Cuenca Ecuador Flower Market: Videos and Photos

The Cuenca Ecuador Flower Market is ranked in the Top 10 Most Beautiful Outdoor Flower Markets by National Geographic. It’s absolutely stunning, which is why we film and photograph it so often. Amelia loves having fresh flowers in the house, and the Flower Market is the best and most affordable place to find them.

A Birthday in the Life in Cuenca Ecuador (Episode 125)

Amelia’s birthday in the life was one of our best days yet in Cuenca Ecuador! We’ve been living here for nearly 2 years, and we’ve made some amazing friends along the way. We hope you enjoy the sights and sounds of this incredible city.

Tutto Matto Feria

We started our day at the Tutto Matto Feria that’s a short walk from our house. They host the artisanal popup market once a month here in Cuenca. We’ve featured it in another video, as well as the Bumba and Sabatino’s ferias.

Franco Organics

Franco Organics

We’ve featured Franco Organics several times because we love his products so much. Franco has two farms near Vilcabamba and he invited us to go tour one of them next time we visit. Franco doesn’t have a website or Facebook page so we can’t link to him. He told us he’s a farmer and doesn’t have time for that stuff. However, you can find his products at Semilla in El Centro, as well as the artisanal Saturday popup markets.

Franco and Marla sang happy birthday to Amelia. Marla was one of our very first YouTube subscribers and our very first patron on Patreon! She recently moved from Taiwan to Cuenca and is loving life here.

Franco and Amelia

Amelia and Marla

ArteSana Panadería

We’ve featured Kelbert from ArteSana Panadería several times before, too. That’s because we LOVE his wife’s vegan bread! Yum!

ArteSana doesn’t have a physical location, but you can order online and have it delivered. They also sell bread in Tienda Nectar and at Sunrise Café on Calle Larga at 10am most weekdays.

ArteSana Kelbert

Cuenca Flower Market

After I dropped Amelia off at her belly dancing class, I walked down to the Cuenca Flower Market to get some flowers for her birthday. She LOVES lilies so when I saw that big bouquet of them, I knew immediately that was the one.

Cuenca Flower Market Lilies

Cuenca Flower Market

Zatua Miski

After I left the Cuenca Flower Market, I walked over to Zatua Miski to get some chocolate treats for Amelia. Nothing makes Amelia smile more than chocolate! Especially Paula’s truffles! I also got some cake and galletas (cookies).

Zatua Miski Vegan Truffles

Zatua Miski Chocolates

Namaste India

On my way back home, I stopped by Namaste India to say hola to Chinnu and Abin. They got the whole Namaste crew together to sing happy birthday for Amelia.

Namaste Crew

We had planned to go to Noe Sushi Bar for Amelia’s dinner. They have an amazing selection of vegan sushi, but it’s one of the more expensive places in Cuenca so we reserve it for special occasions.

However, Chinnu told me she wanted to make us a special Indian dinner for Amelia’s birthday and that was impossible to refuse. Chinnu is an incredible cook and one of our best friends so spending Amelia’s birthday with her, Abin and the rest of the Namaste crew was the perfect way to celebrate the best day of the year.

They bought Amelia a vegan cake and a GIANT flower arrangement! I especially liked the princess hat and Chinnu’s home cooking! The lighting was really bad so I didn’t get good video or pictures ?

Namaste Amelia Candles

Amelia Abin Chinnu Flowers

Namaste Chinnu Amelia

Jimmy and Sharon

We’ve mentioned Jimmy and Sharon in multiple videos, but they’re a little camera shy so we haven’t featured them in any, until now! They’re two of the nicest people you can imagine, and we’re so happy to call them our friends.


Like Marla, they’re also among our first YouTube subscribers and patrons on Patreon. They moved here sightunseen on January 1st, 2019 after watching our videos. They needed to make a change from their life back in the states, and they’re loving their new life in Cuenca, or “paradise” as Jimmy calls it. You can meet them in person if you attend our monthly social gatherings, which we share in our Facebook Group.

Hopefully you enjoyed our video, and if you did, please LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE it, and SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel. ¡Muchas Gracias y Hasta Luego!

Cuenca Ecuador Expat Pros and Cons – Part 2 (Episode 80)

Here is our Cuenca Ecuador Expat Pros and Cons list after living here over a year. This is our second top 10 list of things we love about Cuenca and a few things we don’t love so much. You can view our first top 10 list in Part 1 here: Top 10 Things We LOVE About Cuenca Ecuador + Top 5 Things We Don’t Love (Episode 71)

If you’re looking for more information about moving to Cuenca or somewhere else in Ecuador, check out our Ecuador Expat Info page with several videos and detailed blog posts.

Cuenca Ecuador Expat Pros and Cons – Part 2

#10 Very Few Bugs

Cuenca is over 8,000 feet in altitude so we don’t have a lot of bugs here. We’ve only seen a couple mosquitos in the 16 months we’ve lived in Cuenca. We do have a few flies and fruit flies, but nothing like the lower altitudes.

While spiders aren’t bugs, we do have some of those, including a tarantula that crawled in under our kitchen door. I shooed him out of the kitchen with a broom and he never came back.

#9 Low Crime Rate

Cuenca, and Ecuador in general, has a very low crime rate. Guns and ammunition are difficult to find so there aren’t a lot of violent crimes. Most crime is petty theft, especially pickpockets. However, over the past few years, the city has installed cameras in popular pickpocket spots, which has cut down on crime in those area.

There is also a strong police presence on the streets and trails around Cuenca. And they’re very friendly. We feel completely comfortable asking them for directions and they often help people cross the street safely.

Cuenca Low Crime

Ecuador’s prisons are also under occupied (only 38%), and they offer very effective rehabilitation services that have resulted in a low recidivism rate (meaning ex-convicts return to prison at much lower rates than in the US).

#8 Small Businesses

Ecuador has a form of regulated capitalism. It’s considered a social republic with a democratically elected government. That means big corporations don’t rule the country, which levels the playing field so small business can compete.

While there are some large stores here like Coral, Supermaxi, Kywi and Sukasa, they’re usually the same price as small vendors, and sometimes more expensive. For example, the small vendors at the mercados are much less expensive for fruits and veggies than Supermaxi.

It can be challenging sometimes to find the things you’re looking for, and a single item may require several trips to different areas of town, but we like supporting small businesses and don’t mind the extra walking.

#7 The Weather

Eight months out of the year, the weather in Cuenca is absolutely beautiful. It’s sunny and 70’s most of the day with an occasional brief rain shower. It seems to rain more during the night than during the day for those 8 months.

Cuenca Weather 1

Cuenca Weather 2

#6 Coffee & Chocolate

Coffee and chocolate are two of Ecuador’s primary exports. Due to its tropical climate near the equator, Ecuador is ideal for growing both of the beans used to make these food products. They also don’t need to be hyper processed and shipped around the world, so we get extra fresh versions of both and you can taste the difference. Yum!

Déjame Que te Cuente

#5 Panaderías

As vegans, we embrace unprocessed carbs from whole foods, including bread made with whole grains. Some of the bread in the panaderías (bread shops) is made with refined flour, but we usually avoid those. Instead, we buy whole grain bread from Kelbert at ArteSana.

ArteSana Kelbert

They also make fresh sourdough (made with white flour) that is amazing, but we usually buy their whole grain breads: Chia & Flax, Chia & Sesame, Rye, etc.

Artesana Sourdough

ArteSana Whole Grain Bread

Tosta is another one of our FAVORITE panaderías in Cuenca. All of their bread has as sourdough base and most of it is whole grain. ¡Su pan es muy delicioso!

Tosta Sourdough

#4 Cuenca Flower Markets

You can buy beautiful and inexpensive flowers throughout Ecuador, but there’s nothing quite like Cuenca’s world famous Flower Market. It was included in National Geographic’s list of Top 10 Outdoor Flower Markets for good reason. It’s incredibly stunning.

Cuenca Flower MarketCuenca Flower Market Cuenca Flower Market Cuenca Flower Market

#3 The Blue Crew

Cuenca is one of the cleanest cities we’ve ever seen, and that’s almost entirely due to the blue crew: Cuenca’s street cleaners. They work from before sunup to after sundown, 7 days per week to keep this city spotless and we couldn’t be more thankful for them.

Blue Crew 1

#2 No GMO’s

GMO crops are banned from Ecuador, despite heavy pressure from the US to allow them. In fact, GMO’s are prohibited in Ecuador’s constitution!

They are allowed to import GMO products like soy sauce and textured vegetable protein (TVP), but they must be clearly labeled. We really appreciate that. We would hate to see the same thing happen here in Ecuador, that is happening in India and other developing countries that made the mistake of allowing GMO crops.

GMO Soy Sauce

#1 Affordable, High-Quality Healthcare

This probably should have been on our first list of things we love about Cuenca because it was one of the main driving factors for our move from the US to Ecuador. We simply couldn’t afford healthcare for my spine back in the states.

My two surgeries cost almost 1 MILLION DOLLARS! And the insurance we have now with Amelia’s company back in Denver would only cover 40% of that after a $12,000 deductible!

Another spine surgery back in the states would bankrupt us, and I’m not willing to do that to myself and especially not to Amelia at our age.

Top 5 Things We DON’T Love About Cuenca – Part 2

#5 Lack of Punctuality

Time is a fluid, non-binding construct here in Ecuador and throughout Latin America. Their culture just doesn’t think of time the same way us Americans and Northern Europeans do. Most things rarely start on time or end on time. It has required us to learn patience and lower our expectations, which aren’t bad things for us rigid gringos.

#4 Lack of Organization and Communication

We’ve gone to events before, but were never able to find them. Signs are rarely used and people can rarely be found who know anything about what’s going on. Combined with the lack of punctuality, we’re commonly left wandering around lost, and often going home without finding the venue.

The city is also replacing the water lines in our neighborhood, so the water has been off quite often in our house since we moved in. Unfortunately, they don’t communicate the outage schedule so we have no idea when it will be off and are unable to make plans for it. We now keep jugs of water in the house so we have water to drink and so we can wash our hands.

The lack of organization and communication can be very exasperating.

#3 Public Urination

Yes. That’s a thing here. And a common one. We rarely go anywhere without seeing someone peeing behind a telephone pole or tree. We’ve even seen women squatting in plain sight of passersby. For us overly clean Americans, it’s a bit gross and uncomfortable to make eye contact with someone peeing in public.

#2 The Rainy Season

While Cuenca is beautiful 8 months out of the year, the other 4 months are dreary and damp. The rainy season starts in late April and goes through early July. That’s when the winter, cloudy season starts and ends around late August. Last year, we only saw the sun for a couple hours during that entire 4 months. I told Amelia we need to go someplace sunny for a few weeks during future rainy seasons.

#1 Sidewalk Hazards

The sidewalks throughout Ecuador are hazardous. There’s no better way to put it. From gaping holes to cut off post stumps to trash racks to slippery terracotta tiles on a steep decline, you’re literally taking your life into your own hands simply by walking on the sidewalk. It requires your constant, diligent attention.

Cuenca Sidewalk Hazards 1 Cuenca Sidewalk Hazards 2 Cuenca Sidewalk Hazards 3 Cuenca Sidewalk Hazards 4 Cuenca Sidewalk Hazards 5 Cuenca Sidewalk Hazards 6 Cuenca Sidewalk Hazards 7

Although we do occasionally see people in wheelchairs, the city is not very handicap accessible. That’s something to consider before moving here if you’re physically challenged.

We hope our Cuenca Ecuador Expat Pros and Cons list helps to prepare you for a smooth landing here. While we love most things about living in a small Latin American country, some things still drive us crazy. If you come here with realistic expectations and understand that cultural differences can be annoying, you’ll be more likely to thrive and be happy here.

Hopefully you enjoyed our video, and if you did, please LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE it, and SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel. ¡Muchas Gracias y Hasta Luego!

Cuenca Ecuador San Sebas Neighborhood + Marc’s Consignments Tour (Episode 77)

This day in the life video features a walking tour of the Cuenca Ecuador San Sebas (or San Sebastian) neighborhood. We also stopped by Marc’s Consignments, The Museum of Modern Art, a Vietnamese Pho restaurant run by our friend Rick, and a few other colorful places.

Marc’s Consignments Cuenca

Our first stop was Marc’s Consignments. One of our very first subscribers, Marla, will be moving here to Cuenca in June and she requested a tour of one of the consignment stores.

Marc's Consignments Cuenca

Marc’s Consignments is located in the Cuenca Ecuador San Sebas neighborhood just a couple blocks from San Sebas plaza. In addition to brokering furniture sales, they can also help with relocation services. And if you need something special that they don’t have, they can find it for you. Their stock rotates about every 2 months and they get new items every week so check back often.

Marc's Consignments Cuenca Store

There are two other consignment stores that we know about that are popular with gringos: Cuenca Consignments and JD Muebles. We’ve never been to Cuenca Consignments, but JD Muebles is very similar to Marc’s Consignments.

Cuenca Ecuador San Sebas Plaza Cuenca

One of the prettiest, old-world plazas in Cuenca has to be San Sebas Plaza. Locals and gringos alike are often seen relaxing near the fountain, surrounded by flower gardens. Café San Sebas is popular gringo hangout with a nice patio and views of the plaza and the Museum of Modern Art.

San Sebas Plaza Cuenca

Cuenca Museum of Modern Art – Museo Municipal de Arte Moderno de Cuenca

We’ve been to Museum of Modern Art several times. It’s a beautiful, quite and relaxing art museum in Cuenca with several colorful gardens.

 Museum of Modern Art Cuenca

Museum of Modern Art Garden

However, on this day, there weren’t any art exhibits. The museum is in the process of doing a comprehensive renovation so none of the art was on display except for the outdoor sculptures. We still enjoyed ourselves none-the-less.

Pho Vietnamita Restaurant

After we left the museum, we walked a couple blocks to Pho Vietnamita for lunch. As far as we know, this is the only Vietnamese restaurant in Cuenca, and it’s muy delicioso.

Pho Vietnamita Cuenca Sign

We met Rick, the head chef and owner, during our Visa process. We rode to Machala together to file our paperwork soon after we arrived in Cuenca.

Pho Vietnamita Rick

Rick made us some delicious vegan rice paper spring rolls as an appetizer.

Pho Vietnamita Vegan Spring Roll

We ordered the Vegetarian Pho, which is actually vegan, for our main course. The Vegetarian Ramen uses egg noodles, so it’s not vegan. The Pho bowl was very flavorful and filling.

Pho Vietnamita Cuenca Bowl


After we left Rick’s place, we walked down Simón Bolivar toward Parque Calderon. If you’re in the market for unique furniture and home decor, the INTI-RAYMI Galeria might have what you’re looking for. They have more furniture on the upper level so be sure to check that out, too.

Home Decor Store

The Cuenca Flower Market

A walk through El Centro wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Cuenca’s world famous Flower Market. You can see more of the Cuenca Flower Market here: Cuenca Flower Market + Fresh Tea & Cold Beer in Cuenca Ecuador (Episode 20).

Cuenca Flower Market

Cuenca Flower Market Lilly

Fogón del Zorro Peruvian Restaurant

After we left the flower market, a dark cloud appeared from out of nowhere (as they often do here in Cuenca) and the sky opened up. We stepped inside Fogón del Zorro just as it started pouring rain. They do have a few options on the menu for us vegans, but since we had already eaten, we just ordered a delicious Peruvian beer to sip while we waited out the storm.

Fogon del Zorro Beer

Hopefully you enjoyed our video, and if you did, please LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE it, and SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel. ¡Muchas Gracias y Hasta Luego!

Valentine’s Day Cuenca Ecuador 2019 + Aphrodisiac Dinner at Café Libre (Episode 68)

Happy Valentine’s Day Cuenca Ecuador 2019!!!

Our friends Jimmy and Sharon who recently moved to Cuenca from the US requested a Valentine’s Day vlog and we were happy to oblige with this day in the life video.

I was going to make it a surprise, but I decided against it because that’s not really who we are. We’re very practical people and I would rather have Amelia pick out her favorite flowers and chocolates instead of trying to guess what she wants. And she chose flowers and chocolates that I would have never bought, so everything worked out.

We also had a very special Valentine’s Day Dinner at Café Libre in Cuenca. This was an experience we’ll remember for the rest of our lives!

The Cuenca Flower Market on Valentine’s Day 2019

The Cuenca Flower Market was PACKED with people and flowers on Valentine’s Day 2019. The explosion of colors was truly amazing and beautiful.

Valentine's Day Cuenca Ecuador 2019 Cuenca Flower Market

Amelia bought some maroon lilies and white margaritas. We had never seen maroon lilies before so that’s what Amelia wanted. The margaritas have such an incredibly strong and wonderful aroma and they fill our entire house.

Valentine's Day Cuenca Ecuador 2019 Cuenca Flower Market Lilies

Zatua Miski for Chocolates & Snacks

We stopped at Zatua Miski for some chocolates on our way back home from the Cuenca Flower Market. We bought a box of truffles to go.

Valentine's Day Cuenca Ecuador 2019 Zatua Miski Truffles

Since it was still early in the day and our Valentine’s Day aphrodisiac dinner at Café Libre didn’t start until 8PM, we decided to have a snack, as well. Amelia got a delicious cappuccino and I got a mango, maracuya and lemongrass smoothie.

Valentine's Day Cuenca Ecuador 2019 Zatua Miski Drinks

Then we split a delicious fruit smoothie bowl. It was the perfect amount to last us until dinner.

Valentine's Day Cuenca Ecuador 2019 Zatua Miski Smoothie Bowl

See More: Day In The Life + Delicious Treats at Zatua Miski in Cuenca Ecuador (Episode 46)

Aphrodisiac Dinner at Café Libre

Café Libre often has special dinners by reservation only, but this was the first one we attended. And boy are we glad we did! It was one of the most amazing dinners we’ve ever had!

Everything was timed perfectly. Paul opened the doors exactly at 8PM. They had personalized place cards on the tables directing us where to sit.

Valentine's Day Cuenca Ecuador 2019 Café Libre Place Card

The abreboca was delivered to the table soon after we sat down. After each course, we had just the right amount of time to let the flavors linger while we enjoyed each other’s company before the next course was delivered.

Valentine's Day Cuenca Ecuador 2019 Café Libre Abreboca


Valentine's Day Cuenca Ecuador 2019 Café Libre Tartar

Vegan Tartar

Valentine's Day Cuenca Ecuador 2019 Café Libre Risotto

Vegan Risotto

Valentine's Day Cuenca Ecuador 2019 Café Libre Dessert

Cacao y Sal Postre

Valentine's Day Cuenca Ecuador 2019 Café Libre Verrine Dulce

Verrine Dulce

The surprise Final Energizante was a shot of Shilajit, which is an aged and fermented Himalayan moss that is believed to be an aphrodisiac. It tasted a bit like vegetable bouillon, but I can’t say for sure it had any affect on my libido. Thanks to my beautiful and intelligent companion, my libido always runs pretty high! ?

Valentine's Day Cuenca Ecuador 2019 Café Libre Shilajit


We forgot to mention in the video that we actually had THREE desserts! The grand finale was a couple of heart shaped bon bon’s with a gooey chocolate center. YUM!!!

Valentine's Day Cuenca Ecuador 2019 Café Libre Bon Bon

ALL of the courses were decadent and delicious. Vegan risotto is one of my absolute favorite dishes and Amelia about died when she tasted the Cacao y Sal postre (dessert). Paul went to each table to explain (in Spanish and English) the ingredients, preparation and significance of each course, enhancing the experience even more.

Valentine's Day Cuenca Ecuador 2019 Café Libre Toasting

Red Wine & Mojito

This was a TRULY special Valentine’s Day Cuenca Ecuador 2019 Dinner! Experiences like this make it hard for us to believe we live in a small city in the mountains of a small country in South America. With two glasses of wine, two mojitos, plus tip, this experience cost just $76. In the states, this would have easily cost over $200. In fact, we had a similar experience (although not nearly as special) at Planta in South Beach back in November that cost $220 with tip.

If you’re in Cuenca, Café Libre is one of the must visit restaurants.

See More: Nighttime In Cuenca + Dinner at Café Libre (Episode 34)

Hopefully you enjoyed our video, and if you did, please LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE it, and SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel. ¡Muchas Gracias y Hasta Luego!

San Blas Cuenca Ecuador + Delicious Lunch @ A Pedir de Boca (Episode 28)

We love walking around Cuenca Ecuador on Sundays because the city is so quiet. Most of the stores are closed on Sunday and there usually aren’t very many people so it’s the perfect day to take a stroll and enjoy the beautiful scenery. In this day in the life video, we walked through El Centro to San Blas Cuenca after enjoying a delicious lunch at A Pedir de Boca.

A Pedir de Boca Cuenca

On our way to the world famous Cuenca Flower Market, we stopped by one of our favorite lunch spots, A Pedir de Boca. They have an amazing oil-free Vegan Thai Noodle Bowl with Veggies that is absolutely incredible!

A Pedir de Boca Cuenca Ecuador

They also have a delicious Veganburger that Amelia tried on a more recent visit that’s made with quinoa and they have a vegan soup that’s visually stunning. We highly recommend A Pedir de Boca for a delicious and filling lunch!

El Centro Cuenca Ecuador

Cuenca, and Ecuador in general, is home to a lot of very old people. For a time, a region in southern Ecuador was considered a Blue Zone due to the large number of extremely old people, but lack of good recordkeeping a hundred years ago meant they couldn’t be included. However, we commonly see some of the oldest people we’ve ever seen still working and walking around the city in seemingly perfect health.

The “abuelita” seen in the video is one example. The other vendors in the area were very excited that we wanted to video and photograph her. They called her abuelita, which means “little grandma” in Spanish. She is probably in her 90’s, but it’s hard to tell for sure because Ecuadorians in general tend to look about 10 years younger than their American counterparts. She was selling little colorful baskets and Amelia bought some to store her earrings y otras cositas (and other little things).

Cuenca Ecuador Abuelita

A stroll through El Centro wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the Cuenca Flower Market.

Cuenca Flower Market Ecuador

San Blas Cuenca Ecuador

You can see the San Blas Church all the way from Parque Calderon. This was the first time we walked down from Parque Calderon to get a closer look at San Blas Cuenca.

San Blas Church Cuenca Ecuador

San Blas Church Clouds Cuenca Ecuador

Across the street from San Blas Church is Parque San Blas. The park has a beautiful fountain, flowering trees, children playing and people relaxing on park benches.

San Blas Cuenca Ecuador San Blas Cuenca Ecuador Amelia

Hopefully you enjoyed our video, and if you did, please LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE it, and SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel. ¡Muchas Gracias!

Cuenca Flower Market + Fresh Tea & Cold Beer in Cuenca Ecuador (Episode 20)

Today we did another one of our Sunday afternoon city walking tours. On our way to the Cuenca Flower Market, we stopped by Télicioso Tea Room to get some of our favorite tea.

Then, after we bought Amelia some new earrings and some beautiful flowers at the flower market, we went to Simón for some papas fritas y cervezas (we recorded this in March 2018 before I realized I still had high cholesterol).

People & Places

Télicioso Tea Room on Calle Larga in Cuenca Ecuador

Amelia read an article stating that most commercial tea bags contain plastic, so she decided for our health and the environment, we would start making our tea from fresh tea leaves.

We first went to Sukasa to get a teapot. It’s a very “American” store located in Gringolandia. We’ll do a video of Sukasa and the surrounding area at some point. Gringolandia is the area where most of the older gringos live in Cuenca.

The next stop after we acquired our new teapot was Télicioso Tea Room. It’s located next door to Café Libre, one of our favorite plant-based, vegan restaurants in Cuenca. Télicioso has a wonderful assortment of fresh tea leaves.

Telicioso Tea Room Cuenca Ecuador

The owner, Katherine, speaks fluent english and is very knowledgeable about tea. She has some of the same flavors and a few new ones each time.

Telicioso Owner Cuenca Ecuador

You can reuse your tea bags so be sure to take them with you. She’ll also tell you how to measure the tea and how much to use of each kind.

Telicioso Owner Tea Bag Cuenca Ecuador

While you’re waiting, you can channel your inner child and enjoy a little swing time like Amelia is doing in this photo.

Teliciouso Swing Cuenca Ecuador

Cuenca Flower Market – Cuenca Ecuador

One of our favorite places to visit in Cuenca is the Flower Market located across the street from the New Cathedral. It’s so beautiful that it topped the worldwide list of National Geographic’s Top 10 Outdoor Flower Markets. It truly is breathtaking.

Cuenca Flower Market Cuenca Ecuador

Many of the booths at the Cuenca Flower Market are run by indigenous Ecuadorian women adorned in their traditional garb as you can see in the video. But many of the younger women wear western style clothes consisting of jeans and long sleeve t-shirts, like the woman in this photo.

Cuenca Flower Market Cuenca Ecuador

You can buy all sorts of flowers by the bundle or in premade arrangements at the Cuenca Flower Market. The women who work at the market are always busy making new arrangements, but they’re eager to help you pick out the perfect flowers for your home or special occasion.

Cuenca Flower Market Cuenca Ecuador

Ecuador is the world’s third largest exporter of cut flowers and they’re incredibly abundant here…and reasonably priced. A dozen roses typically cost less than $5, and they’re ridiculously beautiful. The buds are huge and they’ll last for as long as two weeks. Place them in a central location in your house and their aroma will welcome you home when you open the door.

The lilies that Amelia bought in the video also smelled fantastic. We could smell them all over the house! That bundle cost us $8, which is more than we usually spend on flowers, but they were also more exotic than the roses we usually buy. On the day we went, the roses looked a little wilted so we opted to try something new.

A lot of street entertainers gather near the New Cathedral and the Cuenca Flower Market, like this father/daughter duo. You have to watch the video if you haven’t already. Her little dance is ADORABLE!!!

Daughter & Father Playing Music Cuenca Ecuador

Simón Restaurant

When we visited Ecuador on our exploratory trip, Simón was the very first restaurant we tried for dinner. They don’t have much in the way of vegan options, but they do have a delicious vegetable soup and a vegetarian panini that can be veganized by leaving off the queso y mayonesa (cheese and mayo).

Simón Cuenca Ecuador

They also have some of the best papas fritas (french fries) in all of Cuenca. Most of the papas fritas are pan fried in Ecuador, rather than deep fried. That means they aren’t nearly as oily. Plus, the papas are far more delicious here, which means the fries are muy delicioso.

We know these aren’t healthy, and neither is the beer, but we’re not perfect. We eat a whole-food plant-based no-oil (WFPBNO) diet at home, but we like to enjoy some delicious papas fritas and cold beers on occasion (at least we used to before we found out about my high cholesterol). It probably looks like we enjoy it more than we actually do since we tend to record videos when we go out to restaurants, but these are (were) a rare treat for us.

Besides, we want to show people that you can still enjoy your favorite food and drinks, and still be vegan. Our friend Rosy from Fratello Vegan verified that all of the Club beers, as well as Pilsener beers, are vegan…so bottoms up!

Simón Papas Fritas Cuenca Ecuador

Every place we’ve ordered papas fritas in Ecuador serves them with mayonesa, and most of the time it’s in a small condiment bowl. That means it probably (hopefully) gets thrown out when we don’t eat it.

Rather than waste it, we order our papas fritas “sin mayonesa” (without mayo). The server always looks at us funny and usually still brings it anyway, but at least we try not to be wasteful.

Cuenca Planetarium

Cuenca’s Planetario is located in Parque de la Madre. We haven’t been inside yet, but the outside looks cool. They just finished giving it a fresh coat of Martian red. We’ll take you inside someday.

This photo was taken pre-paint job, but I thought it looked out-of-this-world with the crazy clouds mixed with blue sky behind the dome and the guy sitting on top of it. The bottom of that ladder wasn’t touching anything. It was tied to the top of the dome with a rope and dangled alongside while the guys climbed on it to strip the old paint and then repaint it.

Planetarium Cuenca Ecuador

They must not have OSHA here because we’ve seen some pretty crazy behavior from construction workers. While walking home one day, I saw a construction worker standing on top of a brick wall two stories high hitting the bricks under his feet with a sledgehammer to knock them loose. He then bent over, picked up the bricks and threw them down into a dump truck parked on the sidewalk below…all while balancing on a wall no wider than 5 inches! ¡Fue muy loco! (He was very crazy!)

Share the Love

We hope you enjoyed our visit to the Cuenca Flower Market, Télicioso and Simón today. Please remember to like, comment and share our video, and also subscribe to our YouTube channel to help us spread the word about veganism. If you’d like us to make a video about something specific or if you have questions, please let us know in the comments.

See More of Cuenca Ecuador

Spanish Words & Phrases

hola – hi/hello
¿Cómo están? – How are you?
Bien. ¿Cuál es su nombre? – Well. What is your name?
Bienvenidos a mi sala de té. – Welcome to my tea room.
Veinti tazas – Twenty cups
Necesitamos practicar mucho. – We need to practice a lot.
Naranja, jengibre y manzana té – Orange, ginger and apple tea
Algunas flores – Some flowers
Veinte dólores – Twenty dollars
¿Cuál es el nombre? – What is the name?
Los lilios – The lilies (the spanish word is spelled lirios, but lots of words are different here in Cuenca and in Ecuador)
Tengo hambre – I’m hungry
La macana – the scarf (this is a Cañari word, the language of the indigenous people)
Papas fritas y dos cervezas – French fries and two beers
Sin mayonesa – Without mayonnaise
Salsa de tomate – Ketchup