Otavalo Activities & A Suggested Itinerary
Otavalo Markets: Daily - artisan, domestic. Animal - Saturday, 7am.
Craft villages: Cotacachi, leather. San Antonio, wood-carving. Iluman, hats & shamans. Agato, weaving and, nearby Peguche waterfall.
Condor Park: 140 raptors. Feeding time, 11 a.m. & 4 p.m.
Hiking: Local. Imbabura mountain, Cuicocha lake, Fuyafuya, Mojanda
Horse-riding: discounted lunch & 2 hrs. riding Hacienda Cusin.
2 nights/days, guided, overnight, meals, tack.
Mountain biking. Birding.
Gamesroom: table-tennis/ping-pong, pool, darts. Volleyball.
Wi-fi: mainhouse area, complimentary. Internet Café.
Television/DVD/VCR. Extensive film library.
Restaurants within 30 minutes: Las Palmeras Inn, Hacienda Cusin (a 25% discount for Palmeras guests. $20 + taxes), Casa Mojanda, Hacienda Pinsaqui, La Compania, El Molino, La Posada de Quinde
- Cloud Forest lodge, El Refugio: 3-days/2-nights
- Paramo, 1-day to 2 days/1-night
- Train Ride, Ibarra-Chota, roof-top, half-day and lunch.
- Quito, Spanish-colonial, museums, shopping.
A Suggested Itinerary
Day 1 ~ A.M. or P.M. arrival: a Las Palmeras lunch. An afternoon hike from your doorstep and/or relax on your veranda or perennial gardens with views of often snowcapped Imbabura & Cotacachi volcanoes.
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Day 2 ~ Otavalo Markets. Lunch & horseback/mountainbike ride at Hacienda Cusin. OR lunch at La Posada de Quinde or Casa Mojanda. An after-noon visit to Lago San Pablo & Condor Park–daily feeding, 11am, 4pm.
Day 3 ~ Cuicocha lake & Cotacachi leather-craft town. A fresh trout lunch, El Mirador, overlooking Cuicocha, or Mission de las Flores, Cotacachi. P.m. nearby leather-craft stores. Be re-revitalized by an in-room massage. Dinner by log-fire.
Day 4 ~ Visit Mojanda Lakes & climb Fuya Fuya Volcano, picnic or lunch at Casa Mojanda or 7:30am, Andean Train Ride, picnic.
Day 5 ~ Craft Village Tour & Peguche Waterfall. Lunch at Casa Sol. Weaving demonstration in nearby Agato. Pm rose plantation tour.
Days 6-8 ~ El Angel Paramo Reserve or El Refugio Cloud Forest lodge (3d/2n) or overnight horseride to La Luna or Hacienda Cusin (2d/1n).
Just a 25-minute downhill walk from our doorstep there are three important indigenous markets (15¢ bus, $3 taxi).
Craft market, Poncho Plaza, daily. Saturday, enormous. Sweaters, dolls, bags, hats, necklaces, paintings, hammocks, antiques, etc. & etc
Domestic market, magnificently vitality. West of the town square, Parque Central. Otavalaños and neighboring communities gather daily buying, selling, dining - everything. NOT TO BE MISSED.
Animal market, Saturday 7am. Just 20 mins. downhill from Las Palmeras. Farmers trading cows, pigs, sheep, goats, llamas, etc.
About a 30-minute drive from Las Palmeras, on the flanks of the Cotacachi Volcano. Cuicocha (Kichwa - 'Guinea Pig Lake'). Formed after Cotacachi erupted 200,000 years ago. The receding volcanic core created an island which appeared to be guinea pigs. Boat tours are available & a resident Spectacled bear can be fed at 7am. The 5-hour trek around the crater ridge, with panoramic vistas is exhilarating and challenging, justifying an afternoon massage.
NOTE: a mirror, found on tree-crosses and in churches, represents a lake which were thought to be the eye of the (living) mountain.
A winding path with interpretive signs guides visitors through a eucalyptus forest to the Cascada de Peguche. This sacred waterfall is the site of an annual bathing ritual during the summer solstice (June 21st) festival of Inti Raymi.
Mojanda’s 3 lakes 12,000ft/3,710m & Fuyafuya, 14,000ft /4,263m. Spectacular +5hr. lake hike or Fuya Fuya climb. Picnics or nearby Casa Mojanda for tea, lunch, or dinner.
Horseback Riding, Mountain Biking & Hiking at Hacienda Cusin, a beautifully restored 17th-century Hacienda Cusin with its impressive collection of colonial art and its magical gardens. Las Palmeras` guests enjoy significant discounts for lunch or dinner with a horseback-ride or biking. We can arrange overnight, all-inclusive horseback trips around the base of Imbabura and Condor Park, providing magnificent views of San Pablo lake and snow-capped Volcano Cayambe.
All-inclusive guided tours to the Cloud Forest or Paramo can be arranged.
El Refugio cloud forest lodge.
Just over the edge of the Andes mountains, about two hours west from Las Palmeras, lies the unique Intag Cloud Forest Reserve. This dense and humid ecosystem is home to a profusion of plant and animal species, including hundreds of varieties of orchids and rare birds such as the cock-of-the-rock.
Paramo of El Angel. 2 hours north of Las Palmeras, El Angel Ecological Reserve contains another uniqe ecosystem known as the ' paramo ', comprised of high wind-swept grasslands at 12,500 ft (3,800 mts) with unusual endemic plants.
Andean Train Ride
From the nearby Ibarra city, about 20 minutes north, there is a scenic 90 km train journey through the mountains to the warm Chota valley leading to the coast. Guests can climb on top of the train for a more thrilling ride and breathtaking views.