Cuenca Ecuador City Bus Tour to Turi + New Cathedral Terrace (Episode 55)

Join us as we tour the New Cathedral Terrace before hopping on the Cuenca Ecuador City Bus Tour. The city bus takes us up to Turi Ecuador, which is home to the iconic white church and offers amazing views of Cuenca from high above the city. This is one of the best things to do in Cuenca!

Cuenca Ecuador City Bus Tour in a Double Decker Bus

The Cuenca Ecuador City Bus Tour, operated by Van Service Internacional, is a great way to get beautiful views of Cuenca and the Andes Mountains, as well as learn about Cuenca’s long and varied history. The tour guide speaks in both Spanish and English so us gringos can also understand.

Cuenca Ecuador City Bus Tour

We arrived at the City Bus Tour departure area in Parque Calderon a little before 1PM, but they take a lunch break during that time so we had to wait for the 2PM departure.

The cost is $8 for adults and $4 for children, and they depart every 30 minutes starting at 9:30AM, except for 1PM and 1:30PM. The Turi bus tour takes about 1:45 minutes with 35 minutes to enjoy Turi. We haven’t taken the northern route yet. Look for that in a future video.

City Tour Bus Cuenca Hours and Cost

We’ve shown the Turi Church in several of our videos since we like to hike the stairs to Turi for exercise.

Turi Church Ecuador

The views of Cuenca and the mountains are breathtaking.

New Cathedral Cuenca View from Turi

Cuenca Ecuador New Cathedral Terrace & Tour

Since we had an hour to kill, we decided to hike up to the New Cathedral Terrace, which is open to the public. It costs $2 per person and there are lots of stairs. If you have physical issues, it might be a little too tough for you.

New Cathedral Cuenca

The views from the terrace are spectacular! And it’s really cool to be so close to the New Cathedral’s iconic blue domes. It’s well worth the price of admission and the copious stairs.

New Cathedral Cuenca Domes

The inside of the New Cathedral is equally stunning. There are several altars around the perimeter dedicated to different important figures in the Catholic religion. There are always lots of people praying and soaking in the beauty of the church.

New Cathedral Cuenca Altar

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

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Video Transcript

>> Amelia: Hi veggie lovers.
I’m Amelia with Amelia And JP.

JP is behind the camera.

Today, we are going to go on the city bus tour.
We already have our tickets.

And we are going to take a tour of the New
Cathedral as well.

We’re hoping to go up to the terrace
and walk through the cathedral.

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[Upbeat Music]

We are inside the New Cathedral.

We are gonna walk up the stairs to the terrace,
which we hear has amazing views.

We are gonna find out.

FYI it does cost $2 per person to go up into
the terrace.

Oh it’s nice and cool in here.

It’s very warm outside.

Wow this is really neat.

That was a tiny little door that I could not
figure out how to open.

>> JP: [Laughing]

>> JP: Happens to the best of us.
>> A: Yes.

[Upbeat Urban Latin Music]

>> A: Oh look.

[Upbeat Urban Latin Music]

>> JP: Must be for the choir.

>> A: Yeah.

[Upbeat Urban Latin Music]

And we continue.

[Upbeat Urban Latin Music]

>> A: We are standing on the terrace
on top of the New Cathedral,

which is funny because
this Cathedral is still pretty old.

They started building this in 1885 and
finished construction in 1967.

The views up here are pretty spectacular.

You do have 360-degree views Cuenca
and incredible views of the Andes Mountains.

One thing we learned today was that the spires
were supposed to have bells in them,

but they do not because
there were structural issues

so the church was actually never completed.

But they do use this. There are services regularly.

Luckily, there aren’t any services right now
so we’re gonna go downstairs

and film the inside so you all
will be able to see that as well.

It’s quite lovely.

As you can see behind me,
they are refurbishing the domes.

I believe they are painting, doing some tile
work, re-grouting, cleaning..

things of that nature.

They look incredibly beautiful at night.

[Calm Piano Music]

We wandered next door to the courtyard.

There are several restaurants, coffee shops
and some regular shops

where you can get some souvenirs here as well.
And you have an amazing view..

..of the New Cathedral and the domes.

It’s quite lovely.

Interesting note.

When we were in the church, we observed somebody.. looked like he had a white rose,

just the flower itself; not the whole stem.

And he climbed up onto..

I don’t know what it’s called..

Whatever the thing the railing is and rubbed
the flower all over Jesus

and then got down and gave it to his friend

who then rubbed it on his forehead on his
head on the other guy and his arms, legs

and lifted up his shirt in the church and
rubbed it all over his body.

So, never seen anyone do that before.

It was quite interesting

and I guess that was some sort of religious..

I don’t know. What is it JP?

>> JP: Ritual.

>> A: Ritual. Thank you. I’m not religious!

JP grew up Catholic.


You didn’t rub Jesus with a
white rose for good luck?

>> JP: No.

>> A: I should not make fun.

Hey, that guy could be truly
blessed right now.

I don’t know. It was just interesting.

We are on the bus.

This is a double-decker bus.

The nice thing is, is that if it starts raining,
which it often does, we can all go downstairs.

Also, we have a beautiful view of Parque Calderon.

I forgot to mention that you pick up the city
bus tour in Parque Calderon

and there’s usually people out walking around
selling tickets so it’s really easy to find.

It’s $8 and they run every hour
except at one o’clock,

which is when we were here ready to go. [Laughing]

But that’s okay because then we were able
to go see the New Cathedral.

[Upbeat Urban Latin Music]

We are enjoying the view from Turi.
But I did comment to JP

that it is strange to be up here
without climbing those stairs.

We took the south route,
which takes us to Turi, obviously.

They stop here for about a half hour so you
can enjoy the sights, and

do some.. souvenir shopping.

There’s a little store over there.

I think we’ll walk over on the other side
too so you guys can see

the the back part of Turi.

We walked over there thinking it was really close

and ended up walking a long way one day,

but it was amazing.
Today you will just see it from a distance.

[Upbeat Urban Latin Music]

>> Tour Guide: This is the end of the tour.


We hope you enjoyed our day of sightseeing
as much as we did.

We really learned a lot on the city bus tour.

What’s nice is that it is in
Spanish and in English.

And it tells you a lot about the history and
just certain historical landmarks.

A couple interesting facts to share…

The Tomebamba River, the Tomebamba name, comes
from a Quechua word

and that actually means “the knife valley.”

You’ll notice that many of the streets in
Cuenca are named after dates.

These are important dates in Cuenca’s history.

For example, Doce de Abril, which is the 12th
of April, is the date that Cuenca was founded

and that was the year 1557
so Cuenca has been around for a long time.

Another important date is Tres de Noviembre,
which is also a street here in town

and that is Cuenca’s Independence Day.

Cueca is a religious city.

You’ll probably notice a lot of
churches on our tour.

There is a church for every Sunday
in the year.

52 churches.

So you can go to a different church every
Sunday for an entire year

if you really want to experience
a lot of different religion.

>> A: We have not done that.
>> JP: It’s all the same religion.

>> A: Oh.

>> A: Well, we don’t know that.

>> JP: It’s mostly the same.
Yeah, all of those churches are Catholic.

>> A: Lots of Catholic churches.

>> A: We had a really good time, but we are
a little tired; the sun was very intense today.

But, hey, it’s summer in Cuenca.
I can’t complain.

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Please remember to bring your sunscreen and
hat or a sombrilla (umbrella)

when in Cuenca during the summer.

Actually, all year-round

because the sun is intense.. as I mentioned..
blah blah blah.