Ecuador – Northern Andean secrets tour
5 days from £977* per person Saving you £186 per person*
This itinerary isn’t set in stone. Pick, mix, swap however you like – your trip will be totally tailor made for you.
Day 1 Arrival in Quito
Your adventure starts at the airport in Quito, where you’ll be greeted by your guide and transferred to your first comfortable hotel. You’ve got the evening to settle in and take your pick from the many inviting restaurants in the neighbourhood.
Day 2 Otavalo – Cuicocha – San Antonio de Ibarra
After a hearty breakfast, you’ll travel north to Imbabura province to visit the colourful Otavalo market. It’s the biggest and most renowned indigenous and handicraft market in Latin America. Browse the local textiles and handmade wares, as well as agricultural produce on offer.
Lunch is waiting at a local restaurant, then you’ll continue to Cuicocha, a beautiful crater lake located on the slopes of the Cotacachi Volcano. Next you’ll travel to the small town of San Antonio de Ibarra to visit a wood workshop, where a local artisan will demonstrate the crafts that have been passed from generation to generation in this town. Finish off the day with dinner at your next hotel.
Day 3 Salinas de Ibarra
You’re off to the city of Ibarra to board the ‘tren de la libertad’ (the liberty train). This magical ride takes passengers through dry Andean forests, over hanging bridges and along some spectacular gullies filled with colourful bromeliads and Andean shrubs. Get off at Salinas de Ibarra to be greeted by the Afro Ecuadorian community here. Have your lunch here before learning more about the history and culture of the area. Check into your hotel to relax and have dinner.
Day 4 Páramo del Ángel
You’re heading north to the famous ‘páramo del Ángel’, one of the few places in South America with a forest of ‘frailejones’, a striking plant that survives the extreme and changing weather conditions at this altitude. Enjoy a packed lunch in this haunting landscape before continuing to the Millenary Polylepis forest to see the unusual trees that survive the cold and moisture of this ecosystem.
Day 5 Cayambe
After breakfast, begin the return journey to Quito. On the way, stop to visit a rose plantation and learn about the growing, harvesting and shipping process for this famous flower. Next you’ll hit Cayambe town and try some fresh ‘Bizcochos’ (savoury biscuits), which are handmade here every day. Savour a farewell lunch in Quito before heading off for your return flight.
*Prices are based on private arrangements (not lower priced escorted tours with set dates). Quality three star accommodation is quoted here (unless mentioned otherwise), with breakfast included and other meals where mentioned. Mostly private transfers with an English speaking driver/guide and all activities mentioned, with top guides, are included. Domestic flights and transport all included from Day 1 to end point. Can be tailored to your needs, so prices could be lower for budget arrangements or higher for luxury.
International flight is not included