Stride climate

Trip Type : N/A
Meet the Locals: Quito, Otavalo & Patate tour

Meet the Locals: Quito, Otavalo & Patate

Great Value Vacations
4.3 . Great
93%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
10 days
From: $ 3,228 $ 323 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • What better way to see Ecuador than through a local's eyes? On this trip, you'll travel to several off-the-beaten path villages.
  • Buy as many souvenirs as you can fit into your suitcase at the colorful Otavalo market, which dates back to pre-Incan times.
  • Revel in Ecuador's natural and diverse beauty. From Peguche Waterfall to Cotopaxi Volcano, there's so much to see!
  • Get a taste of city life in the capital of Quito. Tour the historic center, Panecillo Hill and see the equator line.
  • Itching to try Ecuadorian cuisine? You'll have plenty of opportunities to try local dishes like hot and savory empanadas!

Short Description

Be embraced by the warm Ecuadorian spirit on this 9-night adventure taking you to many of the country's highlights in Quito, Otavalo and Patate. Meet the locals as you visit several villages and enjoy Ecuador's incredible landscape along the way!

Trip Type N/A
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Premium - 4 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Quito
End City Ecuador

Trip Includes

  • Round-trip economy class airfare to Quito (UIO)
  • All airport and inter-city transfers
  • 3 nights in Quito at the Hotel Patio Andaluz, or similar
  • Quito City Tour with City Museum, Equatorial Line Monument & Ethnographical Museum (6 hours)
  • Visit to community of Yunguilla
  • 2 nights in Otavalo at the Hacienda Pinsaqui, or similar
  • Visit to the Cochasqui archaeological site
  • Visit to the Otavalo handicraft market
  • Visit to indigenous houses
  • Visit to school in Peguche
  • Visit to Peguche Waterfall
  • Visit to Cotocachi and Cuicocha
  • 1 night in Quito at the Hotel Patio Andaluz, or similar
  • 2 nights in Patate at the Hacienda Manteles, or similar (with 2 dinners)
  • Visit to Cotopaxi National Park
  • Bird watching excursion
  • Visit to Baños including the Pailon del Diablo Waterfall, with lunch
  • Visit to Salasaca village, with lunch
  • 1 night in Quito at the Hotel Patio Andaluz, or similar
  • Breakfast daily

Find your perfect trip
A vast selection of trips on every continent, for every style. Thousands of itineraries from hundreds of trusted travel companies.
Save time
Use simple search and comparison tools to easily find the best trip. Don't sweat the logistics -- travel providers plan for you.
Save money
Book directly with the operator. Find inclusive packages for the best value and get access to amazing deals.
Travel confidently
Read unbiased user reviews, pick the company that fits your style, and connect with them directly. No worries, just memories.

Travelers Also Viewed

See all similar trips

Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Quito!

Accommodation: Hotel Patio Andaluz

Arrive in Quito and enjoy a transfer to your first accommodation. Set at the foot of the volcano Pichincha and surrounded by snow-capped mountains, Quito is easy on the eyes. The city is known for its colonial churches, monasteries, paintings, sculptures and the magnificent blend of Spanish, Flemish and Moorish architecture. Quito has 86 churches and monasteries, giving it the name “Convent of America.

Spend your first night in Quito trying the local cuisine like hornado (roasted pork) or for the more adventurous eaters, cuy (guinea pig)!

Transfer to Quito hotel

Day 2: Quito

Wake up and enjoy a 6-hour tour of Quito's highlights including Panecillo Hill and the “Middle of the World” - the Equatorial Line.

Later, head to Calle La Ronda, one of Quito's oldest streets. The cobblestone alley features restored historic buildings and a lively bar scene in the evening.

Quito City Tour with City Museum, Equatorial Line Monument & Ethnographical Museum (6 hours)

Enjoy a sightseeing tour of Quito's religious and cultural sights! Breathe in the colonial history of Ecuador as you walk the streets of Quito, where the local culture welcomes you with beauty and intrigue. On your walk, let your guide explain the city's culturally diverse history.

Take a closer look at the heart of Quito: Independence Square with the Government and Bishops Palace, the Museum of the Cathedral and the Cathedral. On the way to San Francisco Square, visit the church of La Compañia, which has an ornate and richly sculptured façade and interior. Afterwards, get to know the church of San Francisco. You will also visit the city museum of Quito with interesting exhibits on the history and daily life of the quiteños.

The tour goes on to the Equatorial Line Monument also known as the “Middle of the World." Here you get a truly special experience to stand in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres simultaneously! The Equatorial Monument marks the spot where an 18th-century French scientific expedition led by Charles Marie de la Condamine established the exact position of the Equator.

The area has been built as a typical colonial town, with restaurants, gift shops and a Post Office with philatelic sales. Visit the monument and the Ethnographical Museum, which shows the history of the Indian cultures of Ecuador.

*On Sundays, the visits of the churches might be restricted due to religious services.

Day 3: Quito

In the morning, drive to the community of Yunguilla located one hour from Quito. This community is focused on the development of sustainable economic alternatives and improving the quality of life through managing natural resources.

Upon your return to Quito, head to Plaza Santo Domingo to watch the street performers along with quitenos (as Quito's residents are known). This plaza is absolutely breathtaking at night!

Visit to community of Yunguilla

Visit the community of Yunguilla, located one hour from Quito in the municipality of Calacali and surrounded by cloud forest. Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by the community and get a sense of the various projects that take place there. You also have the possibility to visit the finca and see the different local products people produce here.

Day 4: Quito – Otavalo

Accommodation: Hacienda Pinsaqui

Take an approximately 2-hour bus ride today to Otavalo. The road descends into the spectacular Guayllabamba gorge and village. With a bit of luck, you will get to see the snow capped Cayambe, which is the highest worldwide point on the Ecuadorian line. On the way, make a stop at Cochasquí, the largest Pre-Columbian archaeological site in Ecuador.

You'll then get to explore Otavalo, a town in the Andes that hosts a famous crafts market dating back to pre-Incan times.

Transfer to Otavalo!

Visit to the Cochasqui archaeological site

Visit Cochasquí, the largest Pre-Columbian archaeological site in Ecuador. The site with a remarkable view - which was helpful for astronomic observations - lies some 32 miles north of Quito in Pichincha Province at 10,100 ft above sea level. The purpose of the site is not absolutely clear, but on pyramid 13 it is obvious it served as an astronomic observatory. It is believed to serve as a ceremonial center for the ancient Quito culture.

Fifteen pyramids and a minimum of 14 tombs are located on a roughly 210-acre area. Nine of the pyramids include ramps of up to 290 yards of length. Pyramid 5, of which the base was excavated, reaches a height of 16 yards. Most pyramids are completely covered with vegetation.

Visit to the Otavalo handicraft market

Discover the world-famous Indian handcrafts market in Otavalo with its central square Plaza de los Ponchos. The market sells unique and colorful bags, ponchos, tapestries and more made by the local indigenous people who have achieved economic prosperity as a result of their weaving skill.  Enjoy the unique variety of handicrafts at the giant market and take some new souvenirs with you. Otavalo is a typical indigenous city where tourists can see families wearing their colorful garments and speaking Quichua as their first tongue and Spanish as their second.

Day 5: Otavalo

Today you will have a full day exploring the area around Otavalo. Visit a school in the village of Peguche, Peguche Waterfall and several indigenous families.

You will then return to your hotel and have some free time to enjoy the beautiful gardens of the hacienda.

Visit to indigenous houses

Visit several indigenous families and see how different kinds of handicrafts are made. Let the local people show you how to make mats of totora reed, musical instruments, weavings made of sheep wool and jewelry made of seeds.

Visit to Peguche Waterfall

Visit the Peguche Waterfall, one of the main tourist attractions in the Otavalo area. This beautiful 50-foot waterfall is considered an Indigenous Ceremonial Site due to the purification baths held here a couple days prior the Inti Raymi celebration (Sun and harvest celebration taking place on June 21).

The waterfall originates at the foothills of Imbabura volcano at 8,760 ft. These sacred waterfalls are located within the 40 acres of a protected forest “Bosque Protector Cascada de Peguche," known as one of the most beautiful forests in northern Ecuador.

Visit school in Peguche

Depart Quito in the morning and drive two hours to Peguche, an indigenous town of weavers. Visit a school project, which arose out of the German association “We help children in Ecuador” and looks after the education and adequate care of children in need in Ecuador. In 1997, the association renovated an old hacienda to make it a social center for children, known as the Casa de Niños. Today, this house contains a kindergarten, an elementary school for all age groups and a carpenter’s workshop where older students train in this skill.

Day 6: Otavalo – Quito

Accommodation: Hotel Patio Andaluz

On your way back to Quito, visit the town of Cotacachi and Laguna Cuicocha.

Upon your return to Quito, consider visiting Ecuador's National Museum (Museo Nacional) to see magnificent works of pre-Hispanic and colonial religious art.

Transfer to Quito!

Visit to Cotacachi and Cuicocha

Visit the small town of Cotacachi, known as Ecuador’s center for leatherworks. Stroll along the town's small streets and pop into one of the various shops to pick up a few souvenirs. Then head to Laguna Cuicocha, a caldera and crater lake at an altitude of 10,650 ft and a width of about 1.8 miles. The lake is named Cuicocha which in the Quichua language means the Lake of the Cuy (or Guinea Pig). In the center of the lake are two volcanic islands covered in vegetation and rimmed with totora, a type of reed.

Day 7: Quito – Patate

Accommodation: Hacienda Manteles

Depart Quito for the approximately 3-hour journey south to Patate near the foothills of the still active Tungurahua volcano. On the way, stop at Cotopaxi National Park where you'll see the perfectly conical Cotopaxi volcano!

Transfer to Patate!

Visit to Cotopaxi National Park

See one of the most impressive national parks in Ecuador, Cotopaxi National Park. On a walk near the shallow lake Laguna de Limpiopungo, you will have the chance to learn about the typical vegetation of the so-called “Páramo” and will gaze in wonder at the beautiful view of Cotopaxi volcano (19,347 ft) in the background.

Day 8: Patate - Baños - Patate

Today, take a short drive to Baños de Agua Santa (commonly referred to as Baños). Known as the gateway to Ecuador's Amazon, the city is a major tourist center for its natural beauty (it is home to more than 60 waterfalls) and its plethora of adventure activities. While here, you'll enjoy a bird watching excursion and a visit to the Pailon del Diablo waterfall.

Transfer to Baños!

Bird watching excursion

Within 500 hectares of cloudforest protected by Hacienda Manteles in Patate, enjoy a short excursion where you can observe a great variety of birds. The best times for sightings are between 5am and 9am, depending on weather conditions and season.

Visit to Baños including the Pailon del Diablo Waterfall, with lunch

Visit Baños and enjoy the incredible natural landscape known as the Gateway to the Amazon. Home to lush forests, steaming thermal springs, steep gorges, and 60 waterfalls, this Ecuador at its most thrilling and wild. Hike to the famous waterfall Pailon del Diablo (Devil's Cauldron), where the pebbled stairs wind down the waterfall in a dizzying optical illusion. Have lunch at a local restaurant in Baños town.

Day 9: Patate – Quito

Accommodation: Hotel Patio Andaluz

Depart Patate today for your last journey back to Quito. On the way, visit Salasaca village between Ambato and Baños. Admire the local handicrafts in the village and listen to traditional Salasaca music.

Spend your last night in Ecuador dining on the local cuisine and strolling the historic center of Quito.

Transfer to Quito!

Visit to Salasaca village, with lunch

Visit the Salasaca, a Kichwa village between Ambato and Baños. The Salasaca Indios are one of the most independent people of Ecuador and have largely preserved their traditions. History says the Salasacas lived in Bolivia originally, but were kidnapped and brought to the Andean sierra by the Incas. You will first visit the museum of the village and later be introduced by a local to different traditions and rites. Have lunch in the community.

Day 10: Depart Ecuador

Squeeze all your souvenirs into your bag and enjoy a comfortable transfer to the airport. Board your plane and spend your relaxing flight home dreaming about your next adventure.

Transfer to Quito airport (UIO)

Fly home!

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 3,228
Price Per Day: $ 323 per day
Check Availability

Ask Our Destination Experts

Ailish Casey
Email Us

Stride Featured in

Stride Feature In

6,665 Great Value Vacations Travel Reviews & Ratings

93%
4.3 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 3,962
Great 1,549
Average 688
Disappointing 255
Terrible 210
Value
4.3
Guide
4.3
Activities
4.3
Lodging
4.3
Transportation
4.3
Meals
4.3

Meet the Locals: Quito, Otavalo & Patate

Write a Review
No reviews yet for this trip. Be the first one to write a review

Company Reviews

The customer service was excellent

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
When I booked with Great Value I was nervous because it seemed too good to be true. Nope, just a really great deal. I was able to take my dream trip to Ireland and Scotland and it was within my budget. Everything was covered, my lodging, flights, and rental car. There was no hidden fees, or fine print that would nickel and dime me later on, as "good deals" usually have. I also had to change the date of my trip and the customer service was excellent and this change was simple. Thank you Great Value, I'll be using you every time I travel from now on
Read more

Everything on the trip was excellent.

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Everything on the trip was excellent. The only concern with any services from GVV was initial communications ahead of the trip regarding when and how we'd receive all our travel vouchers, as some were available online, and some were to be picked up in country upon arrival. It took no less than 5 phone calls to learn some vouchers would be picked up in country. The trip was outstanding, exhausting, but gloriously beautiful. It was exhausting from the perspective of moving around the country and only a few places were 2 nights. But, we knew that going in, and we wanted to see ALL of Switzerland and this certainly checked those boxes. We saw majestic mountains, we saw countless waterfalls and glaciers. The trains in Switzerland were all clean and we felt safe. The hotels were good with delicious breakfasts each morning. Overall, I would recommend GVV to a friend or family member and I would personally book another vacation with GVV.
Read more

Our trip was amazing!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
This was my first time planning a trip out of the country. I read previous reviews who had a good experience with Great Value Vacation. Our trip was amazing! The booking and reservations were easy to use with the vouchers provided. The staff was helpful. The only downside was I upgraded to have an automatic vehicle and they gave me a stick shift. It took a while to get sorted out but other than that I loved my trip! I will definitely use great value vacations again when I book my next trip. I opted for the additional wine tasting package and I did not regret it! I recommend adding those additional tours to get a more complete experience.
Read more

Great customer service

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
My wife and I recently booked our vacation through Great Value Vacations. We were a bit nervous to travel to Europe for the first time, but we are glad we did. Great Value Vacations took care of us. Great customer service. Seamless transactions. They booked the hotels and flights for us. All we had to worry about were the daily activities! I would highly recommended them. The hotels offered through the package were as advertised: nice and in great locations. The flights times were also convenient. The best part was the price. I am thankful for the experiences Great Value Vacation was able to provide for us!
Read more

Really enjoyed both of my trips

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Really enjoyed both of my trips through Great Value Vacations. I went on one family trip to Ireland (Adare villa, rental car with trips out to Dublin, Cliffs of Moher and more) . The villa was very comfortable with a kitchen, three bedrooms, and proximity to the local shops /restaurants. We were able to upgrade to an automatic car and had fun navigating to each location on our itinerary. The trip as planned by the agency still leaves time for exploring on your own and since we picked a trip with our own transportation, we had flexibility on which tours we wanted to do and when.

My second trip was a solo trip to Scotland. I like to go on vacation by myself sometimes, but it can be hard to find ones where you aren’t penalized for being on your own. This train trip to Edinburgh, Inverness, and Glasgow worked out really well for me. The hotels were all near the train stations and in safe areas (good lighting, plenty of people, etc.). I got a good mix of options for sightseeing in each city. The hop-on, hop-off bus circuit was especially useful for getting around Edinburgh. I also added an extra tour on in Glasgow to see nearby castles and a distillery and was very glad to have done so as the views of the countryside were amazing!

Summary: Have enjoyed my previous experiences and would definitely use again
Read more

Above and beyond our expectations

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Just got back from our trip to Italy booked through Great Value Vacations & was our dream come true! We could not have gone if it were not for their unbelievable rates. Each 4 Star Villa we stayed at was above and beyond our expectations...I cried after leaving each part of our journey. I am so glad I took a leap of faith and would HIGHLY RECOMMEND booking with them. Besides the Villas being beautiful, great locations, clean, and great staff; each place we arrived at actually said, "They said to give you a very nice room." (with a rate of just under $1,900 a piece for 9 nights not counting travel days at 4 stars Villas in Rome, Tuscany, & Venice including airfare and rent a car... a few friends told us to expect the worst rooms at the places we were staying ~ NOT the case! Our rooms had the best views...I could go on and on. Every step of the way was smooth with no worries whatsoever. Thanks again GVV! LOVED IT!
Read more

Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Intimate Group - 12 max

Trip ID#:

greatvaluevacations-PK-GC4P-SH-MLQQP-UIO

Similar Trips

See all similar trips
×
Great Choice!

You can access members-only savings of up to $700 on over 6,000 Stride Select trips.

Sign in to see trip eligibility

or
or
Provide email and password

With your FREE membership you get to:

  • Save up to $700 per person!*
  • Access private deals and offers
  • See personalized trip recommendations
  • Save favorite trips
*See Member Savings Program details
Already a member?

We respect your privacy and take great care to protect your information. By joining you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

×
×
Sign in to Save Trips
Welcome back! We're so happy to see you. ? Forgot Password?
Don't have an account? Join
  • Bookmark trips you like
  • Share with your travel companions
  • Track price changes
  • Access private discounts on trips you save
×
Sign in to see your results

TripFinder is a member-only feature. Don’t worry, it’s free!

With a membership you:

  • Save up to $700 per person!*
  • Access private deals and offers
  • See personalized trip recommendations
  • Save favorite trips
*See Member Savings Program details
×
Activate your free Stride membership

Just use the email address and password provided in the email we sent.

? Forgot Password?

With your free membership you:

  • Save up to $700 per person!*
  • Access private deals and offers
  • See personalized trip recommendations
  • Save favorite trips
*See Member Savings Program details
×
To Follow, sign in or sign up (it's free) ? Forgot Password?
Don't have an account? Join
member benefits
First name is required!
Last name is required!
First name is not valid!
Last name is not valid!
This is not an email address!
Email address is required!
This email is already registered!
Please enter valid email address
Password is required!
Enter a valid password!
Please enter 6 or more characters!
Please enter 32 or less characters!
Passwords are not the same!
Terms and Conditions are required!
Email or Password is wrong!
Please select the captcha checkbox!
Please select the valid captcha!
Something went wrong! Try again later!
Find the 3 best trips for you.
Take a short quiz to recieve your top matches.

x
x
Download your brochure

Enter your email to get the "" brochure.

x
Brochure successfully sent!

We've sent the "" brochure to "". Check your inbox!