Otavalo Day Trips from Hacienda Cusin
Discover markets and mountains, lakes and artisan workshops…
Visit Otavalo Markets
The town of Otavalo’s fame has grown over the last decades to become one of the most popular visits in Ecuador. The reason? The Otavaleños’ textile weavings and the market where they are sold and bought. This market has grown over the years to encompass all sorts of crafts, where visitors can enjoy ambling among the stalls and admiring (and haggling over) the wares.
Early on Saturday morning, the Otavalo livestock market takes place in fields to the northwest of the town. It’s a fun and curious spectacle to visit, although it’s unlikely you’ll be taking any of the beasts home.
The textiles and crafts market is held in the Plaza de los Ponchos in town every day. On Saturdays, stalls extend to all the surrounding streets.
A few blocks from both Otavalo’s main square and the Plaza de los Ponchos, explore the fruit, vegetable and food courts of the town’s municipal market.
Located on a prominent hill that affords sweeping views of the surrounding countryside, the Parque Cóndor is a sanctuary for Ecuador’s most regal bird, as well as a varied assortment of raptors, including owls, eagles and falcons. The great majority of the birds have been rescued from captivity or injury. The park seeks to promote the protection of endangered species through hands-on environmental education. Falconry exhibitions are organized most days, a great activity for children and families.
Please check times with Reception.
Train Rides through the Andes
Ecuador’s restored railway runs north from close to Hacienda Cusin. The Ecuadorian Railway Company offers options with bilingual guides for travellers wishing to discover more of the country, which can then be combined with our transport and guides. The northern route winds its way from the provincial capital of Ibarra to Salinas, passing from Andean ecosystems to the drier lands of the sub-tropical Chota valley, through seven tunnels and over bridges elevated across precipitous canyons.
Since timetables and prices have varied over the last years, it’s best to contact us for the latest information and help planning your day out.
San Pablo Town and Lake
According to local legend, the 3.5 by 2-km (2 by 1-mile) San Pablo lake was created when the community offered their most beautiful young girl as a sacrifice to Taita Imbabura (the great mountain overlooking the hacienda) during a terrible drought. Rife with folklore, the town and lake have beautiful landscapes to explore and a millenarian culture to discover.
Charming Craft Villages
Each of the quaint villages surrounding Otavalo highlights expert master artisans dedicated to a distinct Andean craft. Discover wood carving in San Antonio, leather work in Cotacachi, and weaving workshops in Iluman, Agato and Peguche.
Play Miniature Golf
Take a swing at a round at the course in the Cabañas del Lago complex, just minutes from the hacienda, beautifully located on the shores of the San Pablo Lake.
The water might be chilly but there’s still plenty of fun to be had on San Pablo lake, ten minutes from our Otavalo hacienda. Water-skiing, kayaking, boat trips and zorbing are on offer all year round. Complexes with facilities and restaurants include Puerto Lago and Cabañas del Lago (the latter reached by foot, bike or taxi).
Valley and Mountain Walks and Hikes
The nine walks and hikes (of varying length and difficulty) starting out from the hacienda traverse beautiful lakes, serene slopes, dramatic canyons and romantic valleys, exposing you to the purest air and an enchanting ambience. Maps for the Otavalo hiking routes including Gualaví, Imbabura, Mojanda, Quebrada, Rinconada, Cubilche, Lago Cuicocha and Zuleta can be found in Reception.
Andean Hill and Mountain Climbing
Accompanied by a guide, hikers and climbers in good physical shape can ascend some of the most awe-inspiring slopes in the region. Easy peaks include El Lechero and Cubilche, while Mojanda, Fuyafuya, Cotacachi and Imbabura are more demanding. For a snow-capped challenge, Cayambe rises 5,790 m (19,000 feet) to the southeast of Cusin.
Restaurants Near Hacienda Cusin
Building on the nourishing and comforting classic dishes of the Northern Andes, such as locro de papa (potato soup) and freshly-caught trout, restaurants in the area offer delicious cuisine in beautiful settings.
$ inexpensive: Las Palmeras Inn, close to Otavalo | Muyu in Otavalo | La Cosecha in Otavalo
$$ moderate: La Compañía (Cayambe) | El Molino de San Juan (Cayambe)
$$$ expensive: Hacienda Pinsaquí, north of Otavalo | La Mirage, near Cotacachi
– Reserve at Cusin in advance –
One of the most sacred and mystical archeological sites in Ecuador, the earth pyramids of Cochasqui date back to 800 A.D. An attractive small museum houses the treasures excavated there, and the views of the Andean scenery are splendid on a clear day. The site is located 40 minutes from Cusin and guided tours are available in Spanish.