Located in Ecuador’s southern highlands, the charming colonial city of Cuenca boasts narrow cobblestone streets, whitewashed red-tiled buildings, handsome plazas and impressive domed churches in a beautiful setting overlooking the Tomebamba River.  With a population of just under 500,000 Cuenca is Ecuador’s third largest city and a lovely place to explore.  We’ve found the cities and towns in Ecuador to be very clean, especially when compared to other Latin American countries, and Cuenca is no exception.  In fact, Cuenca’s spotless 9 de Octobre food market is the perfect place to pick up some fresh fruits and vegetables, or head up-stairs where freshly prepared fruit shakes accompany heaping portions of chancho and potatoes for just $2.


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