Posted by: pennyinparadise | August 30, 2008

Cuenca Countryside

As you drive away from Cuenca, the scenery changes completely. The pastoral countryside is just beautiful, with rolling hills and lots of rivers and lakes. In the last Ice Age, Ecuador was covered by glaciers, so there are underground reserves of fresh water and many, many lakes which are now filled with delicious trout, which actually tastes and is the color of salmon.

The rugged Caja foothills of the Andes flank southern Cuenca.   Lakes and rivers dot the area.

Volcan Fansaynan

Volcan Fansaynan

Ecuador contains 4 distinctly different climate/ecological areas;  the rugged Andes spine, the Highlands where Cuenca is,  the Oriente (Amazon basin) and the Coast.   As you travel south from Cueca, the land begins to drop down to the mighty Amazon on its way to the Pacific.

Viewing the Amazon from the Andes

Viewing the Amazon from the Andes

Dropping down from a 12,000 foot elevation, you finally see the mighty Amazon at sea level.

The Alpacas of Ecuador give up their hair to provide humans with lightweight and warm shawls, sweaters, hats and many other Ecuadorian made goods.

Ear tags keep track of the animals

Ear tags keep track of the animals

The government protects these animals from poaching

The government protects these animals from poaching

Mother and Baby enjoy a peaceful life

Mother and Baby enjoy a peaceful life

Many beautiful Haciendas have been converted into resorts and restaurants.   This one is in Gualaceo, about an hour drive from Cuenca.

Lobby Area

Lobby Area

Lounge in Lobby

Lounge in Lobby

Pool Area

Pool Area

Patio for Lunch

Patio for Lunch

Boquete friends Cheryl and Richard Johnson came to spend a month….here we are in Gualaceo at the  market.

Cheryl, Richard & Penny at Gualaceo market

Cheryl, Richard & Penny at Gualaceo market


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