"Like Quito but with more charm"

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June 6th 2009
Published: June 7th 2009
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So states the Lonely Planet guidebook. Cuenca is one of those places that does not seem to be overloaded with tourist sites (which is a generous way of saying it is kind of boring) but is a great place to stopover if you happen to be going north to Quito. It is quiet, safe, has it's fair share of expat hangouts and is not short of travelers, but does not feel that touristy. I came away with the impression that I was witnessing the locals going about their business and enjoying life along with Ecuadorians. We stayed at the Hostel Macondo, which was a little higher than I was aiming for ($11.50 a night pp) but was very nice, decent breakfast and right in the center without being on a main road.

Cuenca is a city that one just experiences, from getting frozen yogurt to strolling along the river to enjoying the plazas and squares, cobble stone streets and markets, there is no place to really be going, you just enjoy going around. I needed a stopover after the northward busing, and this was a very pleasant place to end up. We chose it by looking at a map and thinking "hey, that looks like it is in the right spot between the border and Quito." Turns out, it is a recommended destination. Not a whole lot to blog about here, hence the posting without e-mail notification. It was a nice place to spend two nights, rest up, and stroll around.

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