South Expeditions

Cover Itinerary - South Expeditions Cuenca: Best Adventure Hub

Ecuador

Explore a world of culture and adventure in Ecuador’s southern Andes!

3 DAYS/2 NIGHTS

Cuenca: Best Adventure Hub

Cuenca is arguably the most charming city in Ecuador, with its cobblestone streets, colonial cathedrals, and urban rivers. It was declared as World Cultural Heritage Site in 1999 by UNESCO and has increasingly become a popular destination for expats and tourists. Although Cuenca’s rich culture is undeniable, many choose to visit the city not only for its architecture, gastronomy, handicrafts, and spring like climate, but also for its friendly locals, landscapes, and adventure sites nearby. Cojitambo was one of the first climbing areas developed in Ecuador and is now one of the country's premier climbing areas. We, as South Expeditions, managed to place Cuenca as the Best Adventure Hub by Outside Magazine on 2014.

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TRIP HIGHLIGHT

Rating:

*****

Activities:

Culture - Walking - Biking - Horseback - RockClimbing - MultiSport - SpecialInterest

PRICE PER PERSON

3 DAYS/2 NIGHTS

  • Horseback ride along the valley of Tarqui.
  • Relax at Piedra de Agua, a thermal bath Spa.
  • Rock climb in Cojitambo, Ecuador’s climbing hot spot.
  • Bike ride across Cuenca’s picturesque mountainous scenery.
  • Hike along a cloud forest trail through the Cajas National Park in Tushipungo Valley.

Day by Day

DAY

1

Hike Cajas National Park & Horse-riding

‘El Cajas National Park’ is a stretch of protected land extending for 71,000 acres and home to an incredible 230 glacial lakes. We will traverse rolling paramo grasslands, along rippling brooks and lakes, and through fields of wild quinoa and rosemary. Then, we will embark on a horseback-riding journey overlooking the valley of Tarqui. Along the way, you can admire the local architecture, culture, and diverse ecosystem. Our horses are well trained and easy to ride.

DAY

2

Rock Climbing, Bike to Cuenca, City Tour

Breathtaking Cojitambo Mountain is considered the most famous climbing spot near Cuenca. With more than one hundred routes spanning this marvellous volcanic formation, it is a rock climber’s paradise. Afterwards, we will set out on a bike ride though corn, fruit, and wheat fields during which we will admire the region’s picturesque scenery. Once back in the colonial city, we will take a city tour to appreciate the distinctive Spanish architectural style sprinkled with French influences, and visit Cuenca’s main buildings and colourful markets.

DAY

3

Hike the Highlands & Thermal Bath Spa

Today, we will take a 10-mile drive to the start for our hike, in the middle of a typical forest landscape, up in the highlands. We will walk along highland moors from where we will admire the views of a ravine below, nearby valleys, local vegetation, and a wide variety of hummingbirds. Initially we won’t encounter many houses or locals, which will enhance the our experience of nature. But, as we reach our destination, we will see houses each with their own small scale agricultural plots. Afterwards, we will head out for a relaxing evening at Piedra de Agua, a thermal bath Spa.

Hotels

Boutique Hotel Mansión Alcazar

Mansión Alcázar is located in the heart of the city of Cuenca. It was once a colonial mansion but has now been transformed into a luxurious Boutique Hotel. The interior decoration evokes the style of the beginning of the century, with careful selection of fine furniture and objets d’art that embellished in earlier times, the most luxurious rooms in one of the most beautiful cities in Ecuador.

http://mansionalcazar.com/

Hotel Boutique Patio Andaluz

An elegant, colonial style boutique hotel located a short distance from the main square and the monasteries of San Francisco and Santo Domingo, and the Church and Jesuit College of La Compañía.

http://www.hotelpatioandaluz.com/

Hotel Santa Lucía

The house, was built in 1859 by the governor of the province, Don Manuel Vega Dávila. In 1999, a thorough restoration and adaptation transformed it into Hotel Santa Lucía. During the process it preserved and rescued the architecture of this beautiful house as an example of traditional XIX century buildings.

https://www.santaluciahotel.com/

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TRIP DETAILS

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