Arrival to Quito. Meet and greet with our Guide who will be waiting for you to take you to your hotel Wyndham at the airport. One night. Buffet breakfast and local taxes included.
Today you will be met by your guide early in the morning for a drive of about 60 km south of Quito along the Pan-American Highway – also named the Avenue of the Volcanoes by Alexander Von Humboldt. In this area you will find the magnificent Cotopaxi volcano (5.897m – 19.460ft above sea level), the highest active volcano in the world! The volcano has been showing recent activity and your Guide will take you for a hike while visiting the National Park though trails where you will discover this amazing ecosystem called Paramo which is found in the Ecuadorian Andes only between 9000 and 16,000 feet of altitude. Your Guide will give you a great introduction of what it is to live in the Paramos and the flora and fauna that can be found here which is adapted to live in the high altitudes in such harsh conditions.
Also, depending on the weather conditions you can visit to the main base camp (4.800m – 15.840ft) which is used for expert climbers who seek to get to the summit of the volcano. Lunch is at Tambopaxi base camp with a fantastic view of this most scenic volcano.
Your stay is at the luxury hacienda San Augustin del Callo, built on the site of an Inca palace, one of the two most important archaeological Inca sites in Ecuador.
(B, L, D)
After a traditional hacienda style breakfast your Guide will be ready for a morning of adventure taking you for a hike around the Hacienda where you will find small villages interesting to see for the activities that are performed in a day-by-day basis by the local indigenous that populate the area. You will also find trails with huge eucalyptus tress and local vegetation which makes of your hike a pleasant one for the smell that the trees produce. You will be back at the hacienda for lunch and in the afternoon your Guide will take you to visit a rose plantation. The cultivation and production of roses is one of the main industries of Ecuador and has become in a way to generate income specially in these rural areas. You will learn more about this interesting production and will see how Ecuadorian roses now have gained a good reputation of being the most beautiful roses of the world and take big action in the rose parade in Los Angeles every year.
Late return to the hacienda to enjoy the cozy, historical ambiance of the place and the warmth of the staff while you are relaxing.
(B, L, D)
Today your Guide will take you through the Avenue of volcanoes for a drive of 3:00 hours approximately to Imbabura province. This part of the country is surrounded by mountains, lakes and impressive volcanos where local indigenous communities share the sacred lands of what once was part of the Incas empire. When you arrive to Otavalo, you will visit the local and poncho market where you can see the locals and native people, trading and selling their handicrafts.
Lunch will be served at “Hacienda Cusin” one of the oldest haciendas in Ecuador that dates from Spanish colonial time and which is located close to small villages interesting to see. After lunch you will visit some of the most important Indian villages around Otavalo where we can see our Indians living in the countryside the way they did centuries ago. We will witness our natives operating back-strap as well as Spanish looms, making wall hangings, sweaters, scarves, etc. We will also see how they make their typical musical instruments before they play some of the Andean instruments and will perform some Andean music.
Late in the afternoon you will arrive to your next Hacienda. Hacienda Pinsaqui is a place that played a big roll in the history of the province in the country when it received Libertador Simon Bolivar in the 19th century. Two nights at the hacienda in main house suite.
(B, L, D)
Today your Guide will take you for a 4 hour hike to Cotacachi volcano, one of the most iconic sites of the provice and the country for its beautiful landscape. Once again you will be walking through the Paramos but this time you will always have spectacular views of Cuicocha lake which is considered to be a sacred lake in the Andes by the locals and also views of the impressive Cotacachi volcano. You will have a box lunch during your excursion and will return to your hotel in the afternoon for a well-deserved relaxation moment.
(B, L, D)
Your Guide will see you today at the Haceinda after breakfast and will take you for a very interesting hike through local villages, slopes, different plantations and farms where youw ill witness how the country life style is for these local comunities of the Andes; your main goal is to go from San Pablo lake to the Zuleta valley. You will have a nice picnic in route and will arrive to the once again historical hacienda Zuleta.
Hacienda Zuleta is a colonial-era working farm in the Andean Highlands founded in the late 16th century. Stay in the hacienda for two nights.
(B, L, D)
Your appointed Guide in Zuleta will take you for a hike within the premises of the Hacienda. Preserving the native flora and fauna surrounding the hacienda has been a priority for its owners, the Plaza family, who operate a foundation to support local conservation efforts. Zuleta has become a preferred sanctuary for spectacled bears, pumas, Andean condors, various owls and other at-risk species. On excursions into the surrounding páramo, a high-elevation tropical tundra ecosystem above the estate, guests may be fortunate to glimpse the rare spectacled bear. The only bear species in South America, this diminutive, shaggy bear—named for the pale rings that encircle its eyes—lives mostly in the lush, isolated cloud forests on the slopes of the Andes. Shy and largely nocturnal, they are sometimes spotted in this more open area overlooking the valley below. At the Condor Huasi project, located near the hacienda in a native forest valley, guests can see rescued Andean condors being rehabilitated in the aviary and learn about the foundation’s conservation efforts—and perhaps spy a wild condor soaring overhead on the thermals.
(B, L, D)
Your Guide and private transportation will meet you at the main court of the hacienda and will take you to the airport of Quito in time for your flight back home.