Saturday, April 21, 2018

Inca Ruins - Cuenca, Ecuador

Finally, a day to play tourist and what a great day it has been.  I set the alarm for 6 a.m.  Got up, showered and off I went on a hike up to the lookout, Mirador de Turi.  It overlooks the city and has incredible views.

Cuenca´s original name is Santa Ana de los Ríos de Cuenca.   Four rivers pass through the city.  

I had checked the route on Google Maps so I knew where I was going.  It was six kilometers round trip.  The only thing that made it a hard start is that most hotels in Ecuador don't have coffee makers in the rooms like in Mexico.  I have been going without coffee until breakfast although I could order room service then you have to get dressed and make the room look halfway decent.

Off I went watching Cuencanos going to work, opening shops, riding bikes and running.  Cuenca, like Quito, has wonderful bike riding lanes, bidirectional and blocked off with a curb so cars can't enter.  Lots of bike riders.  I crossed the bridge where the river flows in the picture above.   As I've said before, this is the cleanest Latin American country I have ever seen.  I bet I could fill a small plastic bag with trash on the street is a day's walking.

These women are called Cholacuencas.

One of the many bike lanes.

I could see the mirador in the distance and continued walking down the street.  Then came the climb.  

It's not easy when the city is at 2580 meters or 8500 ft.  Even the locals are huffing and puffing but I was surprised to find myself passing many people much younger than myself.  I wasn't in a hurry but didn't feel the need to stop.  Even my coworkers who live here are always stopping to catch their breath.  I guess they don't exercise.

Made it to the top.   Now I was stopping to catch my breath.  That was a climb.   This was halfway up.

And this is from the top!

Looks like a really big city but as I said the other day, it is only 500,000 but it is crowded together.  As always, there is a church at the top.

Imagine living in this luxury cabin at the top of the mountain!  

Made my way back to the hotel and had breakfast.  Great breakfast buffet included in the price.  I showered again, and off I went to the Incan ruins that are here in between the rivers.  That's for tomorrow's blog post.   After, I came back to the hotel, walking, and took a nap.  The centro area is much further and it was raining, so I took a taxi.  

The photo below is my mission for tomorrow when I return in the morning to Quito.  This was taken two days after the earthquake of 1870.  I saw an exhibition at the museum I visited also.  I guess I really packed it in.  Anyway, the mission is to find the location and take a picture of the street today.

Ecuador suffered a major earthquake two years ago last Thursday.   

I could easily live here.  Looks like we need to find a house sitting job!


  1. Nice... on our list of places to visit!

  2. Thanks for posting about your trip. Very interesting. (BTW, you to Kevin/Ruth! Read yours everyday too)

  3. Great hike and views. Well you know you are in excellent shape and you work for that. Keep it up. Should you decide to move there we will visit.

  4. Beautiful and very interesting! Thanks for sharing. The altitude rules it out for me, though if it didn't I certainly want to go.