MARCH 2019 TOUR ITINERARY
9 DAYS/9 NIGHTS - $1575 US p/p Shared Basis or $1750 US p/p Private Basis (Where Possible)
Arrival Day - Arrival and Quick transfer to Hotel overnight in the Eastern agricultural valley just outside of Quito.
Day 1 - As we travel north through the fertile inter-Andean valley, you’ll immediately notice that you are visiting an “old world” –you will feel like you’ve stepped back a couple of centuries. We’ll start seeing a lot of agriculture ranging from strawberries and fava beans (habas) to avocado (aquacate) and custard apple trees (chirimoya). We’ll begin exploring by driving small highland roads to the picturesque town of Zuleta where we will work with the indigenous people. We’ll also see why the indigenous people of Zuleta are famous for their embroidery work. From there we’ll drive around the San Pablo Lake to visit agricultural indigenous communities that have been here for thousands of years. We will make a stop to visit one of the area’s master traditional back strap weavers, Don Miguel Andrango’s workshop in Agato. From there we’ll head to Cecilia who makes shawls and blankets with machinery from the 1930’s. Late afternoon arrival at our hotel. Lunch and dinner included. Overnight in Aya Huma. Nighttime Canelazos and bonfire or free time for massages.
Day 2 - We will have a full day visiting various indigenous communities in the areas of Otavalo and Peguche and take part in their Indigenous Summer Solstice festivities, including ceremonial baths. This is an active day. We’ll be getting dirty and wet, helping to harvest what Mother Earth has delivered. Expect to learn many century-old AG methods handed down many generations. Late afternoon free time to visit the Otavalo market. Lunch and dinner included. Overnight in Aya Huma.
Day 3 - Today we’ll head east through the Inter-Andean valley, over the continental divide and drop more than 10,000ft down into the lush Amazon basin. You’ll notice how the indigenous communities and AG environment change drastically. We come across the Andes to into the jungle of Ecuador on the eastern side of Los Andes into the Napo province. In this region, Kichwa indigenous people live in community and grow immense varieties of exotic fruits and of course, award-winning cacao and coffee in this warm environment. Free time in Misahualli for lunch (Not included). After lunch we’ll head down the Rio Napo (the largest river in Ecuador and main tributary to the Amazon River) in a motor canoe and spend 2 nights with local families. Optional night viewing of animals, birds and insects. Dinner included. Overnight in the local community.
Day 4 - We’ll spend a full day in the jungle with our indigenous hosts learning about ancestral fruits and tubular plants that they grow and have depended on for centuries. We will get to see the cacao growing/ roasting process, the local fishing customs and also have a chance to talk and visit with a local shaman with extensive knowledge of medicinal plants. Dinner will be an open fire grilling of local fruits, vegetables and other surprises. Lunch and dinner included. Overnight in local community.
Day 5 - We’ll navigate back up river and we’ll head south and west to the lovely town of Baños. This spectacular drive will take us through large plantations of sugarcane, balsa trees and papa china (taro). We will wind up a steep and narrow gorge full of stunning waterfalls and along the way we will fish for trout for our lunch. We’ll have some free time in Baños to soak in their famous thermal hot springs. Lunch included. Overnight in Baños. Hotel Napolitano.
Day 6 - Today we’ll have a free day to wander around Baños or relax in the hot springs. We’ll visit some of the highlights in this beautiful valley. Hotel Napolitano (No meals included).
Day 7 - Today is another spectacular day as we head to the indigenous area of the Zumbahua indigenous community. Here we’ll spend most of the day over 10,000ft, the perfect climate for quinoa, fava beans, potatoes, rape seed and onions. We’ll spend time with this indigenous community that has prospered in this harsh climate for centuries. We’ll also have some free time to visit the majestic Quilotoa Crater Lake. Dinner included. Overnight in a self-sufficient hacienda run by the same family for generations.
Day 8 - We’ll head north up through the “Avenue of the Volcanoes” seeing dozens of towering peaks and drive by many rose plantations and kale, broccoli, cauliflower farms. We’ll have time to visit one of the rose plantations and the indigenous market of Pujili. Roses are a major export for Ecuador. Continuing north we’ll pass through the agricultural/ ranching area of Machachi and continue on to Quito. Overnight in Quito.
Day 9 - Half day tour of Colonial Quito with its majestic cathedrals and picturesque squares. Afternoon transfer to the airport for flight out. Lunch included.
What Else Do You Need To Know:
Comfortable Private transportation throughout the trip
Knowledgeable Local and indigenous English speaking guides
Greeting and Transfer to and from the airport
All Entrance fees (except hot springs in Baños)
Direct contact with many local agricultural communities
Kichua language and cooking classes (optional)
Motor Canoe in the jungle
Activities of mentioned itinerary
Meals as detailed above - Lodging on a shared basis
All local taxes
Tour Does Not Include:
Anything not mentioned in the above itinerary
Meals Not detailed in Itinerary
Personal spending or Tips for guides
Flights to and from Quito, Ecuador
Note: Itinerary and points of visit may vary slightly based on people's interest,
weather, fesitivities or other delays