Arts, Crafts and Traditions of the Andes

Day 1: Traditional Cuisine and Otavalo Market

Day 2: Afro Ecuadorian Village

Day 3: Local Market and Hacienda La Cienega

Day 4: Cayambe Valley

DAY 1: TRADITIONAL CUISINE AND OTAVALO MARKET

Highlights of the Day

-Cooking Workshop
-Village of Cayambe
-Miralago
-Handicraft Market in Otavalo

Heading north from Quito along the Pan-American Highway we will go to the small village of Calderon to learn about the tradition of bread dough figures by visiting a workshop. We continue north to the valley of Guayllabamba and to the south part of the valley of Cayambe where the Equator meets the highway. We have an optional visit to meet representatives of this independent project.

From there continue north to the village of Cayambe to search for a local delicacy, the famed “biscochos”, biscuits made by locals. Try this local snack together with fresh cheese. Progressing north, we reach Imbabura, the “Province of the Lakes” and will make a nice photo stop at Miralago viewpoint. A few minutes later we will reach Hacienda Cusin, a centennial hacienda to check in and to enjoy a fantastic lunch at the well-known cuisine of this property. In the afternoon, a visit to Otavalo and its market famous for the variety of goods and great shopping. After the market, we will return to Hacienda Cusin. Enjoy the hacienda grounds and dinner. Overnight. (-/L/D)

DAY 2: AFRO ECUADORIAN VILLAGE

Highlights of the Day

-Music Workshop
-San Antonio de Ibarra
-Afro Ecuadorian village
-Handmade Fruit Ice Cream

Today we will take advantage of the diversity of the region so after a strong breakfast we leave north along Lake San Pablo to reach the weaver’s community of Peguche where almost every house has looms. We will visit a local workshop and learn about their techniques, then an Andean wind musical instrument workshop.

We continue north along several villages such as Iluman, known by the felt hat making and the local healers or “yagchas” to reach San Antonio de Ibarra, a village devoted to probably the best wood carving work in Ecuador. There we can visit the workshop of a local artist. Only a few minutes north we will reach Hacienda Chorlavi, a former Jesuit property converted into a comfortable resort. Check in and lunch. In the afternoon we will head north for a totally unexpected community – the Afro Ecuadorian village of Santa Catalina de Salinas where we will learn about the history and traditions. On our way back to Hacienda Chorlavi we stop at the city of Ibarra to taste the local handmade fruit ice cream.

Upon arrival some time at leisure, a nice dinner and overnight. (B/L/D)

DAY 3: ANDEAN CONDOR RESCUE CENTER

Highlights of the Day

-Andean Condor Rescue Center
-Hacienda Zuleta

After breakfast we head south along the old cobble stoned road to Zuleta, a magnificent colonial Hacienda still in production.

Check in upon arrival and get ready for a twenty minute walk in the Hacienda grounds across green pasture fields to the Andean Condor Rescue Center where we will have superb chances for great photos of these majestic birds and learn about their ordeal to survive on this part of the Andes.

Return to Hacienda House. Enjoy some time to look around this unique house followed by a great dinner and a comforting night rest. (B/L/D)

DAY 4: VALLEY OF CAYAMBE

Highlights of the Day

-Valley of Cayambe
-El Molino de San Juan

After a good breakfast we will follow the same old route south to reach the Valley of Cayambe, the rose capital of Ecuador, where we will visit an important rose plantation and learn more about this industry which has become the prettiest export of the country.

After this, we continue to El Molino de San Juan for lunch, a former grain mill converted into a typical restaurant . In the afternoon, return back to Quito. (B/L/-)

Included:

Private English speaking guide and driver with A/C vehicles, all meals as detailed on the program, accommodation in selected properties, visits, excursions daily bottled water and activities. This excursion is a private basis tour however it might include certain shared or group visits on some locations.

Not Included:

Beverages, tips or personal expenses. For other languages than English (German, Italian or French) please ask for the surcharge.

IMPORTANT NOTE The itinerary could be modified due to regulations from National Parks, restoration of certain areas at haciendas or colonial houses or force majeure events.