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Cuenca Tours, Loja Tours & Hotels Southern Andes of Ecuador

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Cuenca

Ecuador's most beautiful city, Saint Anne of the Four Rivers of Cuenca, is located in the valley of Guapondelig (plain as wide as the sky).  At an altitude of 2,550 meters (7,650 feet) above sea level, Cuenca enjoys a mild climate and a fabulous geographic position.  Surrounding the city of Cuenca are hills like Cullca to the north and Turi to the south, which are great lookout points.  Cuenca has the placid atmosphere of a small city, both deeply religious and artistic, which fascinates the visitor.  The beauty of its landscape combined with the harmony between old and modern architecture, has prompted, UNESCO to name Ecuador's third largest city, Cuenca,  a World Cultural Heritage Site.

Houses stretch down the slopes along the Tomebamba, one of the four rivers that cross Cuenca, whose banks are covered with multicolored laundry under the riverside willows and linden trees. Both the Hispanic colonial downtown and the new homes in the residential neighborhoods, show how Cuenca keeps traditions of bygone eras close to its heart, but accepts the presence of modernity that abound in the city:  new hotels, banks, art galleries and shops.  Cuenca's cobblestone streets, graceful balconies, blossoming gardens and religious art treasures invite you to visit it, on foot and at a  leisurely pace.

Cuenca's handicrafts are outstanding in variety, color and quality.  These treasures, inspired by local imagination are created in straw, horn, cloth, embroidery, knit, clay, wrought iron, leather as well as gold and silver jewelry.

The region of Cuenca was already inhabited nine thousand years ago.  The Cañari people settled here due to its favorable climate, abundant water and ideal land for cultivation.  Extraordinary pieces of ceramic of this period, notable for their design and technique, are to be found in the museums.  In the middle of the 15th century, the Incas came to this area and founded the city they called Tomebamba and a few years later, in 1557, the Spanish claimed the city and renamed it Cuenca.

Additional excursions surrounding Cuenca include the impressive Cajas lake district, the subtropical valleys of Paute, Gualaceo and Yunguilla, plus the legendary Inca ruins of Ingapirca.

Ingapirca Inca Fortress Tour  (1 day, daily) (private) MT-245Last update: 3/9/2012 Ingapirca Inca Fortress Tour (1 day, daily from Cuenca) (private) MT-245
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A fascinating day trip to Ingapirca, the most northern fortress-temple remaining from Inca times. Sun-worshippers built this stone center on a promontory high above the Cañar valley.
   
Due South tour from Quito to Cuenca 4 days/3 nights Private MT-158  Last update: 9/2/2009 Due South tour from Quito to Cuenca 4 days/3 nights Private MT-158
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A journey of exploration along back roads and hidden corners, following the Cordillera of the Andes from north to south, on Ecuador’s rugged central highlands, from Quito to Cuenca. Breathtaking views, Indian communities, natural reserves, timeless archaeological remains, the cultural heritage of ancient civilizations and active travel experiences
   
A Walk in the Clouds tour from Quito to Guayaquil 3 days / 2 nights, Private MT-159Last update: 9/3/2009 A Walk in the Clouds tour from Quito to Guayaquil 3 days / 2 nights, Private MT-159
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A journey of exploration along back roads and hidden corners, following the Cordillera of the Andes, on Ecuador’s rugged central highlands, from Quito all the way to Guayaquil. Breathtaking views, Indian communities, natural reserves, the cultural heritage of ancient civilizations and active travel experiences.
   
El Cajas National Park, full day, daily, includes lunch, private, MT-251Last update: 8/6/2009 El Cajas National Park, full day, daily, includes lunch, private, MT-251
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The highest point is reached on the road at Three Crosses, the water divide of those than go to the Pacific and to the Atlantic. The wind and drizzle can make it very cold, but the scenery surrounding these 230 lakes is splendid, for walking and hiking, for observing flora, fauna and bird life.
   
Marvelous Cuenca, 4 hours, daily, from Cuenca, private, MT-242Last update: 8/6/2009 Marvelous Cuenca, 4 hours, daily, from Cuenca, private, MT-242
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Cuenca is Ecuador’s third largest city; yet it still retains its pleasant provincial air. Its red tiled roofs, cobblestone streets, flowery plazas and museums make it very special.
   
Cuenca Scenic Tour with lunch, full day, daily, from Cuenca, private, MT-243Last update: 8/6/2009 Cuenca Scenic Tour with lunch, full day, daily, from Cuenca, private, MT-243
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Enjoy a full day to discover, at a leisurely pace, the beauty and charm for which Cuenca has been recognized as a World Cultural Heritage Site.
   
Gualaceo Valley & Chordeleg, full day, from Cuenca, daily, includes lunch, private MT-247Last update: 8/6/2009 Gualaceo Valley & Chordeleg, full day, from Cuenca, daily, includes lunch, private MT-247
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The valley of Gualaceo is 22 miles (36 kilometers) from Cuenca, at an elevation of 7,446 feet (2,370 meters) above sea level. The ride starts along the Santa Ana valley and then high in the mountains, through very scenic landscapes, which change at every curb.
   
Transfer between Hotel and Airport or vice versa, private, MT-240Last update: 8/6/2009 Transfer between Hotel and Airport or vice versa, private, MT-240
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Transfer from Cuenca airport to Cuenca Hotel is a nice service to enjoy a tour in Cuenca Ecuador
   
Overland Transfer Cuenca/Guayaquil or Guayaquil/Cuenca MT-354Last update: 8/6/2009 Overland Transfer Cuenca/Guayaquil or Guayaquil/Cuenca MT-354
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El Cajas National Park has an area of 28.544 hectares, in the western Cordillera of the Andes, with 235 lakes of glacial origin (Mesozoic and Quaternary Periods), at an altitude of 3200 to 4000 meters above sea level with humid Andean cloud forests which act like a sponge by soaking up water that Cuenca then utilizes.
   
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Fundación Galápagos has been chosen by Coca Cola to participate in the campaign “Every bottle has a story” for its commitment to making a positive difference to the Islands

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