Offices for Adventure Tour Galapagos

Cuenca & Cajas Multisport

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Get Immersed in the Local Culture

Effort: Moderate, no experience necessary.
Activities: Biking, hiking, horseback riding, cultural exploration, wildlife observation.
Accommodation: Boutique hotel.

Itinerary

DAY 1: BIKE CUENCA’S OLD TOWN,BAÑOS HOT SPRINGS

We take an early flight from Quito to Cuenca,
touching down in just over 45 minutes. Upon
arrival, we check in to our boutique hotel in
Cuenca’s old town and get ready to explore the
area by bike. We start riding through Cuenca’s
colonial city center, enjoying the scenery of colonial
architecture, churches, and squares. We continue
to Parque El Paraiso, a beautiful natural area near
downtown, then on to San Joaquin, a nearby
village known for its handicrafts and gastronomy.
After lunch and shopping in San Joaquin, we
make our way back to Cuenca, riding through
narrow streets and colonial neighborhoods. In the
afternoon, we drive to nearby Baños, a suburb of
Cuenca famous for its natural volcanic hot springs.
We spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing in the
luxurious Piedra de Agua hot springs, where we
enjoy thermal pools, therapeutic mud baths, and a
gourmet dinner. (L, D)

DAY 2: HIKE EL CAJAS NATIONAL PARK

Today we visit El Cajas National Park, one of
Cuenca’s top natural attractions. This highland
area features a unique “paramo” ecosystem, a
sort of tropical tundra endemic to the northern
Andes. The paramo in El Cajas is notable for its
extremely high humidity. The ground is covered
in sponge-like vegetation and the park is home
to over 200 lakes and lagoons. Our first stop is
Laguna Llaviucu, one of the park’s most beautiful
lagoons. As we hike around Llaviucu, we get
introduced to many of the region’s endemic
species. We then carry on to Tres Cruces, the
park’s highest point at 4,200 meters, where
we take in panoramic views of the landscape.
Our final destination is Laguna La Toreadora,
where we set out on a three-hour hike to
explore the small lagoons, beautiful landscapes,
and endemic flora and fauna surrounding La
Toreadora. On our way back to town, we stop
at Dos Chorreras, a colonial hosteria where we
enjoy a hearty lunch of typical dishes, including
El Cajas’ famous trout. We return to Cuenca in
the late afternoon and enjoy a relaxing evening
strolling through town. (B, L, D)

DAY 3: COLONIAL HACIENDAHORSEBACK RIDE

This morning, we drive into the countryside
surrounding Cuenca and on to a nearby colonial
hacienda. After an introduction to the grounds
and a short riding lesson, we get on our horses
and set out for a three-hour ride through the rural
Andean countryside. We ride at a relaxed pace
along beautiful trails, passing through ancient
villages, small farms, and idyllic landscapes. After
our ride, we enjoy a delicious lunch and finish
our day with a short walk around the hacienda.
We drive back to Cuenca in the afternoon and
catch our flight back to Quito. (B, L)

Quick Facts

Included
Accommodations in boutique hotel, private land transportation, all meals as listed (B=breakfast,
L=lunch, D=dinner), high-quality biking and riding equipment, bilingual naturalist guide.

 

Not Included
Round trip airfare to and from Cuenca, hotel
and restaurant beverages, tips.

 

Recommended items to pack
Waterproof hiking boots, waterproof gaiters, waterproof rain jacket, warm layered clothing, non-cotton trekking clothes, bathing suit, camera, sunscreen, insect repellant.

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