Ecuador 2010

 

After a tour of the city of Cuenca we travel toward Guayaquil through the Cajas National Park.

Cuenca - Cultural Capital of the Americas

Surrounded by mountains, traversed by four rivers, and home to beautiful 14th- and 15th- century architecture, Cuenca surprised nobody when it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. In the Old Town, you will find Parque Calderón and other colonial parks and plazas, neighborhoods that date back to the first days of the Spanish conquest of the area, and religious art museums showcasing some of Ecuador’s most impressive artwork. Also to be admired in this area are architecturally impressive buildings and churches such as the Old and New Cathedrals, Santo Domingo, San Sebastián, and San Blas, to name but a few. The city is also famous for hosting the International Art Fair. The most impressive of the city’s many museums are as follows: Banco Central, Casa de la Cultura, Conceptas Convent, Remigio Crespo Toral, Artes Populares de América, Arte Moderno, and Instituto Azuayo de Folclore. With so much cultural heritage to offer the tourist, it’s no surprise that Cuenca was chosen as the Cultural Capital of the Americas in 2002.

2,000 Buildings are consider to be architectural treasures…founded April 12th, 1557. We started out by visiting a beautiful museum. Inside this museum it was an open courtyard and the peacefulness of it made you want to whisper. We then walked down streets dripping in the most impressive architecture. We popped into a boutique hotel to take a peek at its garden and while there I took some photos of the rooms. Not too many rooms here so don’t know if a tour group would work and it just might! Look at the floral displays here…just imagine what you can do when it costs so little for flowers! Back out onto the street to wagons laden with fruit then on to the Panama Hat shop where of course hats and purses were bought…

We then had a yummy and local lunch of potato soup with egg and avocado along with fish done various ways in a typical Cuencan Restaurant on the way up the mountains before we start our journey up to the Cajas National Park where we will reach the highest point of our journey at 4000 meters (13’123 ft) above sea level. After we pass that point, the road winds down misty valleys until we reach the Pacific plain. It really is beautiful scenery along the way but this day it was cloudy and so we saw not very much at all. You can see what we drove into.

 

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