Spend 6 days exploring Quito and the surrounding area with no stress, all the planning, transport and accommodation is organised for you.
What to Expect
Itinerary may vary depending on starting day.
Day 1 – Monday: Transfer Airport / Hotel
Day 2 – Tuesday: Breakfast. Excursion to Otavalo Market.
Depart from Quito through the Pan-American North Highway until arriving to Cayambe, where the passengers will have the opportunity to taste the delicious “Bizcochos de Cayambe”, a type of cracker or bread baked in a clay oven (greatly paired with local cheese or caramel sauce). Afterwards, you will make a brief stop at “Miralago”, to admire a wonderful view of Lago San Pablo. The tour then continues to Otavalo where Otavaleños (natives) set up a market in which a bartering manner of shopping is taken place. The market hosts a variety of different handcrafted items.
Passengers may choose between staying longer in Otavalo or go to visit to the leather shops at Cotacachi. On the way to Cotacachi, you will visit a traditional workshop of Andean instruments "Ñanda Mañachi" located in Peguche and then reach Iluman, land of shamans and healers, where you will have the opportunity to witness an ancestral indigenous ritual by a Shaman.
In Cotacachi you have enough time to visit the village, the shops of leather goods and free time for lunch. Return to Quito picking up passengers in Otavalo.
** Bus will wait for 10 minutes in Otavalo to pick up passangers that stayed there, after that will return to Quito with passengers that are on board.
Day 3 – Wednesday: Breakfast. Tour Traditions of Quito…
You will board an original trolley bus, a replica of the tram that circulated Quito last century, to reach the historic center. Here you will make your first stop at the Mercado San Francisco, one of the oldest markets in the city, which keeps the charm, tradition and good taste of the typical markets, inherited from generation to generation. You will be able to see the use of traditional Andean herbal medicine, and taste some freshly squeezed juices from a variety of fruit.
Then, you visit the museum Casa del Alabado (admission included), dedicated to Pre-Columbian Art and Ecuadorian Archeology. You continue walking towards La Compañia Church (admission included), recognized for its adornments and golden altars. You will then reach the Plaza Grande, also known as Independence Square, surrounded by important traditional buildings of the city such as the Archbishop's Palace, where you will have a typical Ecuadorian homemade lunch, ending with a dessert hand made in the oldest cafe in the city "Heladeria San Agustin".
After lunch, you walk towards the traditional Calle La Ronda to tour their houses full of art, culture and crafty demonstrations, where you will see the various workshops of the "Manos a la Ronda Project" seeking to rescue the traditional crafts of “Escuela Quiteña”, and the traditional processes of jewelry, ironwork, inlaid, headgear, tin, among others.
In this neighborhood you will find a space where characters recreate the colonial city and get taught traditional games of langsyne.
After the tour, those who wish can stay in the historic center, otherwise you will complement this local experience, by using public transportation to move north of the city.
Day 4 – Thursday: Breakfast. Excursión to Cotopaxi National Park.
Departure by bus from through the Panamerican Highway admiring the diverse ecosystems of the route, as a clear sign of the majesty of the Andes. You will visit the Saquisili Market (only on Thursdays), where natives of the area show and sell their products. You will then continue to the Cotopaxi National Park, arriving at the foot of the impressive active volcano. Visit the Museum Park, the Limpiopungo Lagoon and by way of an interesting hike you will reach the forest of chuquirahuas at 4200 meters (if the weather permits).
Free time for lunch in a hacienda of the region, which optionally may be riding a horse or walking along its paths.
By the afternoon visit a flower plantation in the region, where you have the opportunity to see the best flowers and roses in the world.
* Not included: entrance to the Cotopaxi National Park and lunch.
* Does not include access to the viewpoint of Quilotoa = USD 2.00
Day 5 – Friday: Breakfast. Excursion to either: Equatorial Monument or Quito, 'Culture & Flavors' tour
Equatorial Monument: Departure from the appointed hotels or from the Holiday Inn Express Hotel, meeting point in the Mariscal area.
You will start at the northern part of the city heading up to the “Middle of the World City” (entrance is included) where the monument that divides the Northern from the Southern Hemisphere will be observed. It was built during the XVII century when a French Expedition defined the precise location of the equatorial line. Afterwards there will be an option to visit either to Intiñan or Ethnographic Museum. (Entrance is not included)
Quito 'Culture & Flavors' tour: Route that starts in the northern part of the city by the commercial, banking and hotel area of Modern Quito.
Visit the Plaza Foch, known as the “Zona Rosa” of the city, where you can explore, feel and taste a world of flavors and sensations in a tasting of artisan chocolate, cocoa Fine Aroma, accompanied by a cup of hot chocolate.
Following this you will move to the Casa Museo Guayasamin, Ecuador's most important artist of the modern era, and know the great value of the artistic heritage assets that this artist left the country.
Ending this unforgettable evening, you will visit the traditional and historic neighborhood Guápulo where you will walk its quaint cobbled streets and its incomparable landscape overlooking the valleys surrounding the city.You can taste a traditional canelazo quiteño in one of the bohemian-style cafes that characterize this picturesque area; and you will get to admire the church of Guápulo, an old colonial building monastery.
In the evening you will be taken on the 'Quito City Explorer' tour (Quito by Night & Gastronomic).
You begin in the northern part of the city with a tour along the most important commercial areas, where most of the hotels are located. Then you will head to the historic center to admire the spectacle of the illuminated churches and its main tourist attractions, offering some unique landscapes in the city. (Tickets not included). The tour continues to the Mirador del Panecillo (entrance included) recognized for its beauty, where you can delight with a beautiful view of colonial and modern Quito.
During the tour, the guide will tell you about the culinary diversity of the city and you will enjoy a little taste of this.
Ending the tour, passengers can optionally choose for a dinner at one of the recommended restaurants (return to the hotel by the passenger)
Day 6 Saturday: Breakfast at hotel. Transfer Hotel / Airport.
- Transfers between airport / hotel / airport
- 5 nights’ accommodation
- Tour 'Traditions of Quito'
- Excursion to either Equatorial Monument or or Quito 'Culture & Flavors' tour
- Quito Tour 'City Explorer' (Quito by Night & Gastronomic)
- Excursion to Cotopaxi National Park
- Excursion to Otavalo Market
- Hotel taxes
What's Not Included
- Optional gratuities
- Entrance to the Cotopaxi National Park
Know Before You Go
• Planting Flowers operates from Monday to Friday.
• Important: While the Cotopaxi National Park remains closed, by the eruptive activity of the volcano, you will visit the Quilotoa Volcano, which has in its crater a stunning turquoise lagoon, making it one of the most beautiful landscapes of Ecuador