Craft-making Villages

  • Destination: Andes, Cuenca & Southern Andes, Ecuador
  • Price from: $55
  • Duration: 1 day
  • Departs on: Any day (Group tour Friday and Sunday only)
  • Level: Easy
  • Group or Private tour

Cuenca is surrounded by colorful villages where skilled artisans work wonders. Our craft-making villages tour will take you to visit the villages of San Bartolomé, Gualaceo and Chordeleg.


Description

If you’re interested in finding out more about the local arts and crafts being created in the villages surrounding Cuenca, then this tour is ideal.
 
In San Bartolomé, your first stop, craftsmen have been creating exquisite custom guitars for generations. When visiting Chordeleg (from chorro de oro meaning waterfall of gold) you’ll learn about the production of fine filigree jewelry as well as handmade ceramic pottery.
 
While in Gualaceo you’ll have the opportunity to wander through local fruit and vegetable markets brimming with fresh produce as well as learn about (and taste!) delicious fruit grown only in Ecuador. Next is a visit to Bulcay to the home of a family to observe Ikat weaving, an ancient tie-dye process dating to pre-Columbian cultures used to make shawls and ponchos on antique looms using natural dyes extracted on site.
 
If you choose to take our private tour, another highlight of this trip is a visit to Ecuagenera, the most important orchid growing laboratory in Ecuador. Take the time to marvel at hundreds of exotic species, from the exquisitely tiny to the outrageously colorful, as you tour the facilities and learn about the propagation and preservation of these amazing and beautiful plants.
 
The tour will conclude with a leisurely lunch in a local restaurant.
 

This tour includes

· A bilingual (English/Spanish) guide
· Private transportation
· Pickup and drop off from most hotels in Cuenca
· All entrance fees
· Lunch
 

This tour does not include

· Travel insurance
· Tips
· Any other service not mentioned herein
 

Packing tips

· Comfortable walking shoes

Highlights

San Bartolomé
The village of San Bartolomé is best known for the production of guitars. Entire families have passed on the tradition over the years making guitars from various woods including walnut, cedar, pine, rosewood, ebony and more. San Bartolomé is located in the canton of Sigsig and the province of Azuay.
Chordeleg
Only about an hour from Cuenca, Chordeleg is best known for the many jewelry stores that line its streets and main square. The jewelry, which is mostly made from silver, is locally produced.
Gualaceo
Gualaceo is known as the garden of Azuay (the name of the province in which it is located). Only about an hour from Cuenca, the village is located in a fertile region best known for the production of fruit. The local market, located near the banks of the river by the same name, is also popular for the hornado (roast pork served with potato cakes and corn).
Bulcay
Bulcay is best known as the home of some of the last remaining ikat weavers. Only about thirty minutes from Cuenca, this is the place to watch women using traditional hand looms weaving striking colored shawls and sweaters using cotton, alpaca and wool.

Rates

Tour type # passengers Price (per person)
Group $55
Private 1 $139
Private 2 $134
Private 3 $101
Private 4-5 $85
Private 6-7 $70
Private 8-9 $63
Private 10-15 $55
Private 16-25 $54
Private 26+ $53

 

Group Tours in Ecuador

We’ve created a selection of group tours with regular departures for those traveling around Ecuador on a budget.