Hi Melanie, we''ve been to Otovalo, so no need to go back.  The rough outline of our trip is really what we want to do.  Several yrs ago we went to Otovalo, the Galagos and Quito.  This time we want to hike.  We do not want to ride horses. We want to spend several days in the National Parks.  Please reread my original email and send me a new itinerary.  Thanks so much,

  I have put together a rough itinerary for you to have a look at. Please bare in mind it can all be changed or adapted to suit your needs, even whilst on the tour you can change the itinerary seeing as it will only be the two of you.

  ITINERARY Cuenca Riobamba Otavalo Parque Condor,

 

 Leave Quito early morning and make our way to the Otavalo Market, one of the largest indigenous markets in South America. After visiting the market, we will carry on to the weaving village of Peguche with its famous Sacred Waterfall, the woodcarving village of San Antonio de Ibarra and the leather goods town of Cotacachi. Stay the night in a 200 year old hacienda.

 

 

  • Thurs.            24-12-09

 

On your second day in the Otavalo area, you have a few options. You may be able to do a combination of the said activities depending on how much time is spent in each activity.

 

        * Visiting Laguna Cuicocha, and doing some easy trekking around the lake.

        * Visiting Parque Condor, were you will be able to see birds of prey.

        * Having a horse ride taking in the andean views, staring from hacienda Urcohuasi. 

        * Return to Otavalo market for some more bargains.

 

  Make our way along the avenue of volcanoes until we reach Cotopaxis National Park. Spend a relaxing evening in a 300 year old hacienda.

 

  •     Fri.                 25-12-09

    A full day spent visiting the highest active volcano in the world, Cotopaxi. There is the possibility of hiking up to the snow line, visiting laguna Limpiopungo, a lake high in the andes at the foot of Cotopaxi or a possible horse ride in the afternoon in full chagra outfit (name commonly used for the cowboys of this region). A magnificent photographic panorama of peaks such as Cotopaxi , Sincholagua and Ruminahui. Along the route leading to the lake it’s possible to observe flocks of llamas and other species of mammals, especially rabbits and deer. It’s also possible to observe flora at altitude, which notably changes in ascendancy.

 

    Relaxing evening by the fire in a 300 year old hacienda.

 

  •     Sat.                26-12-09

 

    Make our way to Banos along the avenue of volcanoes.

 

    In Banos there are many activities to get involved in such as: bike riding taking in the spectacular scenery, white-water rafting, horse-riding, there are a countless number of breathtaking waterfalls to visit whilst doing some trekking or alternatively you can indulge yourself in the thermal springs along with some spa treatments.

    Spend the evening at a spa hotel.

 

  •     Mon.              28-12-09

    Full day in Banos doing some of the activities mentioned above.

 

    Spend the evening at a spa hotel.

 

  •     Tues.             29-12-09

 

    Spend the morning in Banos and in the afternoon, make our way to Riobamba, where we we will spend the night.

 

  •     Wed.             30-12-09

    There is the option of taking a train ride on the roof of a train, from Riobamba to Alausi. Your guide will then pick you up and you will make your way to Cuenca.

 

    video of train ride 

    Let me know if this interests you, as if not, we can adapt the itinerary to make a visit to Chimborazo instead.

  •     Thurs.           31-12-09

    Visit the city of Cuenca, also called the "Athens of Ecuador", with a stop at the Calderon park, the Old and New Cathedrals, the Flowers park, the City Museum and the Modern Art Museum.

    During the tour you will also enjoy a brief visit to the Cañari-Inca Ruins of "Todo los Santos" and have a last stop at the rivers gorge of Tomebamba and Turi from where you will appreciate a wonderful panoramic view of Cuenca.

    Fri.                 01-01-10

    Departure from Cuenca towards the two small villages of Gualaceo and Chordeleg.

    These villages are well known for their numerous handcrafts places, Panama Hats, Fabrics and Silver Jewelery.

    If you are interested, during the excursion you will also visit the Fabrics of Bulcay and the CIDAP Museum.

  •     Sat.               02-01-10

    Do some trekking in Cajas National Park which has more than 200 lakes.

  •     Sun               03-01-10

    Fly back to Quito:  I will find out about times of flights for this date.

    The price for this tour is $65 per person per day. This includes your own private bilingual guide & transport, in a comfortable 4X4.  

    I look forward to hearing from you and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.