Depart Quito For Mojanda
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 3,900m. You follow your guide on a route that leads down to the largest crater lake at an altitude of 3,734m. 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 four to five 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.
In And Around Otavalo
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, dinner
Trek To 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, takings about four to five 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
Condor Project And Return To Quito
After breakfast you visit the hacienda's Condor Huasi project, a walk of about two 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.
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