Famous for its colonial center and its beautiful landscapes and surroundings, the ecuadorian capital is one of the main attractions for anyone visiting South America. Following is a list of the main programs that will help you to discover the wonders of this Cultural World Heritage Site.
City Tour and Equator Line
A guided walking tour of the colonial center takes us to San Francisco square and La Compania church, amongst other jewels of colonial architecture and some other less known and fascinating places, generally unseen by the common tourist. We can also learn more about the city visiting some of the museums, specially recommended are the “Museo de la Ciudad”, Casa de la Cultura and the “Capilla del Hombre”, last work of art of the world famous Ecuadorian master Oswaldo Guayasamin. An optional extension to the Equator Line monument will give us the chance to stand on the place where the Equator Line divides the world in two hemispheres.
Otavalo Market and Cuicocha lake
Depart early morning northwards, to one of the most famous indigenous markets in South America. Otavalo market is full of colours and culture. Otavaleños are known for their ability to weave good quality products. Saturday is the largest market, but every day you will find handcrafts on display and for sale. Afterwards, we will continue to Cuicocha lake, located in the crater of a volcano within the Ecological Reserve Cotacachi-Cayapas and considered sacred by the locals. We will have lunch near the lake and then enjoy a mystical ride on its calm water.
Cotopaxi National Park
About 60 kilometers south of Quito, after crossing a relaxing countryside landscape, full of haciendas, grasslands and cattle, we arrive to the national park ,where we can share the view of the magnificent world´s highest active volcano (5.897 mts.); enjoy a hike around Limpiopungo lake or go up to the “refugio”, closer to the snowline. Lunch served in the area and return to Quito by late afternoon..
Approximately sixty seven kilometers northwest of Quito is this small agrarian community located in an isolated pocket valley surrounded by tall forested ridges and by the rivers Mindo and Nambillo. It has gained a reputation as a great place for relaxing and birdwatching. Life zones here range from low, humid subtropical forests to higher cloud forests. Two days in the area are recommended.