GringoTree and two of Cuenca´s top tour agencies are teaming up to offer a series of tours of the Cuenca area and beyond. The first tour, “Two Worlds of Yunguilla,” is Tuesday, Sept. 6, and will visit Giron, the Tarqui Battle Memorial and Museum, the El Chorro waterfalls and the Jubones Desert, at the south end of the Yunguilla Valley.
TerraDiversa and Green Explorador will manage and conduct all tours. Juan Heredia and Carlos Lara, owners of TerraDiversa and Green Explorador, respectively, have years of experience in the tour business and have personally run thousands of tours for North Americans and Europeans. Both are from Cuenca but have studied and lived in the U.S. and the U.K.
TerraDiversa is managing and operating Tuesday's Yunguilla tour.
Tours will be scheduled every two to three weeks. Most will be day tours in the Cuenca area but some will be over-night tours to other areas of Ecuador. The tours will concentrate on off-the-beaten-tourist-path destinations but there will also be tours to popular tourist sites, with new itineraries. There will be no off-the-shelf tours.
Although we have not scheduled beyond next week´s Yunguilla trip, tours being considered are to little-known Cañar and Inca ruins, craft villages, high Andean forests and explorations of indigenous culture. There will be specialty tours for hikes, horseback riding, nature photography and bird watching, both advanced and amateur. There will also be day-trips to area festivals.
Multi-day tours being planned are: the Victorian mining town of Zaruma, built in part by California miners after the 1849 gold rush and the nearby petrified forest; a naturalist´s tour of the jungle town of Zamora, east of Loja, with accommodations at an award-winning lodge; and whale watching on the Pacific coast, during season.
We will include, in each GringoTree tour description, information about the difficulty factor, how much walking is required, for example, clothing requirements and other tour details.
Tour group sizes will range from eight to 20, depending on the tour. If demand is sufficient, additional tours will be organized with dates to be determined. All tours will include lunch and snacks.
Information for each tour will be sent by GringoTree a week in advance, if possible. We will publish a full schedule once it is compiled.
All tours will be led by professional English-speaking guides.
Photo caption: The view from the Tarqui Battle Memorial on the continental divide, north of Giron; photo credit: Shirlee Severs