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Taste of Ecuador: Slow Food Experience tour

Taste of Ecuador: Slow Food Experience

Great Value Vacations
4.3 . Great
93%
Travel Style: A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
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: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
6 days
From: $ 2,054 $ 342 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Begin and end your trip in the capital of Quito, a city high in the Andes with incredible culture and food.
  • Head to one of Quito's oldest streets, Calle La Ronda, and explore this historic area. Later, enjoy a chocolate tasting!
  • Experience traditional Ecuadorian culture of the Andes in Otavalo and visit its famous handcrafts market.
  • Visit the home of a Kichwa family and enjoy a hands-on cooking class where you'll learn the secrets of Andean cuisine.
  • End a delicious vacation in Ecuador with dinner at a local restaurant in Quito.

Short Description

Experience the typical foods (comida typica) and culture of Ecuador in 5 nights! In Quito and Otavalo, enjoy cooking classes, market visits, chocolate tastings and more!

Trip Type N/A
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 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
  • Visit to La Ronda with chocolate tasting
  • Market visit and cooking class, with lunch
  • Visit to the Equatorial Line Monument ("Middle of the World")
  • 1 night in Otavalo at the Las Palmeras Inn, or similar
  • Visit to the Mishky Huarmy slow food organization, with lunch
  • Visit to the Otavalo Indian handcrafts market
  • 1 night in Quito at the Hotel Patio Andaluz, or similar
  • Lunch and cooking classes at Samyanuy food experience
  • Dinner in a local Quito restaurant
  • Breakfast daily

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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 of the “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 tour of Quito's cultural and religious highlights including San Francisco Square and the cathedral. Later, head to Calle La Ronda - one of Quito's oldest streets - for a walk and a chocolate tasting!

In the evening, head to Plaza Santo Domingo to watch the street performers along with quitenos (as Quito's residents are known). This plaza is absolutely breathtaking in the evening!

Quito City Tour

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.

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

Visit to La Ronda with chocolate tasting

Visit one of Quito’s oldest streets, “La Ronda.” An ancient path following the small Ullaguanga-Huayaco creek was the beginning of what is now called Calle La Ronda. The path was slowly lined with houses until the late 18th-century, when it is said to appear similar to today.

During the early 20th-century, La Ronda was the home of poets, musicians and politicians who left their mark on Ecuadorian history. The renovated street now has informational signs which detail some of these people and the houses they lived in. You will have the chance to meet some of the artists and talk to them about their work.

You will also enjoy a chocolate tasting and learn about the process of making great chocolate. See why Ecuador is one of the best countries in the world for growing fine cacao and learn more about cacao's history.

Day 3: Quito

Ever wanted to stand right on the equator? Now's your chance, because today you will visit "La Mitad del Mundo" (Middle of the World), just outside Quito. You'll also visit the Intiñan Solar Museum focusing on the native tribes and interactive activities like balancing an egg on a nail!

Later, visit a food market and use the bounty you've bought in a cooking class. Sit down to your homemade lunch and taste Ecuador on a plate.

For spectacular views over Quito's mountainous landscape, hop aboard the sky tram known as TelefériQo, which takes you on a 10-minute ride to the top of Cruz Loma.

Visit to the Equatorial Line Monument ("Middle of the World")

Visit the Equatorial Line Monument, also known as the “Middle of the World.” Have the rare opportunity to stand in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres simultaneously! The Equatorial Monument marks the spot where an 18th-century French scientific expedition established the exact position of the Equator. The area surrounding the monument has been built as a typical colonial town, with restaurants, gift shops and a post office with philatelic sales.

Visit Intiñan Solar Museum and learn about the customs of Ecuador's ancient indigenous cultures in their traditional straw huts. The effects of the earth's rotation are illustrated by experiments in which you can participate actively. Will you succeed in balancing an egg on a nail?

Market visit and cooking class, with lunch

Experience the flavors of Ecuador during a market visit and cooking course. Get an insight into the typical Ecuadorian cuisine by slow food principals. You will have the chance to get to know the secrets of a chef and then try your homemade dishes.

Day 4: Quito – Otavalo

Accommodation: Las Palmeras Inn

Leave Quito today and take an approximately 2-hour bus ride to Otavalo, a town in the Andes which hosts a famous crafts market dating back to pre-Incan times. Before arriving in town, stop at Mishky Huarmy organization to learn about their mission of empowering local women through the making of a dietary supplement from the agave plant.

Once in Otavalo, visit the traditional Indian market and be amazed at the colorful textiles, clothing and more on display!

Transfer to Otavalo!

Visit to the Mishky Huarmy slow food organization, with lunch

Meet the slow food organization Mishky Huarmy, meaning "sweet woman." The organization employs local indigenous women to make a dietary supplement from the agave plant, one of the ancestral plants of Ecuador. "Chaguar" or the pressing of "Chaguarmishky" is an ancient tradition of the indigenous communities, but as this activity is valued less and less, but Mishky Huarmy aims to preserve this tradition.

During your visit, get to know the organization and learn more about the elements and nutrition of Chaguarmishky. This drink is extracted from the agave plant and is used as a dietary supplement because it is rich in iron, phosphorus and calcium. Here, you'll also enjoy lunch.

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 – Quito

Accommodation: Hotel Patio Andaluz

Spend the morning continuing to explore Otavalo, then head to the town of Samyanuy for another cooking class! Feel immediately at ease as you're greeted by a family, then help prepare a three course meal.

After this culinary adventure, you will return to Quito. Cap off an unforgettable journey with an included farewell dinner in a typical Ecuadorian restaurant.

Transfer to Quito!

Lunch and cooking classes at Samyanuy food experience

Visit a Kichwa family in nearby Samyanuy and help cook typical Andean dishes made with natural products from the Kichwa-speaking region around Otavalo. The class includes a main course, side dishes, dessert and drinks in an open kitchen with a mix of the ancestral and the modern. You'll get a hands-on cooking experience and a crash course on some of the most beloved dishes including quimbolitos, or sweet tamales! Sit down to a home cooked meal with a view of the community Panecillo.

Day 6: 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

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Price From $ 2,054
Price Per Day: $ 342 per day
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6,665 Great Value Vacations Travel Reviews & Ratings

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4.3 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
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Value
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Taste of Ecuador: Slow Food Experience

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The customer service was excellent

5.0
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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
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Everything on the trip was excellent.

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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.
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Our trip was amazing!

5.0
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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.
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Great customer service

5.0
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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!
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Really enjoyed both of my trips

5.0
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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
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Above and beyond our expectations

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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!
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Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Intimate Group - 12 max

Trip ID#:

greatvaluevacations-PK-GC4P-SH-TESFE-UIO

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