NEW! Colors and flavors of the Andes (daily private tour, lunch included)
Join us for a unique travel experience on our brand-new program “Flavors and Colors of the Andes”. This tour is a full day in the northern Andes of Ecuador, which includes a superb mix of the amazing sights and scenes of hills, valleys and imposing volcanoes, with the rich culture of the Otavalo people, their handicrafts and famous marketplace. Highlights of the tour are learning about the products of the zone, meeting the local people; cooking lessons with hands-on action for the guests; a superb private lunch on a colonial estate and a spectacular showroom with some of Ecuador’s prettiest and most colorful for-export roses.
This is a full-day hands-on experience of the northern Andes, a verdant land of rolling hills, towering volcanoes, strong cultural identity and skilful craftspeople with the added twist of an encounter with the colours and flavours of Ecuadorian cuisine.
This excursion goes north, to the land of the Otavalos and South America’s most famous Indian market along the Pan-American Highway through dramatic mountain scenery to Otavalo. The first stop is along the region of Cayambe, surrounded by fields where dairy cattle abound. Here, there’s a short visit to a traditional bakery for bizcochos, like a long buttery biscuit that literally melts in your mouth! Eat it as the locals do, warm, right out of the oven, with dulce de leche (boiled milk and sugar until it becomes toffee-like) and locally made string cheese.
Then proceed north to Otavalo, where guests will be introduced to local cuisine at the food market –this is where all the Otavalos make a stop to eat when they come with their wares to the market (sorry, no tasting here), but enjoy the aromas of home-made foods and the dozens of varied spices. And yes! Finally lunch, at a historic hacienda. Guests will prepare their own grilled trout, empanadas (turnovers) and the famous helados de paila for desert (ice cream made in the traditional way by hand with pure fruit juice).
Before returning to Quito a short ride and visit will then lead to a wonderful flower plantation, where guests can marvel with the famous Ecuadorian roses at a traditional hacienda, this old colonial hacienda warehouse was turned into a show room where visitors will be delighted with the most extravagant of colours of the different varieties produced in the Middle of the World.
Our recommendations for the best possible experience
- Dress in layers (T-shirt, blouse, sweater, coat).
- Take a sweater even if the day is warm and sunny
- Rain protection from January to May.
- This tour includes walking at an altitude from 2560 to 2800 meters (8500 feet).
- Sun protection (SPF 40).
- Good walking shoes.
- Great Photo ops, don´t forget your camera.
What’s special about this journey?
- You get to cook! It’s an interactive experience with your own professional chef who will show you how and let you get your hands on!
- You learn about traditional, Ecuadorian cooking and its ingredients.
- A special setting, in the hacienda’s grounds, will be prepared for guests for the cooking session.
- Enjoy an ice cream like you’ve never tasted before!
- You will have lunch in a 17th-century Andean estate.
- You will visit the food market in Otavalo to learn more about our culinary traditions and food products (a short visit to the regular market is also possible)
- You will visit the most famous Ecuadorian Andean region and cultural centre, Otavalo.
- Complement your visit to the region by getting access to one of the most exclusive show rooms for a close up of the finest Ecuadorian roses.
- Meet the people, live the experience, taste the flavours
- Enjoy a fun day of scenery, and intense colours, a short distance from Quito.
Dress in layers (T-shirt, blouse, sweater, coat). Sweaters are recommended even if the day is warm, as they are useful in the cooler early mornings and late afternoons and evenings. Remember you are right at the Equator so abundant solar protection is a must. Rain protection is advisable in October and also between February and May. Good walking shoes are also important. The whole trip is ideal of great photo ops.
||Rates per Person (US$)
|PRICES PER PERSON 2013
||4 - 5
|6 - 9
||10 - 15
||16 - 20
Otavalo Ecuador indigenous market tours
Handicrafts, the products of the land and rich ancestral cultures in a display of dazzling colors.
To the north of Quito, the province of Imbabura is one of the most popular destinations in Ecuador: a magical land of lakes, snow-covered mountains and terraced farmlands.
For centuries, regional markets have played an important role in Indian life, providing regular gathering places for trade and socializing. The colorful local markets of the Andean Valleys are famous for their fine handycrafts.
The Otavalo Indian market dates back to pre-Inca times and is famous for its textiles woven on backstop and shuttle looms.