Betty, her father, and Pamela took me out of Quito to the Otavalo area. We explore the famous market there, visited Hacienda Pinsaqui, went out for chicharron (one of my favorite dishes!), and explored around Cuicocha Lake. It was an action-packed day, and I felt like we really made the most of my limited time there.
It was beautiful to see a slice of life in the rural Ecuadorian highlands. The Otavalo market was wonderful for souvenir shopping and people watching. I was completely taken with the Hacienda Pinsaqui - being there is like stepping back in time. The accommodations and grounds were absolutely charming. It's the sort of place where a person could truly rest and relax. Cuicocha Lake was lovely too - there's a trail you can hike all the way around the lake. Unfortunately, we didn't have time to do that, but it's now on my to do list.