Discover this city which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999 and is considered to be the cultural metropolis and fine crafts center of Ecuador.
Day 1 Cuenca
Morning visit of Cuenca enjoying a walking city tour, visiting the rushing Tomebamba River that runs through the city with views of the old houses perched on cliffs high above the river shore, a unique environment with its colonial stone bridges ¬that connect the modern and old areas. Stroll through the impressive ruins of the Inca-Cañari Pumapungo Palace, which is, embedded in the very heart of Cuenca’s colonial downtown area. We can discover some of the main sites of the city including the Museum of Modern Art, New Cathedral, the flower market and the Barranco. Enjoy a short drive to the Turi hilltop to take spectacular panoramic pictures of the city, complementing your stay in Cuenca by visiting a ceramic art gallery, or fine pottery workshop. We’ll also visit the famous Panama Hat museum and factory. Free afternoon and overnight stay in the city.
Day 2 Ingapirca Archeological site
After breakfast we drive north for about one and a half hours to Ingapirca, here we will ask the Incan Sun God to stay away, so you can appreciate the brooding power of this small remnant of the Incan Empire under cloudy skies! (He frequently agrees to such requests!) The temple/stronghold has been restored and shows off its grandeur that over the centuries, was used for spiritual rituals by the Cañari culture, giving it its historical importance. What is left is, only a hint of what once was an important link in the chain of Imperial Incan power that stretched from Cuzco to Quito. Lunch in the area and return to Cuenca in the afternoon. Overnight stay in Cuenca.
Day 3 Cajas National Park – Guayaquil
We depart after breakfast and drive west to visit the Cajas National Park located thirty minutes from Cuenca. Here we will find a network of around 200 lakes formed during the last ice age, which today have created an extensive recreation area. The park itself is located at an average altitude of 3000m / 12000ft. Small rivers interconnect the series of lakes and these eventually flow into both the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans. After a hike near one of the nearby lakes, you will continue to Guayaquil driving through the mountains on the way down to the coastal plains of the Pacific shore.
Or if you want, you can come back to Quito by plane.
- Bilingual Guide
- Detailed entrances
Does not include
- Additional activities