Southern Andes & Cuenca

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Availability : Daily, All Year

Southern Andes & Cuenca

Highlights Include:

  • Experiencing Quito and the Equator
  • Touring the colonial city of Cuenca
  • Visiting the Ingapirca Ruins
  • Hiking the Inca Trail
  • Cajas National Park with a glacial lake and valley, forests and wild ponies
Tour Details

From: $1,509 per person | Single supplement on request

7 days

Departures: Daily, All Year

Explore Ecuador’s capital city, Quito, with its stunning architecture and fascinating history. From there, travel to the colonial city of Cuenca where you’ll experience the city’s charm and history. Outside Cuenca, enjoy guided walking tours through Inca ruins and along Ecuador’s Inca Trail, and experience the beautiful landscapes of forests, valleys, and lakes.

Level of Difficulty: Moderate. The hiking portion of this itinerary is guided; pre- and post-hike is semi-independent.

Day 1 Arrive Quito, Ecuador

Arrive Quito, Ecuador’s capital city. Meet your guide and transfer to your hotel. Overnight in Quito

Day 2Quito City Tour & Middle of the World Tour | Meals: B L

Today is spent exploring the the bustling streets and squares of Quito and its surroundings with your local guide. Visit its most important churches, such as the impressive Cathedral, majestic Compañía and iconic San Francisco. See the Congress building, visit the Old Town, and the “Panecillo” hillside, with its breathtaking views of the old and modern city surrounded by the rolling Andes Mountains. Travel to “La Mitad del Mundo”, where the monument is located at latitude 0º 0´0″, and provides for once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to straddle both hemispheres, or hop between the two in the blink of an eye. Lunch is served in a local restaurant. Overnight in Quito

Day 3Cuenca Walking Tour | Meals: B L D

This morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Cuenca. Upon arrival you’ll meet your guide go on a walking tour of the beautiful colonial city of Cuenca. See the cathedral and main plaza, the flower market, a local Panama hat manufacturer, a ceramic workshop and a stroll along the banks of the Tomebamba River. After lunch in a local restaurant, visit Cuenca’s Central Bank Museum where many historical artifacts from the region are on display. You’ll also see the Canari (indigenous people) archeological dig and the lovely botanical garden. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. 2 hours; Elevation: 8,202 ft. Overnight at Hotel Casa del Aguila

Day 4Ingapirca Inca Trail Walk | Meals: B L D

After breakfast, your guide will take you north to the Ingapirca Inca Ruins for a walk around this lovely Andean region, part of which is classified as Ecuador’s Inca Trail. After lunch enjoy a guided visit to the fascinating Inca ruins themselves. Return to Cuenca for dinner. 2.5hrs; Elevation: 10,500 ft. Overnight at Hotel Casa del Aguila

Day 5Cajas National Park |Meals: B L D

This morning we head into the mountains outside of Cuenca to Cajas National Park. Our walk takes us past stunning glacial formations and through polylepis forests. This national park has over 200 paramo lakes and lagoons. We’ll enjoy a box lunch in our beautiful surroundings. Return to Cuenca for dinner at our hotel. Distance: 5 miles; Elevation: 12,450 – 11,500 ft.
Overnight at Hotel Casa del Aguila

Day 6Llaviuco Lake Walk | Meals: B

We’ll visit another part of Cajas National Park today. Our walk will take us around an old glacial lake which sits at the bottom of a flat glacial valley, and through the Andean forests. A highlight is the wild ponies found in the valley. Lunch included. We’ll return to Cuenca where you can enjoy dinner on your own. Distance: 3.5 miles; Elevation: 11,1500 ft.
Overnight at Hotel Casa del Aguila

Day 7Cuenca – Quito /Depart for US | Meals: B

You’ll transfer to the airport, then fly to Quito, or continue your travels in Ecuador or other parts of South America. Fly home – or extend your stay in South America!

  • One night accommodation in Quito
  • Five nights’ accommodation in Cuenca
  • Transfers in Quito as indicated
  • Departure transfer in Cuenca
  • Meals as indicated (B-Breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner)
  • Full day sightseeing in and around Quito with English-speaking guide
  • Full day city tour in Cuenca
  • English-speaking naturalist guide while hiking
  • Local guide in Cajas National Park
  • Entrance fee to Ingapirca
Not Included
  • All flights and related taxes & surcharges
  • Travel Insurance, recommended
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Fees for passports, visas, or health vaccinations 
  • Transfers, sightseeing, activities, meals, and beverages not specified
  • Luggage handling at airports and hotels
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, spa services, internet, phone, etc.
  • Itinerary and activities are subject to change without prior notice depending on weather conditions.
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