Thursday, July 12, 2012

MIO TOURS : Reservations and Prices.-


MIO TOURS would like to introduce itself and offer its services for special personal tours. We offer a different concept of tourism in Cuenca and around Ecuador. Your experience will be tailored to your desires. You will not be lost in a large group. SUVs accommodate up to four people and minivans can accommodate up to ten people. Custom itineraries have a la carte pricing or combo prices for package deals. You won't find a better price structure and you will be with  Ecuadorian guides who speak fluent English.



ECUADOR: (Republic of the Equator) is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border with Brazil. The country also includes the Galápagos Islands in the Pacific, about 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) west of the mainland. The main spoken language in Ecuador is Spanish. Ecuador straddles the equator, from which it takes its name, and has an area of 275,830 km2 (106,500 sq mi). Its capital city is Quito, which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the 1970s for having the best preserved and least altered historic center in Latin America. The country's largest city is Guayaquil. The historic center of Cuenca, the third largest city in the country, was also declared a World Heritage Site in 1999, for being an outstanding example of a planned inland Spanish style colonial city in the Americas. Ecuador is also home—despite its size—to a great variety of species, many of them endemic, like those of the Galápagos islands. This species diversity makes Ecuador one of the 17 megadiverse countries in the world. The new constitution of 2008 is the first in the world to recognize legally enforceable Rights of Nature, or ecosystem right

Our 17 well-researched tours are listed below: 1. WELCOME TO CUENCA. If you have just arrived or plan on relocationg in the near future, take this tour and learn all about what Cuenca can offer you.
In this tour, Mio Tours will provide a thorough orientation to the city of Cuenca. You’ll be driven through the various neighborhoods of the city, see the area malls and supermarkets, get acquainted with the numerous locations of fruit and vegetable vendors and  arts and crafts markets, learn where the local pharmacies are and visit traditional places around Cuenca where you can sample the local cuisine.
Also, if you are wanting to find a place to live, avoid the local real estate fees and have Mio Tours assist you in locating an apartment or home in the neighborhood of your choice. For the hourly rate of $12 per hour, our local guide will personally take you around the area of your choice and help you through the process of searching for available places to live—this can include using the local newspapers, word of mouth and walking around the neighborhood itself—one of the best ways to locate your perfect place to live.
2. JUNGLE WATERFALLS TOUR (5 days 4 nights)
  • personal English speaking guide and comfortable transporation in a 4x4 Ford Explorer and mini vans for larger groups
  • accommodations - beautiful hosterias with pool and lounge, AC, WIFI, on-demand hot water
  • breakfast, lunch and dinner - as well as snacks from jungle
  • entrance fees for zoos and botanical museum at native community
This five day tour crosses five provinces of Ecuador. It highlights over 25 incredible waterfalls, mostly within the Amazon jungle. Many of the waterfalls have cable cars for viewing and photography. You will have the opportunity to meet with native peoples from the Amazon region including seeing their clothing, dancing, and cooking. If you wish you may purchase items from native artisans. All restaurants and accommodations have been pre-screened by the tour operator to ensure high standards. You may wish to sample special selections of native foods. This tour is truly the experience of a lifetime.
During this tour we'll transport you to 2 beautiful places where you can personally imagine and visualize how the people lived centuries ago. Ingapirca (KichwaInkapirka, "Inca wall") is a town in Cañar ProvinceEcuador and the name of an Incan archeological site just outside the town. The town was named after the Inca      palace and temple site.These are the largest known Inca ruins in Ecuador. The most significant building is the temple of the sun, an elliptically shaped building constructed around a large rock. The building is constructed in the Incan way without mortar in most of the complex. The stones were carefully chiseled and fashioned to fit together perfectly. The temple of the sun was positioned so that on the solstices, at exactly the right time of day, sunlight would fall through the center of the doorway of the small chamber at the top of the temple. Most of this chamber has fallen
The Incas were not the first inhabitants of Ingapirca. It had long been settled by the Cañari indigenous people, who called it Hatun Cañar.

The castle-complex presents a Inca-Cañari origin. The objective of its construction is uncertain. The complex played an important role in military strategies as a fortress and for provisions to troops in north Ecuador. A common criteria of archeologists states that the main objective for its construction was linked to cult of sun.
It is said that the Inca Túpac Yupanqui during the expansion's campaign of the Inca-Empire through south Ecuador, met the Cañari "Hatun Cañar" tribe and strategically married the Cañari princes Paccha, giving birth to the future Inca Huayna Capac in the city of Pumapungo (nowadays Cuenca).
In this way, the Inca dominated the Cañari and they decided to settle their differences and live together peacefully. The Canari people built this complex for the Inca Huayna Capac. They renamed the city and kept most of their individual customs separate. Although the Inca were more numerous, they did not demand that the Cañari give up their autonomy.
At Incapirca they developed a complex underground aquaduct system to provide water to the entire compound.
As a cult edification, people had numerous ritual celebrations on the complex. Gallons of a local fermented drink were used in these festivals. As sun and moon worshippers, they tried to be as close to their gods as possible. The weather changes there are usually within minutes of each other, calm and sunny one minute and within fifteen minutes rainy, windy and cold. This climate volatility is typical year round. The people felt strongly that this was the place where the gods had led them, regardless of the climate.
4. CUENCA AT NIGHT (from 7:00PM to 11:00PM)

In this tour we will take you to many strategic vantage points so you can enjoy all of the beautiful vistas of this lovely colonial city. We recommend that you bring your camera.
5. GREEN PACIFIC COAST TOUR (5 Days and 4 Nights)
  • personal English speaking guide and comfortable transporation in a 4x4 Ford Explorer and mini vans for larger groups
  • accommodations - beautiful hosterias with pool and lounge, AC, WIFI, on-demand hot water
  • breakfast, lunch and dinner - as well as snacks 
  • entrance fees for zoos, National Park Machalilla, Los Frayles, at native community

This tour features the sun and sand of Ecuador's incredible Pacific coast. You will see a number of the villages along the southern part of the Ruta del Sol including the large fishing community of Puerto Lopez and the surfing village of Montanita. You can expect there to be opportunities for paragliding, snorkeling, horseback riding, whale watching, nature photography, zip-lining and even surfing. Experience the joy of walking along the Pacific beaches.

During this tour you'll visit 3 small villages where we'll show you the original techniques still used by the indigenous people where they use plants and flowers to create the colors used in creating handicrafts. Afterwards we'll visit the 2nd village where we'll observe the creation of all types of ceramics and above all see how silver jewelry is made. Finally we'll end up visiting one of the first original factories and observe how panama hats are made.
7. CUENCA CHURCHES AT NIGHT (from 6:00PM to 11:00PM)
During this tour we we will take you to 12-18 churches (all illuminated) so you can appreciate the unique and various architectural styles and take pictures with your camera.
In this tour we will visit the monument celebrating the heroes of this famous battle of Tarqui, also known as the Battle of Portete de Tarqui, which took place on February 27, 1829 at Portete de Tarqui, near Cuenca, Ecuador. It was fought between troops from Gran Colombia, commanded by Antonio José de Sucre, and Peruvian troops under José de La Mar. It was a victory for Gran Colombia. After the battle the forces of Gran Colombia retook control of Guayaquil Afterwards we will descend to most fascinating place where you'll be able to enjoy a gorgeous waterfall and the beautiful views and countryside. Then we'll continue our trip to the valley where you can see the various crops of fruits and vegetables. Finally, we'll stop and enjoy a beverage made of sugar cane called Guarapo Mapanagua.
During this tour you will be able to try the regional dishes from each area around Cuenca.


We'll take you to one of the most beautiful places in all Ecuador! This park has over 265 lagoons, is home to many animals including the South American Condor, alpacas and llamas. There we will observe the beautiful and unique flora and fauna which you will find only in this park. Before leaving this area we'll pass by the site where the virgin Mary appeared to the people of this area on March 3 1990. Finally we'll take a much needed break and enjoy an excellent TROUT meal which comes fresh from the rivers and lagoons of this area.


During this tour we'll take you to the most beautiful places of the province of Azuay and share with you our secret places unknown to most tourists and locals alike. There you'll be able to capture all the natural beauty.

This tour we'll travel the dirt roads and get a close view of how people live, what crops they grow and their lifestyle.

During this tour we will visit the most exclusive bars of the city and we'll enjoy the most typical cocktails and beverages available to the folks that live here.
(One Day Trip - Flexible)
Guayaquil offers some of the best shopping experiences in Ecuador. There are many large, modern shopping malls with name brand labels that North Americans are accustomed to. Pricing in Guayaquil tends to be less expensive than in Cuenca. The Malecon (an area along the Rio Guayas), offers diverse and interesting shopping opportunities along with historical significant sights.
15.VILCABAMBA VALLEY (2 Days 1 Night )

  • personal English speaking guide and comfortable transporation in a 4x4 Ford Explorer and mini vans for larger groups
  • accommodations - beautiful hosterias with pool and lounge, AC, WIFI, on-demand hot water
  • breakfast, lunch and dinner - as well as snacks 
  • tours around vilcabamba 
  • The trip down to the Valley Vilcabamba goes through some of the most beautiful regions of Ecuador. You will pass through a combination of lush mountainsides that many compare to Switzerland; and semi-arid valleys that some liken to Arizona. The highlights of the tour feature the colonial southern city of Loja known as the musical capital of Ecuador, and the village of Vilcabamba known for the longevity of its people. The weather in Vilcabamba is warmer than Cuenca. Many people travel to this town for its beautiful weather, the incredible scenery, and the opportunity to hike or horseback ride in the mountains.
16. Hacienda Bajo Las Estrellas (2 days 1 night)

If you want to escape the noise and hustle of the city, consider this tour to a mountain ranch near Ona. The ranch includes precious views of the mountains while relaxing at this nicely appointed farm / ranch. You can fish in one of the many trout ponds for your lunch or simply sit back and enjoy the clean mountain air.
17. DEVIL'S NOSE TRAIN TOUR (full day)
          personal English speaking guide and comfortable transporation in a 4x4 Ford Explorer and mini vans for larger groups
  • transportation from and to Devils nose train
  • entrance fee to train 
  • lunch and snacks 
  • tours around alausy.

The project of an Ecuadorian railway was started by President Gabriel García Moreno in 1861. The first section was opened between Durán and Milagro in 1873, and Bucay was reached by 1888. 
The push into the Andes was made under President Eloy Alfaro who planned to link Quito in the highlands to Guayaquil on the coast of Ecuador. For advice, Alfaro turned to Col. William Findlay Shunk, a well-known North American engineer who designed the New York El, and who had mapped a route of the InterContinental Railway (which was to connect North and South America) through Ecuador, Columbia, and Panama in 1892. The InterContinental Railway was never built. However, in 1897, Eloy Alfaro commissioned a contract with Archer Harman and a team of investors for the newly created New Jersey corporation, the Guayaquil and Quito Railway Company," or the G&Q, to rehabilitate and complete the railroad from Guayaquil to Quito. Archer Harman and his brother, Major John A. Harman (Col. Shunk's son-in-law) were from Staunton, Virginia. Together, Archer (G&Q financier) and John (G&Q Chief Engineer) helped Alfaro to realize his dream of connecting disparate parts of Ecuador, break the hold of the Catholic Church, and usher the 20th Century and modernity into Ecuador.
The G&Q Rwy line was built between 1897 and 1908, when the line reached Quito amidst celebration that lasted for days, and shortened the often lengthy trip from Quito to Guayaquil to two days.

The G&Q Rwy line evolved into the Southern Division (Division Sur) of Empresa de Ferrocarriles Ecuatorianos (EFE).