From Quito: Otavalo History, Culture, and Condors Day Trip
- Small group
- Duration: 10 hours
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This is a great tour with something for everyone. There were 6 in our group, 4 x "30 somethings" and my friend and I at 60+ 1st stop was a Hummingbird sanctuary where we got "up close and personal" with these beautiful birds as they visited the feeders. Then it was into the Cloud Forest proper. The "30 somethings" opted for high octane activities like zip lining 100m above ground and repelling down a 30m waterfall (bring waterproof bag, towel, swimsuits, wet shoes & a change of clothes inc. footwear) My friend and I opted for the lower intensity activities. A 3 minute cable car ride across a 500m deep ravine accessed a 2 mile hike along well maintained trails through the cloud forest and across a roaring torrent beside a 15m high waterfall, before continuing on to a butterfly farm and orchid nursery to admire the beauty of the insects and plants. The guide and driver were really knowledgeable and helpful and did a great job accommodating our very varied interests and abilities.
This experience is so fun with many options to choose from, tons of flexibility, and an expert guide. Diego, Andrea, and Gabriel were an incredible guide team. Zip-lining gave us incredible views and we got to do way more routes than we anticipated for such a good price. Then we did a coffee agricultural tour that involved everything from picking the coffee cherry and processing it all the way to drinking it fresh. We got to do a chair lift with more amazing views and ended at a very nice restaurant that also sold tasty Mindo chocolate. Diego was very knowledgeable and accommodating, Andrea captured all our best moments, and Gabriel got us everywhere very safely. Would highly recommend, very good deal.
Very small group tour - we were only with one other couple (luckily they were lovely). We were able to choose what activities we wanted to do, but needed to balance against location (as they are not all close together) and what the other couple wanted to do. Lunch was fantastic but took a really long time... So we had to skip one of our planned afternoon activities. Also note the hike down to the waterfall and back up is quite strenuous and often slippery (wear proper hiking shoes that you don't mind getting wet and muddy).
We had a wonderful day, Erica and Alberto went above and beyond to make our day enjoyable. From Mindo to the chocolate factory everything was for our benefit. Even to giving me a helping hand up some of the steeper parts.
Trip is better than it sounds. Hummingbirds, hike to waterfall, cable car ride and ride down the mountain on the lift were all great.