Oh, yes, we will! Cuenca was old but not creaky; bursting with energy and things to do; a great combination of urban and green space. How could we not be charmed? For us, every day brought new things to see as we explored this colorful UNESCO World Heritage Site.
During weekend days, the horses ring around the center of Calderon Park waiting for little children to saddle up and have their photos taken. By night they are rolled in to their “stable”.
Ecuador is where the true toquilla straw (Panama) hats are handmade. We watched a lady sitting in the sun on a little stool, who had just started the weaving process. As we watched, she motioned for Beth to sit next to her and give it a try. (Beth hopes the craftswoman took out the few stiches that she (Beth) made so the hat has no imperfections!)
We saw pieces that looked like contemporary art at the Museo de las Culturas Aborigenes but were many centuries older. From the street, the museum looked unassuming; inside was a large collection of archaeological pieces spanning thousands of years, most of it from pre-Incan peoples.
Several times a week we’d walk down to the Pumapungo Archaeological Park and stroll through the gardens (to see flowers, like the blooming cactus), birds, and trees.
The Belgian waffle-maker, Jan, is there at Pumapungo on Thursdays through Sundays, and we always stopped by to chat and have a $1.50 waffle.
Parque Calderon is the center square and heart of the city. Across from the park are the old cathedral (now a museum), the new cathedral, and the best ice cream place in town, Tutto Freddo. We always enjoyed hearing birds in the square – and were even happier to spot them. This one is a great thrush.
We often see musicians performing near the square, but one evening we were entertained by these little marionettes.
We’ll miss Cuenca. Our two-month’s stay was not long enough!
Beth and Joe enjoy simple travel.
Loved it 🙂 cool post!
I’ve heard so many great things about Ecuador. So is Cuenca your favorite place there? 🙂
We enjoyed Galápagos, Guayaquil, Cuenca, Quito, Otavalo, the the Mindo area, and, yes, Cuenca is our favorite.
Yet another great destination on your travels, we look forward to reading about the next.
BTW we are a little closer to South America at present, sitting in Rorotonga in the Cook Islands, I think I can see you on the horizon😉
We will look forward to your account of your Cook Islands adventure. We’re waving back at you from the heights of the Andes.
Fun times. Are you traveling by bus to Quito?
Flew to Quito, but, because our flight from Cuenca to Quito was cancelled, we took bus to Guayaquil and flew from there to Quito. Long travel day.
Yikes. That does sound a bit like South American travel – always an adventure?
I have been following your adventures with great interest as I’m heading to Ecuador myself soon! Looking forward to your updates from Quito, Otavalo and beyond =)
Ecuador has exceeded our expectations. We think you’ll receive friendly hospitality and warm welcomes, as we have. Also, you’ll see beautiful country and interesting sites.
So where to next?
Quito, Otavalo, and then bird watching in the Mindo area. So, we continue our exploration of Ecuador.
Thoroughly enjoyed your Cuenca reports and thoughts – thank you!
You are welcome. Thank you for coming along with us. As you can tell, we enjoyed Cuenca.