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Tuesday to Saturday 4 hours
Our City tour in Cuenca begins at 8:00 am in the Plaza San Sebastían, the colonial city limit. Here we visit the Museum of Modern Art and then walk through the historic center to see the San Francisco market, where local vendors sell traditional items such as alpaca blankets and sweaters. One street away is the Flower Market, recently named the No. 1 outdoor flower market in the world. Next we visit the House of Culture and Park Calderon, the main square and visit the New Cathedral with the blue domes. We continue a few more blocks to tour the Panama Hat Factory and museum to learn about the hat-making process, and visit the Homero Ortega hat shop. Walking down to the Tomebamba river and El Barranco, and finally to Turi overlook to see the entire city. We return to el centro, and hotel drop offs by lunchtime.
Tuesday to Saturday 7 hours
At 8:00 am we depart to see interesting places in the historic downtown “el Centro” part of Cuenca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Cuenca has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Ecuador, and in South America, because of its culture, architecture, social activities and the beautiful landscapes that surround the city. The city tour includes a visit to the old colonial cathedral and churches, which are magnificently adorned with religious pictures and sculptures.
We begin at the Plaza San Sebastián, the colonial city limit, and visit the Museum of Modern Art. Walking through the historical centre we see the stalls at the San Francisco market and the Plaza de las Flores (flower market), the House of Culture, Parque Calderón the main square and La Cathedral Vieja, the New Cathedral.
We will also visit the Panama-Hat factory, which is very important for the handicraft industry and one of Ecuador’s fashionable exports. We will discover the history of the Panama Hat, and how it got its name, as it started here in Cuenca, Ecuador. We will see the many different varieties of Panama Hats and watch the hat-making process. Here they export more than 1,200 hatboxes per month. Each box contains more than 50 hats – That’s about 750,000 hats a year!
Then El Barranco by Tomebamba River, and finally the Turi overlook, where we see the entire view of the city. If timing permits, we will also visit the studio factory of the well-known ceramic artist Eduardo Vega. The Rotary Plaza is also a particular place to visit where you’ll find lots of handicrafts like pottery and ceramic products.
Lunch at a restaurant in town
In the afternoon we visit one of the most prestigious and important museums in the country – Museo Pumapungo, also known as El Banco Central del Ecuador Museum, which has several exhibits of our ancient culture such as vestiges of the “Shuar” tribe and ancient instruments that they used in the past. After this you will be dropped off at your hotel at approximately 4:00pm (16:00).
Cuenca City Tour Package Includes:
Professional bilingual guide
Lunch if described in itinerary
Lightweight wind/rain jacket
Day temperature 50° to 77° F / 10° to 25° C