GTGE –42 – QUITO, OTAVALO & COTOPAXI
Andean Gastronomy, Traditions and Nature
Six Days / Five Nights – Private Services
Three night accommodations in Quito at Hotel Boutique La Casona de la Ronda or similar
One night at the charming Hacienda Zuleta near Otavalo
One night at Hotel Finca Cotopaxipungo in Cotopaxi area
Walking tour of Quito to experiences history and local life and culture, culinary traditions. Private services
Full day Otavalo experience with overnight at Hacienda Zuleta – Private services
Day of nature and Andean culinary experience in the Cotopaxi area – Private services
All tours and transfers fully escorted by English speaking guides
DAY 1: Arrival in Quito
Upon your arrival at Quito’s Mariscal Sucre International Airport, our guide will meet you and assist you with your private transfer to your hotel as well as help you with your check in.
Accommodations at La Casona de La Ronda or similar
DAY 2: Quito
Experiences with Local People and traditions
This will be a great experience at this enchanting city that will take you on a walking tour through the cultural streets of the old Quito. We can participate in Quito’s culinary traditions, history and local life. We will explore the streets of the historic district and participate in the daily activities the artisans are doing, there are many options we can enjoy: chocolate factories, sweet shops, handicrafts, wood carving, making hats. We will find some activities that they used to do in the past and we will also share with them what they are doing in the present.
We will start our tour at a traditional handmade sweets shop where we will learn the process of making the traditional sweets in Quito and enjoy some of them. They are prepared in an artisanal way as they were through old times. We will then go to the Neo-gothic Basilica del Voto Nacional, inspired in the Notre Dame Cathedral. We will go up to the highest tower with an amazing view of the modern and old city. We will continue walking by the street of the seven crosses to enjoy old colonial facades and churches like La Cathedral, La Compañía and San Francisco as well as the main square with the main buildings.
The next experience is the visit to the legendary La Ronda street where we will find an ice cream shop with an innovative proposal – delicious ice cream with flavors inspired by the popular Ecuadorian gastronomy. Later, we will have the opportunity to interact with a hatter and all his stories and legends. We also could meet with wood carving and gold artists from Quito’s School of Arts, famous for all the colonial art you will admire in churches and museums in Quito, and who are restoring all the historic churches and museums. You can even create your own masterpiece!
If your clients have different interests, our guide can organize with them and offer other cultural experiences. At night we will take you to the nearest restaurant offering Ecuadorian gastronomy and you could participate in the preparation.
Meals: Breakfast, dinner
Overnight accommodations Hotel Boutique La Casona de la Ronda or similar
DAY 3: Quito / Otavalo
Full day tour to Otavalo picturesque artisan open market and surrounding villages – Private services
Leaving Quito after breakfast with your guide, heading to Otavalo, famous for its artisan market, full of vibrant colors, where you will find typical handcrafts and souvenirs. On route we will pass by Guayllabamba town where you can try its typical fruit the cherimoya and in Cayambe to enjoy their special biscuits with coffee or hot chocolate. Then, we can admire the beautiful landscape and snow-capped mountains in the area. When getting to Otavalo, one of the most famous markets in Latin America, we will visit the Plaza de los Ponchos to find all kinds of handicrafts Our guide will give you some free time to enjoy bargaining and buying souvenirs from the friendly Otavaleños.
We continue to one of the most beautiful haciendas in Ecudor – Hacienda Zuleta – to have lunch and visit the cheese small factory and learn how Zuleta’s semi-aged, handmade cheeses are produced. This will be a real experience that begins from the farm’s fresh milk to the process at the small factory near the guesthouse. You will know how this production has changed throughout history and you will try some of the best cheeses in the Ecuadorian Andean Region.
Meals, Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Overnight accommodations Hacienda Zuleta
DAY 4: Otavalo / Quito
You have a free morning to enjoy the hacienda where there is also a group of native girls who embroidery by hand and if you will want, you can participate in their works. Our guide will meet you at 11:30 to visit Cotachachi, a small town well known for its leather products and you can also try their food specialty “carnes coloradas” (meat with their special color and spices).
Return to Quito in the late afternoon and your guide will take you to the Octava de Corpus restaurant to enjoy a nice gourmet experience and their great wine cellar.
Meals: Breakfast, dinner
Overnight accommodations La Casona de La Ronda or similar including breakfast
DAY 5: Quito / Cotopaxi National Park
After breakfast depart towards the Cotopaxi National Park and admire the Cotopaxi Volcano, one of the most important landmarks in Ecuador because it is the highest active volcano in the world. You will observe the endemic flora and fauna of the area and find Chuquiraguas (also known as the mountaineer’s flower). There are some chances to find wild horses, llamas, deer and more. There are amazing views to admire at the National Park and we will also enjoy the Limpiopungo Lake, located near Rumiñahui volcano (4757 meters), or go hiking to observe birds.
In the afternoon we will participate in a great gourmet experience that Cotopaxipungo will prepare for us, they have organic products cooked by one of the best chefs we have in Ecuador, who will give you some tips to cook at home.
Meals: Breakfast, dinner
Overnight accommodations Hotel Finca Cotopaxipungo
DAY 6: Return to Quito
Return to Quito to continue visiting the Andean region or to take your flight to your next destination.