Cuenca Tour

From $536 per person

A privately guided tour which incorporates the colonial city of Cuenca, in the south of Ecuador and its surrounding attractions, including Cajas National Park and Ingapirca Inca Ruins.

  • Activity Level: Easy
  • Duration: 3 days / 2 nights
  • Highlights: Colonial City of Cuenca, Parque Calderon, Flower Market, Cajas National Park, Inca Ruins at Ingapirca
Two rows of Ecuadorian handmade Panama hats on a shop shelf in Cuenca, with brown and colourful bands


Day 1 Cuenca City Tour (L,D)

This morning you are picked up from your Cuenca hotel by your private guide.

Today’s tour of the beautiful city of Cuenca includes visits to the traditional and pretty neighbourhood of San Sebastian, the Modern Art Museum, Parque Calderon (Main Plaza), the Flower Market, the Cathedral of the Sagrario (old cathedral) and the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (new cathedral) considered as the largest in Latin America.

We also visit a local Panama Hat museum and workshop where we can observe the elaboration of these high-quality products, which despite their name, originate from Ecuador.

Later we have time to visit the banks of the Tomebamba river, through the charming Barranco neighbourhood with its colonial architecture and natural environment.

At the end of the morning we arrive at the Turi Lookout, which offers panoramic views of the red tiled roofs and blue cupolas of the city of Cuenca, surrounded by an impressive mountain backdrop. Stop off also at the nearby home and workshop of ceramic artist Eduardo Vega.

A typical lunch included in a local restaurant.

In the afternoon we have the option of visiting one of the following: the Pumapungo Museum, the Museum of the Conceptas or the Aboriginal Cultural Museum.

Dinner and overnight in a local boutique hotel.

Day 2 Ingapirca Inca Ruins (B,L,D)

The Ingapirca Archaeological Complex is located 70km north of Cuenca at an altitude of 3180m.
Our private guide will pick us up this morning and we will travel north through the windswept mountain ranges of Southern Ecuador. Along the way we pass through intriguing Andean landscapes and communities with their notably colourful traditional dress. We will have the opportunity to sample “cascaritas”, a local dish which consists of fried pork, white corn and potato patties.

Ingapirca itself offers us an incredible look into the past, telling us more about both the Inca and Cañari cultures. The different construction methods used to build the temple and aqueduct system are fascinating, along with the precision of the solar calculations made by the people who constructed the complex.

Lunch included in a local restaurant.

Later we visit the striking Church of the Virgin of the Dew (Virgen del Roció), constructed high on the cliffs overlooking the nearby town of Biblián.

Depending on the day of the week we also include another activity. On Fridays we include a stop at the Animal and Artisan Market, on Sundays at the colourful Cañar Market, and on the other days of the week we stop at the Panama hat weavers of Biblián.

Dinner and overnight in a local boutique hotel.

Day 3 Cajas National Park (B,L)

Cajas National Park offers impressive glacial landscapes of cloud forest and Andean paramo. The silent, craggy mountains invite us to explore incredible trails through an area scattered with over 200 lakes and lagoons. During our hike we can learn more about the endemic flora and fauna of this region.

This morning our private guide will pick us up from our hotel in Cuenca. We travel west from the city towards Cajas National Park.

Our first stop of the day is the area of Llaviuco, a glacial lake found at 3100m. The trail which takes us through forested areas around the circumference of the lagoon is flat and easy, and takes around 45 minutes to 1 hour in total. For those who prefer, we can walk just a section of the trail.

We then continue onto visit the highest area in Cajas, known as Tres Cruces (Three Crosses) at 4160m. From here we get amazing panoramic views of the national park. Great photo opportunity and time for our guide to explain more about the geology and geography of the area.

Then we return to the National Park’s Visitor Center, next to the dramatic Toreadora Lake at an altitude of 3900m.

There is time to enjoy the views or walk along a section of the lake trail.

Lunch included in a local restaurant.

Return to Cuenca in the afternoon where the tour ends.

3 Star Superior: Hotel Victoria, Cuenca
3 Star Superior: Hotel Victoria, Cuenca - Double Room
4 Star: Mansion Alcazar, Cuenca
4 Star: Mansion Alcazar, Cuenca - Double Room


3 Star Superior Prices 2024

2 people
$614 p/p
3 - 4 people
$573 p/p
5 - 6 people
$536 p/p

4 Star Prices 2024

2 people
$725 p/p
3 - 4 people
$705 p/p
5 - 6 people
$659 p/p

Price includes:
Private transportation, top English-speaking naturalist guide, accommodation as specified, meals as specified (B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner), entrance fees for Cuenca city tour & Ingapirca ruins.

Not included:
International flights, personal travel insurance, alcoholic and soft drinks, extra activities not specified, tips and personal expenses

Prices are stated in US Dollars.
Prices are valid until 31st December 2024.
This tour begins and ends in the city of Cuenca. For private transport / flights from Quito or Guayaquil extra charges will apply.

Day 1: Cuenca City Tour - Pretty Cupolas of the New Cathedral
Day 1: Cuenca City Tour - Parque Calderon & New Cathedral
Day 1: Cuenca City Tour - Walkways of El Barranco along the Tomebamba River
Day 1: Cuenca City Tour - Panama hat workshop
Day 1: Cuenca City Tour - Museo Pumapungo
Day 2: Ingapirca Inca Ruins
Day 2: Ingapirca Inca Ruins
Day 3: Cajas National Park Visit
Day 3: Chuquiragua, Cajas National Park