MINDO CLOUD FOREST, OTAVALO MARKET & PAPALLACTA HOT SPRINGS TOUR
4-day Tour departing from Quito
“This tour is specially designed for making the most out of the northern area of Ecuador.”
Hike through the enchanting Mindo cloud forest and be astonished by how beautifully it bursts with life. Another enriching experience awaits near the town of Otavalo, with its outstanding and mysterious lakes, plus the incredible array of arts and crafts in the famous indigenous market, one of the most important in all of South America. Discover Papallacta’ s natural hot springs, which will renew your spirit and revitalize your body in a setting composed of a backdrop against stunning mountains and a seemingly endless paramo ecosystem. This is a highly recommended option that combines different ecosystems, exceptional nature and an immersion into the best features of local culture.
The first stop is just a short ride from Quito visiting “Mitad del Mundo”, or the Middle of the World. The complex has interesting interpretation exhibits and you may even see traditional folk dances. Finally, a visit to the Intiñan Museum will complete the tour as you learn of the ancestral villages and different regions of Ecuador. The museum is an ode to the sun as they have interactive experiments allowing you to learn more about the magnificent effects the sun produces because of the equator line.
Passing the middle of the world, you’ll continue to the Andean cloud forest of Mindo. Here nature has painted the most amazing combination of plants and wildlife among the lush trees and misty mountains. You’ll marvel at the amount of bird species possible to view and incredible waterfalls with healing powers that are only found in this region. In the evening, you’ll retire to the sounds of the forest.
Nothing will prepare you for the outstanding views of mountains and lakes, or the richness of the culture in the world-famous area of the Imbabura province, the land of the lakes. The surroundings will fill your sight with vivid flora and a visit to Cuicocha Lagoon will reveal the most incredible turquoise waters around two small islands breaking the surface in the middle of the lagoon.
In Otavalo, you will visit the Plaza de los Ponchos, where you feel the energy of lively and authentic indigenous locals in their market, along with talented craftspeople who have been meeting here to trade and sell their goods since pre-Incan times. Appreciate different textiles, woolen goods, tapestries and many more fine examples of craftsmanship strongly attached to their ways of life and ancestral roots.
On this day, you’ll be on your way to the thermal hot springs of Papallacta. This special region is located in the heart of the Andean Paramo, between the Cayambe and Antisana volcanoes. The subterranean activity of the volcanoes heats the springs in pools ranging from 36-40°C (96-105°F). The thermal pools are well known for their therapeutic properties and their origin gives them a perfect mineral concentration that will help to relax and relieve any type of muscular or joint pains. In addition to the many springs, it has beautiful grassland landscapes perfect for leisurely hiking. Get to know more about the Andean paramo, its ecological importance, and the incredible wildlife that has made this area their home. Either way, you’ll be able to let your worries melt away into the medicinal waters of the beautiful surroundings, all while admiring the local fauna and flora that emerges from the corners of every slope and shore of the nearby lagoons.
Your morning can once more be filled with the relaxing atmosphere in the magical thermal waters or walking through the natural environment in peace with nature before a delicious lunch on site that will prepare you for the ride back to Quito. Being surrounded by grasslands, primary forests, volcanoes, lakes, waterfalls, orchids, birds and overall magic, it will be hard to leave this place behind!
Prices Per Person
Private services with local English-speaking guide
Services and entrance fees as detailed in the itinerary
Hola Maria, I have been traveling globally since the mid-1970s. And so I have worked with many travel companies and agents.
I can say without reservation that Sofia has been EXCELLENT (10+)! She is professional, knowledgeable, and efficient. I will certainly recommend her and your company to all family and friends interested in visiting the Galapagos Islands or Ecuador.