Departing from Cuenca with your friendly guide, relax on the scenic drive to the two small villages of Gualaceo and Chordeleg. These bucolic towns are well known for their traditionally made handicrafts, such as the macanas (shawls) that women have woven from alpaca wool for centuries.
First stop of the day is a quick visit to San Bartolome, a small town located next to the Andes Mountain Range. Famous for its crafty, handmade guitars, you'll visit a local shop to observe the process of making this instrument.
Then, head to nearby Chordeleg, famous for the jewelry shops that line the streets and large plaza. Walk through the clean, tranquil town with your guide and admire the intricate silver and gold filigree sold at great prices. You'll have time to shop around and check out the local jewelry and other crafts made by locals in the towns central plaza.
Next, head to Gualaceo, situated along the banks of the Santa Barbara River. In the quiet central square that includes a main church, admire the vivid, bright colors of the clothing worn by the local women.
Stroll down the streets or visit the market, where the locals sell folkloric handicrafts and textiles, such as the characteristic white straw hats, as well as blouses, skirts and linens hand-embroidered with magenta, orange and yellow thread. Learn from your guide about the significance of the pre-Columbian patterns and designs such as birds and flowers.You'll have time to eat lunch before heading to a local textile whop, where you'll see the process of weaving. After a full day outside of Cuenca, you'll be dropped-off at your hotel.