Ecuador, Day 7 - Cuenca, Day 2 · Jan 19, 05:52 PM

Thank God we came to Cuenca. The altitude – 7500 feet, I think I remember – is hugely better for Mom, and probably for me as well. The city is built on a more manageable scale than Quito, and also is just a lot prettier. Better architecture, heaps more historical buildings, better maintained buildings, and more green space. Plus our tummies are doing so much better… it really improves one´s mood not to be ill.

The highlights so far:

  • The Modern Art Museum. It´s practically just around the corner from our hotel, in an 1870´s Temperance House, which also went through incarnations as a men´s prison, a home for the indigent and elderly, and a sort of municipal social services center. It was converted in the 1980s into a museum, and it´s just lovely. Not one, not two, but three intererior courtyards with gardens and out the back a view of the mountains to the south. Really, really neat.
  • The park along the Rio Tomebamba, which is the south boundary of city center. It´s just a narrow strip of green, but it has a path that extends for at least a few km, and from the path one can look up at the historic buildings that were built on the bluff. Many of them are 2 stories high on their north sides and on their south sides are actually 5 or 6 stories tall!
  • The incredible number of historic buildings, and the fact that they´ve been maintained quite well. It makes walking a challenge, because what one needs to do is watch one´s step, when one would prefer to be looking at the architecture! (Even our hotel, Posada del Angel, which was renovated by the Argentinian couple that owns and runs it, is lovely and historic.)
  • A visit to the aguas termales in Baños (not the big Baños but a smaller one just 15 or so minutes away by taxi). I soaked and soaked until my muscles relaxed and my face got burnt. Ahhh…


  1. Glad to hear that the second half of your vacation is going better. Don’t forget to try some of those Cuenca specialties we read about!

    K + k


    — Christian · Jan 19, 07:37 PM · #