This 7-day tour will take you through colorful indigenous markets, past remarkable waterfalls, over spectacular mountain passes, and up and around Andean plateaus. Beginning in South America's most famous Otavalo handicrafts market, you will be led through the most emblematic sites of northern Ecuador – particularly those associated with the region's awe-inspiring vistas. Notwithstanding, with stops like the Chachimbiro hot springs or Hacienda La Banda, we'll ensure you have time to enjoy all the creature comforts the area has to offer.
“We loved the time at the lodge in Cuyabeno. It was so genuine and natural there and the crew was so knowledgable and helpful. Thank you so much for the recommendation of the real Amazonia-experience.”
You will be picked up from your hotel in Quito at approximately 9 am and driven north for two and a half hours until reaching the famous market town of Otavalo. Here you will have a chance to do some shopping in the largest indigenous market in Ecuador. Later we will travel to the town of Cotacachi, famous for its leather crafts, and then visit the nearby beautiful volcanic Cuicocha Lake. Afterwards, we will have lunch in a typical Ecuadorian restaurant in Atuntaqui. In the afternoon we will drive to Hacienda La Banda, where you will be allocated your room and have time to explore the hacienda. At dusk you can visit the hot springs in Chachimbiro. These hot springs are famous for their healing powers and you will have an opportunity to bathe here. After your swim, you will return to the hacienda for a welcome dinner and the night.
After breakfast, you will start trekking on a former Inca trail towards Timbuyacu, where we will set up camp. After lunch you can visit and swim at the magnet waterfall, famous for its revitalizing strength. In the evening you will return to the campsite, and possible enjoy another swim in the thermal pools in front of the tents.
After breakfast, we will walk to the village of Churuloma, passing through another scenic called Pisangacho. On route you will see many plants and animals, and you'll also notice the climate and vegetation beginning to change dramatically. In the evening we will set up camp and your guides will tell you about the history of the area.
Today, we will continue along path to Yanacocha Lake. During the trip we will pass and admire a high Andean forest populated by rare and endangered Polylepis trees. In Yanacocha, we will share the afternoon with the local indigenous community. You will be offered tea made from natural ingredients that are known for overcoming altitude sickness, and then rest at the camp – where you will also have dinner and spend the night.
Today you reach the objective of this trek: Piñán Lake. Here you will visit the local community and enjoy the magnificent scenery around this body of water, which is one of the largest, most beautiful, and remote lakes in Ecuador. On the road, you will have the opportunity to see a great variety of birds of prey and perhaps even some condors. Dinner and overnight at the camp.
After breakfast, we will return on horseback to the main facilities of Hacienda La Banda. On the way back, we will stop at the Chachimbiro hot springs, where you will have a chance to soak your weary muscles – a reward for all the work they’ve done. After dinner, as a farewell celebration, you will enjoy some great salsa and merengue music. Overnight at Hacienda La Banda.
Today, after breakfast, you will check out of the hacienda and return to Quito.
“The Samba cruise anyway was great, good boat, good food, amazing guide and friendly staff.”