Cuenca was definitely worth a visit. There is a river that runs through the city and separates uptown from downtown. The hostel I stayed, La Casa Cuencana, was $8 a night and for a 4 bed dorm was very spacious and clean – even had a balcony. Well equipped kitchen and run by a friendly family.
The streets in uptown are all very well marked and easy to navigate with a map. My day out went as thus;
1st: The Museum of Modern Art-downright weird although the building was interesting. Lots of different rooms with connecting exhibitions, I probably would have ‘got’ it a bit more had I been able to read the signs but lots of the rooms looked like year 9 light experiments…lamps hanging at different levels and electricity models behind black out curtains and wailing music in the background. The stone carvings in the garden were cool though.
2nd: The Banc Museum, which showed the beginnings of each culture in different parts of Ecuador. Homes had been reimagined and you had to walk through them to get to the information which gave it a personal feel. No pictures allowed though.
3rd: A Museum which, from what I got via the fast speaking guide, was started as a base to educate people about Inca ruins and indigenous people. I believe it was started by a famous writer and the museum was his converted home with ruins in the back garden! And main road running next to them…
Last but definitely not least was the ethnographic museum which went through development over the ages based on the materials that were used by different cultures. Fascinating and had an accompanying book in English-muy bein. Definitely my favourite of all the museums visited. Had to pay, but had my student card – booya! So glad I bought this baby with me, getting discounts everywhere!
On my travels I also passed some amazing churches. The woodwork and general detail was amazing. There are so many churches in South America and everyone of them is beautiful.
So yes, I liked Cuenca. I felt safe everywhere and the atmosphere was chilled without feeling boring. However, I did feel as if I’d seen everything I needed to within a day. Onto Baños!