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Quito & Cuenca

See our Ecuador & Galapagos Tours and all our Ecuador Cultural Immersion tours

Quito & Cuenca

Duration: 6 Days / 5 nights

Program Overview

Visit Quito, the capital of Ecuador, a city surrounded by volcanoes and with the largest best preserved and least altered historic center in America. Lean about Quito’s historical and cultural legacy, visit astoning churches and historic buildings.

Continue to Cuenca, a traditional colonial city, visit the local artisans including a straw hat and ceramic factory. Learn also about Ecuador’s prehispanic history when visiting the most important archeological complex in Ecuador.

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Quito & Cuenca: Tour Highlights

  • Visit two World cultural heritage cities: Quito and Cuenca.
  • Visit a Roses farm and a Flower farm of a market leader company.
  • Visits the Inca Fortress of Ingapirca, the most important archeological complex in the country.

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Itinerary – Day by Day

quito-churchDay 1: Discovering Quito’s historical and cultural legacy.

Quito’s historical center is a great example of the Baroque style which is a fusion of Spanish, Moorish Flemish and Indigenous art. Quito has the best preserved and least altered historic center in America, there is no question why Unesco named Quito as the First World Cultural Heritage City. During the tour you will visit La Compañía church considered one of the most beautiful churches in America with a marvelous gold covered interior, and the San Francisco church and convent; one of the oldest churches in the city and a trade center during pre-Hispanic times.

Continue to the Independence Square where important buildings are located such as the Presidential House, the Bishop Palace, and the Cathedral. In the afternoon, visit the Middle of the World complex, built to commemorate the first scientific mission in charge to determine the Earth’s shape back in 1743, and to mark the point; where according to calculations used at that time; the Equator line crossed. Celebrate the ability to be in both hemispheres at the same time – a once in a lifetime experience!! (Meals: L)

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Day 2: Ecuadorian Art from Pre Hispanic to Contemporary times.

Discover Ecuador’s extraordinary ethno-history and cultural richness expressed through its art and craft work. Visit Casa del Alabado museum to learn about the cosmovision of pre-Hispanic cultures who inhabited the Ecuadorian territory from the 4000 BC to AD 1400. Continue to the Mindalae Museum dedicated entirely to the exhibition, development and appreciation of traditional handicrafts of different ethnic groups of Ecuador.

Time for lunch and to taste the delicious Ecuadorian food. In the afternoon visit Capilla del Hombre; a project started by the famous Ecuadorian Indigenous painter Oswaldo Guayasamin to pay tribute to Latin American countries in their struggles for freedom. Inside La Capilla del Hombre one can feel the anguish, rage, tenderness, protest, dreams, violence, heroism, and sacrifice which inspired Guayasamin’s work. During the tour you will have opportunities for some craft shopping. (Meals: B, L)

Day 3: Introduction to the Rose’s and Flower’s business in Ecuador

Start today with a country style breakfast at a private Hacienda dating back from republican times, located approximately 60 km / 37 miles away from Quito. Receive an introduction to the floral industry, one of the major economic activities in Ecuador. Learn about the Ecuadorian flowers and roses, known worldwide by its beauty and finest quality.

First, visit a rose plantation established in 1993 that presently encompasses 22 acres of land producing a variety of roses for exportation. Continue to visit the farms of a market leader company in the flower’s industry committed to breeding, growing and distributing the highest quality of fresh cut flowers. This farm produces about 45 varieties of roses and more than 30 species of summer flowers including Gerberas, Campanula, Sunflowers, and Gypsophila. Enjoy lunch at the farm and return to Quito. (Meals: B, L)

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Day 4: Explore Cuenca: A charming colonial and traditional city

Early in the morning, take a 40 minute flight along the Andean Cordillera to Cuenca. Upon arrival in Cuenca meet your local guide who will show you this beautiful city. Cuenca is a traditional city with a unique ambiance combined with the natural environment of 4 crossing rivers. Cuenca is a big example of cultural awareness due to the grand efforts of its authorities to preserve the historical patrimony. The old colonial buildings and churches, the strong religious traditions as well as the art work of its artisans made Unesco name this city as a World Cultural Heritage site.

Learn about the history of the city while visiting churches, museums and pre-Hispanic sites. Feel the ambience of a charming, traditional city while walking through its old and narrow streets. Discover Cuenca´s artistic legacy while visiting the ceramic art galleries and Toquilla hat factory (erroneously named Panama hats). (Meals: B, L)

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Day 5: Artisan Villages: Gualaceo, Sigsig and Chordeleg

In the morning, depart from Cuenca to follow a picturesque road that will take you on a route of artisan villages. Admire the wonderful craft work of local artisans including ceramics, gold and silver jewelry, wool weaving, wood carving, basket weaving and work with straws, including the manufacturing of the erroneously named “Panama hats” which is locally produced.

Preserving the cultural heritage of a community through crafts production is an important activity that helps artisans to face many challenges including the social phenomenon of migration which is currently affecting this area. Your guide will introduce you to this current problem and the social-cultural impacts it has on local communities. Enjoy lunch in the area. In the afternoon return to Cuenca. (Meals: B, L)

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Day 6: Ingapirca Ruins: Vestiges of Inca Civilization

Ingapirca is the biggest and most important archeological complex in the country. This Inca fortress are located approximately 80 km from Cuenca, and was constructed over the ruins of an ancient cultural group, The Cañaris (1200 BC) who were conquered by the Incas during the 15th century. Ingapirca was likely a religious center where celebrations for the Sun took place. It may have also been a strategic military base. Return to Cuenca, directly to the airport for your evening flight back to Quito. (Meals: B, L)

Operational details

Program starts and ends in Quito.

The program includes

Private transportation, expert local guide, accommodation & meals according to itinerary detail, visits and entrance fee to mentioned places. Welcome kit, snacks and water provision along the trip. Round-trip air ticket Quito-Cuenca.

The program does not included

International airfare, personal expenses, insurance and gratuities.

Ready to get started? Contact us to book your trip.

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See our Ecuador & Galapagos Tours and all our Ecuador Cultural Immersion tours

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