57 days in Quito, Cuenca & Guayaquil Itinerary

57 days in Quito, Cuenca & Guayaquil Itinerary

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Route & dates

Start: Buenos Aires
+2
Shuttle + Fly + Bus:  12 h
1
Quito
— 26 nights
Taxi + Fly:  1 h 45 min
2
Cuenca
— 16 nights
Drive:  1 h
3
Guayaquil
— 12 nights
Fly:  12 h
End: Buenos Aires

26
nights
Quito

Quito ©
High in the Andean foothills, Quito remains one of the world's most photogenic capital cities, featuring two dramatic mountain ranges as its backdrop.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Cotopaxi National Park and Museo de la Ciudad. Do some cultural sightseeing at Casa del Alabado and Horseback Riding Tours. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Quito: Museo de Sitio Tulipe (in Tulipe), Museo de las Culturas (in Cotacachi) and Mindo (Paz de las Aves Bird Refuge, Las Tangaras Reserve (Reserva las Tangaras), &more). On the 10th (Thu), spend a fun day on foot with Walking tours. Spend the 22nd (Tue) on the rails with a train tour. The adventure continues: take in the spiritual surroundings of Catedral Metropolitana de Quito, admire the landmark architecture of Santo Domingo Church, take in the natural beauty of Termas de Papallacta, and brush up on your military savvy at Museo Casa de Sucre.

For reviews, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Quito trip tool.

Buenos Aires, Argentina to Quito is an approximately 12.5- hour combination of shuttle, flight, and bus. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. The time zone difference when traveling from Buenos Aires to Quito is minus 2 hours. In January, Quito is little chillier than Buenos Aires - with highs of 26°C and lows of 16°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Wed) early enough to travel to Cuenca.

Things to do in Quito

Parks Nature Tours

Side Trips

Mindo, Cotopaxi National Park, Museo de Sitio Tulipe, Museo de las Culturas, Museo Fabrica Imbabura
Find places to stay Jan 4 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Cotopaxi National Park ©
Cotopaxi National Park
Casa del Alabado ©
Casa del Alabado
Maquipucuna Reserve ©
Maquipucuna Reserve

16
nights
Cuenca

Cuenca ©
Packed with impressive colonial architecture and a historic town center, Cuenca stands as perhaps the most charming city in the nation.
Let the collections at Pumapungo Museo and Museo de las Culturas Aborigenes capture your imagination. Visit Ingapirca Ruins and Ingapirca Archaeological Complex for their historical value. Explore Cuenca's surroundings by going to Mirador Virgen de la Nube (in Azogues), El Chorro Waterfall (in Giron) and Parque Chordeleg (in Chordeleg). There's still lots to do: immerse yourself in nature at Plaza Abdon Calderon, examine the collection at El Museo de Las Conceptas, meet the residents at AMARU Bioparque Cuenca Zoologico, and take an in-depth tour of Pumapungo Museum and Arqueological Park - MCYP.

For ratings, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the Cuenca attractions planner.

Traveling by combination of taxi and flight from Quito to Cuenca takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In January, plan for daily highs up to 26°C, and evening lows to 13°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Fri) so you can go by car to Guayaquil.

Things to do in Cuenca

Parks Nature Museums

Side Trips

Ingapirca, Mirador Virgen de la Nube, El Chorro Waterfall, Parque Chordeleg
Find places to stay Jan 30 — Feb 15:
Highlights from your plan
Plaza Abdon Calderon ©
Plaza Abdon Calderon
Ingapirca Ruins ©
Ingapirca Ruins
Pumapungo Museo ©
Pumapungo Museo

12
nights
Guayaquil

Guayaquil ©
Hills dotted with colorful houses and waterfront promenades typify Guayaquil, Ecuador's largest city and commercial center.
Get some cultural insight at Iglesia San Francisco and Museo en Miniatura Guayaquil en la Historia. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Catedral Metropolitana de Guayaquil and Malecon del Salado. Change things up with these side-trips from Guayaquil: 7 Cascadas (in Naranjal) and Manglares Churute Ecological Reserve (in Posorja). There's lots more to do: enjoy the sea views from El Faro de Guayaquil, wander the wide-open spaces of Hacienda La Danesa Lodge, get outside with Parque Samanes, and step off the mainland to explore Isla Santay.

For photos, where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Guayaquil sightseeing website.

You can drive from Cuenca to Guayaquil in 3.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. While traveling from Cuenca, expect a bit warmer days and much hotter nights in Guayaquil, ranging from highs of 36°C to lows of 28°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Wed) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Guayaquil

Parks Outdoors Historic Sites

Side Trips

7 Cascadas, Manglares Churute Ecological Reserve
Find places to stay Feb 15 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Isla Santay ©
Isla Santay
Catedral Metropolitana de Guayaquil ©
Catedral Metropolitana de Guayaquil
Iglesia San Francisco ©
Iglesia San Francisco

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