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Cuenca & Andes Highlands
3 Day Tour: Cuenca and Andes
Day 1: (L-D)
Following collection from your hotel our adventure is kick started with a scenic drive through the south of Quito, at which point we visit Ecuador's first National Park, home to Cotopaxi one of the highest active volcanoes on earth reaching a height of 5,897 m (19,347 ft). Here you can explore the Andean moorlands with many species of highland birds or hike up to the snow line ( 4,800m). We will stop for lunch in one of the local traditional haciendas. After lunch we will continue driving south and we will stop for a panoramic view of Ambato, the city of flowers and fruits, also known for its fine leather industry. Next we visit Riobamba, a charming city full of beautiful French-influenced squares, murals and its beautiful Cathedral. This is the birthplace of Ecuador's first constitution, established in 1830. If time permits a short scenic tour of Riobamba will be included. Finally we arrive in Riobamba's country inn for a well-deserved rest, allowing time to admire the view surrounded by volcanoes.
Day 2: (B-Box Lunch-D)
The day commences with a trip through the highlands offering spectacular views of Chimborazo. Arrive to Alausi to begin a breathtaking descent down the Nariz del Diablo, a 45-degree gradient mountain. Once back in Alausí we drive south towards the fortress of Ingapirca, a major pre-colonial Inca site which dates back to the 15th century. This is the most important religious and political monument left by the Incas and the many pre-Columbian cultures that once dwelled in this area. It is a direct testimony of their mechanisms of defense and how the Incas really lived. After this visit we will continue our tour and head to Cuenca to enjoy a well-deserved rest at the hotel.
*Important: Due to operational reasons and rail maintenance the train portion of the trip is subject to cancellation without previous notice. The train operates everyday except on Monday and early wake up is required to complete this trip.
Day 3: (B)
Cuenca is regarded by many as the most charismatic colonial city in the country with something of a European flavor. Let its cobblestone streets, graceful wrought-iron balconies and flowered squares captivate you. Its market places and handicrafts are living testimony to the regions rich indigenous and artesian heritage. Encounter the magnificent sunlit domes of the cathedral, the quiet convents and museums and the city's romantic Tomebamba river, flanked by overhanging houses all contributing to a delightful experience. In the afternoon, we visit a Panama hat museum and export enterprise and ceramic factory, both famous in their own rights. We conclude with your transfer to the airport and flight to Quito.
Prices 2017 per person:
- Private transportation with an English speaking guide
- Meals according to itinerary
- Devil´s nose Train ticket
- Entrances in Cuenca
- Accommodation according to selected category
- Additional entrance fees
- Personal expenses
- Extra soft drinks or alcoholic drinks
- Other expenses not specified
- Domestic and international air tickets