Ecuador Hacienda Zuleta & Otavalo Market Extension

Cultural Exploration in the Highlands of Ecuador

 

Experience the beauty of Ecuador's Highlands on this 3-day (or 2-day) cultural journey to Hacienda Zuleta and the Otavalo Market - a perfect extension to our Galapagos itineraries! See creative artisans at work as you explore Otavalo's vibrant market, then head to the beautiful 16th-century Hacienda Zuleta, where you'll stay in comfort for two nights (or one night). Located on 4,000 acres, Zuleta is a tranquil retreat and a working farm, supporting both the local community and wildlife conservation projects. Explore Zuleta's scenic trails on foot, by bike, or on horseback then return for fresh Ecuadorian-style home cooking and a restful evening in this historic hacienda.

  • Delight in the work of local artisans at the legendary Otavalo Market

  • Follow trails on foot, by bike and on horseback and marvel at the spectacular Valley of the Condors

  • Enjoy the comforts of beautiful Hacienda Zuleta, an authentic 16th-century hacienda and working farm

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Download Detailed Itinerary

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  • Journey from Quito to the Otavalo Market & Hacienda Zuleta

    Day 1

    This morning your guide will drive you north to visit the famous Otavalo Market - one of the largest and most colorful traditional markets in Ecuador! This is a unique opportunity to see Otavaleños selling an impressive array of locally made artisanal handicrafts. The main weekly market takes place on Saturday mornings, and a smaller market operates daily the rest of the week. Next, head to the stunning 16th-century Hacienda Zuleta, with possible stops at the villages of Agato or Peguche on the way. Upon arrival at the hacienda, take a tour of the house to learn about its historical significance and enjoy an evening of home-cooked Ecuadorian fare.

    Accommodation: Hacienda Zuleta

    Experience the wonders of Hacienda Zuleta, an authentic 16-century hacienda located on a 4,000-acre working farm in the Andes. This historic home features antique family heirlooms, hand-embroidered linens, and cozy fireplaces in each of the 15 guest rooms - as well as a range of modern amenities. Cradled in a valley at 9,600' above sea level, Zuleta provides an exceptional and authentic Ecuadorian experience, with opportunities for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and local exploration.

    Transportation: 3-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Lunch, Dinner

  • Explore the Valley of the Condors

    Day 2

    Wake for a delicious breakfast, then head to the Valley of the Condors. This spectacular valley - considered one of the best places in Ecuador to observe condors - is part of Zuleta and can be reached on foot, by bike, or even on horseback. Zuleta runs an important captive condor program to help protect the endangered species, but you may also see magnificent wild condors and Andean bears. Along the way, your guides will explain the historical significance of the area and show you several pre-Inca pyramids and burial sites called "Caranquis". After lunch, visit the nearby community of Zuleta and see fine embroidery work and the community library - a project supported by the hacienda.

    Accommodation: Hacienda Zuleta

    Experience the wonders of Hacienda Zuleta, an authentic 16-century hacienda located on a 4,000-acre working farm in the Andes. This historic home features antique family heirlooms, hand-embroidered linens, and cozy fireplaces in each of the 15 guest rooms - as well as a range of modern amenities. Cradled in a valley at 9,600' above sea level, Zuleta provides an exceptional and authentic Ecuadorian experience, with opportunities for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and local exploration.

    Activity: Wildlife watching & cultural touring

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Return to Quito

    Day 3

    After breakfast, follow a choice of scenic walking trails, explore the museum, or savor some of Ecuador's finest cheese - produced right here at Hacienda Zuleta! Mountain biking and horseback riding are also available for an additional cost. On your return drive to Quito this afternoon, enjoy a stop at the Equatorial Line monument near Cayambe. Arrive in Quito around 5pm.

    Transportation: 2.5-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Ecuador Hacienda Zuleta & Otavalo Market Extension

Download Detailed Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

What to Expect

 

Why take this trip with us?

Reason #01

MT Sobek has been operating trips in Ecuador for over 50 years, working with the best local guides for an immersive experience.

Reason #02

This is one of our most popular extension combinations! We've got the logistics covered to pair this trip perfectly with our Galapagos adventures.

Reason #03

We know because we go. Hacienda Zuleta and the Otavalo Market offer important cultural insights into this region of Ecuador, and are among our favorite insider experiences.

Meet your guides

Local Tour Guide

Local Tour Guide

We work with only the most experienced and knowledgeable local tour guides on our trip extensions. While you will not be accompanied by an MT Sobek through guide on this tour, you will be in excellent hands with a fully licensed and accredited local guide who will share their expertise in everything from history and architecture, to culture and traditions, the best local cuisine, activities and crafts, or even shopping. Local guides live, breathe, and love their trips because as locals they are an integral part of their communities. Their connections run deep and pride in their piece of the world is contagious.

Activities

Cultural touring of markets and villages, and short guided hikes around Hacienda Zuleta. Mountain biking and horseback riding opportunities are also available.

Lodging

Stay in comfort at the historic Hacienda Zuleta, a 16th-century home nestled on 4,000 acres - one of the world's "Top Ten Finds," according to Outside magazine.

Climate

The temperature in the highlands is generally in the 60's °F during the day and falls to the low 50s F at night; rain is common October to May.

FAQ

When and where should I arrive?

We recommend that you arrive in Quito the day before the extension begins. Most flights from the U.S. arrive mid-afternoon to late at night. We are happy to assist with booking a hotel for you in Quito, either in the city center or at the airport. Airport transfers are included between your Quito hotel and Quito airport.

Will I need to book an extra hotel night in Quito?

You may need an additional hotel night in Quito before or after your visit to Hacienda Zuleta, depending on your connecting flight.

Should I book an extension for before or after my visit to the Galapagos?

Either works well logistically, but if possible we recommend doing the extension first, before the Galapagos.

Are insects a problem in the Highlands of Ecuador?

Insects are typically not an issue at the altitudes you'll be at in the Highlands.

What is the difference between the 3-day and 2-day itinerary?

The shorter 2-day itinerary is the same as the first two days of 3-day program, but with an afternoon return to Quito for your onward journey.

Is the itinerary subject to change?

Yes. If Day 3 is on a Saturday or Tuesday, then the order of the activities changes and you will drive directly to Zuleta on Day 1 and visit the Otavalo Market on Day 3.

  • Go Private
  • Go Custom

Go Private

Go Private

Gather your favorite travel companions to share an MT Sobek adventure on an easy-to-book Private departure.

Choose from the selection of dates below for your group or if your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you.

Call or email us to get the ball rolling.

*Private trips require a 25% non-refundable deposit.

Private Trip Pricing:

2022 Pricing

2 guests from $1,695 per person double occupancy

3 guests from $1,495 per person double occupancy

4 to 6 guests from $1,395 per person double occupancy

Additional Costs:

Private pricing excludes potential additional costs such as internal airfare, single supplement, or any park fees that may be required for the trip.

*Private trips require a 25% non-refundable deposit.

Price Includes

  • Expertise and services of our experienced adventure guides
  • All accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • All breakfasts, almost all lunches and dinners as noted in the itinerary
  • Snacks and water between meals
  • Additional regional guides and experts on many trips
  • Comprehensive Trip Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at historic sites, museums, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the itinerary
  • Special events and other select attractions as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Equipment and experienced guides for activities as described in the itinerary
  • Park and other entry fees (unless otherwise noted)
  • Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the itinerary
  • Select transfers as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Baggage transfers and porterage

Price Does Not Include

  • International airfare, airport taxes, and excess baggage fees
  • Alcoholic beverages (MT Sobek provides wine at select events)
  • Gratuities for MT Sobek guides, guide-drivers and Hacienda staff
  • Travel Protection Program
  • Personal expenses
  • Horseback riding and mountain biking (available at additional cost at Hacienda Zuleta)

Contact An Expert

800-974-0300

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Go Custom

Create Your Very Own Adventure

Dreaming of an adventure designed exclusively for you? With insider access and decades of experience, our travel experts create custom tailored adventures that are perfect for families, couples, and large groups. MT Sobek's custom adventures are designed to our exacting standards and led by our award-winning adventure guides.

When to start planning? Earlier is always better when designing a custom trip. More time allows for better availability of preferred accommodations, guides and your desired activities. Ideally, start the conversation with us at least 6 months before you want to travel. If you are looking for a custom trip that departs within three months, chances are greatly diminished in securing requested accommodations and the best guides.

*Custom trips require a 25% non-refundable deposit once an itinerary is agreed upon.