Cuenca is Ecuador’s cultural capital, but most visitors only see the colonial center. This 4-hour tour from Cuenca explores the Andean villages of San Bartolome, Chordeleg, and Gualaceo, where you can experience local life, browse the markets, sample regional specialties, and visit traditional handicrafts workshops. Hotel pickup and drop-off is included.
Your tour begins with pickup from your central Cuenca hotel in time for an 8am departure. Traveling in the comfort of an air-conditioned vehicle, set out on the around 30-minute journey to San Bartolome, a village renowned for its traditional crafts, most notably the production of acoustic guitars and straw hats. Follow your guide on a walking tour of the village, visiting the church, guitar-making workshops, and the medicinal plant garden, then stop for a coffee, accompanied by local specialty ‘delicados’, a sweet bread made with brown sugar.
Continue to Chordeleg, where you’ll have chance to watch the local craftsmen at work, producing gold, silver, and filigree, as well as beautiful wood works and ceramics. Learn more about the ancient craft-making traditions and perhaps pick up some unique souvenirs along the way.
Finally, visit Gualaceo, where you’ll get to soak up the atmosphere at two local markets, selling traditional foods and delicious tropical fruits. You’ll have chance to enjoy lunch (own expense) here if you wish, before continuing your tour with a visit to the crafts workshops, where colorful textiles are used to make the traditional ‘Macanas’ (shawls) and ‘Chola Cuencana’ (dresses) worn by the local people.
Back in Cuenca, your tour ends with drop-off at your hotel around midday.