Mountains & Markets Trek
Visit traditional markets, hike through beautiful green valleys and visit the Quilotoa Crater
On this incredible trekking package you’ll get to visit two beautiful indigenous markets. The first one is in the town of Sigchos on your way to the Quilotoa crater lake. And the second one is the market in Guantualo, the most authentic non-touristy of all farmers markets on the Quilotoa Loop. Learn about farm life in the Andes & meet the locals!
This set itinerary can only start on the Saturday when you arrive – if you arrive on a different day, and are interested in combining some treks with local markets, let us know and we would be happy to help you plan a trip.
4 DAYS / 3 NIGHTS
Price per person $155
Day 1 – Arrival & Relax
Upon your arrival to Llullu Llama Mountain Lodge our staff will welcome you and show you your beautiful Mountain Room with balcony overlooking the mountains. A great place to read your book and enjoy some tranquility.
The afternoon you will enjoy a relaxing time at the Spa, you can use the dry or wet sauna and relax your muscles in the Jacuzzi, letting all the tension in your body go. You can also enjoy a Yoga Class.
After a tasty dinner and maybe making some new friends, we will lit the wood stove in your room for a relaxing end to your day.
Day 2 – Sigchos Market & Quilotoa Crater Lake
Get up early for a refreshing yoga class. After breakfast our driver will be waiting for you to take you to the market in Sigchos! The animal market is very early (5am), but until mid-day you can visit all other plazas in town where you will find local fruits & vegetables, local cheese & honey. There is a special plaza for just potatoes – with more than 10 different varieties! There are herb stalls, and huge trucks loaded with plantains. It’s a very local non touristy market, and a fantastic place to photograph the people who are friendly and welcoming.
Your day trip continues to the Quilotoa Crater Lake – according to local stories, Quilotoa is “the lake of the God of duality”, the God of eruptions that take away all that is in its way and the God of depths. The Crater Lake will literally take your breath away! It’s just a half an hour hike down from the viewpoint to get to the lake side and 1 hour hike back up the 280 meter vertical ascent.
It is possible to rent a horse to get back up. At the lake shore you can rent a canoe to explore the lake and its fumaroles.
Day 3 – Guantualo market hike
This popular day hike shows rural life high up in the Andes. Meet local farmers along the way with their cows, guinea pigs, chicken and llamas. The hike takes you through one of the greenest valleys around Isinlivi and is really quite relaxing and beautiful. In Guantualo the indigenous men wear colorful ponchos and women colorful scarfs – it’s great to just sit for a while to look at the villagers.
On Monday, there is the most remote, authentic and non-touristy market held in this small village. It’s a beautiful sight to watch the locals trade their livestock – the local butcher every Monday slaughters a pig, llama or sheep to sell off piece by piece right there in the middle of the market.
Day 4 – Traditional Farm Tour
Another great opportunity for those interested in learning about traditional lifestyles around Isinlivi. You’ll pay a visit to Doña Rosita – she lives on the slopes of Ñahuira hill where she has farmed all her life – she is a valuable source of information for all who are curious about farming in the Andes. Your tour will likely start with the area around her house where she raises chicken and guinea pigs who enjoy a veggie diet of alfalfa and other plants.
It is possible to buy a guinea pig from Rosita and bring it back to the hostel where Gladys will surprise you with a delicious lunch. Learn about traditional housing and visit Rosita’s fields where most of the crop production takes place.