in turn has its advantages.
Hike to Peguche waterfall (on your own)
The 18-meter-high Peguche waterfall is located 4 kilometers south of Otavalo. The Otavalo Indians celebrate the solar festival of Inti Raymi there on June 21. For several days purification rituals are held here. The waterfall is located in a small nature reserve.
Hike around the crater lake of Cuicocha
Cuicocha is one of the most famous lakes in Ecuador. With a private car we drive to the entrance of the reserve Cotacachi-Cayapas, where we start a 5-hour hike that goes between 3100 and 3500 meters above sea level. Along the way we enjoy the biodiversity, the views of the picturesque Lake Cuicocha with its two islets and the view of the peaks Cotacachi, Imbabura and Cayambe.
Duration: approximately 7 hours
Included: English speaking local guide, private transport, meal or packed lunch
Required: good walking shoes, sun protection, mosquito repellent, fleece or pullover, water (min. 1 liter)
Recommended: camera, binoculars, rain jacket, reasonable physical condition also at altitude
The Villages of Cotacachi.
A tour of indigenous villages, visiting workshops, organic gardens, a school and Cuicocha Lake. We begin this tour with a brief explanation of the region of Cotacachi, then we visit a weaving workshop in the village of Carabuela. Then we will visit an organic garden and learn about the vegetables and medicinal plants of the Andean region. We continue to La Calera where we visit a small school and a family that makes embroidery. After lunch we finish with a visit to Lake Cuicocha where we take some time to walk or take a short boat trip (optional).
Duration: approx. 7 hours I
ncluded: Guide, private transportation, lunch, entrance
Recommended: camera, water, sun protection, fleece or pullover
Transfer from Otavalo to Cotopaxi in private car
You will be picked up by a Spanish-speaking driver at the hotel and taken in a private car to Cotopaxi. This ride through the Andes takes 3 to 4 hours.
The Cotopaxi Volcano.
The driver will pick you up at the hotel in the morning. The National Park is an hour’s drive from Quito. On cloudless days you can admire the mountain from afar. After a short stop at the Mariscal Sucre information point, where you get some information about the area and the volcano we drive
further to 4500 m altitude. From here we go to the refuge which is 365 meters higher. It is a very steep walk that takes us at least an hour considering the high altitude. Then we descend to the Limpiopungo lake which lies at the foot of the volcano. This lake is fed by a volcanic glacier; you often see wild horses grazing and Andean foxes hunting here. Then we return to the hotel by car.
To bring: protection from the sun and rain, water, sport shoes, camera and warm clothes.
Duration: 6 hours
Includes: English speaking guide, transportation and lunch box
Transfer from Cotopaxi to Quito in private car (SP language driver)
* 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 2-person standard rooms, unless stated otherwise. Surcharges for single rooms or luxury
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 ineemse
markets, departure dates of cruises and flights, etc. We do everything possible to optimize the activities mentioned in 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!