After all, Efrain my buddy was the guide. I have known Efrain for about a year and a half and he has always represented Mio Tours
very well. I especially like his honesty and wonderful sense of humor. He will keep you laughing all day and is a walking encyclopedia for Ecuador!
We shared the tour with two other gentlemen Max and Earl from Ohio. Efrain thought we were only going to the craft cities outside of Cuenca which are east of the city. Turns out the other guys wanted to see a waterfall south of the city. He didn’t miss a beat, even though this would add about 5 hours to his day! Our first stop was at a National Shrine named for the Battle of Tarqui. It transpired in 1829 and basically helped liberate Ecuador from Peru. It established Ecuador as an Independent country. If you are curious there are 73 steps to the upper level. Make sure you rest and hydrate before making the ascent!
Efrain knew all the nuances of the El Chorro waterfall and elaborated as we hiked to the base viewing platform. He ensured we didn’t have too fast of a pace. After all we were at around 9,000 feet and all were over 55 years old! Efrain knew where to take the optimum photos and made sure we got the opportunity to just sit back and digest the waterfall’s beauty.
After hiking back to the Ranger station, Efrain had us try the Canelazo warm drink made from water, sugar, lemon and cinnamon. It was very refreshing! You can add aguadiente also, if you choose! From there we traveled back to Cuenca and ate lunch at Fogo
After consuming mass quantities of food we went to our first stop of the afternoon, at the only weaving operation left in Southern Ecuadaor. Anna, the owner is a National figure and keeps the ancient weaving traditions alive. It was an inspiration to see the tactics used in creating this woolen art, in place for centuries!
From the weaving operation we drove to the Orchidarium and my camera froze up when I took so many photos! It was mind boggling to view the various styles of orchids. I learned the plants take over 3 and one half years to mature enough to bloom. That’s a lot of effort, but the results are awesome!
We proceeded to Chordeleg and looked at all the Silver jewelry and fine work done with silver. The town was very busy with locals and tourists and my favorite part was a carved wooden chair in the form of a turtle. By this time we were so tuckered out we could hardly walk. Efrain then took us back to the Casa Ordonez
to get some rest before a late night dinner.
I always use Efrain to transport from Guayaquil to Cuenca and any other destinations in Ecuador. He is a safe and trusted guide and speaks English very well. Mio Tours offers a variety of expeditions and I urge you to take a look and give them a chance. You will not be disappointed when you choose Mio Tours
, or Efrain to assist you in Cuenca.