A Fascinating Trip through Northern Ecuador

6 Days

Embark on a captivating exploration of Quito, Ecuador’s capital and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Upon your arrival at Quito Airport, a private driver will greet you and whisk you away to your hotel in the city center. The following day, immerse yourself in the city’s rich history and stunning architecture on a guided tour. Marvel at the opulent La Compañía church adorned with golden splendor and admire the neo-Gothic beauty of La Basílica. Stroll along the charming La Ronda, one of Quito’s oldest streets, and ascend Panecillo Hill for panoramic skyline views. This introduction to Quito will leave you enchanted by its blend of colonial heritage and Andean landscapes.

Daily Schedule

Day Highlights Location
Day 1 Arrival in Quito, Quito City Tour Quito
Day 2 Quito to Otavalo, Paddle San Pablo Lake & Otavalo Market Quito to Otavalo
Day 3 Cotacachi Town & Cuicocha Lagoon Otavalo to Apuela
Day 4 Hiking in the Intag Valley Apuela
Day 5 Intag Valley Coffee Tour Apuela
Day 6 Apuela to Quito, Departure Apuela to Quito

Detailed itinerary

Welcome to Ecuador! Upon arrival at Quito’s airport, a private driver will meet you for the ride to your hotel in the city center.

Quito City Tour
Explore Quito with a guided tour, and see why it’s designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At 9,350 feet (2,850 m), Eucador’s capital is one of the highest cities in the world, with plazas organized among
Andes mountain peaks. See Baroque La Compañía church with its gold-covered interior, and neo-Gothic La Basílica. Take a walk down La Ronda, one of the oldest streets in the city, then head to Panecillo Hill for skyline views.

Your driver / guide will pick you up at your hotel in Quito and take you to Otavalo, an Andean town located
in the northern province of Imbabura (approx. 1,5 hours).

Paddle San Pablo Lake & Otavalo Market
A day full of adventure starts! Upon arrival at San Pablo Lake (located close to Otavalo), you will receive amsafety talk from your guide and then start paddling across this magical lake with views of the local towns and the ever impressive Imbabura volcano. After approximately one hour of paddling, we will continue on to the famous Otavalo market where you can spend some time shopping for locally made handicrafts. Lose yourself in the sights and sounds of the market — a culturally significant area where the past is still preserved through indigenous language and local tradition.

Today, you will visit the beautiful Cuicocha Lagoon at the foot of Cotacachi volcano. It was formed by a massive eruption approximately 3.100 years ago and contains two forested islands in the middle of the lake – a beautiful photo spot! We will follow the trail on the crater rim that leads to various view points. If you are up for it, you can hike around the whole lake (approx. 4-5 hours).

On the way to the lagoon, we’ll stop at Cotacachi for a stroll through this beautiful town, famous for it’s leather production and shops. In the afternoon, we’ll continue our journey into the lush green Intag Valley.

The Intag Valley is a beautiful, biodiverse, off-the-beaten-path destination in the heart of the Ecuadorian cloud forest and is part of the South American Chocó Biological Reserve – one of the biologically most important zones in the world.

During a hike in this area, you can observe different eco systems and a variety of wildlife (if you are lucky): toucans, mountain tapirs, jaguars, and spectacled bears – just to mention a few – call this region their home. Hikes vary in length and difficulty level, so the activity can be adjusted to personal wishes and preferences.

Enjoy this day in nature and dive into the tranquility and biodiversity of the Ecuadorian cloud forest

This excursion today will be all about picturesque landscapes, beautiful farms, and Ecuador’s coffee culture. The Intag Valley is known for its coffee production and you can find quite a number of small coffee farms that are part of the AACRI organization (which is the coffee cooperative in the region). While driving through the valley, you might see coffee beans drying by the streets or next to the little houses.

By visiting one of these farms, you will learn more about how coffee is grown in this region and how important it is for the local agriculture. A visit to the coffee processing site afterwards should not be missed: the locally grown coffee is weighed, examined, and roasted there.

Your private driver / guide will take you safely to the airport of Quito. Safe onward travels!


Day 1: Transfer from Quito Airport to the City

Day 2: Transfer Quito – Otavalo

Day 6: Transfer from Intag Valley to Quito Airport



  • Day 1: Quito City Tour
  • Day 2: Paddle San Pablo Lake & Otavalo Market
  • Day 3: Cotacachi Town & Cuicocha Lagoon
  • Day 4: Hiking in the Intag Valley
  • Day 5: Intag Valley Coffee Tour


  • International flights
  • The meals not mentioned in the trip plan
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance, and repatriation insurance
  • Optional excursions, activities, and optional tours
  • Reservations marked as “reserved by traveler” are reservations that the traveler is responsible for directly.
  • These items are not reserved or supported by authenticecuador and are included in the trip plan just for completeness

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

A Fascinating Trip through Northern Ecuador
From $1390
/ Adult
  • Location Highlights
  • 6 DAYS
  • Starting at $1390

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