Galápagos and the Avenue of Volcanoes. A cultural adventure that includes a 3-day/2-night exploration of the verdant countryside north of Quito plus an 11-day Galápagos adventure! Visit indigenous villages, artisans and markets. Luxuriate for two nights in an elegant suite at the La Mirage Garden Hotel and Spa, known for fine dining, a lovely spa and excellent service.
This cultural journey highlights crafts people, markets and villages in the Avenue of Volcanoes north of Quito. We visit a selection of villages, each known for a particular craft: Calderón for hand painted ornaments of dough, Peguche for traditional backstrap weaving and musical instruments, Cotacachi where leather goods are the specialty, and San Antonio de Ibarra, known for its wood and stone carving.
Of course no Countryside visit is complete without experiencing the fabled Otavalo market. We spend the morning exploring and bargaining .
We also visit one of the rose farms that dot the lush region north of Quito growing thousands of exquisite long-stemmed roses in greenhouses for daily shipment to the USA.
La Mirage, our ultimate destination, is set in a five-acre herb and flower garden at the base of Volcan Cotacachi just north of Otavalo. On the grounds of a 200-year old hacienda, it was designed, built and tastefully appointed by the owner, Jorge Espinoza, who personally attends to every detail. Excellent cuisine and exceptional service are well-appreciated highlights.
Each of the 23 large exquisitely furnished rooms and suites is unique. Thanks to a bit of architectural wizardry, and lavish landscaping, each of the twenty three unique rooms and suites - no two alike - is laid out so that you gaze at the gardens.
The La Mirage team takes great effort to grow, raise or procure the highest quality ingredients for the kitchen to achieve an unparalleled level of dining in highland villages. Each night of your stay includes a four-course a la carte dinner of local and international specialties.