The Highlands Near Cuenca Ecuador







If you have time, consider driving outside of Cuenca to visit the Highlands and its small towns and artisan workshops. I enjoyed:

La Casa de la Makana: This is the store/weaving workshop of Jose Jimenez. It is located in the outskirts of the city of Gualaceo. They have some very quality textiles including ikat designs that can be used as shawls or table runners. It is fun to watch the people work.

The town of Gualaceo has a lovely town square and bustling market where the indigenous women, wearing small Panama hats, sell vegetables, fruits, roasted pork and other local specialties. I enjoyed lunch at the new boutique hotel, Santa Barbara Hosteria, with great views of the surrounding mountains. It is at Av. Loja y Av. Sucre in Gualaceo.

Chordeleg: A nice small town, I enjoyed the showroom and work of Fernando Loja at Tradicion Ceramica en Minaturas. He does wonderful small miniature pottery featuring local people, nativity scenes and scenes from everyday life. Av. 15 de April.

Downtown Chordeleg is famous for its many jewelry stores that outline the town square. I loved the cemetery below the main church that is painted two shades of purple.