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

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Cuenca City Tour in a Double Decker Bus

The Cuenca City 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.

City Tour Cuenca Bus

We arrived at the City 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’s 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!

Links to Info & Places We Visited in the Video

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..

..it 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.

[Laughing]

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.

[Inaudible]

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.

Ecuador’s Southern Coast Part 5: Bus Ride from Olón to Cuenca (Episode 10)

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We couldn’t live at Villa de Los Sueños forever and we eventually had to go back home to Cuenca, Ecuador. This video covers our Bus Ride from Olón to Cuenca, including the Guayaquil Bus Terminal and the busetas that run between Cuenca and Guayaquil.

We took a taxi from Guayaquil to La Entrada on our way to the coast, but after speaking with some of the other guests and getting more information from Marsha at the B&B, we decided to take a bus back to Guayaquil. The Cooperativa Libertad Peninsular (CLP) bus was much nicer than the other buses we have taken in Ecuador. The seats were comfortable, the ride was smooth and it didn’t stop as much. I was even able to sleep for about 30 minutes during the 2 hours and 45 minute ride from Olón to Guayaquil, something that NEVER happens to me on public transportation.

Once we got to Guayaquil, we took a taxi from the bus terminal to the Operazuaytur buseta office to catch our small bus back to Cuenca.

Be sure to check out our other videos from this trip:

  1. Ecuador’s Southern Coast Part 1: Cuenca to La Entrada
  2. Ecuador’s Southern Coast Part 2: Olón and Montañita
  3. Ecuador’s Southern Coast Part 3: Puerto Lopez Whale Watching
  4. Ecuador’s Southern Coast Part 4: Villa de Los Sueños and La Entrada

We hope you enjoy the scenery and crazy drivers captured from the window of our bus, as well as our typical humorous interactions as we travel from Olón Ecuador back to our home in Cuenca Ecuador.

Please LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE this video, and SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel.

People & Places

Cooperativa Libertad Peninsular (CLP)

1 Bus Ride from Olón to Cuenca Ecuador Libertad Peninsular

This is the tiny bus station in Olón Ecuador from where the CLP bus leaves. It also stops in Montañita, which is only about 10 minutes from Olón on the way to Guayaquil. The cost was $7 per person one-way, which is about double the cost of the regular interprovincial buses.

2 Bus Ride from Olón to Cuenca Ecuador CLP Bus

The bus was large and very nice. It had a smooth ride and didn’t stop as much as the interprovincial buses to pick up passengers along the way, although it did stop more than we thought it would.

A Taste of Ecuadorian Driving

3 Bus Ride from Olón to Cuenca Ecuador Moto TV

These two guys are transporting a large flat screen TV on a motorcycle…on the highway. Think about that for a minute. He’s basically carrying a sail in a high-wind zone. ¡Que loco!

4 Bus Ride from Olón to Cuenca Ecuador Moto Texter

This guy is on track to win the Darwin Award. You can see in the video that he was on his phone the entire time I filmed him while he was riding his motorcycle on the highway. Dude. That’s a toilet posture. You’re not on the can! You’re on the highway! On a motorcycle! Pay attention!

5 Bus Ride from Olón to Cuenca Ecuador Rey de Reyes

Religion is a big thing in Ecuador, but I’m always surprised to see commercial vehicles with religious iconography on them. This translates to “King of Kings.”

Guayaquil Bus Terminal

6 Bus Ride from Olón to Cuenca Ecuador Guayaquil Bus Terminal

This is the Terminal Terrestre de Guayaquil or the Guayaquil Bus Terminal. It’s located just north of the airport. As the crow flies, it would be about a 5 minute walk from the bus terminal to the airport terminal. However, you can’t walk how the crow flies. It would probably be about a 20 minute walk going several blocks out of the way, so the cab drivers make bank charging $5 to drive people the relatively short distance between the terminals.

Guayaquil Bus Terminal

We were VERY impressed with the bus terminal! It was basically a giant shopping mall packed with people coming and going. The restrooms were big, super clean and energy efficient. As usual, the men’s restroom was very quick. It had lots of urinals so I was in and out of there in under 3 minutes. The women’s restroom was a different story. Amelia said it was packed and chaotic, so she opted to wait until we got to the buseta terminal a short cab ride away.

8 Bus Ride from Olón to Cuenca Ecuador Cab Driver

The taxis are located just outside the north entrance/exit on the main floor of the Guayaquil bus terminal. Our diver saw that I was filming and gave us a pose, making his fellow drivers behind him laugh.

Operazuay Buseta Station

10 Bus Ride from Olón to Cuenca Ecuador Papa

These guys were goofing around waiting for the buseta to leave at the Operazuay buseta station. Everyone is so friendly in Ecuador, especially to us gringos. They seem to really get a kick out of us, as you’ll see in our videos.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture or usable video shot of the Operazuaytur office, but they were moving to a different location a few days after we were there so it really wouldn’t help anyway. The new office is only a block away, and both are very close (walking distance) to the airport. The busetas cost $12 one-way between Cuenca and Guayaquil. I’m not sure where else they go.

11 Bus Ride from Olón to Cuenca Ecuador Buseta

We really liked taking the busetas (small buses) through Cajas National Park rather than a big bus. The mountain roads are very curvy with steep inclines and declines so the smaller buseta is able to handle them much better. We took a large interprovincial bus between Cuenca and Machala and the motion almost made me sick. I was able to acquire some motion sickness pills for the return trip.

12 Bus Ride from Olón to Cuenca Ecuador Mike Wazowski

I bet you didn’t know Mike Wazowski could skateboard! Ecuador is full of murals and I thought these were pretty cool leaving the airport area (more shown in the video).

The Drive from Guayaquil to Cuenca

13 Bus Ride from Olón to Cuenca Ecuador Bud

American brands are so common here that sometimes it’s easy to forget we’re in a foreign country. The buseta terminal was directly across the street from a Holiday Inn and there was a Sherwin Williams paint store and a Formica store in the same area as the buseta terminal.

14 Bus Ride from Olón to Cuenca Ecuador Sugar Cane

Sugar cane is one of Ecuador’s exports, along with chocolate, fruits and flowers. This is a baby sugar cane field that was probably planted within the previous month. The sugar cane will be almost as tall as those trees in the middle of the field once it’s fully grown.

15 Bus Ride from Olón to Cuenca Ecuador Into the Clouds

It takes about an hour and a half from Guayaquil to reach the base of the Andes Mountain range. Then it’s a quick climb to ascend through the clouds.

16 Bus Ride from Olón to Cuenca Ecuador Cajas

Be sure to check out Part 1 in this series to see more beautiful shots of Cajas National Park.

17 Bus Ride from Olón to Cuenca Ecuador Amelia Head Bob

Amelia is an expert sleeper. I almost never nap on public transportation, even overnight flights. But it’s common for Amelia to be asleep before they close the door. I’m certainly envious of that trait. Especially when I have to sit there and watch her head bob up and down while I’m bored silly!

Share the Love

We hope you enjoyed our trip from Olón to Guayaquil and then to Cuenca, Ecuador in the fifth and final part of our first trip to Ecuador’s Southern Coast. Please remember to like, comment and share our video, and also subscribe to our YouTube channel. If you’d like us to make a video about something specific or if you have questions, please let us know in the comments.

Links to Info & Places We Visited in the Video