Handcrafting adventures in Ecuador and Peru since 1979
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Cuenca via the Central Andes

Cultural adventures with the past

With World Cultural Heritage Site status, Cuenca is one of the most outstandingly beautiful cities of Ecuador, located in the southern Andes. Home to the famed "Panama hat" and other handcrafts, like "ikat" weavings, getting there from Quito, via most of the country’s Andean highlights, is in itself a journey never to be forgotten. This includes native markets, active volcanoes, thermal springs, the exciting "Devil’s Nose" train ride, archaeological sites and more.

Cuenca via the Devil's Nose, 4 or more days

Our first stop takes us through the serene Cotopaxi National Park before heading east to the lush Tungurahua region, staying en route at lodges or restored haciendas. Then head to the foothills of Chimborazo, Ecuador's highest peak, before transferring to the traditional train car for a magnificent journey down 1,000 feet (over 300 meters) and up again on the Devil`s Nose, an impressive switchback considered an engineering feat of the early 20th century that stills impresses train enthusiasts to this day. The excitement builds up as we spend a night right next to the largest archaeological site in the country: Ingapirca. We finally reach one of the capital cities of the Incan Empire, Tumipamba, today known as Cuenca, packed with things to see and shop. After all, it’s no wonder the city is headquarters of the Latin American Handcraft Institute. Also, if your vacation time is limited, we can get you to Cuenca by air and take it from there!

Sample itineraries:

Day 1: Quito / Cotopaxi / Baños
Day 2: Baños / Riobamba
Day 3: Riobamba / Devil’s Nose train / Ingapirca
Day 4: Ingapirca / Cuenca
Day 5: Cuenca / Quito

Day 1: Quito / Cuenca (by air): city tour
Day 2: Gualaceo & Chordeleg
Day 3: El Cajas National Park
Day 4: Cuenca / Quito
Cuenca s Cathedral<br />
Cuenca's Cathedral
Colonial Architecture<br />
Colonial Architecture
The King s Palace<br />
The King's Palace
Toquilla hat<br />
Toquilla hat
Weaving art<br />
Weaving art
Ingapirca walls<br />
Ingapirca walls