Majestic Andes Family Adventure
Ecuador, 8 Days From $2,375 per person Themes
A must see in everyone’s life is the majestic Andes and there is no better place to experience them with your family than in Ecuador. Anyone that has been in Ecuador will tell you that the country excels in volcanoes and ranches, and this trip offers the best of both. We know how important your family vacations are and that is why we have created a program where you can experience exclusive Andean Haciendas on two of the most iconic regions of Ecuador.
This trip will give you the opportunity to have a home-away-from-home, with the versatility to stay at a former hacienda and all the comfort and benefits of an escorted tour.
Enjoy a stay in an exclusive house in the Northern Andes, and complement your family adventure with a stay at another Hacienda near Cotopaxi Volcano, one of the highest active volcanoes in the world and one of the 52 places that the New York Times in 2017 said was necessary for your bucket list.
- The perfect opportunity to experience a unique cultural insight among the Indigenous Communities of the Imbabura Volcano.
- Discover the rich cultural and folkloric background while cuddled by the natural beauty of the Ecuadorian Northern Andean Region.
- With a low technical difficulty and low physical effort, this is a program designed for the entire family that encourages hands-on participation to learn new skills.
Day 1. Arrive to Quito
Day 2. Mitad del Mundo / Visit to Colonial Hacienda / Local Market
Day 3. Cultural Encounters
Day 4. Choose your adventure: kayak on a sacred lagoon, train ride to Chota Valley, encounter with the Andean birds, or hike Cuicocha
Day 5. Otavalo Indigenous Market and travel to Cotopaxi Volcano area.
Day 6. Horseback Ride and Chagra skills at Hacienda
Day 7. Mountain Biking and Cotopaxi High Rope Course
Day 8. Full day visit to Cotopaxi National Park / Transfer to the airport
Flexible date(s). Please Contact Us.
Kayaking & Rafting
Hiking & Trekking
History & Culture
Why Authentic Ecotourism?
The company supports sustainable development, caring for the protection and management of the environment by developing social and educational projects in the surrounding communities. They are committed to responsible tourism by continuously improving the environmental operations of the haciendas, as well as working conditions, information provided to guests, and fair commercial relations. The agreements with our service providers take into consideration environmental, socio-cultural and economic criteria in the rendering of services and selection of our travel options.
Day 1. Transfer from the airport
We will pick you up from the airport and take you to your hotel. A day at your leisure.
Day 2. Mitad del Mundo / Visit to Colonial Hacienda / Local Market (B,D)
After breakfast, we head to visit the place that gives Ecuador its name, the equatorial line also known in Spanish as la mitad del Mundo or middle of the world where we can learn and play at the interactive museum learning the effects of gravity on each hemisphere. Then, we continue traveling North, to have lunch in one of the beautiful colonial Haciendas of the area.
After lunch, we drive to Ibarra local market to buy exotic fruits and new flavors. Then, we'll travel to one of the properties offered exclusively where you will enjoy the benefits of having the house for yourself with the welcoming service provided by the hacienda staff.
Hands-on cooking classes with local women experts on Ecuadorian cuisine and family traditional recipes. Overnight at Hacienda
Day 3. Cultural Encounters (B,D)
The Northern Ecuadorian Andes in the Imbabura region is famous for the diversity of ancestral Indigenous cultures. Today, we get to learn and participate in some of their wisdom by putting our hands on their traditional activities like pottery that the locals still use for cooking, visiting a local healer that will share her wisdom about medicinal plants or a hands-on embroidering experience with a local zuletena renowned for their typical tiers.
We will have lunch at Ibarra city and then enjoy a unique flavor that the city is famous for, “Ice cream”; but not any ice cream. The “helados de Paila” are sorbets made by hand in a large copper pail, which is spun on a bed of straw and ice, stirred with a wooden spoon until it gets the perfect creamy consistency. Try the different passionfruit options! The rest of the afternoon we will enjoy some tranquil time at the Hacienda and at the end of the afternoon a delicious barbeque! Overnight at Hacienda
Day 4.Choose your adventure (B,D)
Today you can experience the adventure that fits best with your taste and family. We have put together 3 different options to choose from.
- Kayak San Pablo Lake. San Pablo is a sacred lake. It is beautiful to kayak near the shore where you can see the daily life of the local people, washing their clothes, fishing or harvesting totora (an aquatic plant used for weaving). Also Andean birds like gulls, coots and egrets can be seen from the water. It is super fun to do it with kids!! Visit El Parque Condor a 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.
- Train Ride to Salinas and the Chota Valley. This train ride goes from Ibarra city to Salinas, a place from where the Spanish conquistadores use to get their salt supplies and is the home of the most important Afro-American community of Ecuador. At Salinas, we will have the opportunity to enjoy several dances performed by the local cultures. The trains need to be booked in advance.
- Hiking. Enjoy a hike around one of the most beautiful lakes that this area has to offer, the Cuicocha Lake. The lake is an old volcano crater that has around 2 miles across, with two Islands in the center of the lake. The hike takes around 4 to 5 hours and has 9 miles long.
Day 5. Otavalo Market and travel to Cotopaxi Volcano area (B,L)
After breakfast, we drive to Otavalo Market (45 min driving). The market is very colorful and full of textures. Indigenous women have a long weaving history and Otavaleños (how local define themselves) pride on their weaving legacy. They are also fantastic merchants that travel throughout the world selling their creations. Today, we visit a local waiver on one of the villages nearby. Lunch at a local eatery.
After lunch, we drive to Cotopaxi to our next hacienda (3 hours drive) where a crackling fireplace will be waiting for us. Overnight at Hacienda.
Day 6. Horseback riding Rumiñahui Volcano (B,L)
In the morning, we have a delicious, nutritious farm breakfast, followed by a brief riding lesson from our guides before we set out on our horses. Wearing the typical dress of the Chagra (Ecuadorian cowboys), we ride out across the slopes of the dormant volcano, Rumiñahui.
A respected Chagra from the area will come with us and share some of his deep knowledge of the country life. The ride lasts for approximately 2 hours. Back in the farmhouse, a tasty local lunch will be ready for our arrival.
In the afternoon, we can learn from our Chagra Guide the local cowboy skills including horse handling and care instructions. Feel free to feed the horses whenever you want! Weather permitting, we can hike to the sky deck to watch stars and constellations, if we get a cloudy night, we can hike to the campsite and set a fire to listen to some local stories and make smores!
Day 7. Mountain biking or Native forest hike and Cotopaxi High Rope Course (B,L)
Today, we offer two options for families so that they can do what is best for their interests and skills. These activities have to be selected in advance for logistical reasons.
- Option A Mountain Biking: After a wholesome country breakfast, we provide each guest with a quality mountain bike. The Hacienda has several biking circuits so that you can enjoy a morning of highland trails explorations at your own pace. This bike trip can last approx. 2 1/2 hours, through patches of native forest, farmland and highland trails. Return to the farmhouse for a delicious lunch. During the afternoon, we enjoy the Cotopaxi High Rope Course, a circuit designed for both kids and for adults. This is a perfect activity for strengthening family bonds. 1hr 20 min activity time approx. Children from 6 years of age and up.
- Option B Native Forest Hike: After a wholesome country breakfast, we drive to Santa Rita Ecological Reserve, a private conservation area in the Cotopaxi Area with fantastic remains of the native forest, petrified lava streams, glacial rivers, and waterfalls. We will hike through native forest trails, learning about the ecology of the place. A 2-hour loop will finish at the campsite where we can catch some rainbow trout in the stream like locals do. We enjoy a picnic at the campsite and if we caught some trout, we can cook it and have it for lunch! Or we can always do catch and release. During the afternoon, we return to the Hacienda to enjoy the Cotopaxi High Rope Course, a circuit designed for both kids and for adults. This is a perfect activity for strengthening family bonds. 1hr 20 min activity time approx.
Dinner and overnight stay at Hacienda
Day 8. Cotopaxi National Park Visit (B,L)
Have you ever thought about how it's possible to have glaciers on the Equatorial line? Have you ever wondered how it is to climb an active volcano? Would you like to discover why ancient explorers pointed to Cotopaxi as one of the most beautiful mountains in the world? This is your opportunity to immerse yourself on a fantastic day trip of exploration to the Iconic Cotopaxi National Park.
Home of the biggest flying bird in the world: the Andean Condor. Home of herds of wild - truly wild - horses. Where migratory birds stop by to get some rest on their way South. The location is the perfect place to learn about Andean Geology.
During our visit, we reach the car park below the Cotopaxi Refuge, where we will begin our short hike up to the climbing hut (Refugio José Ribas) at 4,800m. (15,744 ft). It is hard not to be overwhelmed by the sheer immensity of the volcano on this short hike. Once back in the vehicle, we continue on our way driving down to Limpiopungo Lake, where a wholesome box lunch will be served.
A vast territory with ancient Inca military fortresses plains full of volcanic rocks from past eruptions where we will learn how to recognize the oldest stones. There are great chances for learning and connecting with nature during this final day of our Highland Family Adventure.
At the end of the afternoon, we return to Quito to the airport.
- Extra drinks
- Travel Insurance
- Meals described on the itinerary.
- Described activities Guides (English speaking and native guide)
- Riding gear (poncho, chaps and riding helmet) and high ropes gear (harness, helmet, gloves, ropes)
- Mountain Bike gear (helmet, gloves, knee and elbow protection)
- Fishing (basic fishing tools used by locals to catch trout)
- Entrance fee to Santa Rita Ecological Reserve
- Transport from and to Quito
Not as good for:
Other Necessary Information
Children up to 11 years old have a discount, with pricing from $1,900 per child.