GTGE – 50 – CULTURAL INTERACTIONS

QUITO & THE ANDES
TWO DAY TO EIGHT DAY TOURS

GTGE – 50 – CULTURAL INTERACTIONS
Quito, Otavalo, Cotopaxi, Riobamba, Cuenca & Guayaquil
CULTURAL INTERACTIONS
Seven Days / Six Nights – Private Services

Daily

ITINERARY

DAY 1: Arrival in Quito

On arrival at Quito’s Mariscal Sucre Airport, you will be welcomed by one of our professional guides who will assist you with the private transfer to your hotel and help you accommodating and giving helpful information for your stay in this world heritage city.
Overnight accommodations at Casona de La Ronda or Casa Gardenia or similar

DAY 2: Quito

Experiences and traditions with local people
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 Quitenian 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 sweets shop, we will learn the process of making the traditional sweets in Quito and will enjoy some of them in the small restaurant. We will then go to the neogothic 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, its delicious ice creams with flavors inspired by the popular Ecuadorian gastronomy, we will have the opportunity to interact with a hatter and all his stories and legends and we may find some artists interpreting some of the Ecuadorian legendary dances.

Then, we could meet with wood carving and gold artists from the Quitenian School of Arts, famous for all the colonial art you will admire in churches and museums in Quito, they are restoring all the historic churches and museums. You can create your own masterpiece.

If your clients have different interests, our guide can organize with them and offer other optional cultural experiences or go to the Equatorial line to visit the Ethnographic or Intiñan museums to learn more of the Ecuadorian cultures.
Return to Quito.
Meals: Breakfast
Overnight accommodations at Casona de La Ronda or Casa Gardenia or similar

DAY 3: Quito / Otavalo

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. We can admire the beautiful landscape and snow-capped mountains in the area. When getting to Otavalo, one of the most recognized markets in Latin America, we will visit the Plaza of Ponchos to find all kinds of handcrafts, our guide will give you some free time to enjoy bargaining and buying souvenirs to the nice Otavaleños.

After this activity, we will get to one of the several indigenous communities who undertook an initiative in rural community tourism to have an authentic and sustainable direct interaction with indigenous communities. One of the families will offer food and an opportunity for cultural exchange. The visitors will have the opportunity to participate in a unique lifestyle and to expand their world views. This will provide you a more human style of tourism, based in authenticity and nature, which allows you to experience the contact with nature and share daily life with local people. You are also investing in sustainability of the host community. We will return to Quito and your hotel late afternoon after a full day spent in Otavalo.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch
Overnight accommodations at Casona de La Ronda or Casa Gardenia or similar

DAY 4: Quito

Horseback riding as a “chagra”
This day we will go south of Quito to enjoy a horseback riding cultural adventure with the chagras (local cowboys), to know their culture and participate in sheep-grazing. One of the best ways of getting to know the Andes is on a horse, you will be amazed by the surrounding wilderness. This is some 3 hours horseback riding trip to the heights of Rumiñahui.

We will dress up in the chagra attire (woolen poncho, waterproof poncho, saddle bags, riding helmets and zamarros) following a brief lecture on horseback riding, we will begin our ride through the majestic paramos along trails filled with rich legend and history. We can admire wild bulls and horses, native birds (with luck we could see a condor!) and fauna, all in the marvelous landscape of the Ecuadorian highlands.

You will experience the Andes at their maximum intensity, discovering the charisma of its people, the diversity of its natural settings and the adrenaline rush of living a lifetime adventure. You will get personalized service in a welcoming environment while helping nature conservation and sustainable development in local communities. The horses are criollos parameros, they have adapted to the arduous conditions of the paramo, losing height in the process but gaining strength and stamina to endure the harshness of the surroundings.

We return to the farm house, after relishing the freedom of nature at its wildest, where a warm fireplace and a hot drink will be ready to welcome us together with our lunch at Hacienda Porvenir or similar.
In the afternoon, we will go to a hacienda to have the opportunity to see how local people practice the llamas shearing and then to your hotel.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch
Overnight accommodations at Cotopaxipungo, Chilcabamba or similar

DAY 5: Cotopaxi – Riobamba

Depart from hotel after an early morning breakfast towards the Cotopaxi National Park, one of the most important visits in Ecuador, it has the highest active volcano in the world. We can observe the endemic flora and fauna of the area like wild horses, deer, llamas and more. We will visit Limpiopungo Lake, located near Rumiñahui volcano, 4757 meters, or go hiking to observe birds.

Then, we will visit the renowned markets of Pujili or Saquisili. A visit to Ecuador for many people is not complete until getting to a traditional market where you can barter and trade with people from surrounding villages and towns gather together on a regular basis to sell their crafts and trades and to purchase new supplies.

When you buy souvenirs at markets, you are supporting the local economy and helping countless families to survive from year to year. Pujili and Saquisili markets have a more authentic feeling than certain other markets in Andean region and has fewer tourists. The variety of goods there is often more beautiful and carefully crafted than those found in more easy-to-reach places where stock goes quicker, and they must produce more.

In the afternoon we will head to the city of Riobamba for a short city tour and if time permits, visit the Indian communities’ projects and the handicrafts before going to the hotel.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch
Overnight accommodations at hotel Abraspungo, Andaluza or similar

DAY 6: Riobamba – Alausí – Devil’s nose train – Cuenca.

After breakfast, we will depart to Alausí for a ride on the Devil’s Nose Train. This train ride is famous in Ecuador and known as the most difficult railway in the world. There were difficulties when constructing the railway line because of the rough terrain of the Andes. The construction ran into a problem when they found the rock known as the” Nariz del Diablo”. The solution they found was to carve in zig zag out of the rock allowing the train to climb the ascent. The train ride offers beautiful views of the Ecuadorian landscape. On clear days, you will see Chimborazo volcano.

We continue our tour to visit the Archeological Inca Ruins “Ingapirca”. These ruins, dating back to the 15th century, are the most important architectural legacy of the Incas in Ecuador, they are a significant part of Ecuador’s pre-Hispanic patrimony. Located in the province of Cañar, about an hour and 45 minutes from Cuenca. Our guide will take you to the ruins, it is supposed it was a religious and administrative center, as well as a fortress. This archeological complex includes what it is supposed to be the Sun Temple, a castle, roofless fortification, courtyards, terraces and houses. The local guides will transport you to the past and how they think it was. After the tour of Ingapirca, our guide will take you to Cuenca.
Meals: Breakfast
Overnight accommodations at Hotel Santa Lucia or similar

DAY 7: Cuenca

Cuenca is Ecuador’s third largest city; many consider to be the most beautiful Ecuador’s city, it still retains its provincial air. Its red tiled roofs, cobblestone streets, plazas, one of them full of flowers, and museums make it very special. We will have a city tour to discover the beauty and charm for which Cuenca was recognized by the UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site. This is a walking tour in the colonial downtown area of Cuenca, to enjoy the warmth and hospitality of its people, the colourful parks and plazas, religious monuments and handcraft shops, plus an explanation of Cuenca’s history.

After an optional lunch, we will depart to Cuenca Airport for your return flight to Quito and your next destination

GROSS TOUR RATES PER PERSON

GTGE – 50 – CULTURAL INTERACTIONS Number of Guests
Quito, Otavalo, Cotopaxi, Riobamba & Cuenca 1(*) 2 3 4
Casona de La Ronda (Quito) – Santa Lucia (Cuenca) $ 3,263 $ 1,957 $ 1,881 $ 1,881
Patio Andaluz (Quito) – Santa Lucia (Cuenca) $ 3,301 $ 1,980 $ 1,903 $ 1,903
Swissotel (Quito) – Mansion de Alcazar (Cuenca) $ 3,414 $ 2,063 $ 1,987 $ 1,987

(*) Rates indicated for one guest above is for a single person traveling with 2 or more persons. Rates for single traveling alone please contact us for supplement rates.

TOUR RATE INCLUDES:

Three night accommodations in Quito at selected hotel
One night in Cotopaxi and one night in Riobamba at selected hotels
One night in Cuenca at selected hotel
All transfers and tours with English speaking driver guide on private basis
Meals detailed in the itinerary. Breakfasts are included at all hotels
Entrance fees

NOT INCLUDED:

International flights and airport taxes; local one way flight Cuenca/Quito or Guayaquil; Gratuities & tips to guides and drivers; Additional meals and drinks (soft & alcoholics); Expenses of personal nature; Travel and medical insurance

INTERESTED IN BOOKING A TRIP?

Send us a Message

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We will be happy to answer your questions or comments.

G T TOURS OFFICES:

Plantation, Florida  
13494 NW 7th Street
Plantation, Florida 33325

Miami, Florida 
9930 SW 142 Street
Miami, Florida 33176

Toll Free USA & Canada:
(800) 666 8687
Local Number: 
(305) 436 0933 
Fax:     
(305 436 0843

Send us a Message

ENQUIRE NOW

We will be happy to answer your questions or comments.

G T TOURS OFFICES:

Plantation, Florida  
13494 NW 7th Street
Plantation, Florida 33325

Miami, Florida 
9930 SW 142 Street
Miami, Florida 33176

Toll Free USA & Canada:
(800) 666 8687
Local Number: 
(305) 436 0933 
Fax:     
(305 436 0843

Send us a Message

ENQUIRE NOW

We will be happy to answer your questions or comments.

G T TOURS OFFICES:

Plantation, Florida  
13494 NW 7th Street
Plantation, Florida 33325

Miami, Florida 
9930 SW 142 Street
Miami, Florida 33176

Toll Free USA & Canada:
(800) 666 8687
Local Number: 
(305) 436 0933 
Fax:     
(305 436 0843