Exploring small towns and villages of the Andes and immersing into local culture, Learning about traditional handicrafts and folk art from local artisans, Encountering volcanic craters and hotsprings, Setting foot in both hemispheres at the 'middle of the earth', Traversing a cloud forest with a local naturalist
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As you straddle the equator at the 'Middle of the World', it occurs to you that being in two places at once is pretty invigorating. Ecuador has that effect on travellers and this convenient week-long adventure is bursting with opportunity. Fill a suitcase and empty your purse in Otavalo’s market, which occupies much of the town. Spot birds in the cloud forest of Mindo and soak in the scenery while relaxing in Papallacta’s hot springs. A trip to Ecuador is more about attitude than its latitude. With all the inclusions and unique expert guide and accommodations—historic haciendas, cloud forest lodge—this trip has it, too.
Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included.
Introductory Spanish lesson then visit the village of Calderón for a folk art demonstration. Continue to Otavalo with a stop at San Pablo Lake. Visit the famous handicraft market and watch local artisans at work. Stay two nights at an historic hacienda. On Day 3, visit Cuicocha Lake for a boat ride inside a volcanic crater before visiting Cotacachi, a town famous for its hand-crafted traditional leather wares.
Travel to the 'Mitad del Mundo' monument at the equator line and preform experiments that are only possible at the middle of the earth before moving on to the cloud forest area of Mindo. Explore the forest with a local naturalist to spot birds and learn about this amazing eco-system. We also visit an orchid farm where a local expert teaches us about these exquisite plants. Option to visit a butterfly farm.
Continue to the Papallacta Hot Springs, for on-site hot springs and optional spa treatments and hiking excursions. Plenty of time to soak, relax and enjoy the mountain views.
Enjoy our morning at the hot springs resort before returning to Quito for our farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
Depart at any time.
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