Although the city of Cuenca is among the top cities in Ecuador, it has had traditionally a moderate flow of visitors from overseas, when considered a potential tourist attraction, due to its rich history, culture, as well as the archaeological sites available along its natural landscapes.
So far, the most iconic destinations within the country´s territory for international visitors, have been the Capital city of Quito, the Galapagos Islands, and of course, the harbor and economic powerhouse city of Guayaquil.
Even though the city of Cuenca has been well recognized for the elaboration of high quality products such as silver jewelry, the Panamá hat, and the elaboration of tiles for roofs, very few attempts have been considered until recently, to attract tourists from a diversity of segments available in the tourism industry. Nowadays, the city is developing circuits, and attractions that are directly related to the communitarian tourism, adventure, and of course the MICE tourism, which includes meetings, conferences and incentives.
Within the last few years Cuenca has become a magnet for baby boomers (American retirees) due to its cleanness, safety, and affordable lifestyle in the country, along with an impressive colonial old town and a charming Cathedral that deserve to be visited by anyone. In order to take advantage of this momentum, a small group of tour operators, along with the support and promotion of the city hall of Cuenca , have created an association called “South Explorers”. Their alliance and strategic approach rely on the purpose to increase the flow of local and international visitors by offering exclusive packages that give the opportunity to tourists who are with a tight itinerary in Ecuador, and still want to briefly visit this charming city in a single day.
The services available by South Explorers are the following: half day city tour, and the Inca trail in one day.
Half day city tour in Cuenca
This service includes a quick visit to old town and its highlights such as the cathedral, the parks, some colonial houses, and the city hall. It is also available with an extension to travel on train to the Devils Nose. The half day city tour has been created in order to satisfy the urgency among some visitors that make an overnight stop in Guayaquil after arriving from Galapagos, and want to explore Cuenca’s wonders and understand why this city has become also a magnet for residency for foreign retirees.
The distance between the city of Guayaquil and Cuenca is just about 4 hours by car. Considering that nowadays the roads are in an excellent good shape, visitors who stay for a day in Guayaquil, can take a shuttle bus at 9.00am, and arrive in Cuenca at 13:00 pm in order to make the half day city tour. Afterwards, they go back to Guayaquil to take their flight connection to the capital city of Quito.
Inca Trail in one day
The Inca trail can be accomplished in one single day. Of course, it is suggested to visitors to take a 40 minutes flight the night before from Guayaquil, or get a private shuttle at 2:00am, in order to start the journey next day at 07.00am. Then, the bus will pick them up at the hotel and start the journey ahead. At 9:00am visitors will arrive to the small town of Culebrillas where the Inca trail begins. From there, we walk towards a place called Paredones in order to start the journey to the ruins of Incas -Cañaris de Paredones. At 11:00am in the morning, we continue with our journey on the Inca Trails through the valley towards the small town of San Jose. At 13:45pm we will arrive in San Jose and spend 35 minutes exploring the town. At 14:20pm the guests will have a box lunch on the bus on its way to the Ingapirca ruins. At 15:45pm arrive to Ingapirca´s archeological site. We will spend an hour exploring this millenary ruins. At 17:00pm return to Cuenca, estimated time of arrival at 18:30pm.
If you want to grasp briefly the essence of South America and its astonishing colonial old towns, as well as ancient civilizations and their ruins like the famous Incas, then, keep in mind on your next trip to Ecuador that LatinTrails is able to provide these circuits and services through our solid network of tourist agents nationwide.