The Ecuador Chronicles - 2009-22
Road Trip VI - Cuenca;
Back Up the Andes;
Cuenca Vs. Quito - Why Argue
Thus far on our journey our daily trips had been rather leisurely; we may have taken all day to drive, but we took our time and checked things out along the way. We now decided to drive straight through, Puerto Lopez to Cuenca - down across the Western Lowlands, through Guayaquil and up the Andes. This looked reasonable on the map and we did make it - But it took over 9 hours of mad dash driving; I do not recommend traveling this way in Ecuador. It is not much fun and there is no time to deal with any problems / delays. We arrived a little after dark - I also do not recommend driving at night in Ecuador. But Cuenca is a worthy destination. Here are a few pictures of Cuenca.
Parque Calderon - Center of Cuenca
Parque Calderon - A Closer Look
Unesco World Cultural Heritage Site
International Living Retirement Haven of the Year
In 1999 Cuenca was named a Unesco World Cultural Heritage Site. More recently Ecuador was named by International Living as Retirement Haven of the 2009, with Cuenca as the number one retirement location within Ecuador. These are well deserved accolades. It is a beautiful city - narrow cobblestone streets, plazas, domed churches, and as you will find throughout Ecuador - friendly people. More views of Cuenca.
Cuenca Street Scenes
Amongst Ecuadorians and the Expat Community there is a (friendly) debate - Which is better - Cuenca or Quito. So, how do they compare? Cuenca is compact - everything revolves around the central colonial area. Quito has the dichotomy of Old Town / New Town - really two centers, each completely different. Cuenca is relatively flat, with a drop off to pleasant Rio Tomebamba. Quito is quite hilly, with Mount Pichincha always dramatically in the background. Cuenca is a relatively small, quiet provincial capital; Quito is large Latin American capital city full of bustle - along with large dose national and international politics.
Really - why have the debate (other than it is great fun)? These are two completely different places - people can simply decide which suits them better. While I personally have an affinity for Quito (for us an exciting place to be), it is easy to see why many people would prefer the beauty and simplicity of Cuenca - what an impressive city it is.
Cathedral on Parque Calderon
The Famous Cuenca Blue Domes
The Cafe Eucalyptus - Cuenca Gathering Place for Expats and Locals
Art in Cafe Eucalyptus
Is this Artist Trying to Tell us Something - Is there Some Hidden Meaning?
Cuenca was a great end to our Road Trip - We hope to do more traveling in Ecuador soon.
End of the Road - On the Way Back to Quito
The Ecuador Chronicles is taking a Holiday Break; We have had numerous requests for more photos of the Road Trip, so we will publish some "Encore Photos" over the next couple of weeks that did not make it into the Road Trip digest.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all - We will be back in the New Year.
Would you like to come Ecuador and be a Matador in Cuenca -
Find out how at Live Well Ecuador: