I took a day trip to Ecuagenera – Qualaceo, Ecuador today from Cuenca. What an incredible place. Ecuagenera in Qualaceo, Ecuador has the largest collection of orchid species and orchid hybrids in the world.
When I got off the bus from Cuenca I walked into the gift shop which has orchids for sale and several books also.
There was a tour bus parked just outside with about a dozen ladies who were on their way out. When they left it was just me visiting and I told them I wanted to take the tour. I paid the guy behind the counter the $5 fee and he asked me if I wanted an English or Spanish speaking tour guide. I chose English and he said, “follow me”. We went out the front door and took a path to some offices behind the gift shop and down a hill.
A Hispanic lady came out, we introduced ourselves and shook hands and she said she’d be giving me the tour. A few seconds later another lady showed up and introduced herself also, her name is Camille. The Hispanic lady bowed out and it was just myself and Camille and Camille gave me the tour.
Camille is from France, about mid twenties, and is going back to France in a couple of weeks. She’s been here for about six months.
The tour lasted about an hour and I learned alot about orchids as well as Ecuagenera’s operation. The whole place is incredible with it’s orchids, greenhouses, gardens, walkways etc. You can take photos if you want but I chose not to.
When the tour ended I told Camille that I’d like to buy a small orichid to take back with me to Cuenca in my backpack. I asked her if it would survive the trip and she assured me it would and they’d wrap it up for me. It was $17 but they didn’t have change for a $20 so they let me have it for $15.
It’s about 18″ tall. It’s a “Miltoniopsis Herralexandra x Miltoniopsis Mary Suglyama”. Here it is.
Click here for Ecuagenera’s website.
There’s a free Kindle ebook on Amazon called Orchids if you’re interested. I got it but haven’t looked at it yet. I think it’s for beginners (me) from reading a few reviews.
Cuenca to Ecuagenera – Qualaceo, Ecuador by bus
This is a great day trip by bus from Cuenca. You board the bus at the main terminal by the airport. You don’t need a ticket and pay as you get off the bus. Sit on the left side of the bus and look for the billboard and building which will be on the left side of the road. I think the bus ride is about 45 minutes each way.
I think the fare is a dollar or $.50. I paid the driver $1 when I got there and when I came back to Cuenca it was just $.50. lol
Getting back to Cuenca. As you exit the gift shop go about 100 meters down the road to your left and flag down the bus when it comes by, it’s a green bus.