LiveTheLifeinEcuador | January 29, 2015
Peaceful and picturesque, with awe-inspiring views of the Ecuadorian Andes, a trip to Yunguilla Valley will prove to be just what you need especially if you’re looking for a little R&R for the weekend. Just a short drive away from Cuenca, Yunguilla Valley stretches all the way to the Ecuadorian coastline. Locals get plenty of sunshine and ideal weather all year round, perfect if you want to go out and explore the little villages and hidden natural wonders found throughout the valley. The region is a popular destination among Cuencanos, the more affluent among whom have built vacation homes and villas here.
The Village of Giron. Situated high up in the valley, at an approximate elevation of 7,000 feet, the small and charming village of Giron is a must-visit. Populated by warm and friendly people, expect to be greeted with constant barrages of “Hola!” and “Buenos Tardes!” as you walk within the village limits.
El Chorro de Giron. One of the local wonders, the El Chorro waterfalls is a thing of beauty. Cascading into three levels, the base of the falls is easily accessible, a 10-minute hike via a trail shaded by a lush canopy of trees and bedecked with bromeliads. The second and third levels take more time, however, and demand more from hikers. If you’re up to the challenge, be sure to don appropriate gear and bring energy bars; the hike to the very top of the falls can take more than a few hours. After all that strenuous activity, treat yourself to a nice glass of canelazo and some delicious local fare at the hostería that’s at the base.
Yunguilla Reserve. Located two hours outside of Cuenca, the Yunguilla Reserve was once an orchard dedicated to the preservation of the local population of the highly endangered Pale-headed Brush-finch. Thanks to the efforts of the Jocotoco Foundation, there are now more than a 100 breeding pairs in the area. Today, the Yunguilla Reserve is home to other bird species such as the Blackfish tapaculo and the Ecuadorian thrush.
Visit our Yunguilla Valley page to view available accommodations.