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Pickup time: 07:00 – 8:00AM
Depart from Quito via the Pan-American Highway north to Cayambe, where passengers can taste the delicious “Bizcochos de Cayambe,” a type of cracker or bread baked in a clay oven (greatly paired with local cheese or caramel sauce). Afterwards we will make a brief stop at “Miralago”, to view the lake, Lago San Pablo. The tour then continues to Otavalo, where the native Otavaleños set up a market in which bartering takes place. The market hosts a variety of different handcrafted items.
At this point passengers may choose to stay in Otavalo or travel further to visit the leather shops of Cotacachi. On the way to Cotacachi, we will visit a traditional workshop of Andean instruments called “Ñanda Mañachi” located in Peguche. Then we reach Llumán, the land of shamans and healers, we can witness an ancestral indigenous ritual by a shaman.
In Cotacachi there will be enough time to visit the village, the shops of leather goods and free time for lunch. Return to Quito picking up any passengers who decided to stay in Otavalo (pickup spot determined by Gray Line Guide). Note: The bus will only wait for 10 minutes in Otavalo pick up location, before transfer to dinner and lodging.
Early departure from hotel to the Otavalo train station and take the train towards Salinas de Ibarra. At 8:00 AM the train departs to San Roque, where we will make the first stop for a traditional snack (Café Train). Then we continue the trip to Andrade Marin Station, with a tasting of desserts prepared from tubers (potato vegetables) accompanied with Rio Intag Coffee (Café Train). Continue train travel to San Antonio de Ibarra, a town recognized internationally for its skilled artists and sculptors, who have contributed to the Quito School of Art. We will visit a sculptor’s workshop. Arrive at Ibarra 11:05 AM.
The route continues to Hoja Blanca, where we will stop for ice cream in the train station. We arrive in Salinas at 13:10 (1:10 PM), where we can see a cultural performance and then begin activities in the community, Café Train, Train Artisan Square, hiking, visit to museum and artisan workshops. Lunch and pick up passengers at the station to return to Quito.
Rate: $573 USD per person double occupancy, supplement for single room