My trip to Cuenca was a direct result of the tsunami in Japan, perhaps
the only good thing to come from that disaster. I had to flee to the
highlands of the Galapagos Islands during the tsunami. That's when
I met Carlos, who does community development in Cuenca, and a mural
project was born. (For the complete story, read my adventures in Mural
who has visited Cuenca and traveled Ecuador knows that it is the most
beautiful city in Ecuador. It's famous for it's parks, cobblestone
streets, and balconies. With its abundance of historic buildings,
the center of the old town is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
a good bet that if you buy any souvenirs in Cuenca, you're going to
walk away with a Panama hat. Of course, you might have thought Panama
hats were from Panama. You would be wrong. They became famous during
the construction of the Panama Canal, but they are made in Ecuador.
The good ones don't come cheap. The starters at the quality hat shops
begin at $48. The most expensive ones were over $600. I wasn't brave
enough to even touch the expensive ones.