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Small group


● Discover the cultural treasures of Cuenca.

● Explore beautiful natural landmarks in the Andes.

● Relax at pristine locations only accessible by your daily tours.

Quito, Ecuador
Cuenca, Ecuador
Package Type
Guide Type
Fully Guided
Small group
8 days
Product type
Daily Tours'


Welcome to Quito, the highest capital in the world (2,850m/9,350ft; over 2.2mln inhabitants).

You will be picked up from the airport and transferred-in to your hotel. Then you will take a Walking Tour of Quito's Old Town.

The historical district of Quito has several of the finest colonial buildings in South America.

This morning you will walk through its lively cobblestone squares and narrow streets, lined with the monumental façades of recently restored neoclassical mansions, cathedrals and palaces.

You will visit the Jesuit church of La Compañía de Jesús, the major and best example of Latin American baroque architecture. Besides its elaborate façade, masterly carved out of volcanic rock, you probably will get overwhelmed by its ornate and completely gold-leafed interior, a fusion of Spanish, Indigenous, Moorish, Italian and Flemish influences.

Another highlight is the colonial church of San Francisco; a landmark that covers an entire street block. In the heavily ornamented altar, you can distinguish the original, antique masterpiece of Quito¿s Madonna. More surprises are reserved in the historic district for your aesthetic enjoyment, before returning to the hotel.

You will enjoy a welcome dinner experience.

Today, you will transferred out to Quito airport to take your flight to Cuenca.

You will arrive in Cuenca, a city declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, for its architectural buildings and historical importance.

The guide will drop you off directly at the hotel.

After you will enjoy a visit to Museo de la Gastronomía.

This is the first gastronomy museum in Ecuador that offers the global community meaningful gastronomic, cultural, and historical experiences. The museum tour promotes cuisine with identity, local traditions, history, and ancestral foods.

The hacienda that now houses the museum, was originally spread across several acres, occupying 4,000 square meters of well-organized space. It features a permanent exhibition on the history of gastronomy, along with public spaces that foster connections through rotating exhibitions.

An invitation to embrace a new experience with each visit.

This tour will last 3 hours.

Get ready for an exciting day ahead!

Today, you'll have the chance to immerse yourself in a thrilling pickleball experience.

We've set up three courts for you to enjoy this fast-paced and fun game.

Don't worry about equipment we've got rackets ready for you.

Plus, a personal instructor will be there to guide you through the game and help you improve your skills.

You will be able to have memories of this special day with photos that will be taken.

And that's not all we're giving you branded t-shirts to remember this fantastic pickleball event.

Get ready to have a blast on the courts and create lasting memories!

Cuenca is located on a prairie crossed by 4 rivers, and has monuments, palaces and churches from the Pre-Columbian (500AD - 1500AD), colonial (1534 - 1809) and republican (1830 - 1900) periods.

Among others, today you will visit the San Sebastian square, which breathes a vintage provincial atmosphere and is located next to the church of the same name.

Next, the San Francisco square and church awaits, built on a beautiful neoclassical style from 1527 to 1789.

It contains a fine carved, gold-covered altar as well as religious art pieces from old indigenous and mestizo masters.

Adjacent is a daily flower market, where wonderful roses, orchids, and arum lilies compose a cheerful palette of colors and smells.

After, you will embark on a culinary journey at Cruz del Vado Hotel with their enriching cooking classes! You will join expert chefs for a minimum of 1 hour and 30 minutes of hands-on experience.

You'll be immersed in the art of selecting, preparing, and savoring diferente dishes.

Unleash your inner chef and elevate your cooking skills while indulging in a delightful gastronomic adventure.

Embark on a slightly more challenging route that takes you through an unforgettable journey.

This path offers unique perspectives and takes you through the sacred Pachamama hill, part of the Camino del Inca or Qhapac Ñan Capac Ñan.

While the initial ascent and final descent demand more effort, the rewards are immense.

At an altitude of over 2700 meters, you'll traverse the vast expanse of Pachamama, offering breathtaking views of Cuenca and the Cañar province.

Walking along the edges of canyons, you'll uncover Inca cultural relics and envision the valley's ancient glacial past.

As you descend, you'll journey through time itself, transitioning from the traditional rural life of the region to the vibrant urban modernity of Cuenca.

Today you will be picked up from the hotel and brought to the airport to take your flight back to Quito.

Upon arrival, you will be transferred to discover the wonders of being at Middle of the World.

In 1736, a French scientific mission arrived in Ecuador to locate and establish the Equatorial line (this is where the country takes its name from).

Now you are going to visit the place crossed by this line, at the Middle of the World complex & museum.

There you will be able to stand with one foot in the northern hemisphere and the other in the southern, and take a memorable photo!

There are gravitational anomalies in this place, and you will understand them better at the Inti Ñan Solar Museum (Inti Ñan means "Path of the Sun" in Kichwa) by engaging in different experiments.

Return to hotel in Quito.

This morning, you will meet your English-speaking mountain guide for your first ascension: The Rucu Pichincha (4,698 m 15,413 ft) or Guagua Pichincha (4,784 m 15,696 ft), depending on your level of fitness.

If you and your guide choose to climb the Rucu Pichincha, you will start at the teleferico cable car station where you will board a gondola to ascend to Cruz Loma.

From there, it will take around 5 hours to ascend and descend. If you choose to climb the Guagua Pichincha, you will start from the refuge and hike your way up to the summit, which takes around 2 to 3 hours. Halfway on your hike, you will enjoy a boxlunch.

After your hike, you will return to your hotel.

After breakfast, you will be transferred to Quito airport to take your international flight back home.


Accommodation in Quito and Cuenca

Meals as specified in the program

Excursions e entrances as especified in the program

Services mentioned in program

Transportation as especified

Not included

Soft drinks and alcoholic drinks

Personal expenses, extra e gratuities

International flights

Travel isurance


Quito - Accommodation: Swissotel, Premier Room

Cuenca - Accommodation: Mansión Alcázar, Garden/Casona Room

Dates & availability
Program leader

Hans Rueffert

Chef, author, speaker, advocate and survivor, Hans Rueffert is known by many titles, but his favorite title is perhaps "teacher." A natural-born communicator, Hans has a rare ability to inspire others to push themselves to be their very best. Diagnosed with Gastric Cancer in 2005 just two weeks after taping the finale of the Next Food Network Star, Hans traded in his "Celebrity Chef" status in exchange for "Cancer Survivor." Never one to slow down, following his diagnosis and subsequent surgeries Hans has continued to share his talent in the kitchen with thousands around the world. Hans is motivating and engaging; And his endless knowledge and love of food coupled with his personal struggles with post-treatment life are an ongoing source of inspiration and interest. Hans enriches the lives of those he meets and inspires the lives of those he reaches across multimedia channels.  

In recent years, PICKLEBALL has become an important part of Hans' recovery, and he shares his love of the sport wherever he goes. Hans has played the sport in 6 countries and is looking forward to playing again in Germany!

Learn more about Hans at and A Patient's Journey: Gastric Stomach Cancer

Check out the Gesundheit Kitchen, a series of nutritional videos Hans hosts for the Gastric Cancer Foundation at  

Read more