Cuicocha lagoon trek – Cotacachi and Otvalo Market visit
Hotel in Otavalo
Páramo del Ángel trek
Hotel in Otavalo
Imbabura trek and return to Quito
Day 1. Papallacta trekking
We depart early towards the area of the Cayambe-Coca Ecological Reserve. This reserve covers some 400 000 hectares of land. It enjoys a great deal of biodiversity and the reserve can be easily divided into lowland rainforest and mountain rainforest regions. There are lakes, rivers and hot springs spread across the reserve and the hot springs have made the reserve a very popular weekend destination. We start at our trek at 4000m diving into the moorlands and descending towards Papallacta hot springs. The vegetation is very special, despite the altitude you will see a lot of tropical plants and a unique fauna, small rivers and waterfalls everywhere. During the hike we go to the moorlands, observing the Andean nature and natural lagoons. After our excursion and enjoying our box lunch, we head to the famous hot springs for a rewarding bath! Accommodation: Hotel or lodge Meals: box lunch, dinner
Day 2. Fuya Fuya 4200 m
Today we start early and drive to reach one of the most popular tourist destinations in northern Ecuador, Otavalo. There we will take a small road, which will take us to the Mojanda lagoon, where our first trek to the Fuya Fuya will start. A nice short trekking with amazing views to the lagoon and moorlands. After the trekking we descend to Otavalo to rest at our hotel. Accommodation:Hotel in Otavalo Meals: breakfast, box lunch, dinner
Day 3: Cuicocha Lake + Cotacachi Town + Otavalo Market
After resting the night your guide will pick you up at 7am. After 40min you will arrive in the beautiful Cuicocha National Park, the Crater Lake from Mt. Cotacachi 4944mtrs. The hike around this amazing lake will take you 9.7km, approx. 4-5hours at 3500mtrs altitude. The hike is wonderful; the path is perfectly signed and described. After this lovely hike you will have the opportunity to discover Cotacachi famous for its leather goods and further on Otavalo, the unique colorful handcraft market famous in the World. A full packed day will end with a a night at our hotel. Accommodation:Hotel in Otavalo Meals: breakfast, box lunch, dinner
Day 4: Páramo del Angel
We drive north to discover a magical place, El Ángel ecological reserve. El Angel Ecological Reserve has an area of 15 715 hectares, 585m and 4692m over sea level. It is the birthplace of many rivers that eventually deposit their water in major river basins. This is the reason why these are the most humid moors in Ecuador and why the flora has adapted so well to the environment. The Páramo of El Angel is covered by frailejones (Espeletia pychnophyla), a species endemic to the area, which covers 85% of the area. These plants grow up to 6m in height and form a forest. Their flowers are similar to the sunflowers and their leaves are hairy to protect the plant from cold weather. Other beautiful flowers found in this area are the El Angel Flowers (Senecio sp.), which look very similar to the Frailejones with its hairy leaves and yellow flowers. Another interesting plant is one that looks similar to a pillow and captures a large amount of water.
The mountains of the Ecological reserve have remains of deciduous forests on them. These forests are made up of Pumamaqui, Aliso, Alder (Almus sp.) and Myrtle (Luma apiculata) trees. The Paper Trees (Polylepis incana ssp.icosandra) are so named because their thin bark can peel off. A beautiful place to walk and have amazing views to the valley. Andean Condors have also been seen around this area becoming one of the country’s few places where you can appreciate this magnificent endemic Andean treasure.
The trekking will take us about 4-5 hours and we head back to our hacienda. Accommodation:Hotel in Otavalo Meals: breakfast, box lunch, dinner
Day 5: Imbabura hiking
We start at the foothill of Imbabura 4700m. This imposing mountain has the perfect positive slope to train in altitude, from 3400m to 4600m. As the dominant geographic feature of the area, Imbabura is of significant importance to the local culture, which involves a spiritual relationship with the land. The mountain is sometimes personified locally as Taita Imbabura, or “Papa” Imbabura. In fact, Imbabura is considered the sacred protector of the region. Imbabura is most frequently climbed from the town of La Esperanza or where the road ends about 4 km above it in the village of Chiruasi. From Chiruasi, the altitude gain is approximately 1600 meters.. A very nice hike with great views to the valley of Ibarra and hopefully see Cayambe. This is one of the most hiked mountains in Ecuador previous to higher altitude mountains. We traverse an hacienda and then start the hike up the moorlands and ending with a rocky terrain and small fun climb. The route follows a ridge and reaches the false northern summit. After our trek we return to Quito. Meals: breakfast, box lunch
Local certified English/Spanish-speaking mountain guide
Accommodation mentioned above
Meals mentioned in program above
Transportation, Accommodations, meals for guide/driver
Soft and alcoholic beverages
Extras and services not mentioned above
Tips and gratuities
Additional Glacier, climbing and trekking gear (we can assist with the rental)
Taxes 14% VAT if invoiced to Ecuadorian company or guest
Full prepayment is required 30 days’ prior guests’ arrival to confirm services.
We accept MasterCard and Visa via our online secure payment system. We accept payments through bank wire without surcharge. Checks not accepted.
Cancellations must be notified at least 15 days prior to the date of guests’ arrival. If notification is received in less than 14 days’ prior arrival, no refund applies. Refund of the prepayment will be upon agency´s discretion and cancellation motive.
Security and health is a priority in our programs. If weather and mountain conditions are not safe/optimal or if guests are not in a good health condition, the guide and agency reserves the right to modify itineraries accordingly. Extra charges may apply.