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What's the best way to visit villages around Otavalo

virginia
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What's the best way to visit villages around Otavalo

Hubby and I would like to tour the following villages: Zuleta, Agato, Peguche, Cotacachi and Quizapincha. How Iong would this take to visit all the villages for shopping. Also, on another day we would like to go to Cuicocha Crater, Peguche waterfalls, Mohanda Lake and hike to Fuya and how many hours would all this take. We don't speak any spanish. Should we hire a driver and guide and where do we get one in Otavalo. (any idea on the cost) or is it easy to catch a local bus. Thank you. Eleana

Quito, Ecuador
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1. Re: What's the best way to visit villages around Otavalo

It's very easy and inexpensive to use the local buses to all the Otavalo villages and towns you mentioned. If you don't speak any Spanish, the buses may be somewhat confusing for you. You can easily hire a taxi in Otavalo to drive you around, although negotiating may be tricky unless you luck out and find someone who speaks English. How are you getting to Otavalo? You can easily cover the areas you mentioned in a day, assuming you don't spend very much time in any one place - I'd suggest concentrating on Otavalo and Cotacachi, where you'll get the biggest bang for your buck....the Otavalo market is stuffed with textiles, jewelry, hammocks, etc., and Cotacachi, one of the most charming towns in Ecuador, is overflowing with leather everything. (We live in Cotacachi now, so are possibly biased!)

You can take the bus from the terminal in Otavalo directly to Cotacachi, at a tremendous cost of .25 each way - the trip takes about 20 minutes or so. Let me know if you have additional questions, and have a fun trip.

2. Re: What's the best way to visit villages around Otavalo

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Removed on: 03 June 2010, 17:44
virginia
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3. Re: What's the best way to visit villages around Otavalo

Thanks for the postings. I plan to arrive Friday morning and will have the pm to see the villages-about 5 hours. Will that be enough time for shopping (I'm a quick shopper) if I hire a taxi driver or even go on the local buses. Sat. am. we'll be at the Otavalo market and will have the pm free-so we want to visit Cuicocha Crater and Mohanda Lake. It sounds like I should hire a taxi for that trip. If so, how many hours will it take to hike around the crater and visit the lake. I thought I read somewhere that I can hike from Otavalo to Peguche waterfalls. Do you know if I can do this. I will also have Sunday am to visit places and then take a bus back to Quito. Do the hotels in Otavalo have taxi drivers that can do these trips or are there agencies in town that hire people. Thanks for any help. Eleana

4. Re: What's the best way to visit villages around Otavalo

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virginia
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5. Re: What's the best way to visit villages around Otavalo

Thank you goodheartotav. That's exactly the information I needed for my visit to the villages. Eleana

Washington DC...
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6. Re: What's the best way to visit villages around Otavalo

You might think about a tour from Quito that stays for a couple of days near Otavalo...with a guide you can have some interesting experiences as they know many of the weavers and other artisans personally and can take you to their homes to shop. Lots of local artisans cannot afford the price of selling in the Otavalo market, but they sell wonderful stuff -- and cheaper in their homes -- from clothing, rugs, woodcrafts, homemade instruments, etc. but some would be impossible to know/find without a guide. We loved both Hacienda Cusin and Hacienda Zuleta (Zuleta is run by the grandson and nephew of one of Ecuador's former presidents and there is a condor rehabilitation project on the ranch). It's a beautiful place to stay an overnight if you like to ride horses, hike, or just enjoy this remote experience. Check my website for a few posts about Ecuador.

http://katiepickardfawcett.wordpress.com/

virginia
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7. Re: What's the best way to visit villages around Otavalo

thanks for your reply. We'll take a bus ourselves to Otavalo on Friday morning. I'd like to hire a taxi in Otavalo -hopefully they have travel agents on the main street and someone will speak some english. I will have a translation book with me. So I will have Friday from noon on and Sat. from noon on and then Sunday all day when I will return to Quito later on in the day. Are there tours in Otavalo. I don't really enjoy being with a bus tour . Can I do Mojanda Lake-how long does it take to hike it and how long does it take to get there. Thanks anyone for their help. Eleana

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8. Re: What's the best way to visit villages around Otavalo

Check out this site for lots of local info about what to see and do. alishungumountaintoplodge.com/us/index.html

There is no public transportation to some of the places -- the lakes, for example. So, you do need to make arrangements with a tour group or find other transport. You might get in touch with the folks at Ali Shungu (link above) and they might give some good advice about transport. Another possibility is to contact Zuleta or Cusin directly and ask about this sort of thing, though if you're not staying at one of these places, they might not offer services.

virginia
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9. Re: What's the best way to visit villages around Otavalo

Thanks for the great website. The ali shunga looks great but not sure we want to be that far out of town. As far as visiting the villages, the website answered a lot of my questions. I am definitely going to learn some spanish before my trip and will probably hire a taxi when I arrive or get my hotel to get me one. Thanks again for the helpful website. Eleana

10. Re: What's the best way to visit villages around Otavalo

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Removed on: 09 May 2010, 20:35
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