Discover the wonderful diversity of Ecuador, its artisan villages, archaeological sites and national parks.
Day 1: Guayaquil - Ingapirca - Cuenca
Starting from Guayaquil, after approximately 2 hours by car through the lowlands and the Andes, you'll arrive at Ingapirca, the main Inca archaeological site of Ecuador. You'll learn about the Cañari and Inca cultures and the different construction techniques of the temples, as well as the precision of the solar calculations and the aqueduct system. Then you'll continue your trip to Cuenca.
Day 2: City tour and hot springs of Piedra de Agua (optional)
The tour begins in San Sebastián, a very traditional neighborhood in the city of Cuenca, where you'll visit the Museum of Modern Art and the square. Then, you'll continue to the city center visiting several attractions such as the Plaza de San Francisco, the flower market, the Abdón Calderón park, 'El Sagrario' Cathedral, known as 'Old Cathedral' and finally you'll visit the 'New Cathedral' considered the most important and majestic of Ecuador. Next, you'll go to the Homero Ortega hat factory and learn more about Panama's famous hats or toquilla straw hats. After that, you'll go to the modern part of the city to explore picturesque neighborhoods like 'El Barranco' with its hanging houses and Turi, the viewpoint of the city. Lastly, you can choose between a free afternoon or a recreation in the Hot Springs of Baños (optional for an additional cost).
Day 3: Artisan villages of Gualaceo and Chordeleg
Two of the most charming villages that are near Cuenca. These villages are well known for their traditional crafts: macanas (shawls) made of alpaca wool, filigree jewelry, pottery, miniature pottery, Panama hats and more. The first stop will be Chordeleg, famous for its silversmiths and jewelers, you'll visit a workshop to observe a craftsman making fabulous creations of silver filigree. Then you'll have time to get to know the city and take a look at the local jewelry stores. The tour continues to Gualaceo, where you'll make a stop at a typical food market and learn about local products and taste the famous Hornado roast pork, one of the most typical dishes here. Alternatively, you can have lunch at a restaurant. The last stop will be the workshop of macanas (shawls) and ponchos, which are made in very traditional looms, using dyes extracted from plants.
Day 4: Cuenca - Cajas National Park - Cocoa Farm - Guayaquil
During the trip to Guayaquil, you'll enjoy several stops to enjoy the fascinating views and the contrast of the Ecuadorian Andes and the lowlands. First, you'll visit the Cajas National Park, one of the most important protected areas in southern Ecuador and the main source of water for Cuenca. You'll be surprised by the beautiful landscapes found in this area. Then, you'll visit one of the local cocoa farms where the natives will show you their farms. You will not only find cocoa beans but also bananas, coffee, passion fruit and more!