This type of tour is ideal for people looking for cultural. immersion and learning about the day to day life of the people of Ecuador. This sample itinerary offers the opportunity to stay with an indigenous family in the northern Andes of Ecuador and particpate in their way of life.
North of Quito is the valley of the awakening sun, home to the Otavalo ethnic group. The Otavaleño people live in several communities and are one of the most prosperous indigenous nations anywhere. En-route to the Otavalo market we will visit several small villages, each specializing in a craft. Learn how traditional crafts and innovation keep these cultures alive and prosperous.
Some of the craftsmen villages & towns we may visit:
Calderon: Bread dough figures
Cayambe: Small city known for its traditional biscuits and leaf cheese
Agato: Textiles, backstrap loom and Spanish loom weaving of ponchos
Peguche: Musical instrument workshop and Andean folk music
Iluman: Shamanic rituals and ceremony
San Antonio: Crafted wood workshops and master carvers
Cotacachi: Fine leather goods
We will visit most of the above villages depending on passengers interests. Our visit to the Otavalo market will help us understand the social interaction and local economy, this colorful gathering will allow us to observe handicrafts and textiles from the surrounding villages and other parts of the country in one plaza.
The afternoon of the first day we will visit a local family where we will spend the night, at dinner we get a chance to enjoy local food made from fresh produce. We will be able to practice our Spanish and talk to our friendly hosts and learn about their lifestyle. Accommodation is in a nice twin bed cabin with a private bathroom and fireplace.
Our next days with our host family start with a delicious breakfast with fresh fruit from the garden and homemade tortillas or bread. In the morning we get to help the family (optional) with their everyday activities. We will then continue visiting local villages and learn more about the indigenous lifestyle. We spend our nights with our host family learning a little more about their traditoins and culture.
On our last day in the northern Andes we depart after lunch and back to Quito.
This a fun trip that will teach us to respect local cultures and understanding of the indigenous ways in Ecuador. It is a homestay program that can be customized or added as part of a longer trip around Ecuador.