Day trip

From Quito: Otavalo, Cotacachi & Cuicocha Full-Day Tour

4.8 / 5

36 reviews

Activity provider: Gray Line Ecuador

From Quito: Otavalo, Cotacachi & Cuicocha Full-Day Tour

Activity provider: Gray Line Ecuador

From US$ 49 per person

Discover the distinct beauty and culture of Ecuador on this full-day tour through the countryside from Quito. Taste the delicious and typical cracker “Bizcochos de Cayambe”, and end the day in Otavalo.

About this activity

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund
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Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures are in place. Check your activity voucher once you book for full details.
Duration 10 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Live tour guide
Spanish, English
Pickup optional
Transportation provided from the following hotels in Quito: Patio Andaluz • Hilton Colon Quito • Mercure Hotel Alameda Quito • Reina Isabel • Río Amazonas • Nu House Boutique Hotel • Galería Ecuador (La Mariscal) • Hotel Swissôtel Quito • Hotel NH Collection Quito Royal • Hotel Kaia • Holiday Inn Express Quito • JW Marriott Hotel Quito • Wyndham Garden Quito • Dann Carlton • Le Parc Hotel • Sheraton Quito Hotel

Experience

Highlights
  • Taste the delicious specialty of Bizcochos de Cayambe (baked pastries)
  • Make a stop at Miralago to admire a wonderful view of Lago San Pablo
  • Visit a traditional market
Full description
Escape the hustle and bustle of city life in Quito and discover the ease and beauty of the Ecuadorian countryside. Depart from Quito through the Pan-American North Highway via Cayambe. Passengers will have the opportunity to taste the delicious Bizcochos de Cayambe, a type of cracker or bread baked in a clay oven, greatly paired with local cheese or caramel sauce. Afterwards, make a brief stop at Miralago to admire a wonderful view of Lago San Pablo. The tour then continues to Otavalo where Otavaleños (natives) set up a market in which a bartering manner of shopping is taken place. The market hosts a variety of different handcrafted items. You may choose between staying in this area and enjoying more time at the market (a bus will pick you up at the end of the tour*), or you can continue the tour to visit Cotacachi and Cuicocha. If you continue the tour, journey to the town of Cotacachi, recognized for its leather clothing and crafts. On the way to Cotacachi, visit an Andean instrument workshop, "Ñanda Mañachi", located in the area of Peguche, to spend some special moments with the local people and understand the Andean culture. In Cotacachi you have enough time to visit the village and leather goods shops, as well as free time for lunch (not included). Later, visit the Ecological Reserve where the Cuicocha lagoon is located, inside the crater of the Cotacachi Volcano. This originated after a volcanic explosion thousands of years ago. And if the weather permits, it will be possible to make a walk by the lagoon with the chance to sail in the crater of the volcano in small boats (at an additional cost). *Bus will wait for 10 minutes in Otavalo to pick you up if you have chosen to stay there, and after that will return to Quito and your respective hotel or starting point.
Includes
  • Guide
  • Transportation
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off from selected hotels in Quito (if option selected)
  • Optional gratuities
  • Lunch
Not suitable for
  • Wheelchair users

Select participants and date

Participants

Date

Meeting point

Meet your guide in front of the NH Collection Hotel at 7:40 AM.

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Important information

What to bring

  • Passport or ID card
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun hat

Know before you go

  • Prices are per person for shared services
  • Please wear comfortable shoes, as part of the tour will be on foot
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.8 /5

based on 36 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
    5/5
  • Transportation
    4.9/5
  • Value for money
    4.8/5
  • Safety
    4.5/5

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Star rating:

Highly recommend! There was a good balance between shopping, nature exploration and cultural demonstrations. In one day, we shopped at the open air market in Otovalo and the leather shops im Cotacachi. We also hiked around a National park built around the rim of a massive and gorgeous caldera lake. The excursion also included a live demonstration/tasting of the culturally significant dish, bizcochos, lunch at a real Ecuadorian restaurant in Cotacachi and a live music demo at a local artisan’s workshop. Ecuadorians are hospitable people, and while there certainly was some very light pressure to spend, everyone seemed genuinely excited to share their culture with us. The hosts were great, and also went out of the way to educate us on various aspects of the culture, history and customs of the country. I only speak a bit of broken Spanish and I was able to get along just fine. For $50, you’re not going to find a more immersive experience. Stop overthinking, and just book it!

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August 22, 2022

A very interesting and captivating tour, with lots of variety. It's the ride over the Panamerican highway, several towns which all have their own identity, and then the natural splendor at the national park and the lake. Roberto is an awesome guide with a lot of knowledge, he also creates good atmosphere. I highly recommend this trip!

December 6, 2021

It was a nice experience and Francisco a great guide. The group that participated also made the trip entertaining and shared.

September 26, 2022

Product ID: 29061