Sangurima y Luis Cordero 11-89, Cuenca, Ecuador
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The view of Borrero Street from Room 112
Arabian Dance on Friday night
Travel Tips for Cuenca
Review Simon Bolivar Spanish School in Cuenca
UNFAVORITE THINGS ABOUT CUENCA. Simon Bolivar is the school that I first attended in Cuenca. I was unhappy with the teacher. Four hours of daily one-to-one lessons with an unprepared, bored, and uninspired teacher was truly painful. I did not look forward to the classes. Since the school does NOT rotate its teacher, I was going to ask for a different one after two weeks. When I asked the other students about their teachers, they didn’t have anything positive to say so I left the school and found a different one.
The school does NOT offer a conversational class or a language exchange with Ecuadorians students studying English (nor would they help me find one). This was a real disappointment for me. My primary purpose in attending was to work on my conversational skills so Simon Bolivar didn’t meet my needs or expectations.
In the past six years, I’ve attended five schools in five different countries. Simon Bolivar in Cuenca ranks in the bottom. I was truly surprised at the lack of skills the teachers had in the teaching of Spanish as a foreign language. Perhaps I attended at a “wrong” time or got assigned to a “bad” teacher, but I heard rumbling of discontent from other students about their teachers. It’s obvious that there is no quality control or emphasis on hiring and continue training of their teachers.
If you decide to attend Simon Bolivar, don’t pay for more than one-week in advance and be prepared to walk away if the school doesn’t meet your needs or expectations. There are other schools in Cuenca.
Minimum 20 hours per week (US$160 per week) plus US$20 registration fee.
Address: Luis Cordero 10-25 y Gran Colombia
A nice breakfast - Un bon petit-dej
It's not the cheapest one in town (from 1.85 USD to 2.50 USD), but I really liked the calm of the place, the really nice juice and coffee and the design !
Ce n'est pas le moins cher (de 1.85 a 2.5 USD), mais j'ai bien aime le calme qui y regne, le jus de fruit et le cafe, tout autant que le design !
The Museo del Banco Central actually on the grounds of an ex-Incan site, called Tomebamba. It is not as well-preserved as the nearby Ingapirca site, but apparently, Tomebamba was a more important site.
So, once you have finished your museum visit, you should head out to the Archaeological Park to check out the ruins of Tomebamba, some walls and crumbled structures.
Further on, you can even visit a park down at the bottom of the hilly ruins where they recreated agricultural produces and other flora of the Incan and pre-Incan days.
There was even a bird aviary with many parrots and some birds of prey. The most impressive bird there must be the King Vulture, with his purplish, pink face, the yellow ‘pony-tail’ running down the back of its neck and the orange rubbery stuff flopping around on top of its orange beak. What a combination of colours, just for the face alone!
San Alfonso church
San Alfonso church was built in 1875. Its style combines different architectural elements reflecting a Gothic influence. It features three beautiful wooden carved doors on its facade.
Inside there are oil paintings with religious themes, created in the 18th century.
It is on Simon Bolivar and Antonio Borrero
Most visitors to Cuenca will make the journey north to the Inca ruin of Ingapirca and as the most important and complete Inca site in Ecuador is certainly worth the two hour trip through the beautiful southern highlands. While mediocre compared to Inca sites in Peru it is especially worthwhile if you have previously visited, or planning to visit the Inca masterpieces in Peru as it shows the true extent and far reaching extremes of the Inca empire.
The complex at Ingapirca was built at the end of the 15th century but the site had already been occupied by the Canaris people before the Incas, under Inca Huayna Capac, assumed control of the area and built on the foundations of older buildings. The contrast between the original and Inca style architecture can still be seen at Ingapirca. While most of the buildings are in major disrepair, the most impressive Inca building, The Temple of the Sun, has large parts still intact. Around the temple are the foundations of a variety of other buildings and dwellings...one of which has been completely restored.
Various trails lead into the surrounding countryside taking you to other smaller sites including the Inca Face ‘Cara del Inca’ and the Ecuadorian Inca Trail which follows the path of the original Inca highway linking Quito with Cusco via Ingapirca.
A hefty entrance fee of $6 dollars is paid at a booth at the entrance to the complex.
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