Day 1: Transfer Airport / Hotel
Day 2: Breakfast. Excursion to Otavalo Market.
Depart from Quito through the Pan-American North Highway until arriving to Cayambe, where the passengers will have the opportunity to taste the delicious “Bizcochos de Cayambe”, a type of cracker or bread baked in a clay oven (greatly paired with local cheese or caramel sauce). Afterwards, we will make a brief stop at “Miralago”, to admire a wonderful view of Lago San Pablo, amazing views. The tour then continues to Otavalo where Otavaleños (natives) set up a market in which a bartering manner of shopping is taken place. The market hosts a variety of different handcrafted items.
Passengers may choose between staying longer in Otavalo or go to visit to the leather shops at Cotacachi. On the way to Cotacachi, we will visit a traditional workshop of Andean instruments “Ñanda Mañachi” located in Peguche.
In Cotacachi you have enough time to visit the village, the shops of leather goods and free time for lunch (not included). Return to Quito picking up passengers in Otavalo (spot determined by Gray Line Guide).
** Bus will wait for 10 minutes in Otavalo to pick up passangers that stayed there, after that will return to Quito with passengers that are on board.
Day 3: Breakfast. Tour Traditions of Quito…
We will board our original Trolley bus, a replica of the tram that circulated Quito last century, to reach the historic center, where we will know the church of the Basilica del Voto Nacional and will arrive at the Plaza de la Independencia surrounded by the Cathedral, the Government Palace, the Archbishop's Palace and the La Compañia Church (admission included), recognized for its adornments and gold altars, until reaching the Church of San Francisco built in the seventeenth century.
Later we will visit the Mercado San Francisco, one of the oldest in the city, which keeps the charm, tradition and good taste of the typical markets, inherited from generation to generation; here you will be able to see the use of traditional Andean herbal medicine, and taste some freshly squeezed juices from a variety of fruit.
Then we visit the museum Casa del Alabado (admission included), dedicated to Pre-Columbian Art and Ecuadorian Archeology.
We will have a typical Ecuadorian homemade lunch, ending with a dessert hand made in the oldest cafe in the city "Heladeria San Agustin".
After lunch, we walk towards the traditional Calle La Ronda to tour their houses full of art, culture and crafty demonstrations, where we will see the various workshops of the "Manos a la Ronda Project" seeking to rescue the traditional crafts of “Escuela Quiteña”, and know closely the traditional processes of jewelry, ironwork, inlaid, headgear, tin, among others.
In this neighborhood we will find a space where characters recreate the colonial city and get tought traditional games of langsyne.
After the tour, those who wish can stay in the historic center, otherwise we will complement this local experience, by using public transportation to move north of the city.
Day 4: Breakfast. Excursión to Cotopaxi National Park.
Departure by bus from through the Panamerican Highway admiring the diverse ecosystems of the route, as a clear sign of the majesty of the Andes. We continue to the Cotopaxi National Park, arriving at the foot of the impressive active volcano. Visit the Museum Park, the Limpiopungo Lagoon and and through an interesting hike will reach the forest of chuquirahuas to 4200 meters. (if the weather permits).
We reach the Quilotoa Volcano, which has in its crater a stunning turquoise lagoon, making it one of the most beautiful landscapes of Ecuador. We take a short hike to appreciate the magnificent view of the volcano (if weather conditions allow).
Free time for lunch (not included).
* Not included: entrance to the Cotopaxi National Park.
Day 5: Breakfast. Excursion to choose Equatorial Monument or Quito, Culture & Flavors
Equatorial Monument: Departure from the appointed hotels or from the Holiday Inn Express Hotel, meeting point in the Mariscal area.
We will start at the northern part of the city heading up to the “Middle of the World City” (entrance is included) where the monument that divides the Northern from the Southern Hemisphere will be observed. It was built during the XVII century when a French Expedition defined the precise location of the equatorial line. You can enjoy, for an additional cost, the different experiments situated in the middle of the world.
Quito, Culture & Flavors: Route that starts in the northern part of the city by the commercial, banking and hotel area of Modern Quito.
Visit the Plaza Foch, known as the “Zona Rosa” of the city, where you can explore, feel and taste a world of flavors and sensations in a tasting of artisan chocolate, cocoa Fine Aroma, accompanied by a cup of hot chocolate.
Following this we will move to the Casa Museo Guayasamin, Ecuador's most important artist of the modern era, and know the great value of the artistic heritage assets that this artist left the country.
Ending this unforgettable evening, we will visit to the traditional and historic neighborhood Guápulo where we will walk its quaint cobbled streets and its incomparable landscape overlooking the valleys surrounding the city.You can taste a traditional canelazo quiteño in one of the bohemian-style cafes that characterize this picturesque area; and we will get to admire the church of Guápulo, and old colonial building monastery.
At night Quito City Explorer (Quito by Night & Gastronomic)
We begin in the northern part of the city with a tour along the most important commercial areas, where most of the hotels are located. Then we head to the historic center to admire the spectacle of the illuminated churches and its main tourist attractions, offering some unique landscapes in our city. (Tickets not included). The tour continues to the Mirador del Panecillo, recognized for its beauty, where you can delight with a beautiful view of colonial and modern Quito.
During the tour, the guide will tell you about the culinary diversity of the city and traveller will enjoy a little taste of this.
At the end of the tour, passengers may choose optionally (regarding Gray Line coupon) one of the places recommended, or to diner in one of our recommended restaurants (return to the hotel, by the passenger).
Day 6 Saturday: Breakfast at hotel. Transfer Hotel / Airport.
NOTE: The order of the excursions may vary depending on the day of departure.
Regular tour leave and return only from the following hotels: Sheraton, Dann Carlton, NH Collection, Swissotel, Holiday Inn, Río Amazonas, Mercure Alameda, Reina Isabel, Nu House, JW Marriott, Howard Johnson, Hilton Colón.
PROVIDED HOTEL or similar:
TOURIST CATEGORY: Nu House
CANCELLATION POLICY: CANCELLATION WITHOUT CHARGES UNTIL 48 HOURS BEFORE THE SERVICE.