Your Travel Experience with Galapagos PRO
Quito to Hacienda Piman
You will depart Quito early in the morning to travel to Hacienda Piman.
Visit to Zone 0 Quitsato, Rose show and the Otavalo market
You will leave Quito at 8:00 am and head north through the scenic and winding Andes roads towards the fertile province of Imbabura. On the way, you will stop at the Quitsato monument, built right on the equator, also known as zone 0, where you can stand with one foot in the northern and one foot in the southern hemisphere. Then you will stop at the Rose Showroom for a flour mill tour and lunch. After lunch, you will visit the famous Otavalo Poncho Market, home to the most colorful Ecuadorian handicraft and the largest indigenous markets in South America.
You will arrive at Hacienda Piman at around 5 pm.
Sighting the Andean Spectacled Bear and visiting the Arrayanes Forest
You will leave Hacienda Piman early at 6:00 am (snack provided on the way) to take a closer look and experience the indigenous Ecuadorian culture and its typical rural landscapes. The first stop is the “Balcon del Oso Andino” where you can observe Spectacled Andean Bears in their natural habitat while you enjoy your breakfast. Afterward, you will visit Shanshipamba, which was once an important stop along the Amazon trading route, to observe ancient petroglyphs. Ancient petroglyphs are symbolic designs engraved into rocks which showcases the connection between the Andean and amazonian culture. After this historical walk, enjoy a delicious lunch in a local restaurant on the way to the Arrayanes Forest, which offers an immense variety of landscapes, color and the natural beauty of a thousand years. Return to Piman for dinner.
Visit to El Angel Park
After breakfast at Hacienda Piman You will have a full day of adventure at El Ángel Ecological Reserve.Home to giant frailejones (Espeletia, of the sunflower family) found only in this area, this reserve mainly consists of high altitude grasslands locally known as páramos. Here we’ll take a short hike to El Voladero lake and then visit one of the few remaining thousand-year-old Polylepis forests. This unique ecosystem is considered one of the most beautiful forests in the world, and has been described as the product of a fairy-tale writer’s imagination. You will have lunch in the area and return to Piman at around 5:00 pm.
Ibarra old town, train ride to Cotacachi Village and the Peguche Wasi workshop
After breakfast at Hacienda Piman, you will depart at 8:00 am to the picturesque town of Ibarra. Here you will take a short walk through its historic center, and then continue to the train station to board a locomotive for an hour-and-a-half adventurous ride through breathtaking mountain landscapes and sugarcane plantations. The ride takes us to Salinas de Ibarra, where the local community will welcome you with a music and dance presentation that is common in that region. Later you will visit the village of Cotacachi, known for its leather products, and continue to Peguche Wasi, a workshop where you witness the craftsmanship and observe the weavings of Otavalo's Kichwa people. Here you can enjoy lunch. Please be aware that the Ibarra train only operates from Thursday to Sunday and on some public holidays. As an alternative, we offer a walk at the Cuicocha Lake instead.
Transfer and return to Quito
After breakfast at 8:00 am, you will begin your trip back to Quito.