This is tour that operates with private driver guide with a minimum of 2 passengers. You can take it year round, any day of the year. Group discounts with 6 or more people travelling together.
Day 1: Quito
Upon arrival, we meet and transfer you to your hotel.
Day 2: Mindo
This morning the first destination is in the Mindo Cloudforest. Cloud forests are at mid altitude and frequently become misty, creating a cool humid environment that supports an abundant biodiversity. You will travel through a kaleidoscope of landscapes and, upon arrival, you will have a brief introduction to the ecolodge facilities. This is a very interesting place where the owners have created a mini micro hydro site, and organic vegetable garden, a lovely main lodge with expansive sitting areas open to the cloud forest. The individual bungalows are self contained units with two bedrooms and one bathroom. Rough hewn construction, very comfortable and secure feeling. There are daily guided hikes and a tour of the facility included. (BLD)
Day 3: Mindo An optional 6:30 wake up call begins the day that starts with a guided walk to observe wildlife. You might see toucans, quetzals, parrots and sometimes small mammals, like squirrels and agoutis. After breakfast is another guided nature walk and several other optional activities: mountain biking, river tubing, zip lining, and horseback riding. Make a point to visiting the town of Mindo to try out the freshest chocolate you will ever taste at the Quetazal Cafe. They offer a free tour of the mini-plantation and show you the magic transformation from seed to elixir. Cacao pods actually originated from this region and were traded and then cultivated by the Azteca in Mexico. For many years, Ecuador was the world’s largest producer. (BLD)
Day 4: Otavalo
If you are inclined, you can take a very early morning excursion to see the rare courtship display of the cock o the rock. The trip involves a steep hike into a reserve, and then sitting in a blind to see the birds. They appear daily, but you must be quiet and unobtrusive. The display is quite riotous and colourful, although the air can also be quite misty. You come back to the lodge for breakfast. After breakfast you will travel to Mojanda, a mountainside ecolodge and organic farm, located near the town of Otavalo. (BLD)
Day 5: Otavalo (You can also read more in detail about Otavalo market by searching this blog for posts.)
Today, see the famous Otavalo market. Lunch is in a local indigenous-owned restaurant after which you will participate in a guided tour of local craft workshops, homes and nearby villages. Later, back at the lodge, you can take a walk in the amazingly beautiful hills, along foot paths adjacent to local farms. If you are lucky, you can be led by the lodge’s mascot to a pretty waterfall. (BLD)
Day 6: Quito
Today we’ll continue touring the highlands area, taking a scenic route and return to Quito for the night. (BL)
Day 7: Today you will be transferred to the airport for your onward journey.
If you are interested in taking this tour, or something like it contact me here.