Paul BirdFrom quaint Andean villages and colourful markets to staggering volcanic landscapes and the Amazon Rainforest, Paul has explored the length and breadth of Ecuador.
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Cuenca is the third largest city in Ecuador and considered by many to be the most attractive. Founded on the Inca site of Tomebamba, it is a designated UNESCO World Heritage City.
With cobblestone streets, flower filled plazas and many old buildings constructed in the marble quarried nearby, the city retains its traditional and colonial atmosphere
Highlights of any visit to Cuenca should include the old El Sagrario constructed on the foundations of a former Inca site, the newer Catedral de la Inmaculada Concepcion crowned by sky-blue domes and a visit to the flower market on Plaza de las Flores which fills the square with bold colour and fragrance daily.
A short distance from Cuenca lie the historic Inca ruins of Ingapirca (meaning Wall of the Inca). This excavated area displays fine Inca masonry and provides a fascinating insight into this remarkable civilisation.
Explore the stunning landscape of more than 200 lakes in the National Park that supplies the majority of Cuenca’s drinking water.
Watch the local women weaving iconic Panama hats, take in a birds’ eye view of the city from Mirador de Turi, or simply amble around the historic centre.
Discover the bustling flower market, brimming with colourful and scented floral displays – the ideal spot for people watching.
Our experts have created and curated these tailor-made holiday ideas to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something that is the spark for your unique adventure.
Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.
A charming and sympathetically restored boutique property, Santa Lucia Hotel is well-placed for discovering the bustling colonial city of Cuenca and learning more about its UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity status. Originally built in 1859, a lengthy refurbishment has seen the creation of 20 uniquely ornamented rooms and suites that overlook a central patio, each decorated in shades of red and gold and furnished with antiques and wall tapestries.
Positioned in central Cuenca, a vibrant UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity town, Mansion Alcazar is a boutique hotel set within a historic 19th-century colonial building. Within ambling distance of architectural marvels, churches and art galleries, the property evokes old-world charm and elegant modernity all at once. Its 19 cosy rooms and suites are tastefully decorated with fine antiques, traditional touches and hanging artwork, all overlooking either a quiet interior courtyard or colourful external gardens. Gourmet cuisine is served at the in-house restaurant and there is also a delightful lounge and chandelier bar.
A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.
As usual all aspects of this trip went like clockwork, even thought we were in South America where timings can be different to other parts of the world! This we put down to the work done by Paul and his knowledge of the country.
Our knowledge and expertise sets us apart. So too our curiosity. A curiosity of the world and of you, and your passions. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.
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