Otavalo indigenous community & Chaski Route
Day 1: Quito – Ibarra – Train ride to Salinas – Karanki Magdalena Community
Departing from Quito to the north, we will ride across the colorful valleys of Guayllabamba and Cayambe. A ride through the breathtaking Andean setting offers great photo opportunities and after two hours of traveling through the riveting countryside, we will arrive at the province of Imbabura.
From Ibarra and descending into the warm, dry valley of Ambuquí, we go across sugar cane plantations, tunnels and over bridges spanning steep gullies and patchwork fields.
Two hours later,
Enjoy a unique lunch at the Salinas Afro-Ecuadorian community restaurant, implemented by Go Galapagos – Kleintours in an effort to boost tourism in support of this fascinating area. The menu has been carefully put together through with the community to share the local savoir-faire with our high-quality standards.
Back in Imbabura, our journey continues through a marvelous Andean setting we head into the indigenous community of the Karanki Magdalena. The scene displays a wide array of crops which resemble a colorful patchwork on the eastern foothills of Imbabura volcano. The skillful people are known to produce outstanding embroidery which could be admired and purchased directly from the artisans.
The taste of this hidden mountain niche can be absorbed in a series of optional activities such as horseback riding, mountain biking, or hiking up to the nearby hills.
Day 2: Magdalena Karanki – San Antonio de Ibarra – Otavalo– Peguche – Cotacachi – Quito
In Magdalena, learn about the community’s everyday activities such milking cattle, shepherding and, when in season, ox-plowing. Stand face-to-face with people untouched by the urgencies of modern life. After breakfast, we head to San Antonio de Ibarra, famous for very beautiful and skilled wood carving and sculptures.
We will visit Otavalo, home to beautifully colored fabrics and the world famous indigenous craft market, the largest in South America. Markets are meeting places for shopping, bargaining, and chatter while people of the region exchange local produce, animals, utensils, pots, and pans or textiles. For visitors, the markets offer the possibility of approaching Ecuadorians at a more intimate level as you negotiate prices of a variety of woven goods, bags, hats, flutes or simply appreciate the skillful people responsible for the elegance and beauty of the clothing and handicrafts.
Visit the village of Peguche, known for traditional weaving and the handcrafted Andean musical wind instruments. Then, we continue to Cotacachi, an Indian village which features leatherwork including bags, jackets, hats, gloves, and belts, before returning to Quito.