From Cuenca you’ll travel 80km north to the ruins of Ingapirca, stopping off first at a Panama hat workshop and at Biblian, a small town which cradles the Gothic-style shrine of the Virgen del Rocio atop Zhalao Hill (on Wednesdays only). Then it’s onto the archaeological complex of Ingapirca, the largest Incan ruins in Ecuador which encapsulates the sophisticated design and diplomacy of this ancient civilization. You’ll discover how, much unlike the European colonizers, the Incas merged their own community with that of the indigenous Cañari, forging a hybrid community that thrived here at Ingapirca. This is reflected in the two separate Temples of the Sun, dedicated to the beliefs of each culture.
After a stop for lunch, you’ll return to Cuenca for a tour of the city’s historic heart, giving you a chance to see its beautiful colonial and republican architecture, as well as its sacred art museums and markets, the most outstanding of which is the flower market. Cuenca is a fantastic place to understand how the popular Ecuadorian souvenir, the “Panama” hat (which despite its name, originated here in Ecuador), is crafted, by taking a tour of one of the factories here. The tour rounds off with a different perspective of the city at the cliffs suspended above Tomebamba River and then finally the Turi lookout point, which rewards you with sprawling views of Cuenca’s terracotta roofs and blue domes of the Cathedral from above.
“We loved the time at the lodge in Cuyabeno. It was so genuine and natural there and the crew was so knowledgable and helpful. Thank you so much for the recommendation of the real Amazonia-experience.”
Pick-up time: 08:30
Days Operation: Daily
“I was very happy in every way with your booking and Cuyabeno Lodge. It surpassed my expectations in every way. No hitches with flights and transportation. The lodge was beautiful. The staff was professional and friendly.”