Around Cuenca

Cuenca is surrounded by scenic countryside, where you are likely to see the 'chola cuencana' - women dressed in traditional costume, with colourful pleated skirt, lace blouse and Panama hat. To the north live the Cañari people, who wear bright attire and small white felt hats. They are the custodians of Ingapirca, Ecuador's most important archaeological site. Beyond, approaching the province of Chimborazo, the countryside is poor, dry, chilly and windswept, and the natives withdrawn and wrapped-up.

There is much to explore in the area around Cuenca. Beautiful Parque Nacional Cajas, with over 200 lakes, is a short ride from the city. Here, and in several other locations, are very good opportunities for trekking. There are also craft towns producing weavings, jewellery, basketry and Panama hats.

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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