Culture & Nature Experience
An Authentic Experience of Ecuadorian Artisanal Craftsmanship
Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of the region’s natives on this Otavalo day trip from Quito. Marvel at the stunning landscapes around the Andean city of Cayambe which lies at the foot of Cayambe Volcano. The city is home to an impressive sundial, which you can visit on an optional tour of the equator line.
Explore the world-renowned Otavalo market, where you’ll find an array of colorful stalls filled with textiles, ceramics, and handmade jewelry. Immerse yourself in the bustling atmosphere and witness the rich cultural heritage of the Otavalo natives, known for their exceptional weaving skills and vibrant clothing. With plenty of time to shop and interact with local vendors, you’ll have the chance to bring home a piece of Ecuador’s culture with you. This tour promises an unforgettable experience that combines the beauty of nature with the richness of indigenous culture.
Discover some of the Northern Andes’ most picturesque landscapes including Lake San Pablo at the foot of Imbabura Volcano and the mesmerizing Lake Cuicocha. This tour promises an unforgettable experience that combines the beauty of nature with the richness of indigenous culture.
Why Choose This Ecuador Tour?
Savor local cuisine and try the famous "bizcochos", a traditional Ecuadorian biscuit, in Cayambe
Experience the breathtaking landscape of Lake San Pablo and the Imbabura Volcano as you take a moment to absorb the stunning views and natural beauty surrounding you
Explore the vibrant and colorful Otavalo market, immersing yourself in the rich culture of the Otavaleño people, and browse through the wide variety of handcrafted souvenirs and jewelry
Enjoy a short hike at beautiful Lake Cuicocha, a stunningly picturesque lake that formed in the crater of an inactive volcano
Visit the charming Andean town of Cotacachi, known for its high-quality leather goods, and indulge in a shopping spree for unique leather souvenirs
Click the Tabs for More Information
Shared group tours (approx. 12 people): Tuesdays and Saturdays – USD 55 per person
|No. of people
|USD 131 per person
|USD 99 per person
|4 or more people
|USD 85 per person
Otavalo, Andean highlands
Approx. 10 hours
Year-round. Shared tours available on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Otavalo’s market on the main square “Plaza de Ponchos” is every day, but the main market day is on Saturday with more stalls and a bigger variety including foods.
Meeting point & departure time
- Plaza Foch (La Mariscal) at 7:15 am
- Plaza San Blas (Old Town) at 7:30 am
Number of guests
2 – 20 travelers
- Transportation from Quito (meeting point) – Cayambe – Otavalo – Cuicocha – Cotacachi – Quito (meeting point)
- Visits according to the itinerary
- Bilingual guide (English/Spanish)
- Snacks, drinks
- Entrance fees for optional activities (e.g. Quitsato solar clock $5)
- Any services and activities not previously specified
- VAT for Ecuadorian travelers
What to bring
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Sunglasses, sunscreen
- Rain jacket/windbreaker
- Reusable water bottle
- Identification (passport or ID card)
Bilingual English and Spanish speaking guide
What You Will See & Do
We will depart from a meeting point in the La Mariscal neighborhood in Quito at 7:15 AM, and from a meeting point in the old town (Plaza San Blas) at 7:30 AM. After traveling north for about 1,5 hours, we’ll stop at the Andean city of Cayambe which lies at the foot of Cayambe Volcano. You will have the option to have breakfast if you want to try the local speciality “bizcochos”. We will also offer you an optional tour of the equator line and the impressive sundial in Cayambe.
Then we continue our journey to Otavalo with a stop at a viewpoint to enjoy the landscape of Lake San Pablo and Imbabura Volcano. In the northern Andean town Otavalo, you will have about two free hours to stroll around its famous handicrafts market. The local otavaleños sell blankets, ponchos, scarves and other clothing made out of alpaca and sheep wool. Many locals still wear the traditional clothing of the Otavalo culture. Souvenirs and hand-made silver jewelry are also available.
The Otavalo market can be enjoyed every day at the main square but on Saturdays, the market is larger and stretches over several blocks. Whether you shop bag-loads of souvenirs or just observe the colorful hustle and bustle of the market, a visit is always fun and a favorite among locals and foreigners.
Afterwards, we’ll continue on to Lake Cuicocha to do some hiking. This beautiful lake formed in the crater of an inactive volcano features little islands in its center.
After lunch, we will visit another Andean town called Cotacachi. The people here specialize in leather goods and it is another great place to buy souvenirs. At the end of this fun and exciting full-day tour we’ll head back to Quito, where we arrive at around 6 PM. Arrival time in Quito can vary depending on traffic.
The weather in the Andes can change quickly, always be prepared for wind, rain and sun. It is best to dress in layers.
Level of difficulty: easy
Itinerary is subject to change for operational reasons beyond our control (e.g. bad weather).
Midland Travel recommends all passengers to have travel insurance that includes personal medical insurance and trip cancellation.
If you have any food restrictions, special health requirements or needs, please let us know in advance.