Treasures of the Southern Andes

This tour will take you to visit the primary treasures of the southern provinces of El Oro, on the coast, and Loja, in the Andes. It is a unique opportunity to experience Ecuador’s amazing biodiversity covering a wide range of terrain from fertile valleys and the Jubones desert to banana, cocoa and coffee plantations, mangroves, the colonial-style gold-mining town of Zaruma and even the tropical hills of Buenaventura Reserve. Savor the sights, sounds and tastes of southern Ecuador.


Our treasures of the south tour is ideal to get a true feel of southern Ecuador and covers all the bases from gastronomy, nature, hiking, culture and history. Keep in mind that this tour can be combined with our tours to Vilcabamba and Saraguro for a full exploration of the south.

This tour includes

· A bilingual (English/Spanish) guide
· Private transportation
· All meals mentioned in the itinerary
· Accommodation at local hotels (we always use best accommodations available, but standards may vary depending on location)
· All entrance fees

This tour does not include

· Travel insurance
· Tips and gratuities
· Personal expenses
· Any other service not mentioned herein

Packing tips

· Good walking shoes
· Fast-drying comfortable clothing
· Rain jacket
· Warm sweatshirt for cool nights
· Sun cream
· Binoculars

Sample itinerary

Day 1 - Cuenca - Puerto Jeli - Zaruma
Travel from Cuenca down to the coast passing through Yungilla’s green fertile valleys, the unexpected Jubones desert and miles upon miles of banana, cocoa and coffee plantations. Stop for lunch in the coastal town of Puerto Jeli known for its delicious seafood, before visiting the sea mangrove ecosystem nearby. End the day in Zaruma for a good night’s rest. Meals included: -/L/-
Day 2 - Zaruma & Surroundings
Spend the day visiting the gold-mining town of Zaruma, perched on a hilltop covered in beautiful wooden colonial-style houses. Spend the day exploring the steep, winding streets at a leisurely pace, admiring the architecture, visiting the gold museum and more. Meals included: B/L/-
Day 3 - Buenaventura Reserve - Tropical farm - Cuenca
Drive into the low tropical hills to reach Buenaventura Reserve, a spectacular protected area ideal for spotting an array of humming birds, toucans and umbrella birds. This is a fabulous location for hiking and bird-watching. Enjoy a great lunch and a tour of a tropical farm before heading back to Cuenca. Meals included: B/L/-


# passengers Price (per person)
2 $510
3 $452
4-5 $439
6-7 $376
8-9 $324
10-15 $306
16-25 $275
26+ $268
Single supplement $46


Made-to-Measure Travel

This itinerary is designed to give you an idea of the available options for travel in Ecuador. But keep in mind:

  • We can tailor this trip to suit your needs, tastes, time frame and budget
  • Every aspect of the itinerary can be modified, from the accommodation to the activities