Welcome to Northern Highlands

High-altitude landscapes surrender to steamy lowlands in the west, a rich transitional zone where coffee plantations flourish in the spectacular but politically contested Intag Valley. Further south, laid-back Mindo is a base for bird-watching, hiking and river romps. Remote jungle lodges are scattered around the region for those looking to retreat deeper into nature. Wherever you go, off-the-beaten-path adventures, sustainable community-tourism initiatives and volunteering opportunities are close by.

Top experiences in Northern Highlands

Travel guides

Starting at $24.99

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Northern Highlands activities

$115 Kid Friendly

Private Tour to Mindo Cloud Forest & Adventure

ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this productStop At: Mindo Nambillo Cloud Forest Reserve, Mindo, Pichincha ProvinceYour Tour will start after breakfast at 7:30 am ( see pick up details ) then we will drive trough the western andes with a wonderful stop at the birds viewpoint to admire the forest and some birds from the area. After we will continue towards Mindo town , where we will take the road to the Waterfalls Sanctuary , this all drive will take 2 hours. At the waterfalls , you will decide how far you want to explore with at the place with our guide ( the waterfalls sanctuary is a large complex of several waterfalls , that depending of your phisical conditions , it is possible to visit up to 5 in a roll or simply walk a little bet around , take a short cable car ride and visit one of the nicest ones. we will help you to decide while there )Then we will return to Mindo town ( at this point you can choose as optional EXTRA to do tubbing at Mindo River , it cost 12 usd per person and you will need to bring your swim suit and a towel for this activity , it is very safe than children, seniors and adults are more than welcome).If not we will stop in Mindo to have lunch in one of the local restaurants , after this you will get to know more about Butterflies , Orchids and the famous hummingbirds at the Farm in town.Finally it is time to visit the Chocolate farm , where you will learn the entire process before chocolate brownie will go to your mouth ( Did you know that the Ecuadorian Jungle Cultures started preparing chocolate before the Mexicans aborigens over 5000 years ago??)At the end of the afternoon we will drive back to Quito city and dropp off at your hotel . END OF THE SERVICES Unfortunately we have to say good bye after we get back to Quito and we invite you to see one of our other tours in Ecuador Mainland ,Galapagos Islands and Peru. Duration: 8 hours

$105 Cultural & Theme Tours

Private Tour to Otavalo & Surroundings

ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this productStop At: Otavalo Market, Otavalo, Imbabura ProvinceOTAVALO MARKET TOUREarly in the morning, we will drive 2 ½ hours to the northern side of the Ecuadorian Andes, where we will tour one of the most visited areas by foreigners and local tourists; the area is known as Imbabura, also called ´The Lakes Province´.We will then begin our journey going across the Guayllabamba Valley (Green Valley) where we can enjoy delicious fruits, typical of the area, such as Cherimoya and Lima.We will then continue our trip through an area with several viewpoints – these are the perfect places for people who like photography.When we come to the end of the viewpoints, we will stop to visit Otavalo Indian Market, which is very famous for its quality handicrafts, and its exportation to all over the world.Then we will take you to visit a wonderful waterfall known as Peguche, it’s a sacred place where the locals renew their energies and you will also do!!!After it, It is time to stop at Cotacachi Area, which is known for its famous-quality cow and sheep leather articles and also we can have a stop for lunch, there are several typical dishes and you can have a chance to try guinea pig if you desire….Finally we will visit Cuicocha well known as Guinea Pig Lake for awesome pictures, then we will return back to Quito Unfortunately we have to say good bye and we invite you to see one of our other tours in Galapagos and Peru Tours..However if you desire to add one more night in Quito City or extend your staying in Ecuador , we can always help you out with free advice to make sure you optimize the time and continue exploring this paradise called Ecuador.Duration: 8 hours

$165 Private & Custom Tours

Full-Day Private Tour of Artisans North of Quito

Our tour starts in the morning with the pick up at your hotel. We will drive out of Quito to our first stop in Otavalo and “Plaza de Ponchos” where you will have time to walk around and do some shopping of textiles and handicrafts. The locals will always give you a higher price so don’t forget to bargain with them, it is part of the experience. Otavalo is consider one of the most famous indigenous markets in the world and the biggest in South America. A market full of color and life. Though the market is biggest on Saturdays, it is possible to visit any day of the week and find a great variety of fabrics and crafts. After a prudent time in the market for shopping or just to wander around, we will continue to Peguche Town and will visit a family that do their textiles weaving them by hand. This is a unique experience with a family that have been on this weaving work for more than 3 generations. We will continue to Cotachi town for lunch and the leather artisans. In here you will enjoy of some of the best leather products on a really good price. We will finish this tour here and will return to Quito afterwards.

$42 Cultural & Theme Tours

Otavalo Market Private Day Trip

ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this productStop At: Ecuador Local Guide, Quito, Pichincha Province- Nature- Interact with locals- Eat local foodDuration: 8 hours

$1998 Multi-day & Extended Tours

9-Day Andes Highlights and Upper Amazon Basin Adventure

Day 1: Quito City Tour + Mitad del Mundo + TelefericoThe Panecillo Hill, la  Basilica Church,  Independence Plaza, the Government’s Palace and a Ronda Street. The Company Church, the Sagrario Church and San Francisco Church. In Mitad del Mundo, Intiñan Museum  and Pululahua Crater and Teleferico of Quito. Overnight in Quito Hotel Fuente de Piedra IDay 2: Otavalo Market & surroundingsSan Pablo´s Lake, Otavalo Market, Peguche Village and Cuicocha LakeOvernight in Quito Hotel Fuente de Piedra IDay 3: Cotopaxi Volcano National ParkHiking up to refuge (4800 meters)  or glazier (4985 meters) , Andes landscape mountains, visit to interpretation center, Limpiopungo LagoonOvernight in Chugchilan Mama Hilda LodgeDay 4: Quilotoa LagoonVisit an ingenious family house, Tigua gallery painting, Quilotoa lagoon, hiking and kayac in the lakeOvernight in Baños Hotel La FlorestaDay 5: Baños de Agua Santa VillageHike to Pailon del Diablo and Manto de la Novia waterfalls, Casa del árbol and optional activities like bungee jumping, rafting, bikes, termal water etc...Overnight in Baños Hotel La FlorestaDay 6: Upper Amazon Basin / Suchipakari LodgeHike in the jungle, swimming in the river/tubingOvernight in Suchipakari Lodge in TenaDay 7: Upper Amazon Basin / Suchipakari LodgeExcursion to the waterfall, visit to an indigenous community, oatzines watchingOvernight in Suchipakari Lodge in TenaDay 8: Upper Amazon Basin / Suchipakari LodgeChocolate elaboration and process, Termas Papallacta Spa, Hummingbird GardenOvernight in Termas de Papallacta SpaDay 9: Papallacta Hot SpringsHiking 1 - 2 hours in a private reserve, visit to Sacha Roses farm, Termas de Papallacta Spa, transportaion to QuitoEnd of services.

$168 Kid Friendly

Full Day Birding Tour - La Paz Refuge & Hummingbird Garden from Quito

ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this productStop At: Paz de las Aves Bird Refuge, Mindo, Pichincha ProvinceEcuador is considered one of the wonders of the natural world with a high percentage of endemism in birds.Depart early in the morning by heading to the North west of the city to a private cloud forest located between Nanegalito and the road to Mindo. This área of primary and secondary recovering cloud forest has multiple side trails where our birding naturalist guide will take you to see the most amazing bird show in the wild. You can see birds that would be almost impossible to see in the wild only 5 ft away! They have trained the Giant Antpitta (called Maria), the Mustached Antpitta, the Yellow-breasted Antpitta to eat worms. Also, there is a lek that has been performing since 2005 with the beautiful Cock-of-the-rock. There are also fruit feeders that are frequently visited by the Sickle-winged Guan, the Crimson-rumped Toucanet, the colorful Tucan Barbet, the elusive Olivaeous Piha, the Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager and the Black-chinned Mountain-Tanager. After this bird refuge, we will visit the hummingbird Garden. There are humming bird feeders where it is possible to see the Velvet-purple Coronet, the Violet-tailed Sylph, the Purple-bibbed Whitetip, the Brown Inca, and the Booted Racket-tai and much more if we are lucky( up to 22 hummingbird species)Duration: 4 hours

Northern Highlands in detail