Hotel Casa del Aguila
Mariscal Sucre 13 - 56, between Juan Montalvo and Esteves de Toral, Cuenca, EC010111, Ecuador
More about Cuenca
The Front Entrance
CEDEI Spanish Language School Cuenca (left center)
My guide, Javie, near lake Toreadora
Travel Tips for Cuenca
Cajas National Park
On the Road in between Cuenca and Guayaquil, just outside the city limits of Cuenca, is the Cajas National Park.
This park is known for its lakes - hundreds of them - and its harsh terrain.
There are several hiking trails throughout the park, and it is possible to camp in the park. A two day trip is all that is required to go all the way across - just be sure to bring your maps!!!
There are many tour operators in Cuenca that will suit you up with gear, drop you off at the drop off location, guide you, and pick ypu up at the pick up location.
Just be prepared for the cold nights!!!
one drink not to be missed
South America is noted for their fruit shakes and Ecuador is no exception but sometimes you come across something that is really special, even within the common genre of a beverage. El Jogur was just that. It looked innocuous enough but there was a steady stream of patrons and we were in the mood for something sweet so we decided to give it a try. It is a stand and nothing more. You can either drink it there standing or walk away as there are no seats. You order, pay and move on quickly. They only have two things which don’t sound like they would go together but go together they do. The fruit shakes are yogurt based which is not unusual in itself but the yogurt is quite natural and not sweetened which makes for a very refreshing tart drink. They had four different fruits when were there. We loved the blackberry so much we didn’t want to try the bitter orange but we were glad we did as this was perhaps even better. We even tried one with the two mixed together! They were not big and perhaps pricey as Ecuadorian shakes go size-wise. I believe they were seventy cents. They had nice yucca breads (pan de yucca) which are slightly sweet and went well with the shakes. We went back every time we were remotely near the stand. I think they got a big kick out of us and they probably wondered what happened to us when we never showed up again. I’m sure if we ever get back to Cuenca, it’ll be the first place we go looking for!
Plaza and Church of San Sebastián
This might be the most pleasant spot in Cuenca: a tranquil plaza with little activity and little traffic. I noticed an attractive looking hotel nearby, the Posada del Angel.
The San Sebastián church is not the most spectacular, but its proportions are perfect, and it catches the afternoon light most effectively.
On the same Plaza, you will also find the Modern Art Museum, which I almost skipped, and would have been an utter fool to.
Pumapungo is actually part of the Museo del Banco Central and is included with your $3 entry ticket to the museum (although the entire Museum was free the day we went!). Pumapungo refers to the archaeological Inca ruins which were uncovered on this grassy hill on the banks of the Rio Tomebamba. The terraced walls and Temple foundations are Cuenca’s largest collection of Inca ruins in Cuenca and the most important of Ecuador’s Inca ruins south of Ingapirca. In fact, while the Ingapirca ruins are today more impressive, the Pumapungo complex is believed to have been the main Inca stronghold and administrative centre in southern Ecuador. Your imagination is definitely required to see what would have once stood on the site but one of the Inca buildings has been restored complete with thatched roof and the remains and foundations of temples, store houses and dwellings are scattered across the hill top. Artefacts found during excavations of the site can be viewed in the Museum.
Pumapungo means ‘Door of the Puma’ in the Quechua language and was founded by the Inca Tupac Yupanqui after he defeated the original Canaris people of the area. Pumapungo was said to have been the home of his son, Huayna-Capac, and developed into a hugely important Inca centre before the arrival of the Spanish and the defeat of the Inca’s. The pumapungo complex was then largely dissembled and its stones used in the construction of churches and Spanish colonial mansions in the centre of Cuenca.
You can see 500 different kinds of animals! There are serpents, frogs, toads, fish, turtles, iguanas, crocodiles, lizards, amphibians and more. The building is an old typical house. Inside it is a little dark and packed up, and the animals are kept in aquariums or glass tanks but it's quite interesting. There are young volunteers who can guide you around in Spanish.
I have heard “amaru” means “snake” in Quichua, or maybe the name refers to Amaru, the last Inca leader in Vilcabamba. Whatever...
Mon to Fri 9.00-13.00 and 15.00 to 18.00
Sat and Sun 10.00-17.00
Entrance: Children and third aged: 1,50$US / Students: 2$US / Adults: 2,50$US
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