Kushiwaira Community Day – Explore Ecuador’s hidden gem

Enjoy the famous Pambamesa feast!
Enjoy the famous Pambamesa feast!
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  • Duration6-7 h (starts 9 am)
  • Starting point Your hotel in Cuenca (9AM)
  • Group size:1 - 7 pax
  • All yearMay be unavailable on holidays / special events
  • Bookings At least 3 days in advance
  • Price rangeUSD 55-245

The “Kushiwaira Community Day” tour offers an enriching full-day experience that takes you deep into the heart of the Kushiwaira community in Cuenca, Ecuador. Starting with a transfer from your hotel in Cuenca, the tour guides you through a variety of landscapes – from eroded terrains and crop fields to cement houses – until you arrive at a verdant oasis. Truly one of Ecuador’s hidden gems. This oasis is surrounded by alder trees, medicinal plants, peppers, corn, and an array of colorful flowers. Here, you’ll find yourself in one of the community’s few remaining mud-brick houses, where you’ll get to immerse yourself in the local way of life.

A highlight of this immersive experience is the Pambamesa, a traditional Ecuadorian communal meal deeply rooted in the community’s culture. The term “Pambamesa” is a combination of Kichwa and Spanish, where “pamba” means “earth” in Kichwa and “mesa” means “table” in Spanish. Symbolizing a connection to the Earth and the community, the meal is often spread out on a cloth or directly on the ground. The Pambamesa features a variety of local foods like potatoes, corn, cheese, fruits, and sometimes meat or fish, all beautifully laid out on large leaves or a colorful cloth. As everyone gathers around this earthy spread, it becomes more than just a meal; it’s a celebration of community bonds, a sharing of the land’s bounty, and an expression of gratitude for Earth’s provisions.

But the Pambamesa is not solely about the food. It’s a multifaceted cultural experience complete with music, dancing, and storytelling, offering a holistic way to engage with the community and its rich traditions.

More immersive experiences in and around Cuenca

For more insights into the local culture and other experiences, don’t forget to check out our Destination Guide to Cuenca. This guide will provide you with a comprehensive look at what this incredible city has to offer.

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What makes this experience Impactful?

The main objective of the tour is to support the Kushiwaira community in preserving their culture, traditions, and in implementing new community projects. By participating in this tour, you’re directly contributing to the well-being and sustainable development of the community.

The sustainable impact of the tour focuses on cultural exchange and supporting the local economy. By learning about the community’s customs and traditions, visitors become ambassadors for the local culture, helping to preserve it for future generations. Additionally, the tour includes a “Pambamesa,” a community meal that uses local ingredients, thus supporting local farmers and producers.


Price Includes

  • Private transportation(Pickup at 9AM)
  • English-speaking guide
  • Experience with the community
  • Pambamesa meal

Price Excludes

What to Bring

Frequently Asked Questions

About the Kushiwaira Community Day

Is this tour suitable for children?

Yes, the minimum age for this tour is 8 years old, making it a family-friendly experience.

Do the local families speak English?

No, they don’t. So your guide will be available as a translator; and of course it’s always nice to learn a few words of Spanish and Kichwa!

Is this a private excursion or will I share the experience with other travelers?

This is a private excursion.

What is altitude at Kushiwaira?

The community is situated at an approximate altitude of 2,800 meters (approximately 9,186 feet).

What kind of weather should we expect during this route?

Ecuador’s Andean region has temperature swings due to its altitude, with 15-25°C (59-77°F) in the day and 0-10°C (32-50°F) at night. Rainy season is from November-May with a brief dry period in December-January. Mornings are typically sunny even in the rainy season.

Find more info about climates in Ecuador in our blog “Best Time to Travel to Ecuador“. 

How can I see the prices for this tour for my amount of travellers?

If you want to see the price for your situation, please select an amount of travelers (number of adults, children, etc) on the right side of the website (or the top, on mobile). You will then see that total price for your party right above it. For some tours, the price will change according to the amount of people. 

What should I pack for this tour?

Please refer to our article What to Pack for your Trip to Ecuador for all your questions about packing for your Peru trip. Whether you’re going to the jungle or the mountains, you’ll find the answers you need. You can also download a full Packing List for free. 

General questions

For questions about booking a tour, prices, preparation for your trip, health and safety or other themes, please check our Frequently Asked Questions page. If you can’t find your question & answer, email us and we’ll add it!

Your Hosts
Responsible Travel Peru

The Kushiwaira Community

We are a vibrant collective rooted in the cultural tapestry of Cuenca, Ecuador. Comprising skilled artisans, farmers, and storytellers, we’ve created the “Kushiwaira Community Day” tour to share our rich traditions and foster global understanding.

Born and raised in the Cuenca region, we’re motivated by the desire to sustainably support our community and preserve our way of life for future generations. By joining our tour, you’re not just a visitor; you become an integral part of our community, aiding in the preservation of local agriculture and cultural heritage. We welcome you to be a part of this enriching, impactful experience.