link to founders message

Enquire or Call

UK: 01473 890499
You are here: HomeEcuadorTrekking And Culture In Otavalo
Ecuador holiday ideas experiences accommodation places to go when to visit ecuador map reviews

Trekking and Culture in Otavalo

4 days from £1535pp plus international flights.

This 4 day trek is ideal for anyone wanting to experience the natural beauty of the rural Andes and to witness daily life and learn about local culture. You will need to have a reasonable level fitness, trekking for up to 5 hours, though the pace is not hurried and there are plenty of stops to catch your breath and admire the scenery. You travel along trails that have been used by local people for centuries as they journey between communities.

Many aspects of life in the rural villages and valleys remain much as they have for generations. You will see small farms where workers practise traditional methods of cultivation, and spend time with crafsmen and women whose skills vary little from those of their forefathers. Not that the region is untouched by progress. Since the early 1900s Hacienda Zuleta has been a pioneer in the use of modern agricultural techniques and technologies which have benefitted not just the estate but the wider community. The strong bond between the hacienda and local people continues today.

You stay in 3 lovely properties, each with its own special character. Casa Mojanda is an organic farm in the highlands near Otavalo with cosy cabins and tasty home-cooked food. Medina del Lago provides guests with spa treatments, therapies and gorgeous gardens with stunning lake and mountain views. Hacienda Zuleta is an estate of of over 2,000 hectares owned by the family of a former president and is filled with precious heirlooms and antiques.

Trek to Mojanda crater lake


You leave Quito early this morning, taking the Pan-American highway north to Mojanda. Your trek starts from the top of Yanahurco Hill at a height of 3,900 metres. You follow your guide on a route that leads down to the largest crater lake at an altitude of 3,734 metres. This trail is one of many that has been used by local people for centuries, and along the way you pass areas of unspoilt grass and shrubland termed 'paramo', Trekking time is around 4 to 5 hours, and afterwards you are transferred to Las Palmeras Inn where you spend the night. Relax in the cosy lounge as you look forward to a well earned dinner. Snack, lunch, dinner

See traditional hand weaving techniques


Leaving Las Palmeras Inn you walk on a traditional pathway to Otavalo, where you visit the food market. The variety of produce is truly impressive and includes many colourful fruits and vegetables. From here you head to the craft market in the Plaza de Ponchos, with time to wander around the stalls. Leaving the busy town behind you see the lovely waterfall at Peguche and visit a family of weavers in Agato to see for yourself how the beautiful textiles are produced by hand. Your route then takes you into a remote rural region in the foothills of Imbabura where you witness traditional farming techniques and enjoy scenic views. From here you are driven to you next lodge, Medina del Lago. Breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner

The trek to Hacienda Zuleta


Following breakfast you are driven to the start of today's trek. The route takes you through a valley and ends at Hacienda Zuleta, and takes about 4 to 5 hours. On the way your guide explains the history of the area, and how the successive generations of the owners of the hacienda have applied new techniques and liberal land reforms to boost the agricultural output and help the local community. You are welcomed to a local home for lunch, and can help produce the meal using many of the ingredients you've seen growing during your trek. Later you visit embroidery shops for a look at some of the fine work and maybe collect some souvenirs, before being driven to Hacienda Zuleta for an overnight stay. Breakfast, lunch, dinner 

See condors at the Huasi project


After breakfast you visit the hacienda's Condor Huasi project, a walk of about 2 hours which takes you past some interesting pre-Inca sites. As well as seeing these magnificent birds up close you can learn about the valuable conservation work being undertaken. Later you hike back to the hacienda where you can visit the cheese factory, embroidery workshop and find out about their Andean horses. The rest of the day is free to enjoy the grounds and maybe for horse riding (extra charge), until the late afternoon when you are transferred back to Quito. Breakfast, lunch     

Price & Dates

Guide price from (pp sharing): £1535 (ex. international flights)

Price notes: 2019 guide prices pp sharing (excluding international flights):from £1535


3 nights twin share accommodation, transport as specified, meals as specified, support vehicle for luggage throughout the trek, bilingual naturalist trekking guide, first aid kit


International flights and taxes, visas, travel insurance, meals not specified as included, drinks, park entrance fees, trekking gear, tips, items of a personal nature

Getting there: 

This trip starts and ends in Quito. Return flights from the UK cost from around £900 per person depending on season and availability. We normally book these flights for you.

places you will see

places you will see

A region of mountains, volcanoes, attractive haciendas, with opportunities for hiking and mountain biking. There are lots of interesting towns, among them Otavalo, known for its lively market.

customer rating

5/5 from 88 reviews

our travel expert

Start planning your tailor-made holiday to Ecuador. Tell us what you want, and we will tailor make your perfect trip.
Call: 01473 890499


Find the best time to visit Ecuador

facts and information

Time: GMT -5 hours

Flight time: There is an international airport at Quito and at Guayaquil. KLM and Iberia have routes via Europe to both cities. The flying time is about 14 hours. It is also possible to fly via America.

Language: Spanish is Ecuador's official language.

Visas: Not required for British travellers. Other nationalities should obtain advice from their embassy.

Health: There are no compulsory vaccinations, except yellow fever if visiting the rainforest. Malaria prophylactics are also recommended in the rainforest.



Botswana Specialists Costa Rica Specialists Galapagos Specialists Peru Specialists

Help me plan my trip

* required fields

Please enter your address

Trip details

Yes No
Yes No

Other information

Your Preferences

Keep in touch with the tribe in the following way/s:

By email: Yes, Please No, Thanks

By post: Yes, Please No, Thanks

I understand that I can unsubscribe at any time.Read our Privacy Policy here.

All information supplied is confidential and will never be shared with anyone else (see our privacy policy)

Brochure Request

Our "Book of Unmissable Travel Experiences - Book Two" includes some inspiring ideas which could be the holiday experience you're looking for. You will find an online version of our brochure which you can flip through at your leisure.

* required fields

Please enter your address

Other information

Yes No

All information supplied is confidential and will never be shared with anyone else (see our privacy policy)

Our e-newsletter offers you travel inspiration, with gorgeous and exciting places to go or stay, plus special offers, and some insight into sustainability/conservation.

* required fields

I am agreeing to receive Tribes e-newsletter. I understand that all information I have supplied is confidential and will never be shared with anyone else (see our privacy policy), and I can unsubscribe at any time.