OTAVALO & KARANKI INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES

KTQ133 - 2 Days / 1 Nights - Departures: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays / from Quito

Day 1: Quito - Otavalo indigenous market - Peguche - Magdalena Community
Departing Quito to the northern highlands of Ecuador, stunning views of valleys such as Guayllabamba and Pisque.   Unique “in situ” opportunity to learn about the formation of the Andes Cordilleras.  Photo stops of the snowcapped volcanoes Cayambe and with some luck, Cotopaxi.   We will drive through rose farming and quilt patched country side with corn, potatoes, quinoa and broad beans fields.  Arrival in the province of Imbabura, the “lake province of Ecuador”. 

The Otavalo market is special, hence, the better known market in South America, in as far as, to the gentle and soft spoken Otavalo Indians; attired with beautiful and unique costumes.  Interaction with the local people is given to the visitor through the process of bargaining, which is the fun element in the negotiations, while purchasing woven goods both in sheep´s wool and cotton, as well as, hats, belts, bags, jewelry and more.  Tourist´s photography paradise!

Close to the town of Otavalo, arrival in the village of Peguche which is known for its Otavalo weavers, they continue to work with their traditional and Spanish introduced looms.  Visit a family that handcrafts wind instruments, demonstration of the making of ancient instruments and playing of native music.
 
Arrival in Magdalena, an agricultural, cattle and sheep raising community located in rolling hills east of the Imbabura volcano.  The women of the region traditionally have embroidered the blouses of their costumes, now you can purchase utilitarian goods with this beautiful multicolored embroidery.  Overnight in a comfortable room with private facilities and hot water; enjoy the most authentic Andean home cooking. 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-embroidery-sheepherding-harvest-Quito
Enjoy a homemade breakfast prepared by the family.  Early in the morning you can join in on local shepherding activities.  For the indigenous Karanki community of Magdalena shepherding is of central importance.  Accompanied by a native guide, you can also admire the soul touching landscapes of this Andean region.  Value their traditional embroidery which can be purchased directly from the artisans.  Return via Cayambe valley, to Quito.
Walk: 2 hrs 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

Difficulty Level: Easy.