Culture and sightseeing around Quito

Overview

Experience the culture and beauty of Quito and the surrounding areas. Take a train ride toward Cotopaxi, visit the market of Otavalo, and experience the indigenous culture of Ecuador.

Highlights

  • Tour Quito

    – Take a walking tour of The Basilica, The San Francisco Church, and the old colonial streets of Quito.
  • Train Ride

    – Travel the rails down the avenue of the volcanoes to Machachi. Along the way enjoy the cuisine and culture of the Ecuadorian cowboys.
  • Mindo butterfly and Orchid farms

    – Interact with the butterflies and take a tour of an orchid farm.
  • Otavalo

    – Shop the artisan market and experience the culture of the highland people. 

Places

Quito

Quito’s colonial streets, churches and landmarks are a beauty to walk through.

Mindo

With a year-round warm climate, Mindo is the perfect place to visit the butterfly farm, orchid farm and enjoy a moderate hike to a natural waterfall. Add an additional option of riding down the river in an inner tube.

Itinerary

DAY
01

Arrival

Arrive in Quito and travel to your hotel.

02

Tour Quito

Quito streetcity

Experience the rich culture of Quito that makes this city beautiful. Enjoy a walking tour of the Basilica, the San Francisco Church, and the old colonial streets of Quito.

03

Train toward Cotopaxi

Travel by train toward Cotopaxi. In Tambillo and Machachi enjoy the authentic cuisine and culture of the ‘chagras,’ the Ecuadorian cowboys. At the foothills of Mount Cotopaxi, in El Boliche, discover its singular flora and fauna in an easy trek, then return to Machachi for lunch and a visit to ‘Granja la Estación,’ a beautifully kept farm home to native and exotic animals.

04

Mindo cloud forest

Take a drive to Mindo located in the cloud forest. Enjoy the warmer climate as you visit the butterfly and orchid farms, and take some moderate hikes. Add an additional option of riding down the river in an inner tube or a longer hike to a natural waterfall.
05

Middle of the World

Spend the morning relaxing in Mindo and then return to Quito. Along the way visit the ‘Middle of the World’ monument and see exhibitions and museums of Ecuadorian culture. Shop local artisans and take home a souvenir.

06

Otavalo

Spend the day shopping the artisan market of the highland people in Otavalo. There is also the additional option to travel on to Cotocachi, a small town specializing in leather products. For the biggest market days, plan for this day to fall on the weekend.

07

Depart

Transportation will be provided to take you to the airport. For those with an evening flight, additional sightseeing of Quito can be arranged upon request.