How to Arrive

  • We organise private transportation from anywhere in the Cuenca area. The drive to the SANTUARIO HIBISCUS takes about 1 1/2 hours and the cost is $30 -$35/car. You can also take advantage and plan to visit the El Chorro waterfalls in Girón on your way to the Santuario Hibiscus. The falls are about halfway and are well worth a visit. The price is $25/person (for two people, additional travelers pay $5).
  • There is an Avis office at the airport should you wish to rent a car. It is recommended to make arrangements before you travel – the rates are usually more affordable.
  • It is rather straight forward to find your way out of town and into the Yunguilla Valley. You take the Panamericana sur following the signs to Machala, Pasaje and Loja. About 20 km out of town you come to a big roundabout – the Panamericana sur will branch off to your left and go to Loja. You stay on the road, go through the roundabout and continue into the Valley. Shortly after passing Portete you will start your descent into the valley. About 46km (28.6miles) later and 1000m (3000 feet) lower you will pass a gas station on your left and shortly thereafter enter the little town of La Unión. Right after you pass the sign – BEFORE – the second gasstation and with a red building to your right, you turn into a small road to your right.
    You will see the restaurant “Puerto Bolivar” on your right with painted walls. Keep going for about 0.8km (0.5miles). There is a road uphill to your right just before a row of houses. There is a sign that reads “Escuela Mixta Cesar Torres” and a Santuario Hibiscus sign on the post to your left (somewhat hidden by branches). Go up that dirt road for 1.3km (.8miles) staying on the main road. You’ll see a big white sign with a faded red Hibiscus flower on your left. The big gate is usually closed – please call 0994951067 or hunk your horn.

  • There is 3 bus lines that leave from Terminal Terrestre (main bus station, about 2 minutes from the airport) – Pullman Sucre and Azuay. They are marked Machala/Pasaje. The trip to La Unión costs $1.75 and takes at this point about 2 hours. Ask the bus driver to let you off in La Unión “los caballos” (horse statues made out of cement). There is usually a number of white camionetas parked there. These are the cabs in this area. Ask them to bring you to the Santuario Hibiscus. Cost of the ride is $2
  • The Santa Isabel bus also leaves from Terminal Terrestre. Their service starts at 5am. Buses leave every 20 minutes until 7:30pm. The ticket is purchased in the bus. Ask the bus driver to let you off in La Unión “los caballos” . There is usually a number of white camionetas (trucks) parked there. These are the cabs in this area. Ask them to bring you to the Santuario Hibiscus.