Inti Raymi - Festival of the Sun
Submerging yourself into a cultural tradition is probably the best way to get to know a country and its people. Ecuador is known for its colorful traditional festivals and is the perfect place to visit if you want to join the celebrations as it has countless festivities spread over the year. One of these festivities is Inti Raymi or the festival of the sun. Inti Raymi is an ancestral manifestation, dating back from the Inca Empire. With this celebration they honor the Taita Inti or Father Sun and give thanks to the Panchamama (Mother Earth). Inti Raymi is celebrated during the summer solstice. During this time the sun positions itself at the most distant point from earth, resulting in the longest day and the shortest night of the year. During this important phenomenon that takes places every year in June, the indigenous people appreciate the sun and the Pachamama for the goodness of crops. The new agricultural year is welcomed with rituals, dances and songs.
Day 1: In the afternoon you will arrive at the community of La Calera where you will be welcomed into the home of your host family. After you have had some time to settle it is time to participate in the daily activities of your family. In the afternoon you will help them with the preparations for the Inti Raymi festivities. After dinner with the host family you will depart to experience a ritual bathing.
Day 2: After breakfast with your host family, you will depart on a 30 car ride to the Cuicocha crater lake. Here you will hike around the lake in about 4 – 5 hours. After lunch in Cotacachi, you will have some time to explore this small city by yourself. Cotacachi is known for its production of leather goods. You can find lots of high quality and cheap goods made of leather here like belts, bags, jackets, etc. In the evening you will have dinner together with your host family.
Day 3: After having enjoyed breakfast with your family, you will depart for the city of Cotacachi. Today you will join the celebrations of Inti Raymi and participate in the Inti Raymi dance. People from all surrounding communities will dance – sometimes for hours – towards the city in traditional costumes. Afterwards you will have a traditional lunch in pampa mesa style. Every family will bring food to the long “table” spread over the floor and share a meal together. Upon return to the community you will have free time to rest or you can join your host family in their daily activities. In the evening you will have dinner at home with your family.
Day 4: After breakfast it is time to say goodbye to your host family. Today you will visit the Mojanda lagoon, where you will start the ascend to the Fuya Fuya mountain to hike up to 4262 meters (13,982 ft). After the hike you will have lunch in Otavalo where you also will have time to visit the famous indigenous market at Plaza de Poncho. After lunch you will have some time to walk around the colorful market where all kinds of handicrafts (shawls, pottery, clothing, jewelry) are being sold. After this last activity the tour will come to an end.
Travel style & Departures
This is a Shared Tour / Group Tour. This means that there will be other people on this tour besides yourself (or your travel party).
You will be picked up from your hotel in Otavalo or Quito. The exact departure time is in accordance with Adore Ecuador Travel and/or indicated on your travel voucher.