Located in the North of Ecuador, Imbabura is recognized for its impressive natural attractions, its gastronomic richness, and its unprecedented ancient traditions.
The huge tourist potential of this province makes it one of the most visited of the country, and a destination that you have to visit during your stay in Ecuador.
Best Trip Ecuador takes you to see this majestic province with our Otavalo Tour. This tour lasts about 10 hours, and you will a chance to visit the main attractions of Imbabura.
Departures are every Wednesday and Saturday from Quito.
How to get to Imbabura?
You can take the specialized tourist transport from these three main pick up points:
08h05. Quinde Visitors Center / Plaza Grande: located in the Venezuela St. and Espejo St., in the Historical Center.
08h25. La Mariscal / Plaza Foch: located on the Reina Victoria St. between Calama St. and Foch St.
08h50. Boulevard Naciones Unidas Ave.: located on Bulevar Naciones Unidas and Shyris Ave. (across the street from Banco del Pacífico).
Main Activities During The Tour
First stop: The Quitsato Solar Clock
Have you ever been asked if you can be in two places at the same time? In Ecuador, the answer is yes. The real crossing point the Equatorial Line is in Quitsato, the first monument in the world to be built on the basis of space, as this platform can be observed by satellites.
Beyond being a tourist attraction, the Quitsato Solar Clock is also a cultural research community project which aims is to share with the public the knowledge, customs, and cuisine of the Pre-Inca cultures.
Visit the San Pablo Lake Lookout
The Lake San Pablo, located just 4 km. from the city of Otavalo, is the largest lake of the province of Imbabura. During the tour, we will visit the most important lookout of this lake located in Gonzales Suárez, Eugenio Espejo, and San Rafael townships. This lake is located at height of 2.660 m.a.s.l. with an average temperature of 12° C.
From this lookout, you can appreciate the imposing “Taita Imbabura”, a volcano of 4.560 m.a.s.l, and a cultural reference from the local community. Around this volcano they have created several myths and legends.
Visit the “Plaza de los Ponchos”
Otavalo shows its most colorful face on the crafts market, a beautiful place popularly known as “Plaza de los Ponchos”. This is one of the most visited attractions in Imbabura and is distinguished by a set of tents and stalls exhibiting handicrafts of different materials, as well as jewelry, wool clothing, blankets, and musical instruments. The miscellaneous come from various cultures and provinces of Ecuador such as Cotopaxi, Chimborazo, Napo, Loja, and Manabí. Here the prices are comfortable and ‘dribbled’, meaning that you should bargain.
In the Plaza de los Ponchos, you will be able to find fruits, vegetables, grains, and typical dishes such as hornado, potato tortillas or cooked sweet corn.
Walk towards the Peguche Waterfall
The Peguche Waterfall is located in the community of Faccha Llacta, 1.5 km from the community of Peguche, and 3.3 km from the city of Otavalo. It is located at a height of 1.821 m.a.s.l., and has an average temperature of 12° C. This waterfall is 30m high and 6m wide. It forms on steep slopes.
During the Inti Raymi festival, the Peguche waterfall is the ceremonial center where the ritual of purification takes place.
Boat ride in the Cuicocha Lagoon
Thousands of years ago, a strong eruption of the Cotacachi volcano formed a crater creating inside the today known: Cuicocha Lagoon. Its name comes from the kichwa expressions “tsuish kucha”, which translated means lagoon of the gods.
The Cuicocha Lagoon is a sacred site visited by shamans every summer solstice to perform their own purification baths.
There are two islets inside the lagoon: Teodoro Wolf and Yeroví, the same ones that are separated by the “Canal de los Ensueños”.
This lagoon, located in the Cotacachi canton and located within the Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve, is just 14 kilometers from the city of Otavalo and is one of the most visited sites in the province of Imbabura.
You can admire the islets up close by a canoe ride or from the lookouts of Cuicocha Loma and Antenas. Please know that this visit is not offered on holidays/festivities.
Return to the city of Quito
We will be back in Quito at approximately 7:00 pm. The bus will stop at the same pick up points.
Value of the tour?
- USD 60 for adults (nationals and foreigners) who are over 12 and under 65 years-old.
- USD 40 for children up to 12 years old, senior citizens (65 years old and older), and people with disabilities (ID will be required).
The tour includes:
– Tourist transport
– Bilingual guide (Spanish – English)
– Entrances to the tourist attractions
– Mini snack
The tour does not include:
– Unspecified details
– Lunch/Dinner (Meals)
What do we recommend you take for this tour?
We recommend our passengers to bring: sunglasses, hat, coat, comfortable shoes, sunscreen, camera and insect repellent. In addition, we suggest that you bring your passport to be stamped at the entrance of the Solar Clock Quitsato.
For more information and detail of our activities, you can go to our link: Tour Otavalo