Its full name is Santa Ana De Los Cuatro Rios De Cuenca. Four rivers flow through it and end up in the Amazon River and the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. It’s high in the Andes Mountains of Ecuador. The world knows it simply as Cuenca. Thousands of Americans of retirement age call it home. And many travelers regardless of age know it as an absolutely fantastic place to visit. I came to Cuenca not expecting much. I had not done my research. This time I decided to let my next destination pleasantly surprise or disappoint me. I extended my stay in Cuenca. That should tell you something, especially since I am anxious to get to Peru. Cuenca and its nearby towns are a feast for the eye. Indigenous women dressed in traditional clothing are everywhere. The city, surrounded by mountains, gives a glimpse back to colonial and pre-Columbian times. There are Inca and Cañari ruins. Beautiful colonial churches. Plazas and parks. And the spectacular Cajas National Park, a place of incredible natural beauty. And of course, the people make a city. The people in Cuenca are welcoming to foreigners. You wouldn’t have thousands of Americans and ex-pats from other countries living here if that were not the case. All over the city’s colonial center English is heard. If you are seeking a destination other than the usual, visit Cuenca. You will be glad you did. I’m happy I did. Here are some images of Cuenca and the nearby towns of Gualaceo, Chordeleg and Sigsig, all places that are worth a visit on Sundays to witness the indigenous food and arts and crafts markets on full blast. The smells. The colors. The Bustle! The incredible bargains! Enjoy.
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