Cuenca – jewel of the south.

“Comparing the colonial beauty of Cuenca and Quito is a favorite pastime around here. In grandeur, Quito wins hands down. But Cuenca – that tidy jewel of the south – takes the cake when it comes to charm. Its narrow cobblestone streets and whitewashed red-tiled buildings, its handsome plazas and domed churches, and its setting above the grassy banks of the Río Tomebamba, all create a city that’s supremely impressive. Though firmly anchored in its colonial past, Ecuador’s third-largest city (elevation 2530m) also has a modern edge, with international restaurants, art galleries, cool cafes and welcoming bars tucked into its magnificent architecture.” Excerpt From: Lonely Planet – South America.

Having travelled through Peru at quite a rapid rate of knots it was time to stop and catch breath – Cuenca proved to be the perfect place. I managed to find an excellent B&B (Cuenca Rooms) owned by an Ecuadorian couple who spoke excellent English. I also met and socialised with a wide range of interesting travellers, and locals, that made my stay in this delightful city such a joy.

As well as R&R I also took in an amazing 5-hour hike in Parque Nacional Caja. The scenery was stunning and the weather, which apparently changes rapidly, was fantastic.

Next stage: Cuenca to Baños via Riobamba.

About Richard Griffith

My first independent travel experience was a trip to Israel, in 1997, it was here that I caught the 'travel' bug! In 2001 I took an 8-month sabbatical and traveled around South East Asia. Since then I have managed to visit most of Eastern Europe along with India, Bangladesh, and a few other destinations in between. I love travel and I love meeting new people.
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