Banos â€“ Cuenca - Quito. Continuing on we reach the old colonial market town of Cuenca, Ecuadorâ€™s third largest city. Despite its size, the centre of Cuenca retains much of its colonial charm with cobblestone streets, open plazas and whitewashed buildings with ironwork balconies, and is even an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The city is also the home of the Panama hat and youâ€™ll have the chance to visit a factory where the hats are made. Whilst in Cuenca you have the option to visit the celebrated Inca ruins of Ingapirca, Ecuadorâ€™s most important archaeological site. The original structures were made by the Canari people and you can still see the place where these pre-Inca people worshipped the moon.
A short flight takes us back to Quito where you will have more free time to discover the city. Wander around the UNESCO listed old town, a maze of colonial splendour where the vibrant indigenous character is still retained or head to the colourful Mariscal Sucre, the heart of the â€˜new townâ€™. Here you will find trendy cafes, international restaurants and lively bars.
Overnight: Cuenca (2), Quito (1)