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How to Spend 2 Days in Cuenca

How to Spend 2 Days in Cuenca

Modernity and tradition collide in Cuenca, a laid-back, liveable city and UNESCO World Heritage site. With two days to dedicate to Ecuador’s charming colonial destination, there are plenty of ways you can experience the best of Cuenca and the surrounding area. Here’s how to do it in only 48 hours.

Day 1: Explore the City

**Morning:**Start your day with Ecuadorian coffee and people-watching in Parque Calderón, the central plaza. Then, get your bearings while also admiring some of Cuenca’s architectural highlights: Hop-on hop-off bus services typically depart from the square to top attractions, such as the Turi Viewpoint and San Sebastián Church.

**Afternoon:**In the afternoon visit the attractions of most interest to you. History buffs may want to opt for a half-day guided city tour to learn more about the city’s past. Food lovers can choose among market tours and interactive cooking classes. Regardless, take time for brief stops at the Panama Hat Museum or at some of Cuenca’s many chocolate shops to sample cacao products—both essential Ecuadorian experiences.

**Evening:**A day in Cuenca wouldn’t be complete without a tranquil evening stroll through the historic center. Watch the buildings light up from within, stop to admire street performers, or grab drinks at one of Cuenca’s many bars. And, don’t forget to samplelechón (roast pork), one of Ecuador’s typical dishes.


Day 2: Venture Further Afield

**Morning:**Wake early on day two for a full- or half-day excursion to the Ingapirca ruins, Devil’s Nose train, or several artisanal market towns, such as Gualaceo and Chordeleg. Meanwhile, active travelers won’t want to miss the opportunity to take a shared or private tour to El Cajas National Park, a top spot for bird-watching.

**Afternoon:**If you opt to stay in Cuenca’s city center on day two, consider taking a full-day tour of the city’s many colonial highlights to learn from a knowledgeable guide. Alternatively, take your time to explore Cuenca’s markets, including the Mercado 10 de Agosto.

**Evening:**Relax on your final night in Cuenca. Enjoy a typical Ecuadorian meal at one of the historic center’s restaurants—and take the opportunity to sample roasted guinea pig, a traditional dish of the Andes—before catching a Cuenca Symphony Orchestra performance at the Old Cathedral.

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14 Tours and Activities | All Cuenca Tours

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Full-Day Devil's Nose Train and Ingapirca Ruins Tour from Cuenca

Full-Day Devil's Nose Train and Ingapirca Ruins Tour from Cuenca

star-5
Take a thrilling journey through the Andes on the Devil's Nose Train on this full-day tour from Cuenca. Marvel at the wild mountain scenery, the option to tuck into a delicious Ecuadorian lunch, and explore the ancient Inca ruins of Ingapirca. Hotel pickup and drop-off is included.
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  • 10 to 11 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$79.99
Price varies by group size
From
US$79.99
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Full-Day Ingapirca, Gualaceo & Chordeleg from Cuenca

Full-Day Ingapirca, Gualaceo & Chordeleg from Cuenca

star-4.5
The countryside surrounding Cuenca in the southern Ecuadorean Andes is home to some of the country’s most important archaeological sites and artisan villages. If you have limited time in Cuenca, this tour combines two top attractions into a single day trip. Tour Ingapirca, the largest Incan site in Ecuador, as well as Gualaceo and Chordeleg, villages known for their silver filigree and hand-woven shawls.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$64.00
Price varies by group size
From
US$64.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Cooking Class & Market Tour in Cuenca

Cooking Class & Market Tour in Cuenca

star-5
Dive head first into the world of Ecuadorian cuisine during a 4-hour cooking class. Your food experience begins with a stop at a vibrant market, where you pick up fresh ingredients. Then head to a local home and learn to prepare traditional dishes such as quinoa soup, ceviche, and chicken stew. Vegetarian and vegan options are available upon request. Once complete, tuck in and enjoy your Ecuadorian culinary creations.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$54.99
Price varies by group size
From
US$54.99
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Half-Day Tour of Cuenca Including Panama Hat Factory

Half-Day Tour of Cuenca Including Panama Hat Factory

star-5
Explore Cuenca, one of Ecuador's most beautiful cities, on foot and by vehicle during this half-day guided tour. Highlights include colonial architecture such as wrought iron balconies and carved doors, museums, churches, parks, a flower market, and a world-renowned hat factory where so-called Panama hats are made. Hats can also be purchased and shipped directly to your home address. Finally, enjoy an overview of the city from the Mirador de Turi  viewpoint.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$29.99
Price varies by group size
From
US$29.99
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Private Tour to Gualaceo and Chordeleg Villages

Private Tour to Gualaceo and Chordeleg Villages

star-5
The villages of Gualaceo and Chordeleg with their traditions of producing fine local handicrafts lie just east of Cuenca. With this private tour, browse the colorful wares at your leisure while learning about traditional artisan techniques. Watch as guitars, filigree jewelry, Panama hats, and shawls are being made, taste local fruits only found in Ecuador, and sit down for a local lunch. You’ll have plenty of time to shop in each village.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$67.00
From
US$67.00
Taking safety measures

Cajas National Park Full Day Tour from Cuenca

Cajas National Park Full Day Tour from Cuenca

star-5
Spend a full-day at the UNESCO listed Cajas National Park on a private day tour. Skip the confusion and irregular schedules of public transit with private hotel pickup and drop-off.  With a private guide by your side, all you have to do is enjoy the adventure. Your two hikes at different altitude levels offer spectacular views. Along the way, stop for lunch at a local restaurant.
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  • 7 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$54.99
Price varies by group size
From
US$54.99
Price varies by group size

Turibus Bus Cuenca Cuenca City Tour SightSeeingTour

Turibus Bus Cuenca Cuenca City Tour SightSeeingTour

star-3.5
Cuenca Sur Este bus de dos pisos panorámico recorre los lugares turísticos más importantes de la ciudad de Cuenca, el recorrido está dirigido por un guía profesional bilingüe (español-ingles) el mismo que los ayudara a explicar e informar sobre la historia y tradiciones de la ciudad. Este servicio funciona la modalidad " HOP ON HOP OFF" en donde podrás bajar y subir en paradas determinadas, el ticket tiene una duración de 24 horas, en este recorrido visitamos el mirador de Turi. Desde el bus puedes apreciar los tejados, balcones, jardines, museos, iglesias, monumentos y de más lugares turísticos de la ciudad de Cuenca de una manera diferente. Si visitas Cuenca, Atenas del Ecuador, no puedes dejar de visitar el bus panorámico de dos pisos, es una sensación única.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$8.34
From
US$8.34

Cajas National Park Half Day Tour

Cajas National Park Half Day Tour

star-5
Cajas National Park, with its 200 glacial lakes and numerous hiking trails, is easily one of the most beautiful places in Ecuador. With this tour, travelers with limited time in Cuenca can still spend a few hours exploring the Andean highlands with two guided hikes through two different forest ecosystems.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$39.99
Price varies by group size
From
US$39.99
Price varies by group size

Private Half-Day City Tour Including Turi Viewpoint

Private Half-Day City Tour Including Turi Viewpoint

star-4.5
Cuenca, with its museums, markets, sunny squares, and historic buildings, is Ecuador’s most beautiful colonial city. With this half-day tour, work with your own private guide to personalize your itinerary, prioritizing the sites you most want to see and skipping those you don’t. Choose a departure time that works best for you.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$40.90
Price varies by group size
From
US$40.90
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Biking Cuenca City Tour

Biking Cuenca City Tour

star-5
Explore the beautiful city of Cuenca by bike on this 3-hour tour. Pedal along the river and admire the architecture of the El Barranco neighborhood. Visit an old Inca archaeological site, Pumapungo, and learn about this ancient culture at the adjacent museum and finish up with a pedal around the UNESCO-listed historic center of Cuenca.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$44.99
Price varies by group size
From
US$44.99
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Private Hiking Adventure in El Cajas National Park

Private Hiking Adventure in El Cajas National Park

Visit the beautiful El Cajas National Park on a private half-day hiking adventure. Discover the beautiful flora and fauna of Ecuador with your informative guide pointing out many specimens during the hike. Reach heights of 3,000 meters while hiking the rugged terrain and observe the native wildlife that live in this region such as wild llamas, tigrillos, and perhaps even a puma.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$89.75
From
US$89.75

Private Tour to Ingapirca Ruins

Private Tour to Ingapirca Ruins

star-5
The Ingapirca ruins, one of Ecuador’s largest and most important archaeological sites, sit just north of Cuenca. Save time navigating public transport and waiting in line at the entrance to the site with this private tour, and visit this Incan fortress-temple in the Cañar Valley with a guide who can fill you in on its history. This leaves time to visit a family of indigenous weavers to see who Panama hats are made.
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  • 1 day
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$87.17
Price varies by group size
From
US$87.17
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Private Colonial Cuenca Full Day Tour

Private Colonial Cuenca Full Day Tour

Make the most of your time in Cuenca, indisputably Ecuador’s prettiest colonial city, on a private 8-hour tour which serves as a perfect introduction for first-time visitors. While your guide provides history- and culture-rich commentary, you’ll tick off highlights such as the New Cathedral (Catedral de la Inmaculada), Plaza Abdon Calderon, Mirador de Turi, and Museo Catedral de Vieja. Hotel pickup and drop-off are included.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$131.00
Price varies by group size
From
US$131.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Private: Cuenca Markets Full Day Tour

Private: Cuenca Markets Full Day Tour

Soak up the atmosphere of Cuenca’s traditional markets on this full-day tour of Ecuador’s cultural capital. Browse the stalls, immerse yourself in local culture, and discover traditional handicrafts as you visit an animal market, the Mercado 10 de Agosto, the Rotary Market, and the Pottery Crafts Market. Hotel pickup and drop-off is included as needed.
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  • 7 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$195.00
From
US$195.00
Taking safety measures


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