Cuenca

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Cuenca, Ecuador


 Cuenca, located in Southern Ecuador, is the capital of Azuay Province, and is Ecuador's third largest city.

The elevation is about 8,200 feet, and has a population of around 450,000. The weather is generally mild and comfortable year round.

The best way to get around central Cuenca is probably on foot. If you do wish to take a cab, they are easy to find. Be sure to negotiate the fare with the driver before you get in. City buses are also easy to figure out. Most bus stops are marked. The cost is $0.25 per ride. Exact change is required.

Lodging options include many clean, friendly hostels for about $6 per night, economy hotels from $20-$40 per night, and the luxurious Mansion Alcazar which costs about $120 per night.

A few places to visit: The New Cathedral (c 1885). A large, domed church in the main plaza of town. El Sagrario (the "old cathedral"). Construction began in 1557. It's no longer in use as a church, and is now a museum.

You may also want to take the sightseeing Bus. $5 for 2 hour tour of Cuenca and a visit to the Mirador de Turi (Turi viewpoint). Leaves from Parque Calderón. For one price, you can get off the bus anywhere you like and get on the next bus that comes.

About an hour away is Cajas National Park. Beautiful lagoons, and good fishing. Sig Sig and Chordeleg are towns also about an hour outside of Cuenca. The landscape during the bus ride is quite scenic. Chordeleg is known for its silver and gold, ans Sig Sig is known for a co-op of women who weave 'sombrero de paja toquilla' aka 'Panama Hats' or 'Montecristi'.

Cuenca is considered by many the "The World's Best Retirement Haven". Rich culture, low cost, low crime rate, and year round spring-like weather put it at the top. The city has also been awarded UNESCO's distinction as a World Heritage Trust site. Cuenca attracts more foreign residents than any other city in Ecuador.


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Living in Cuenca
Cuenca, Day and Night
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