Discover the natural and cultural beauty of Otavalo, a town in northern Ecuador surrounded by dormant volcanoes and famous for its excellent handicraft market. On this guided day trip from Quito, you'll see Imbabura Volcano and San Pablo Lake. At Parque Condor, watch birds like Andean condors and falcons swoop high and low during a flight demo. Then wrap up at the Otavalo market, and make your way through its maze of colored textiles in search of the perfect souvenir. Tour is limited to 12 people to provide a small-group experience.
Meet your guide at a central meeting point in Quito, and begin the 2-hour drive through the highlands of Imbabura province in northern Ecuador. Learn about its capital, Otavalo, and the resident Otavaleños, a prosperous indigenous group. You’ll make stops at a number of sites just outside of Otavalo before concluding your experience at the town's sprawling handicraft market.Stretch your legs at San Pablo Lake (Lago San Pablo), which sits at the base of the dormant Imbabura Volcano at an elevation of 8,000 feet (2,438 meters). While you take in your surroundings of the Andes mountains and lush green valleys, hear about the wildlife and developing tourism in this area.Next, visit Parque Condor, a Dutch-owned sanctuary that rehabilitates birds of prey like Andean condors, eagles, owls, falcons and hawks. Follow your guide along a nature trail, and catch sight of some of these birds before heading to the amphitheater for a flight demonstration. Watch rangers work with hawks and falcons as the birds soar, plummet and find prey.Make your next stop in Otavalo at its indigenous craft market, centered around Plaza de Ponchos and extending for several blocks in each direction. See locals dressed in traditional clothing, and listen to Andean pipe music in the background as you browse the displays of handmade jewelry, rugs, bags, ornaments and textiles.Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant specializing in a modern take on traditional Andean fare, and then enjoy an introduction to the art of ancient weaving, traditional clothing and herbal medicines. You'll be guided by a native host who will share with you the legacy and importance of these traditions. After a day filled with rich and natural wonders, board your transport and relax on the drive back to Quito.