Day 01: Arrival
Arrive in Quito. Assistance and transfer from the airport to the Swissotel in the new Town of Quito. Buffet-Dinner and accommodations at the hotel.
Day 02: Visit Quito
A drive along the northern residential section takes you to the impressive Parliament Building, whose stone mural records Ecuador's history. Stroll downtown to visit St. Augustine Convent, its Colonial patio, cloisters, coffered ceilings and the vast collection of paintings showing the life of St. Augustine. Visit Independence Plaza flanked by the Cathedral, the Presidential Palace, the Municipal Building and the Archbishop's Palace. Continue to the Church of San Francisco, on of the greatest religious buildings of the New World. Its impressive façade and atrium lead to its gild interior, a Baroque influence by Moorish style, with the winged Virgin of Quito at its main altar. Enjoy lunch downtown at a traditional restaurant with typical Ecuadorian specialties and live music entertainment. After lunch visit the Recoleta of San Diego, a place of retreat for monks and laymen in the Colonial times. An important work of restoration has redeemed the church, the cloisters, the pictorial and sculptural works of art, the altarpieces and the caissoned ceilings. Later, see the Museum of the City of Quito, which showcases daily life in the city from 10.000 B.C. to the end of the 20th century. This imposing building was originally a hospital and is now a must-see for all Quito visitors. Visit a Colonial mansion, The House of Urrutia, inhabited until recently by family members of the original owners, and left unchanged. Buffet - Dinner and accommodations at the Swissotel.
Day 03: Otavalo
Early this morning, travel north along the Pan-American Highway through astonishing mountain scenery. Arrive in Cayambe where you have breakfast at the Hacienda "La Compañia". Continue north to Otavalo. Visit the Otavalo Indian Market. 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 handicrafts.
The Otavalo Indian market dates back to pre-Inca times and is famous for its textiles woven on back strap and shuttle looms. Otavalo is South America's most famous Indian fair. Here Otavaleños barter in silence, in marked contrast to the raucous noise of other markets. You will have time to visit the famous market and stroll along the narrow cobblestone streets filled with Otavalo Indians wearing blue ponchos, white trousers and long braided hair. Stop for lunch at one of the charming area country inns or Haciendas. In the afternoon, visit the leather shops in Cotacachi. Later transfer to Hacienda Zuleta where you will be shown your private room with lovely garden views. A welcome drink and typical hors-d'oeuvres will be served at the Hacienda's living room, hosted by the owner with an informal chat about the Hacienda's history. Dinner consists of a delicious soup, salads and vegetables produced organically at the Hacienda and a choice of beef, trout or chicken, all following traditional family recipes.
Day 04: Hacienda Zuleta
Early risers may go bird watching or participate in the Hacienda's milking process. After a hearty Hacienda breakfast, take the "Condor's Trail", a moderate walk to see condors, archaeological remains of the Caranqui culture and observe trout farming.
This excursion can also be done on horseback. Picnic lunch is served, weather permitting; otherwise lunch will be served at the Hacienda.
After lunch visit the embroidery center, part of the work of the Hacienda's foundation and the cheese factory. During the evening, visit the Hacienda's private library of Galo Plaza, former President of Ecuador and Secretary of the OAS (Organization of American States). After dinner relax by the warmth of the fireplace or enjoy stargazing in the Hacienda's center patio.
Day 05: Hacienda San Agustin de Callo
Enjoy an early walk around Hacienda Zuleta or a short ride on horseback. After breakfast, travel south to arrive around lunchtime at Hacienda Hualilagua de Jijón. Lunch will be served at the charming dining room. Continue southward, along the Avenue of the Volcanoes to Hacienda San Agustín de Callo. Follow the footsteps of the German scientist, Alexander von Humboldt, to discover what he called the "Avenue of the Volcanoes" in 1802. This magical route is surrounded by snow-capped summits. In times past, its mystical beauty nourished the mythology of early cultures and later provided incentive to the conquering Spanish to settle here. Brooks and rivers run down from the mountains past small villages of adobe houses and terraced farmlands. Hacienda San Agustín de Callo is located at the foot of imposing Cotopaxi Volcano. Room distribution. Weather permitting, visit the Cotopaxi National Park, go horseback riding or mountain biking.
Back in the Hacienda, meet at the living room for cocktails hosted by the owner, who will give an informal chat about the Haciena's history. Enjoy dinner specialties that include lamb, shrimp, vegetarian vegetables served are grown in the Hacienda's farm-garden.
Day 06: Indian Market & Hacienda Chillo Jijón
After a buffet breakfast, visit a local Indian market of the area. Color is the essence of the ancient Indian markets of the Ecuadorian highlands, the native dresses of both men and women, the fresh produced piled in neat rows, the bluest sky, the brightly colored designs of hand-woven woolen sweaters and the naïf paintings of Tigua, all make these products, wares and handicrafts are displayed everywhere on the plazas and the colorful fruits, vegetables and costumes provide countless opportunities to take photographs. Enjoy lunch at San Agustín de Callo and then proceed to the Hacienda Chillo Jijón. Arrive in the Hacienda at mid-afternoon and after checking into your room, gather for cocktails hosted by the owner. Dine in the beautiful Colonial dining room.
Day 07: Hacienda Chillo Jijón & Art Galleries
Enjoy breakfast and the facilities of the Hacienda Chillo Jijön, including tennis court, bike riding, horseback riding or a short walk in the surrounding gardens. Lunch at the Hacienda. After lunch, return to Quito and visit some of the city's most beautiful Art Galleries. Dinner at Restaurant Mare Nostrum. Accommodations at the Swissotel.
Day 08: Flight back home
Transfer to the airport for departure flight.
Prices 2010: Ask for our last minute prices
Included in the price:
All transfers with private transportation, accommodations and meals as mentioned in the program, entrance fee for National Park, excursions as mentioned in the program, English speaking guide.
Not included in the price:
International flight, drinks, single supplement, personal expenses, tips, travel insurance
|This tour program has been brought to you
thanks to Surtrek Tour Operator