Easily one of the most beautiful cities in Ecuador, compact Cuenca is crisscrossed by rivers and surrounded by Andean slopes. Crammed with gorgeous colonial cathedrals, a relatively cosmopolitan variety of eateries, and lovely boutique accommodations for all budgets, the city makes an appealing place to linger for a few days.
Best of Cuenca
Guided tours of Cuenca take in some of its finest buildings, including the Catedral de la Inmaculada Concepción, a massive cathedral whose sky-blue domes are visible from all over town. Cuenca is an excellent base for day trips. You can visit the nearby towns of Gualaceo, Sigsig and Chordeleg, which are famed for their craft-making traditions. North of Cuenca, you’ll find Ingapirca, Ecuador’s best-preserved archeological site, home to ruins that predate the Inca. There is also a Panama Hat factory where you can see the painstaking work that goes into producing a quality sombrero de paja toquilla (toquilla-straw hat).
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Get off the beaten path on this 11-day adventure around southern Ecuador. Begin the trip in Guayaquil, then base yourself in Cuenca as you explore El Cajas National Park and the Yunguilla Valley. Move onto the coffee-producing capital of Loja, side-tripping to Podocarpus National Park, and ride horses in Vilcabamba. Visit an Indigenous community and learn about native customs to finish the itinerary.
Experience the incredible Andes mountain range on this eight-day tour of Ecuador. Ride the Devil's Nose vertiginous train track, hike up volcanoes, kayak on a crater lake, and see Inca ruins. You'll also explore several high-altitude cities, including the capital, Quito, and colonial Cuenca. With plentiful guided activities, private transfers, and four to five-star hotels with breakfasts, this trip is the perfect mix of adventure and comfort.
This two-week family adventure starts in Quito, Ecuador's capital city. Explore local cuisine in a family cooking class, climb volcanic slopes via cable car, then depart for Baños, where you'll hike and bike to the Pailón del Diablo waterfall and relax in the town's healing hot springs. Continue to Cuenca for traditional pottery-making classes and hikes along the alpine lakes of El Cajas National Park, ending your tour in the vibrant city of Guayaquil with its stunning architecture, culture, and family parks.
See the many faces of Ecuador on this 13-day journey from the Andean highlands to the Galápagos Islands. Starting in vibrant Quito, strike out through Cotopaxi National Park to reach the cities of Baños, Cuenca, and Guayaquil—taking in the sights of waterfalls, volcanoes, forests, and pre-Inca ruins along the way. Then it's time to leave the mainland behind as you hop over to the Galápagos for swimming, hiking, and wildlife spotting on the islands of San Cristóbal and Santa Cruz.
This 13-day tour of Ecuador will tap all of your senses, from seeing historical sights to tasting local chocolate and smelling fresh coffee. Start in Quito, the capital of Ecuador, to see the Cathedral and Plaza de San Francisco and participate in a chocolate tour. Outside of the city, learn about the process of how coffee is made at a local farm. Take the Nariz del Diablo (Devil’s Nose) train ride to see the scenic countryside, and stay in the colonial-era city of Cuenca known for its nightlife and dining.
From Quito's colonial center to the volcanoes of Cotopaxi National Park, explore the best of Ecuador's mainland on this packed 10-day itinerary. Hike along the rim of volcanic lagoons, barter for Ecuadorian handicrafts at markets, and visit small mountain villages. You'll see cascading waterfalls, lush orchid farms, high altitude plateaus, and much more as you traverse the countryside.
Enjoy all that Ecuador offers on this epic 15-day journey from mountains to sea. Start by visiting Quito's key sites, then explore Cotopaxi National Park by bike before enjoying the waterfalls of Baños. Discover the quaint Andean villages of Cuenca, Gualaceo, and Chordeleg, and hike through Podocarpus and Carjas National Parks to witness unspoiled natural beauty and wildlife. Finish on the coast near Machalilla National Park, where you'll snorkel with marine life and catch sea breezes.
See Ecuador off the beaten path on this 15-day trip that takes you from the towering Andes to the edge of the Amazon. Visit the major sites of Quito as you discover its local cuisine, then hike and horseback ride through Cotopaxi National Park. Explore waterfalls near Baños before reaching Tena, where you'll float along the river through the Amazon rainforests. Discover the Andean hill towns of Cuenca, Gualaceo, and Chordeleg, and witness the ruins of Ingapirca and El Cajas National Park
Traverse the very best of the Ecuadorian highlands on this 7-day itinerary. Starting and finishing in the capital, Quito, you will encounter bustling markets, awe-inspiring volcanoes, centuries-old colonial towns and Inca ruins. There's great hiking along the way in terrain ranging from glaciers and high-level plateau through to forests and waterfalls.
Discover Ecuador's fascinating culture and magnificent wilderness on this nine-day journey that starts in Quito and ends in Guayaquil. Between exploring the monuments and marketplaces of two major cities, you'll go hiking and bird-watching in the Yacuma Natural Reserve, see Inca ruins at Ingapirca, visit waterfalls and volcanoes near Baños, see how the Panama hat is made in colonial Cuenca, and so much more.
Visit the cities and volcanoes of beautiful Ecuador on this 12-day adventure. Start in the nation's capital, exploring its well-preserved colonial center and other cultural highlights. Then, head out on a busy tour through small towns like Cotacachi, enjoying several indigenous markets and villages along the way. You will also check off wondrous volcanoes like Pasachoa and Cotopaxi, as well as the unique paramo ecosystem of Chimborazo. The final leg of the trip takes you to Ecuador's lovely third city, Cuenca, before going full circle and ending in Quito again.
Get ready for adventure as you drive through Ecuador from north to south, making your way from high-altitude Quito to coastal Guayaquil. With the freedom to go at your own pace, start where the world divides in Quito and explore the base of an active 19,347-foot (5,897 m) volcano at Cotopaxi National Park. Swing over the "End of the World" in Baños de Agua Santa, and walk through a city with four rivers in Cuenca, ending your trip in Guayaquil as you return to sea level.
With such a wide range of landscapes, wildlife, and metropolitan areas, it's nearly impossible to see all of Ecuador in one trip, but this 15-day itinerary comes close. Start off in Quito, the nation's capital, before exploring volcanoes, crater lakes, waterfalls, and Cañari and Inca ruins across the highlands. Then, fly offshore to the Galápagos Islands, where you'll spend several days sailing, snorkeling, and hiking among some of the most stunning natural places in the world.
Hit the road for this exciting self-drive adventure through Ecuador. The 13-day itinerary begins when you pick up your rental car at Quito's airport. Take side trips to Mitad del Mundo and Papallacta before continuing to the famous Otavalo Market to shop for handicrafts. Drive to Cotopaxi National Park and Baños for hikes and outdoor activities, then finish with sightseeing in Cuenca and coastal Guayaquil.
This 13-day land, air, and sea tour offers the best of Ecuador's cities and natural wonders from Quito to the Galápagos Islands. Learn about Ecuadorian cuisine in Quito, explore the country's second-highest summit at Cotopaxi National Park, walk along Cuenca's cobblestone streets, and swim in Podocarpus National Park's waterfalls. Sail, snorkel, and kayak around the Galápagos Islands while spotting iguanas, sea turtles, and blue-footed boobies.
If your family is having trouble deciding between a mountain or a beach-focused vacation, this two-week tour of Ecuador ticks both boxes. Starting in the high-altitude capital Quito, you'll embark on a kid-friendly adventure through the Andean highlands, skirting the edge of the Amazon rainforest in Baños before ending up on the Pacific coast for some beach time and wildlife-watching fun.
Explore the best of Ecuador in this 16-day tour through the Amazon, Andes, and Coastal regions. You'll visit beautiful colonial towns, indigenous communities, and experience ways of life both ancient and modern in this diverse country.
Experience the best of Ecuador's mainland on this exciting nine-day itinerary. You'll kick off the trip in Quito with a city tour and a cooking class, then go horseback riding in Cotopaxi National Park. Base yourself in beautiful Baños, day-tripping to lagoons and waterfalls, before continuing to Chimborazo volcano and Cajas National Park. Finish the adventure with a guided exploration of coastal Guayaquil.
This active adventure covers some of Ecuador's most famous peaks and staggering volcanoes, rising to 20,702 feet (6,310 m). Starting in Quito, one of the world's highest cities, you'll drive south along the Avenue of the Volcanoes to hike in national parks, visit archaeology ruins, and explore charming towns and cities dating to the 16th century. Head west to the Pacific Ocean and take a sunset stroll along Guayaquil's boardwalk to finish the adventure.
Experience the wonder of volcanic landscapes and centuries-old architecture during this 11-day itinerary in Ecuador's highlands. Visit crater lakes, hot springs, and waterfalls in the páramo climate of the Ecuadorian Andes. Along the way, stop in metropolises like Quito and Cuenca to visit exceptionally well-preserved colonial buildings and the most extensive pre-Columbian ruins in the country.
See the highlights of Ecuador on this 13-day whirlwind tour. Start at Quito, the colonial capital, which will give you a glimpse of the local culture. Spend the next few days driving south, passing iconic destinations like Cotopaxi, Baños, and Cuenca while enjoying food and nature. Then, go to Guayaquil and take a flight to the Galápagos Islands, where you'll hike and snorkel to see fascinating endemic species.
See the many faces of Ecuador on this epic, 13-day adventure that takes you through the Andean foothills and the Ecuadorian coast to the rainforests of the Amazon. You'll witness colonial history in Quito, journey into the cloud forests of Mindo to discover birds, chocolate, and waterfalls, and head to the Pacific coast to swim with the marine life. Settle into an Amazon lodge to hike through El Gran Cañon and go whitewater rafting, then stop at hot springs and crater lakes on the way back to Quito.
This exciting 15-day itinerary introduces you to the highlights of mainland Ecuador, then whisks you off to the Galápagos Islands for an unforgettable adventure. Start with sightseeing in Quito, then ride a horse in Cotopaxi National Park and hike to waterfalls near Baños. Get to know Guayaquil before catching a flight to the Galápagos to explore several islands, see giant tortoises, and snorkel with sea turtles.
Experience the best of Ecuador while getting to know its three main ecological regions: the Amazon rainforest, volcano highlands, and Galapagos Islands on this 14-day itinerary. Start the trip in Quito to see the UNESCO designated colonial city center, then head to the rainforest for three days at an ecolodge. Hike near volcanic lagoons and browse mountain markets, then catch a flight to Santa Cruz for three days of exploring uninhabited islands and spotting endemic wildlife.
Ecuador boasts a wide variety of geographical regions, each with its own distinct landscapes and ecosystems. Spend 15 days exploring the country from the shores of the Isla de la Plata to the verdant rainforests of the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve. Along the way, you'll hike past volcanoes, crater lakes, and Inca ruins in the highlands and visit some of Ecuador's largest cities, like Guayaquil and Quito.