Calendar Home
Previous Day

May 31, 2003

Next Day
Our last stop in Ecuador is Cuenca, which was founded by the Spanish in 1557 and is now Ecuador's third largest city (after Guayaquil and Quito). Churches and homes extant from the 16th and 17th centuries cluster around cobblestoned streets in the city's center square. We're 11 hours south of Quito by bus - even the small countries of South America take a long time to traverse overland, mainly because the highways meander over variable landscape, from tropical lowlands to the Andes. In only 200 kilometers as the toucan flies, a traveler ascends from the coast to snowcaps over 6 kilometers high (and on the other side of the Andes the trail falls into the sweltering Amazonian jungle).
Cuenca's central square as seen from our hotel balcony.