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Pucará Spanish School & All About EQ Expeditions presents

SPANISH + INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY TOUR ON HORSEBACK

OVERVIEW

Ecuador is considered one of the most biodiverse countries on earth. According to a study carried out by Conservation International in 1998, Ecuador is part of the list of 17 most biodiverse countries. (Read more here.)

Although a very small country, Ecuador holds a great variety of ecosystems due the presence of the Andes, the proximity of the Pacific coast, the meeting of the Humboldt and Central American currents, and the influence of the Amazon basin.

In the special Spanish + Adventure program, well trained Criollo horses will take you on a journey through some of the most beautiful scenery of the Ecuador. You do not need to have prior horse riding experience to participate in this program, and our tours are suitable for people of all ages.

This exclusive trip will guide you through the wonders of one of the best regions of Ecuador, and allow you to come in close contact with locals and experience true indigenous culture.

QUICK PROGRAM ITINERARY

Saturday 06/25/2016 Day 1 Airport Pickup – Otavalo
Sunday 06/26/2016 Day 2 Spanish Class
Monday 06/27/2016 Day 3 Spanish Class
Tuesday 06/28/2016 Day 4 Spanish Class
Wednesday 06/29/2016 Day 5 Spanish Class
Thursday 06/30/2016 Day 6 Spanish Class
Friday 07/01/2016 Day 7 Spanish Class
Saturday 07/02/2016 Day 8 Piñan Ride 1= Transportation and horseback riding to Piñan Refuge
Sunday 07/03/2016 Day 9 Piñan Ride 2 = Horseback riding to Donoso Lake, night at Refuge
Monday 07/04/2016 Day 10 Piñan Ride 3 = Horseback riding and hike to Rosario Intag, night at Rio Lindo Lodge
Tuesday 07/05/2016 Day 11 Intag Coffee Tour
Wednesday 07/06/2016 Day 12 Intag–Otavalo–Cuicocha–Pucará
Thursday 07/07/2016 Day 13 Spanish Class at Pucará
Friday 07/08/2016 Day 14 Spanish Class at Pucará
Saturday 07/09/2016 Day 15 Transfer to Quito Airport or other extensions

DETAILED PROGRAM ITINERARY

Day 1: Airport reception and transfer to our mountain cabins & Pucará Spanish School

Day 2 to 7: Spanish classes…

Day 8: Beginning of the Piñan ride:

The community of Piñán, the paramo, and surrounding lakes, create the scene for this fantastic adventure. Your visit to this area will help to preserve this delicate ecosystem and also improve the life of the community that lives here. Our guides are actually members of the Piñan community, and most of the money that they receive go to the community development projects in Piñán. The horses utilized during the trip belong to families of the community, and the money that we pay them is shared between each other, and also a communal investment fund.

During our exciting journey on horseback we will cross many diverse ecosystems– Andean forest, paramo (moor), high paramo, and cloud forest. Our objectives during this trip are to not only enjoy the beauty of scenery, but to learn from each environment, experience intimate contact with nature, and to share closely with the people of the area.

The first day we will transport you from Pucará to Cochapata or Cienega del Hospital, in the proximity of the Cotacachi volcano and inside the Cotacachi Canapés National Reserve. From here we will travel to the community owned Piñan Refuge. (Read more here.)

Day 9: Ride around the Donoso Lake:

After breakfast we will take our horses and ride around the most beautiful lake of the region, Donoso Lake. This body of water is surrounded by paramo, forest, and fields. The ride takes 3-4 hours and we will end back at the Piñan Refuge. In the afternoon we will take a guided tour around the community, visiting homes and schools and sharing with the locals.

Day 10: Ride to Intag region

This will be a beautiful, and long day. We will leave early from the village and ride our horses to the limit of the forest. From there we have a 5 hour ride to reach the biodiverse Intag region. On our way we will pass again Donoso Lake, and also the beautiful cloud forest.

Our transport will be waiting for us at the end of the trail, and from there we will drive to the Rio Lindo coffee farm. This farm is part of the Rio Intag Coffee Cooperative. Here we will spend the night and meals will be provided by the farm. Participants will stay in double rooms with shared bathrooms.

Day 11: Intag Coffee Tour

This day is to rest and enjoy the magnificent lanscapes of the Intag region. Here local farmers produce one of the best coffees in Ecaudor in an agro-forestery system. The organic farming processes used will be explained to us while we will participate in the harvest and other labors. Our visit will also take us to the coffee roasting plant of the cooperative (aacri.com), and we will end in the thermal pools of Nangulvi.

Day 12: Intag – Cuicocha lake – Otavalo

The route from Intag to Otavalo borders the Cotacachi Cyapaz National Reserve and one of the jewels of this region is inside the park. The Cuicocha crater lake will be the last nature stop of our trip, and we will hike together around the magnificent lake (takes about 4 hours). After the hike we will drive to Pucará and rest.

Day 13 and 14: Spanish lessons and rest at Pucará Bed & Breakfast!!

Day 15: Transfer out to Quito or other extensions

PRICE DETAILS

Price: $1,955/pp if 2 people

Duration: 15 days

Included:

  • 32 hours one-one spanish class
  • Full private transport
  • Lodging in Pucará, Piñan Refuge, Intag Coffee Lodge
  • Alimentation during the rides and the Intag region visit. Cooking facilities are part of the services of our lodges.
  • Professional Spanish teacher
  • Professional horse guide
  • National parks permits
  • Taxes
  • Intag Coffee Tour
  • Thermal pools visit

Not Included:

  • Personal equipment (available for rent on request)
  • Extra activities
  • Tips

Our Location

We are located in the beautiful countryside just outside of Otavalo and Cotacachi, Ecuador– in the quaint native community of Pucará.