Tag Archive for: Cuenca Ecuador

Cuenca Flower Market in Cuenca Ecuador

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

 

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.

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.

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.

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.Daughter & Father Playing Music Cuenca Ecuador

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!!!

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).

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 Cuenca EcuadorSimón 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 PlanetariumPlanetarium Cuenca Ecuador

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.

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!)

Watch Our Video About Cuenca Ecuador’s Flower Market

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING WE GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH OUR LINKS. THERE IS NO COST TO YOU AND SOMETIMES YOU'LL EVEN GET A DISCOUNT BY USING OUR LINK. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

 

Download the FREE Live Abroad Checklist

Enter your email address to receive helpful and timely information about living abroad, slow travel, having more freedom, and living life on YOUR terms!

You'll also get immediate access to our FREE Live Abroad Checklist, which will help you get focused and ensure you don't miss anything important as you embark on this amazing life transformation!

 

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

Mirador de Turi, The Best FREE Cardio in Cuenca Ecuador

The Best FREE Cardio in Cuenca Ecuador is just a few steps away! We hike up to the Turi Church at least once per week, but usually 2 or 3 times per week.

Turi Stairs – Best Free Cardio in Cuenca Ecuador

There are 439 stairs leading up to Turi, but the shortcut we take adds another 126 stairs plus some steep hills. It really gets your blood pumping!

Getting to the top is a real sense of accomplishment. Amelia usually leaves me in the dust because she’s in much better shape than I am, and because my spinal cord injury slows me down. She comes back down to meet me, then walks ahead again so she gets an extra workout.

Once you reach the top of the Turi Stairs, you are rewarded with beautiful views of Cuenca Ecuador.

Cuenca Ecuador Park Cardio

On our way back home, we stopped to play in a park for awhile. Cuenca has LOTS of parks like this one, with free circuit cardio equipment, ziplines, swings and walking trails.

Cuenca Ecuador Park Amelia ExerciseCuenca Ecuador Park Amelia Zipline

Watch Our Video About The Stairs to Turi in Cuenca, Ecuador

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING WE GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH OUR LINKS. THERE IS NO COST TO YOU AND SOMETIMES YOU'LL EVEN GET A DISCOUNT BY USING OUR LINK. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

 

Download the FREE Live Abroad Checklist

Enter your email address to receive helpful and timely information about living abroad, slow travel, having more freedom, and living life on YOUR terms!

You'll also get immediate access to our FREE Live Abroad Checklist, which will help you get focused and ensure you don't miss anything important as you embark on this amazing life transformation!

 

Belly Dancing at Fratello in Cuenca Ecuador

Back in the states, Amelia enjoyed Pole Fitness (that’s pole dancing for exercise), but here in Cuenca Ecuador, she has fallen in love with Tribal Fusion Belly Dancing! She only had 4 days to learn this dance for the Belly Dancing at Fratello fundraiser, and she did great!

This is her second performance in front of a crowd not counting the first time she belly danced at an impromptu class. We recorded some of our videos a few months ago so you’ll see Amelia belly dance in her first performance in a future video.

People & Places (and Animals)

The Tribal Fusion House

1 Amelia Makeup

The Tribal Fusion House is where Amelia takes belly dance lessons in the Tribal Fusion style. Julio is the teacher and runs the studio. It’s not everyday you get to see another man put makeup on your wife!

Alicia

Julio has ten cats. You read that right. TEN CATS!!! This is Alicia who is very friendly and loves hanging out with the belly dancers.

4 Julio's Tribe

This is the subset of Julio’s tribe that performed at Daniela’s fundraiser. From left to right: Yuruani is from Venezuela, Amelia is from The United States, Julio is from Chile, Samantha is from Cuenca, and Nastya is from Ukraine. Cuenca is quite the melting pot!

Academia Profesional de Danza Clásica “Tersícore”

3 Daniela Group

Academia Profesional de Danza Clásica “Tersícore” is the dance studio run by Caterina (second from the right) who is from Italy.

In addition to ballet, Caterina also teaches several styles of belly dance. Amelia has taken some of her classes, too. She’s an incredible teacher and Cuenca is lucky to have both her and Julio!

Fratello Vegan Restaurant

2 Group Pic

Rosy’s brother Rene owns Fratello Vegan, the venue for the belly dance fundraiser. After the belly dance performance, we all ate some delicious vegan food!

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING WE GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH OUR LINKS. THERE IS NO COST TO YOU AND SOMETIMES YOU'LL EVEN GET A DISCOUNT BY USING OUR LINK. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

 

Download the FREE Live Abroad Checklist

Enter your email address to receive helpful and timely information about living abroad, slow travel, having more freedom, and living life on YOUR terms!

You'll also get immediate access to our FREE Live Abroad Checklist, which will help you get focused and ensure you don't miss anything important as you embark on this amazing life transformation!

 

Shoe Shopping in Cuenca Ecuador

Today, we went shoe shopping in Cuenca Ecuador, and as a reward for my extreme patience, we went to Inca Lounge for cervezas on our way home. We also stumbled upon some improv dueling rappers in Parque de la Madre. You just never know what you’re going to see while walking around Cuenca!

People & Places

Graffiti Art in Cuenca Ecuador

Graffiti is a common sight here in Cuenca, Ecuador. Some of it is even commissioned, like this one on Ave. Solano. This wall had a lot of unsightly graffiti so some professional graffiti artists were hired to cover it with something more appealing. This also helps to prevent future graffiti since they seem to respect each other’s work.

Bike Lanes & Sidewalk Tiles for the Blind

Cuenca has lots of bike lanes, and more are being added all over the city. Their hope is to make the city more bicycle friendly so people ride to work and school for both improved health and environmental friendliness.

The tiles that make a line down the center of the sidewalk are for blind people. They use their walking sticks with the tiles to stay oriented on the sidewalk. These tiles are used all over the city.

The Shoe Store That Shall Not Be NamedShoe Shopping in Cuenca Ecuador Store

This is one of Amelia’s favorite places to go shoe shopping in Cuenca Ecuador, but as far as we know, it doesn’t have a name. It’s located on Benigno Malo a couple blocks north of Calle Larga. This was one of the first stores we stumbled upon during our first exploratory trip to Cuenca.

Amelia in Shoe HeavenShoe Shopping in Cuenca Ecuador Shoes

Amelia swears she doesn’t have a shoe addiction, but isn’t that what all addicts say??

Today, she was on a mission to find some tall boots. We see a lot of women wearing tall boots in Cuenca, and we like how they look, so Amelia wanted a pair of her own. This was the start of a lot of shoe trying on….

Moving On to Emily ShoesShoe Shopping in Cuenca Ecuador Emily Shoes

We struck out at the unnamed shoe store, so we ventured onward to Emily Shoes a couple blocks away. After trying on what seemed like every shoe in the store, Amelia finally struck gold. She found a pair of tall boots that she liked (not these), and also a new pair of low boots (or high shoes?). The boots were $34 and the shoes were $28; both made of synthetic materials.

Victory at Emily ShoesShoe Shopping in Cuenca Ecuador Emily Shoes Storefront

Shoe shopping in Cuenca Ecuador was as success today. This store does have a name, but no online presence that we can link to. It’s common, especially for the older businesses in El Centro, to not have a website or even a Facebook page. Most of the new businesses outside El Centro at least have a Facebook page, but most businesses in Ecuador have not branched out to a website yet.

Folding Fans for Hot Flashes

Like her mother, Amelia is experiencing hot flashes a little younger than most women (she just turned 50). That means she’s often burning with the fiery heat of a thousand suns. Hopefully, these $2 folding fans will help.

Gringo’s Laundry in Cuenca El Centro

There are over 10,000 gringos in Cuenca, Ecuador. That means a lot of businesses, like this laundry service, target them directly.

A lot of apartments, especially in El Centro, don’t have a washer and dryer so residents must find another way to do their laundry. While we have seen laundromats, it only costs about $3 to $4 per load to pay someone to do it for you. They wash, dry and fold your laundry so you can enjoy your time doing other things. Plus, it helps the economy by supporting local businesses.

Inca Lounge & Bistro

I don’t really think of Inca as a bistro, but it certainly has the lounge vibe. It’s located on the riverwalk next to Río Tomebamba just east of Benigno Malo.

Inca is popular with the gringos during the day, but it’s mainly an Ecuadorian hangout after dark. That’s probably because Ecuadorians like to start their evening late after most of the gringos are already in bed.

Amelia Modeling a Club Verde

Club Verde is my favorite domestic light beer in Ecuador. It’s very crisp and refreshing, and cheap. This giant bottle costs $2.50 at Inca.

It’s actually called Club Premium, but most of the restaurants list it as Club Verde on their menus. The brewer also has a Club Negra (dark beer) that Amelia prefers over the Club Verde, and a Club Roja that we’ve never tried.

Our good friend Rosy from Fratello Vegan wrote the the company and confirmed that all of the Club beers are vegan. They don’t use any animal products in their brewing process. Yay!

Chips & Guac (and Salsa) at Inca Lounge

Inca has really good chips, guac and salsa. We like to go their for a mid-afternoon snack and cervezas on our way home after we’ve been out walking around El Centro. We usually have to order extra chips if we get both the guac and the salsa.

Inca Vegetarian Menu

Most restaurants have a vegetarian (vegetariano) section on their menu, and most items are either vegan already, or can easily be veganized by asking them to skip the congealed mammal fluids (aka cheese and sour cream, aka queso y crema).

Inca’s Veggie Stir Fry is vegan, and the other vegetarian items can be veganized. They also have a vegetarian burrito that can be veganized. We’ve tried several things on the menu and they were all tasty. Be sure to remind them to skip the queso y crema.

Helado Balancing Act

Helado (ice cream) is very popular in Ecuador. We frequently see people walking down the street eating an ice cream cone, which may partly be to blame for the rising health epidemic of obesity, heart disease and diabetes here. Ice cream is loaded with sugar AND fat, both contributors to the increase in poor health around the world.

However, seeing these women walk down the sidewalk with their trays of ice cream balanced on their heads was worth of a share. People are amazing.

Improv Dueling Rap in Parque de la Madre

You never know what you’re going to stumble across while walking around Cuenca. Today, we passed by some improv dueling rappers by the planetarium in Parque de la Madre. You can listen to a short segment in the video. This is such an interesting place!

Share the Love

We hope you enjoyed our shoe shopping in Cuenca Ecuador adventure, snacks and cervezas as Inca Lounge and our surprise improv rap here in Cuenca, Ecuador today. 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.

Watch Our Video About Shoe Shopping in Cuenca Ecuador

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING WE GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH OUR LINKS. THERE IS NO COST TO YOU AND SOMETIMES YOU'LL EVEN GET A DISCOUNT BY USING OUR LINK. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

 

Download the FREE Live Abroad Checklist

Enter your email address to receive helpful and timely information about living abroad, slow travel, having more freedom, and living life on YOUR terms!

You'll also get immediate access to our FREE Live Abroad Checklist, which will help you get focused and ensure you don't miss anything important as you embark on this amazing life transformation!

 

Cuenca Ecuador Supermarket: Supermaxi El Vergel

Esta mañana (this morning), we visited Supermaxi El Vergel supermarket/grocery store to get some of our staple supplies like soy milk, mushrooms, apple cider vinegar, crackers, wine, etc. We also buy trash bags, laundry detergent, canned goods, spices, tofu, condiments and other packaged items at Supermaxi.

We typically buy all of our fruits and veggies at the mercado, but the mercados don’t carry everything and we really like Supermaxi El Vergel. It’s clean, reasonably priced and feels like a Safeway or Kroger back in the states. Oh, and the people who work there are all really nice and helpful.

Check out our other video about Mercado 27 de Febrero Organic Thursday Market in Cuenca Ecuador for more info on mercados.

We hope you enjoy this tour of Supermaxi El Vergel. We’ve also included some Spanish language learning opportunities for you.

Tour of Supermaxi El Vergel

La SombrillaSombrilla Supermaxi El Vergel Cuenca Ecuador

It’s often sunny and rainy on the same day…and in the same hour…in Cuenca, so Amelia always has her umbrella (sombrilla/paraguas) handy.

There is technically a difference between a sombrilla and a paraguas in the Spanish language. A sombrilla is specifically to provide shade from the sun, while a paraguas is specifically to provide protection from the rain. A sombrilla doesn’t have to be water resistant, but a paraguas does.

However, Amelia uses the same umbrella for both. I always wear a water resistant hat and carry a rain jacket (un impermeable) in my backpack. You just never know when it’s going to rain.

Supermaxi El Vergel – Cuenca Ecuador

Supermaxi El Vergel Cuenca Ecuador

We love the Supermaxi El Vergel that’s near our house. It’s super clean, it has most everything we need, and the employees are very friendly. We buy most of our produce (fruits and veggies) at the mercado, but we buy almost everything else at Supermaxi.

When we were researching our move to Cuenca Ecuador, we couldn’t find a video of the inside of Supermaxi so we didn’t know what to expect. We assumed it would be similar to a supermarket in the states, but we didn’t realize it would be just like a supermarket in the states.

If you take someone from the states and plop them down in the middle of Supermaxi El Vergel, they wouldn’t know they were in Ecuador (except that everything is in Spanish).

Health & Beauty Aisle at Supermaxi El VergelAisle Supermaxi El Vergel Cuenca Ecuador

This is the health & beauty aisle in Supermaxi El Vergel. It looks a lot like a Walmart, Safeway or Kroger.

They have most of the brands that you see in the states, which means most are tested on animals. We try to buy things like deodorant and skin care products at one of the small organic stores around town. Most of them carry cruelty-free products, but they’re more expensive (as you’d expect). We’ll share videos of them later.

The prices on most things are lower than you’d pay in the states, but some things are similar or higher. For example, sunscreen is a lot more expensive here, almost twice as much! Alcohol, processed foods and paper products are about the same price as the states.

But food is a LOT less expensive here. Produce is about 1/3 to 1/10 the cost as the states. Plus, the fruits and veggies are much higher quality and MUCH more flavorful here. We usually get avocados, mangos and papayas 3 for $1. We can get 10 bananas for 50 cents, a huge bunch of Swiss chard or spinach for 50 cents, and 5 pounds of delicious yellow potatoes for $1.

We were spending between $600 and $800 per month on groceries in Denver. Here, we spend between $100 and $200 per month, and the quality is far superior.

Vegan Foods at Supermaxi El Vergel

This is another thing we had a hard time figuring out before we moved here: are vegan processed foods available? And the answer is yes, they are.

Vegan Milk Alternatives at Supermaxi

Almond Milk Supermaxi El Vergel Cuenca Ecuador

You can get both soy milk and almond milk, but that’s about it for milk alternatives. They don’t have a GMO label, so we’re assuming they’re GMO-free since all products containing GMOs must be labeled here (see more on that below).

You can also get vegan yogurt (yogurt vegano), but yogurt is a lot different here. It’s a creamy liquid that you pour out of the container instead of eating with a spoon. It’s not thick like we’re used to.

We haven’t found any vegan butter yet. They do have several different types of dairy-free margarine, but we don’t eat that so we go without butter. Instead, we use avocado, peanut butter or jam on our toast.

Yes, Supermaxi Has Tofu

Tofu Supermaxi El Vergel Cuenca Ecuador

They also carry a few different types of tofu, but they don’t always have all of them at the same time. They don’t have a GMO label so we’re assuming they’re non-GMO, but they’re probably not organic. That means pesticides were probably used, but no genetic engineering.

The smoked tofu (tofu ahumado) is very flavorful and a nice addition to stir fries. The regular tofu is just like tofu in the states and the density is equivalent to firm/extra firm. The baked tofu (tofu horneado) with basil was also delicious.

Vegan Meat Substitutes at Supermaxi

Vegan Meats Supermaxi El Vergel Cuenca Ecuador

They also have several different types of meat substitutes for hamburgers, hotdogs and sausage. We haven’t found any TVP (textured vegetable protein) yet, but lentils make a good substitute for that.

We don’t buy many meat substitutes anymore since we eat a mostly WFPB (Whole-Food Plant-Based) diet so we don’t visit this section very often. It’s used to be located between the conventional processed meats and the butchered meats, but they have since moved them next to the soy milk behind the guard desk at the entrance. They moved the tofu there, too, so all of the cold vegan products are next to each other.

Vegetable Broth at Supermaxi

Vegetable Broth Supermaxi El Vergel Cuenca Ecuador

Supermaxi doesn’t carry liquid vegetable broth (at least we haven’t found any). But they do carry cubed vegetable broth (caldo de verduras) that dissolves in water.

HOWEVER, this vegetable broth from Nestlé contains trans fats in the from of vegetable shortening. We no longer buy this for obvious health reasons.

Apple Cider Vinegar at SupermaxiApple Cider Vinegar Supermaxi El Vergel Cuenca Ecuador

ACV (apple cider vinegar) is a staple in the vegan kitchen, and Supermaxi carries a few different brands of it so you won’t have to go without that.

They also carry several different types of oils and vinegars. We rarely cook with oil, but we use a lot of vinegar on salads and in recipes.

Super Affordable Quinoa at SupermaxiQuinoa Supermaxi El Vergel Cuenca Ecuador

Most quinoa comes from Peru, which shares Ecuador’s southern border. That means it doesn’t have far to travel so it’s much cheaper here. This large bag of quinoa is only $1.12!

Quinoa has gotten so expensive in the states that we stopped buying it, but it’s back on the menu here!

Spices at SupermaxiSpices Supermaxi El Vergel Cuenca Ecuador

We cook with a lot of spices, so we were happy to see such a large spice selection at Supermaxi. There are some independent spice shops in El Centro that we also visit for some of the rarer items, but we’re able to find almost everything at Supermaxi.

The spice package labels are in Spanish, so remember to take your translation app with you. Supermaxi offers FREE WI-FI so you can look things up online, too.

Vegan Cereal (as of Oct 2018)Vegan Cereal

One of our YouTube viewers asked about vegan cereal options at Supermaxi. They have a large healthy cereal section, but most have oil and/or animal products of some sort. However, this brand is completely vegan and oil-free.

Rolled Oats at Supermaxi

We ate rolled oats (hojuelas de avena) nearly every morning back in Denver, either cooked or uncooked, so we were concerned we wouldn’t be able to get them here, but we can!Rolled Oats Supermaxi El Vergel Cuenca Ecuador

They have several different brands and types of oats: conventional, non-GMO and organic. We prefer the non-GMO kind because it’s a lot less expensive than the organic. We have even found steel cut oats on occasion. Last time Supermaxi had them, we bought 5 containers!

Zapallo (Squash) at Supermaxi

One thing that is sorely lacking in Ecuador is squash. This is the only type of squash that we’ve found. It’s called “zapallo” which literally translates to “pumpkin,” but it certainly doesn’t taste or look like a pumpkin.

Zapallo tastes like a cross between a yellow squash and a butternut squash. And it looks like a cross between a pumpkin and an acorn squash. Here’s a picture I took in the mercado, where they sell it by the slice:

Squash Supermaxi El Vergel Cuenca Ecuador

We use zapallo in our stir fries a lot since it’s so low calorie and filling: 100 grams has only 24 calories and 3 grams of fiber! That means you can eat it guilt-free! It also has a very mild flavor so it takes on the flavor of the spices in your recipe.

Organic Produce at Supermaxi

Organic Produce Supermaxi El Vergel Cuenca Ecuador

Supermaxi has a small organic produce section with lots of delicious options. Ecuador doesn’t allow GMO crops to be grown in the country, so the quality of non-organic food is already much higher, but you can find lots of organic fruits and veggies here, too.

Mercado 27 de Febrero also has a special organic market every Thursday morning and there are several organic popup markets around town, if that’s uber important to you.

Common Sense Food Labels in Ecuador

Nutrition Label Supermaxi El Vergel Cuenca Ecuador

While we continue to struggle in the states to make food labels easy to read, the little South American country of Ecuador has already done it. Every packaged food has this easy to read label indicating the amount of sugar, salt and fat contained in the product.

The highest level ingredient goes on top and the lowest goes on the bottom. The options are high (alto), medium (medio) and low (bajo). They’re also color coded for extra easy understanding: red is high, yellow is medium and green is low. It’s so simple it’s hard to believe the US can’t figure out how to do it.

Ecuador also has the standard nutrition label that looks just like the labels we see in the states, except they’re in Spanish and the amounts are all metric. You won’t often see serving sizes in cups (tazas) or ounces. They’re either grams or milliliters, which makes it a bit tough for us Americans, but we’re learning.

GMO (GE) Food LabelsGMO Labels Supermaxi El Vergel Cuenca Ecuador

While Ecuador doesn’t allow GMO crops (more accurately called GE or genetically engineered crops) to be grown inside the country, they do allow some products containing GMOs to be imported.

We were never sure if this Kikkoman Soy Sauce contained GMOs back in the states, but I think it’s a safe bet that it does. Thanks to Ecuador’s mandatory GMO labeling, all products containing genetically engineered ingredients must sport this “contiene transgénicos” sticker.

Again, it’s so simple that a tiny developing country in South America can do it, yet GMO foods are still not labeled in the states. Gee, I wonder why.

Checkout Lines at Supermaxi El VergelCheckout Supermaxi El Vergel Cuenca Ecuador

Supermaxi has similar checkout lines to grocery stores in the states and they also accept credit cards. You just need to go to the customer service desk at the front of the store near the express lane and get a free Supermaxi card. You’ll need your passport or cedula (government ID card) to get it, but we just keep a picture of our passport on our phone for these types of circumstances so we don’t have to carry it all the time.

One thing that’s different with the checkout lines here is that you can’t push your shopping cart through the line. The carts are too wide to fit so they stack up at the entrance of the checkouts and you often have to move them out of the way to reach the checkout conveyor belt. Occasionally, someone gathers up all the carts and puts them back, but it can become quite the obstacle course until that happens.

If you have too many bags to carry, the baggers have a special cart that they load (you can see it behind the lady in the photo above). Then they’ll wheel it out to the parking lot or one of the waiting taxis.

Bag Check at Supermaxi El VergelBag Check Supermaxi El Vergel Cuenca Ecuador

There is a bag check with a security guard at the entrance of the store. You’ll need to check any bags or backpacks you have (except your purse or empty grocery bags) and he’ll give you a little claim tag so you can get them on your way out.

The guard is standing off to the side in this photo so you can’t see him, but someone is always there watching the bags and checking them in for customers.

Our Supermaxi HaulGroceries Supermaxi El Vergel Cuenca Ecuador

Everything you see in this photo cost us a little less than $30. The wine was the most expensive thing, and it cost about $7. They have several descent wines from Portugal, Spain and Argentina that are less than $10 per bottle.

Share the Love

We hope you enjoyed the video of Supermaxi El Vergel in Cuenca, Ecuador. If you want to know if they carry something that we didn’t discuss in the video or the blog post, let us know in the comments and we’ll look for it the next time we go.

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

Watch Our Video About Cuenca Ecuador’s Supermarket

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING WE GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH OUR LINKS. THERE IS NO COST TO YOU AND SOMETIMES YOU'LL EVEN GET A DISCOUNT BY USING OUR LINK. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

 

Download the FREE Live Abroad Checklist

Enter your email address to receive helpful and timely information about living abroad, slow travel, having more freedom, and living life on YOUR terms!

You'll also get immediate access to our FREE Live Abroad Checklist, which will help you get focused and ensure you don't miss anything important as you embark on this amazing life transformation!

 

A Hike Up the 439 Turi Church Steps + Mall Del Río & Feria Mascotas in Cuenca Ecuador

Today, we decided to hike up the 439 stairs to the Turi Church again here in Cuenca Ecuador, just for exercise (yes, I also think Amelia is trying to kill me!).

Then we circled around to Mall del Río where we went shopping for a new pair of shoes for me, but we bought Amelia new shoes and shirts, instead. Then we went to Parque El Paraíso for the Feria Mascotas (Pet Fair).

People & Places (and Animals)

Turi Church Steps Cuenca Ecuador

Turi Church Steps Cuenca Ecuador

We like to hike up the 439 Turi Church steps mainly for exercise, but the views are also incredible. Check out our other Turi Church Hike in Cuenca Ecuador for more info on Turi and more beautiful scenery.

Recoja el Excremento De Su Mascota

Recoja el Excremento Cuenca Ecuador

This sign reads “recoja el excremento de su mascota” which literally translates to “pick up your pet’s excrement” but a more accurate translation would be “pick up your dog’s poop.”

These signs instructing people to pick up after their pets are in most parks, but they don’t provide poo bags, so remember to bring your own.

Río Yanuncay – Cuenca Ecuador

Yanuncay River Cuenca Ecuador

There are 5 (yes, I was right) ríos or rivers that run through Cuenca: Tomebamba, Yanuncay, Tarqui, Milchichig and Machangara. The Tarqui runs into the Yanuncay. Then the Yanuncay, Milchichig and Machangara all feed the Tomebamba river. The Tomebamba river joins other rivers in Ecuador, and eventually feeds the Amazon River that leads to the Atlantic Ocean over a course that’s nearly 4,000 miles long.

Río Tarqui – Cuenca Ecuador

Tarqui River Cuenca Ecuador

The Tarqui River joins the Yanuncay River not far east from where Amelia is standing. Then the Yanuncay River meets the Tomebamba River on the easternmost end of Parque El Paraíso.

Tarqui River Park

Tarqui River Park Cuenca Ecuador

I’m not sure what the name of this park is, but it’s right next to the Tarqui River. Cuenca has a lot of these types of beautiful statues/art in their parks.

Shopping & Offices

Veinticuatro de Mayo Shopping & Offices Cuenca Ecuador

There are a lot of new developments around Cuenca, despite a tax law passed by the former president, Correa, that nearly killed the construction industry in Ecuador. The new president, Moreno, had a special referendum and the people overwhelmingly voted to remove the tax and now construction is expected to resume.

As a result of the decreased construction over the past few years, there is a major housing shortage in Ecuador, and especially, Cuenca. Due to the shortage of supply and increased demand, the cost of both homes for rent and for sale has increased. This has forced thousands of young people in Cuenca to continue living with their parents, even after they get married and have children. They’re hopeful that more housing construction will increase the supply and decrease the cost.

Gato Raro (Rare Cat)

Street Cat Cuenca Ecuador

There are cats in Ecuador, but they’re not nearly as common as dogs. We rarely see cats on the street, most likely because of the abundance of dogs that roam the streets looking for food. It’s reasonable to assume street cats don’t have a long life expectancy here….

Roundabouts Galore in Ecuador

Panamericana Highway Roundabout Cuenca Ecuador

Los redondeles or roundabouts are far more common here than in the states. The majority of major intersections are roundabouts, and they’re also common in the middle of highways, like this one in the Panamerican Highway.

Stop signs also seem to be completely optional here. “Pare” means stop, but very few people stopped at this one. As you can see in the video, the silver truck blew through it at about 50 mph!

Turi Church Steps Cuenca Ecuador

Amelia Turi Church Steps Cuenca Ecuador

Amelia loves to torture me with exercise, especially the Turi Church steps. There are 439 steps up to the Turi Church and I always spend most of it looking at her backside. Thankfully, it’s a nice view ?

It’s a tough hike, but the views are amazing!

Turi Church (La Iglesia de Turi) – Cuenca Ecuador

Turi Church Cuenca Ecuador

The bells were ringing when we reached the top of the Turi Church steps, as you can hear in the video. The Turi Church can be seen from most places in the city below, but it’s even more spectacular up close.

View from the Turi Church Steps

View from Turi Church Cuenca Ecuador

This is the reward when you reach the top of the Turi Church steps. You can see the New Cathedral off in the distance, and the Cuenca airport is barely visible on the upper right of the photo. The road that runs diagonally up the middle of the photo is Avenida Solano.

Ancient Riverbed Far Above Cuenca Ecuador

Riverbed Far Above Cuenca Ecuador

Walking along Av Mirador de Turi heading west from the Turi Church, we spotted this ancient riverbed that’s about 400 feet above the main city of Cuenca. It’s fascinating to see this so far up the side of a mountain.

Laundry Day Cuenca Ecuador

Laundry Day Cuenca Ecuador

Ecuadorians love their dogs and hanging their laundry out to dry. Sunday seems to be a common laundry day here, and everything from towels to bras can be seen waving in the breeze in front, behind or on top of people’s houses.

Wonder Woman Billboard

Wonder Woman Billboard Cuenca Ecuador

Av Mirador de Turi meets back up with the Panamerican Highway, which took us to Mall del Río. There are lots of billboards along the highways in Ecuador, and many advertise American brands.

This billboard is an ad for Justice League and reads “La Mujer Maravilla Se Ve Mejor En Una Televisión TCL” which translates to “Wonder Woman looks better on a TCL television.” TCL is an electronics company that sells TVs so this appears to be a cross-promotional ad for the Justice League movie and TCL televisions.

This is our first time living abroad so it’s interesting to see America from outside the states. One thing we have noticed is the abundance of American pop culture here. It seems that entertainment (and fast food) is now America’s biggest export, especially since most manufactured things come from China.

We visited Nectar, one of our favorite tiendas in El Centro, and the owner’s daughter was wearing a tiara on her head and empty toilet paper rings around both wrists. I asked who she was and her dad said she was La Mujer Maravilla or Wonder Woman. I’m not sure why, but it was surprising to see a little girl in the middle of Ecuador dressed up as Wonder Woman.

Mall del Río – Cuenca Ecuador

Mall del Rio Cuenca Ecuador

Mall del Río is one of the major malls in Cuenca. It has everything you’d expect to see in a mall in the states: a food court, electronics stores and lots of upscale clothing stores. Since online shopping isn’t a thing here yet, malls and shopping centers are still very popular.

Eddie Bauer in Mall del Río – Cuenca Ecuador

Eddie Bauer in Mall del Rio Cuenca Ecuador

American brands like Eddie Bauer are common here, although most of the products come from China. We’ve found the prices to be similar on most things: Some prices are higher, some are lower and some are about the same.

If you want higher quality clothing, you’ll need to go to a nicer store and you’ll spend more. But there are lots of nice and affordable products that are made in Ecuador, too.

Mall del Río Food Court

Mall del Rio Food Court Cuenca Ecuador

The food court in Mall del Río has all the American fast food joints you’d recognize, including McDonald’s, Burger King and KFC. Ecuador has seen a massive increase in health related illnesses like obesity and diabetes over the past decade, and these are no doubt contributing to it. We haven’t seen anything vegan-friendly in the food court aside from salads at the fast food places.

Coral in Mall del Río

Mall del Rio Coral Cuenca Ecuador

You can barely see the store in this photo, but Coral is located on the far end of the mall. It’s the largest store in the mall, and possibly in Cuenca. It’s like a Super Walmart crossed with a Home Depot. They carry everything from food and clothing, to microwaves and bathtubs. We’ll show you the inside on a future video.

Amelia’s New Shirt from Divad Closet in Mall del Río

Amelia's New Shirt from Divad Closet in Mall del Rio Cuenca Ecuador

We went to mall to find a new pair of walking shoes for me, but we struck out on that. However, Amelia found a pair of shoes (los zapatos) and a couple blouses (las blusas).

Since we’ve been here, both of us have lost so much weight that none of our clothes fit properly…and we didn’t have that much weight to lose! We ate a healthy plant-based diet and walked a lot back in Denver, but the food is different here and we walk even more.

They don’t allow GMO’s so they don’t have RoundUp and a lot of the produce is organic and from ancient seeds that haven’t been modified genetically.

The veggies are ugly as hell, but they taste amazing. They’re full of flavor and juiciness like the fruits and veggies we used to have as a kid back in the 70’s and 80’s before food was ruined in the states by Big Ag and government corruption.

We also walk a lot more here than we did back home, over 10,000 steps on a typical day. Some weekends, we clock over 20 miles walking around town, taking Daisy for a walk and walking up to Turi.

And we go to the gym most weekdays. I mainly go to the gym for physical therapy for my back, which I couldn’t afford in the states. Amelia goes because she loves working out and sweating her ass off.

All of this healthy eating and exercise has trimmed a few inches off our waistlines, which means we need new clothes.

C-3PO Shoes from Divad Closet in Mall del Río

C-3PO Shoes from Divad Closet in Mall del Rio Cuenca Ecuador

Bright, shiny platform shoes, like Amelia’s new gold C-3PO shoes, are very popular here. Since the average height for a female in Ecuador is 5 feet tall, platform shoes give them a few extra inches.

Some of the platform shoes have high heels (what we call stripper shoes back in the states) adding 5 or 6 inches to their height! It’s common to see women walking down cobblestone sidewalks and streets in 5 inch stiletto platform shoes! I don’t know how they do it without falling!

Divad Closet Faux Fur in Mall del Río

Divad Closet Faux Fur in Mall del Rio Cuenca Ecuador

We have found a lot of cruelty-free products here, from cosmetics to clothing. Veganism is growing here, and most people are at least aware of animal cruelty issues in the products they buy.

When it comes up that we are vegan, several Ecuadorians (a cab driver, a tour guide, a business owner, a waiter, etc.) have asked us if we’re healthier now. Not one Ecuadorian has asked us where we get our protein.

In the states, we’ve been programmed through corporate junk science, overt marketing messages, and subtle plugs on the news and in entertainment, that a vegan diet is unhealthy. That you won’t get enough nutrients eating only plants. That you’ll die of an unheard of protein deficiency.

But here, in a developing country in South America, they haven’t been brainwashed and manipulated for corporate greed. And they know more about nutrition than the average American who thinks they know everything.

Our Sales Assistant at Divad Closet in Mall del Río

Divad Closet Assistant in Mall del Rio Cuenca Ecuador

This delightful young woman helped Amelia with her shopping at Divad Closet. She didn’t speak very much English, so I was able to practice my Spanish with her while Amelia was trying on clothes.

Like so many of the people we meet in Cuenca, she is from Venezuela. Another refugee from a corrupt government and a collapsing society. She has been in Cuenca for over 6 months. Ecuador is now home to thousands of Venezuelan refugees.

There is a difference between the Venezuelan accent and the Cuencano accent, which is different from other parts of Ecuador. The Venezuelan accent is closer to an accent you would hear in Spain. They speak with a bit of a lisp and pronounce some words differently than Ecuadorians.

The Cuencano accent is very melodic. Ecuadorians outside Cuenca say it sounds like they are singing, and it does. The Cuencano accent is very beautiful, and reminds me of a French accent.

People from the coast of Ecuador drop consonants from the end of words, making it very difficult to understand for gringos learning Spanish. Since Cuencanos speak more slowly and melodically than other Ecuadorians and South Americans, this is the perfect place to learn spanish.

Trail to Parque El Paraíso – Cuenca Ecuador

Trail to Parque El Paraíso Cuenca Ecuador

There are LOTS of walking trails in Cuenca. This one runs along Avenida Diez de Agosto and leads to Parque El Paraíso, our favorite park in Cuenca. The Yanuncay river is behind the trees on the right side of this photo.

Feria Mascotas at Parque El Paraíso

Feria Mascotas at Parque El Paraíso in Cuenca Ecuador

It seems like everyone has a dog in Ecuador. Multiple dogs in most cases. When we take Daisy for a walk around our neighborhood, nearly every yard and courtyard has one or more dogs that bark at us.

This pet fair was mainly for dogs, but we saw a couple of cat oriented booths, as well. It was packed with people and dogs, which made Daisy (and me) very nervous. We knew a woman that was running one of the fundraiser booths, but there were so many people we couldn’t get in to see her.

Pet Adoption at Feria Mascotas in Parque Paraíso

Feria Mascotas Adoption at Parque El Paraíso in Cuenca Ecuador

Several booths had pets available for adoption. The sign in this photo reads, “La adopción es la mejor opción” which translates to “Adoption is the best option.”

There’s a big push here to adopt pets from the numerous shelters around town, but there are still several puppy mill stores. We cringe every time we walk by one.

It was nice to see so many people supporting responsible pet companionship, but it was just too crowded for us, so we left after 10 or 15 minutes.

See More: Cuenca Parks

Share the Love

We hope you enjoyed our hike up the Turi Church steps, our shopping experience at Mall del Río, and Feria Mascotas in Cuenca, Ecuador today.

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.

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING WE GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH OUR LINKS. THERE IS NO COST TO YOU AND SOMETIMES YOU'LL EVEN GET A DISCOUNT BY USING OUR LINK. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

 

Download the FREE Live Abroad Checklist

Enter your email address to receive helpful and timely information about living abroad, slow travel, having more freedom, and living life on YOUR terms!

You'll also get immediate access to our FREE Live Abroad Checklist, which will help you get focused and ensure you don't miss anything important as you embark on this amazing life transformation!

 

Spanish Words & Phrase

Recoja el excremento de su mascota – Pick up your pet’s excrement
el río – the river
el gato – the cat
los redondeles – the roundabouts
pare – stop
Mall del Río – Mall of the River
La Mujer Maravilla Se Ve Mejor En Una Televisión – Wonder Woman looks better on television
..en el mall siempre encuentras moda actual – ..in the mall you always find current fashion
comida rapida – fast food
la blusa – the blouse
los zapatos – the shoes
gordo – fat
la casa – the house
Feria de Mascotas – Pet Fair
la adopción es la mejor opción – adoption is the best option

Sabatino’s Artisanal Market in Cuenca Ecuador + Belly Dancing & Music Festival

Today, we visited Sabatino’s Artisanal Market here in Cuenca Ecuador to get some organic peanut butter, vegan fudge, bread and other stuff. Then we stumbled upon a music festival at Otorongo Plaza celebrating 80 year anniversary of a local music conservatory. We ended our day in the life at Fratello for a delicious lunch and belly dancing performed by Academia Profesional de Danza Clásica “Tersícore”.

People & Places

Yo Soy Groot (I Am Groot)

American pop culture is very, well, popular here. American TV commercials, movies, music, billboards, fast food restaurants and even graffiti art can be found everywhere, just like this tribute to the loveable Guardians of the Galaxy character, Groot. Even Yoda and Darth Maul can be found brandishing their infamous lightsabers.

Yoda Graffiti Cuenca EcuadorTomebamba Graffiti Cuenca Ecuador

Graffiti is a prevalent blemish on an otherwise clean city. In an effort to cover some of it, graffiti artists (probably the same ones responsible for the unsanctioned graffiti) are hired to paint large murals like this one. Most of these murals have remained untagged so it appears to be an effective deterrent.

However, if they really want to curtail the non-artistic graffiti, they need a national registry for spray paint, and a minimum age to buy it.

Tomebamba River Walk Cuenca EcuadorTomebamba River Walk Cuenca Ecuador

The Tomebamba riverwalk in Cuenca, Ecuador is one of the most beautiful cobblestone paths on the planet. It’s lush and green, and lined with flowering trees and bushes. It follows the Tomebamba river from Otorongo Plaza on the west side of El Centro to Parque Paraiso on the east side.

There are also several restaurants along the path with amazing views of the river and patios that are perfect for people watching.

Bike Lanes a Plenty in Cuenca, Ecuador

Bike Lanes Cuenca Ecuador

Bike lanes are being added all over to make the city more bicycle friendly. They want to encourage more people to ride their bikes to work and school. The main reason for this initiative is to reduce the increasing traffic congestion and pollution, but also to improve people’s health.

Like most developing countries, Ecuador is seeing a rise in diet and exercise related health problems as people transition away from their traditional starchy fruit, vegetable and whole grain diets with minimal meat, to the western diet that’s high in processed foods, fast foods, sugar, salt and animal products.

With economic growth and easier access to cars, motorcycles, smartphones and TV’s, Ecuadorians are also spending less time walking and exercising. As a result, “Over the past decade, Ecuador has experienced a higher burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, hypertension, stroke, ischemic heart disease and pneumonia, which are now the leading causes of death. Overweight and obesity are widely prevalent across all age groups.” [source]

It’s additionally distressing to hear unhealthy gringos doling out nutrition advice. Ecuadorians are being told to eat less of their traditional low-fat, starchy diets that have kept them lean for millenium. Instead, they’re being told to replace their traditional foods with more meat, dairy and eggs…the very foods (along with processed foods) that have already created a health epidemic in western developed countries.

The “diseases of affluence” like obesity, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, etc., are largely due to the increase in saturated fats and calories from animal products, combined with a more sedentary lifestyle. The best advice we gringos could give the Ecuadorians is to ignore the western nutrition advice and go back to the way they used to eat. Oh, and put down the smartphone and go for a walk.

Magnolia Café in Otorongo Plaza

Magnolia Cafe Cuenca Ecuador

Magnolia Café in Otorongo Plaza (Plaza del Otorongo, en español) on the east side of El Centro has a descent veggie burger, delicious papas fritas (French fries) and reasonably priced Club Verdes. They also have a really nice covered patio with a good view of Otorongo Plaza that’s perfect for people watching.

Be sure to ask for your papas fritas “sin mayonesa,” which means “without mayonnaise.” Most of the restaurants that we’ve been to in Ecuador serve papas fritas with mayonnaise instead of ketchup, and it’s usually served in little bowls so it gets thrown out if you don’t eat it. Ketchup is called “salsa de tomate” and mustard is called “mostaza” so ask for that instead.

Sabatino’s Artisanal Market Cuenca EcuadorSabatinos Artisanal Market Cuenca Ecuador

Sabatino’s Artisanal Market occurs on the first Saturday of the month and it’s at Tutto Matto on Ave. Solano on the third Saturday of the month. You can keep track of the popup markets on GringoPost.

These popup markets aren’t vegan, but they do have lots of vegan options, like bread from ArteSana and organic peanut butter and vegan fudge from Franco Orgánico.

Franco Orgánico at Sabatino’s Artisanal Market in Cuenca Ecuador

One of our favorite vendors at Sabatino’s artisanal market is Franco Orgánico. He sells the most delicious natural organic peanut butter, vegan fudge, sweet potatoes, vegan crackers, coffee, squash and other things. He’s fluent in English and loves to tell us about his foods. He also sells in Loja and Vilcabamba in southern Ecuador.

Franco Orgánico Peanuts Cuenca EcuadorFranco Orgánico Cuenca Ecuador

Franco’s peanuts come from an ancient species of peanut that look and taste different than what we’re used to in the states. They have a different shape, they’re softer and they have a milder flavor. He makes his peanut butter by grinding the peanuts without any other ingredients. No preservatives, oil or other mystery chemicals. It’s all natural and delicious!

Fresh Bread from ArteSanaArteSana Kelvert Cuenca Ecuador

Our favorite bread vender at Cuenca’s popup markets is ArteSana Panadería y Pastelería (bakery and cake shop). Not all of their products are vegan, so be sure to ask. But most of their bread is vegan, like their delicious sourdough bread and chia seed loaves. Tell Kelbert Amelia And JP sent you!

Music Festival at Otorongo Plaza

As we were leaving Sabatino’s, this single parade float was passing by so we followed it to Otorongo Plaza. Ecuador has over 500 holidays a year, so it’s common to see small parades and festivals on the weekends, as well as during the week.

The music festival at Otorongo Plaza was celebrating the 80th birthday of the Conservatorio José María Rodríguez here in Cuenca. The sign on the float reads: 80 years – The accordion area pays homage to the conservatory. Accordions are a popular instrument in Ecuador, and you’ll often see them being played on street corners for tips (propinas). These are teenagers playing them on the float.

Accordion Float Cuenca EcuadorMusic Festival Otorongo Stairs Cuenca Ecuador

We’re pretty sure this float was part of a larger parade up the hill from Otorongo Plaza in El Centro because a lot of people and marching musicians came down the stairs while we were watching.

Amelia and her Café at MagnoliaAmelia Cafe Magnolia Cuenca Ecuador

We decided to grab a seat on the patio of Magnolia Café to watch the festivities and enjoy una taza de café Americano (a cup of Americano coffee).

 

Dancing at the Music FestivalMusic Festival Dancing Cuenca Ecuador

Unfortunately, the video and the pictures of the music festival came out blurry due to an equipment malfunction. We were really disappointed because the dancing and dancers were so beautiful in their vintage dresses. ?

Taxi Ride Back to Fratello

After we left the music festival, we walked across the river to Fratello, but it had started to mist and the temperature had dropped so we went home first to get some warmer clothes.Taxi Ride Cuenca Ecuador

We normally walk everywhere, averaging more than 5 miles per weekday and 10 miles on the weekend. But to save time, we took a taxi back to Fratello, which is about 1.5 miles from our house.

Taxis are very affordable here. As you can see from the little yellow and green meter on the dashboard, we were almost to Fratello and it only cost $1.37. It was less than $2 with tip for a 10 minute cab ride. We’ve been told it’s common to tip 10 to 25 cents, but we usually round up to the nearest cincuenta centavos (50 cents).

We also like to practice our Spanish with the cab drivers. It’s a good use of time and they usually like talking about their city and lives in Cuenca. Don’t be surprised if they ask you personal questions, like how much money you make, if you’re married, have kids, how many kids or why you don’t have any kids. Children are a central part of the Latin culture and it’s common for Ecuadorian couples to have 3 or more kids, so a lot of the conversation revolves around children.

Fratello Vegan – Cuenca’s Only Fully Vegan Restaurant

Fratello Vegan Cuenca Ecuador

Fratello Vegan is one of our favorite restaurants in Cuenca. They have delicious vegan comfort food, like pizza, burritos, empanadas and ice cream. It’s a little off the beaten path, so you probably won’t stumble upon it by accident. However, it has a beautiful view of the Tomebamba River from its outdoor patio.

While the patio area is covered and they have heaters, it can get a little chilly there on an overcast or rainy day, so be sure to dress in layers and take a jacket.

Helado Vegano (Vegan Ice Cream)Fratello Vegan Ice Cream Cuenca Ecuador

Helado (ice cream) is extremely popular in Ecuador. You’ll often see lots of people walking down the street eating an ice cream cone, and it seems like every street has una heladería (an ice cream shop). However, while most heladerías have at least one vegan option, Fratello is the only fully vegan heladería in Cuenca.

And they make the most amazing vegan ice cream! I had the chocolate mint ice cream and it tasted just like a peppermint patty. Amelia had the wine ice cream and it was delicious, too.

Belly Dancing at Fratello Vegan

Fratello also hosts a variety of cultural, health and vegan related events. Today, we were treated to a belly dancing performance by Academia Profesional de Danza Clásica “Tersícore”. The woman on the right is the instructor, Caterina, who teaches classes in the ATS style of belly dancing.

Amelia is taking belly dancing classes from Julio at The Tribal Fusion House, a different instructor who is part of the Tribal Fusion style of belly dancing. I’m not qualified to discuss the differences, but both look fun and beautiful to me.

Fratello Vegan Belly Dancing Cuenca EcuadorFratello Vegan Belly Dancing Cuenca Ecuador

Amelia Enjoying a Belly Dancing Class at Fratello VeganFratello Vegan Belly Dancing Class Cuenca Ecuador

After the kids and professionals performed, Caterina taught a class and Amelia was very excited to participate in it. It’s the first time I’ve seen Amelia belly dance and I was really impressed, especially since she’s only been taking lessons for a short time. You can watch the full video below.

And she’s almost 50 years old! After 2 years of eating a plant-based, vegan diet, she has really rolled back time!

Share the Love

We hope you enjoyed our adventure to Sabatino’s Artisanal Market, the Music Festival at Otorongo Plaza and Belly Dancing at Fratello Vegan in Cuenca, Ecuador today. 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.

Watch Our Video About Sabatino’s Artisanal Market in Cuenca Ecuador

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING WE GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH OUR LINKS. THERE IS NO COST TO YOU AND SOMETIMES YOU'LL EVEN GET A DISCOUNT BY USING OUR LINK. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

 

Download the FREE Live Abroad Checklist

Enter your email address to receive helpful and timely information about living abroad, slow travel, having more freedom, and living life on YOUR terms!

You'll also get immediate access to our FREE Live Abroad Checklist, which will help you get focused and ensure you don't miss anything important as you embark on this amazing life transformation!

 

 

Mercado 27 de Febrero Organic Thursday Market in Cuenca Ecuador

On most Thursday mornings, you can find us at the organic popup market outside Mercado 27 de Febrero in Cuenca Ecuador. It’s a short 10 minute walk from our house so it’s very convenient.

We’re not 100% sure everything is truly organic, but everything is 100% beautiful and delicious. And since the prices are so reasonable, we figure it’s worth it, regardless.

People & Places (and Animals)

Happy Dog

Happy Street Dog Cuenca Ecuador

It’s common to see dogs, stray or otherwise, walking down the sidewalk like they’re heading to work…and some are. They have places they frequent where people feed them or food scraps can be found. Then they return home at the end of the day.

The dogs here are much smarter than those in the states. We’ve actually seen dogs stop and look both ways before crossing the street. They go about their days here just like they’re little furry humans.

Mercado 27 de Febrero in Cuenca Ecuador

Mercado 27 de Febrero in Cuenca Ecuador

The mercado is usually bustling with activity, but we were there very early on this Thursday morning because our littlest dog woke us up at 5:30am to go outside. A lot of the shops in the mercado weren’t open yet, but the organic market was already busy.

Mercado 27 de Febrero Organic Thursday Market

Mercado 27 de Febrero in Cuenca Ecuador

We love the fresh and delicious fruits and veggies at the organic Thursday market. And the people are super nice and helpful. We usually visit the same people every week for the same things.

These are our yellow potato and avocado ladies. And we sometimes buy other things from them, too.

DELICIOUS Yellow Potatoes!Potatoes Mercado 27 de Febrero in Cuenca Ecuador

We always have some of these on hand for snacks and side dishes. I cook a big batch in our pressure cooker and keep them in the fridge. Then we just warm them up in the microwave (microwaving is healthy, despite the misconceptions).

They’re so buttery and delicious that you can eat them without anything on them. However, we usually top them with hot sauce, Tabasco, salsa, refried beans or just a little salt and pepper.

Amazing AvocadosAvocados at Mercado 27 de Febrero in Cuenca Ecuador

Avocados are usually 3 or 4 for a dollar, and they’re deliciously creamy. They also last a long time, unlike avocados in the states. You can buy a soft avocado and it’ll still be good to eat 3 or 4 days later. However, if you buy a hard avocado, you’ll need to wait a week or two before it’s ripe enough to eat.

Tasty TomatoesTomatoes at Mercado 27 de Febrero in Cuenca Ecuador

The tomatoes are juicy and delicious, just like the tomatoes from my grandpa’s garden when I was a kid. You can literally eat them like an apple. Be sure to get ones that are a little soft when squeezed. We’ve found some that have a tough inner layer. They still taste good, but they’re not as juicy.

Guanábanas (Soursop)Guanábana at Mercado 27 de Febrero in Cuenca Ecuador

This is a large, prehistoric looking fruit. The inside is white and fleshy with lots of large black seeds. Amelia loves these, but they’re too sour for my taste. I prefer chirimoyas (sweet sops), which are smaller and taste like cotton candy.

Pitahaya (Dragon Fruit)Pitahaya (Dragon Fruit) Mercado 27 de Febrero Cuenca Ecuador

The yellow funky look fruit in this picture is called a Pitahaya (or Dragon Fruit). It has a white, juicy interior with little black seeds, and it tastes like candy.

It’s super sweet and delicious, but it’s commonly used for constipation relief. In fact, it works so well, I’m usually heading to the bathroom within an hour of eating one! That means I don’t eat them very often, unfortunately. ?

Adding Up the Price

It seems that most things at the mercados are sold in one dollar increments. You can ask for 50 cents (cincuenta centavos) or $2 or some other amount, but most things start at $1.Adding the Price at Mercado 27 de Febrero in Cuenca Ecuador

Once you’ve picked out everything you want, they’ll put it in your bags and add the price up as they go. We bought $7.50 worth of fruit and veg from this vendor, and another $7.50 from another vendor today.

One thing we really like about Ecuador is that they use the dollar for their currency. Not only does it make shopping much easier (we don’t need to do currency translations in our heads), but the dollars we earned back in the US go much further here. The $15 worth of organic produce we bought today would have easily cost us $80 to $100 in Denver (and they wouldn’t have tasted as good).

Amelia’s Shocked FaceAmelia Surprised at Mercado 27 de Febrero in Cuenca Ecuador

We were at an outdoor clothing and housewares market a couple weeks ago and Amelia accidentally walked off with a purse without paying for it. We noticed before we got too far and she took it back, but she almost did the same thing again today! She had a bag of fruit on her arm under her coat… Should we be worried? ?

Washing the Fruits and Veggies

We always wash the fruits and veggies as soon as we get home so they’re ready to eat when weWashing Fruits and Veggies from Mercado 27 de Febrero in Cuenca Ecuador want them. Even though these are (supposedly) organic, they still need to be washed, especially the veggies.

They sell veggie wash in the grocery stores here, but we don’t use it. I “Gregered” this topic when we went plant-based and found that vinegar works better than the chemical washes, and simple salt water works even better than vinegar.

All you need is a 10% salt water solution (that’s 1 part salt to 10 parts water) to clean your veggies. We also scrub the veggies with a brush to get them extra clean. Then we rinse them in fresh water to remove the salt and let air dry.

Our Haul from Mercado 27 de FebreroFruit and Veggie Haul from Mercado 27 de Febrero in Cuenca Ecuador

This haul of fresh, organic fruits and veggies cost us about $15. Not only are they cheaper here, but they taste 100 times better. They taste like the fruits and veggies tasted when we were kids. They’re juicy, flavorful and delicious.

Amelia & JP Just Having FunJP and Amelia Having fun in Cuenca Ecuador

You’ll see in our videos that we like to laugh and have fun. We love living in Ecuador and we’re very thankful to have each other. Sharing this unconventional and exciting experience with a kindred spirit makes it even more enjoyable.

Share the Love

We hope you enjoyed our trip to Mercado 27 de Febrero in Cuenca, Ecuador today. 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.

Watch Our Video About the Mercado 27 de Febrero in Cuenca, Ecuador

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING WE GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH OUR LINKS. THERE IS NO COST TO YOU AND SOMETIMES YOU'LL EVEN GET A DISCOUNT BY USING OUR LINK. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

 

Download the FREE Live Abroad Checklist

Enter your email address to receive helpful and timely information about living abroad, slow travel, having more freedom, and living life on YOUR terms!

You'll also get immediate access to our FREE Live Abroad Checklist, which will help you get focused and ensure you don't miss anything important as you embark on this amazing life transformation!

 

 

Mirador de Turi Ecuador: The Colorful Cuenca Countryside

Our hike through Mirador de Turi Ecuador and the Cuenca Countryside was like stepping back in time. Small farms dot the landscape and friendly people were eager to talk to us.

La Iglesia de Turi Ecuador (The Turi Church) is a beautiful white church situated in the “V” of two mountains on the south side of Cuenca Ecuador. It can be seen from most places in Cuenca, making it one of Cuenca’s most memorable landmarks.

You can get to Turi by taxi (about $5), by tour bus ($8 from Parque Calderón) or by walking up 439 steps, which is the route we took in the video.

On the day of our hike, there was a Fiesta de Parroquialización de Turi celebrating 165 years since the church was built. The party started at 9am and it was still going strong at 9pm when we went to bed (we could hear it from our house almost 2 miles away).

People & Places (and Animals)

La Iglesia de Turi (The Turi Church) – Cuenca Ecuador

Turi Church Cuenca Ecuador

The Turi Church can be seen throughout Cuenca Ecuador. It’s nestled between two mountains so the white church looks spectacular against the Ecuadorian blue sky.

On the day of our hike, the church was celebrating its 165 year birthday with a parade and fiesta. The local residents were out in force to watch and participate in the activities.

The Stairs to Turi Ecuador

Stairs to Turi Ecuador

There are 439 steps on the hike up to the Turi Church. At an altitude of more than 8,000 feet, these steps are not for the faint of heart. Several benches offering panoramic views of the city are there for you to use. Take water. Take breaks. Take your time.

The Turi Church – Cuenca Ecuador

The church is a beautiful sight from far away and from up close.

The inside of the Turi Church is pretty typical for an Ecuadorian Catholic church, at least the ones we’ve seen. Some of the older cathedrals that we visited in Quito were more ornate with lots of gold leaf, but the majority of churches look like the Turi Church. It has high ceilings, several religious statues and wooden pews.

Always remember to remove your hat as a sign of respect when visiting the inside of an Ecuadorian church. If you don’t, you’ll get lots of dirty looks and someone will probably ask you to remove it.

Turi Church Cuenca Ecuador

The View from TuriView from Turi Church Cuenca Ecuador

Turi offers amazing views of the Andean valley where the city of Cuenca, Ecuador is located. People have lived in this valley for thousands of years and some of the Incan ruins can be seen from this viewpoint, if you know where to look.

Fiesta de Parroquialización de TuriTuri Church Parade Cuenca Ecuador

The Turi Church was built in 1853, and the residents were celebrating its birthday on the day of our hike with a Fiesta de Parroquialización de Turi. The indigenous women wore their traditional vibrant colored dresses as they marched in the parade up from the valley behind the church.

Sidewalk TrenchesTuri Sidewalks Cuenca Ecuador

Gaps in the sidewalk are a common occurrence in Ecuador so be careful to watch where you step or you could seriously injure yourself with a 5 to 15 foot fall.

Trash Racks

Trash Rack Cuenca Ecuador

While you’re busy watching for disappearing sidewalks, remember to look up, too. Racks used to keep trash bags out of the reach of stray dogs are used on walls along the sidewalks. For those of us over 5 feet tall, they can really hurt if you walk into one.

Centros de Rehabilitación Social (CRS Turi)CRS Turi Cuenca Ecuador

This is the local prison or Social Rehabilitation Center located in the picturesque farm community behind the Turi Church. Ecuador has a very low prison population, with its prisons currently at only 38% occupancy.

Part of the reason for the low occupancy rate is culture that provides the basic needs for its population, as well as their successful inmate rehabilitation programs that help keep people from returning once released. “The rehabilitation program includes work, education, sports and other activities to keep everyone busy.”

Turi San Agustín de Punta Corral – Mirador de Turi

We ate our lunch on the steps of the San Agustín Church in Punta Corral, the heart of Mirador Turi.

San Agustin Church Turi Cuenca Ecuador

Church on the Hill in Mirador de Turi

We spotted this tiny church on the hill on our way back home. The Andes mountains in Ecuador are full of amazing views and beautiful churches like this.

Church on the Hill Turi Cuenca Ecuador

Luis de Ecuador

We met Luis and his family on our way back home. He was extremely gracious and offered us a cerveza (beer).Luis in Turi Cuenca Ecuador He welcomed us to his country, saying “Ecuador es mi país y es su país.” (Ecuador is my country and it is your country.)

His children (niños) were adorable and eager to meet a couple of gringos out walking through their countryside. Luis told us he lived in Michigan for 10 years, which is why he could speak English.

Many Ecuadorians speak English, especially in and around Cuenca. They teach children how to speak English, starting in preschool. And adults who speak English have more job opportunities so it benefits them to learn the language.

We’re often stopped on the street by Ecuadorians asking us if we speak English. They want to practice their English as much as we want to practice our Spanish.

Share the Love

We hope you enjoyed our hike through Mirador de Turi Ecuador today. Please remember to like, comment, share and 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.

Watch Our Video About

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING WE GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH OUR LINKS. THERE IS NO COST TO YOU AND SOMETIMES YOU'LL EVEN GET A DISCOUNT BY USING OUR LINK. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

 

Download the FREE Live Abroad Checklist

Enter your email address to receive helpful and timely information about living abroad, slow travel, having more freedom, and living life on YOUR terms!

You'll also get immediate access to our FREE Live Abroad Checklist, which will help you get focused and ensure you don't miss anything important as you embark on this amazing life transformation!

 

Bumba Artisanal Market Cuenca Ecuador + Tour of El Centro & Lunch at Café Libre

Today, we went to the Bumba Artisanal Market in Cuenca Ecuador before venturing onward to a popup outdoor textiles market and then to lunch at plant-based Café Libre restaurant in Cuenca.

We love to visit the artisanal markets like the Bumba Popup Market for fresh, organic, delicious, locally sourced vegan foods.

People & Places (and Animals)

The Roundabout at Av Solano y Remigio Crespo Toral

Av Solano y Av Remigio Crespo Toral Cuenca Ecuador

In this photo, Amelia and I are playing Frogger at a busy intersection in Cuenca near the fútbol (soccer) stadium, Estadio Alejandro Serrano Aguilar, where the Club Deportivo Cuenca plays (that’s Cuenca’s local fútbol team).

In Ecuador, pedestrians do NOT have the right of way. The pecking order from top to bottom is Busses, Taxis, Cars/Trucks, Motorcycles, Dogs and then Humans.

Drivers don’t stop for pedestrians. In fact, we’ve noticed a lot of drivers speed up when pedestrians are trying to cross the street. It seems very odd to us since everyone is a pedestrian at some point in this highly walkable city, and the Ecuadorian people are very tranquilo (calm and nice)…unless they’re driving.

We have seen a few elder Ecuadorians step out into traffic with their arm outstretched in a “stop” gesture and cars come to a screeching halt for them, but I’m not sure that works for young people or gringos. Amelia and I have been too scared to try it.

Having grown up in the fast-paced United States, Amelia and I are fast walkers (like a lot of the gringos who live here). However, unlike us gringos, Ecuadorians are very tranquilo when walking so it’s common for us to experience mild irritation when walking behind people who are strolling on Monday morning like it’s Sunday afternoon. But when they’re behind the wheel of a car, normal tranquilo Ecuadorians turn into NYC taxi cab drivers with only two speeds: stop and fast.

Please, be careful when crossing the street.

Colegio Benigno MaloColegio Benigno Malo Cuenca Ecuador

Colegio Benigno Malo is beautiful high school in Cuenca, Ecuador. It has a French neoclassical architecture and was built in 1923.

Students in most of Ecuador’s schools wear uniforms and this one is no different. On most days, the students wear navy blue slacks and a white polo shirt, but on some days, they dress up in skirts and sport coats.

Bumba Artisanal Market Cuenca EcuadorBumba Popup Market Cuenca Ecuador

Bumba Fruits & Beer is a popular Ecuadorian hangout with a great view of the Tomebamba river. The Bumba Artisanal Market is also a big hit with gringos and Ecuadorians alike. Follow Bumba’s Facebook page and keep an eye out on GringoPost for the Bumba Popup Market dates and times.

Rio TomebambaRio Tomebamba Cuenca Ecuador

This is one of the main rivers that runs through Cuenca on the edge of El Centro (the center). It divides the old city and the new(er) city. The Bumba Popup Market is located next to the river, as you can see in the video.

Kelbert from ArteSana

Kelvert from ArteSana Cuenca Ecuador

We visit Kelbert from ArteSana Panadería y Pastelería (ArteSana Bakery and Pastry/Cakery/Cake Shop) at least once and sometimes twice per week. His wife bakes fresh vegan bread with all natural ingredients and Kelvert sells it (and washes the dishes!).

Kelbert also helps us with our Spanish and enjoys teaching us new words like “estaba haciendo ejercicio,” which means “I was exercising.” He sells bread on Tuesday and Thursday at a restaurant next to our gym so it’s super convenient to pick some up on my way home.

Sourdough from ArteSanaArteSana Sourdough Bread Cuenca Ecuador

Our favorite bread from ArteSana is their sourdough. We have to ration ourselves or we can eat a whole loaf in a day!

 

The New CathedralThe New Cathedral Cuenca Ecuador

The New Cathedral of Cuenca is the largest cathedral in Ecuador and the blue domes help give Cuenca its amazing skyline.

Even though this is referred to as the “new” cathedral, construction began in 1885. That’s over 130 years ago! But it’s still newer than the “old” cathedral (see below).

Marisól at the Popup Mercado Next to the New CathedralMarisól at The New Cathedral Popup Market Cuenca Ecuador

We’ve visited Marisól before. She sells some very nice sweaters and scarves (bufandas) at the popup market that appears most weekends and holidays. The market has lots of different types of clothes, shoes, jewelry, toys and food.

 

The Old Cathedral of CuencaThe Old Cathedral Cuenca Ecuador

La Catedral Antigua de Cuenca or The Old Cathedral of Cuenca was built in 1557, making it over 460 years old. That’s more than 300 years older than the “new” cathedral (see above).

It currently serves as a museum of religious art. I suppose we should venture inside someday, but that’s not really our cup of tea. We’ve seen some of Ecuador’s religious art, and it can be brutal and gory. The Spaniards used religion as a tool of fear and control after they invaded South America, which is reflected in the religious art of the time.

Parque CalderónParque Calderón El Centro Cuenca Ecuador

Situated between The New Cathedral and The Old Cathedral, Parque Calderón is a beautiful city park and a popular destination for tourists and locals, alike. We’ll share more details about this park in a future video.

La Iglesia de San AlfonsoLa Iglesia de San Alfonso El Centro Cuenca Ecuador

The original smaller La Iglesia de San Alfonso was completed in 1894, but the larger extension shown here was completed in 1911. The designer of the new extension was Huesgen Ziegelmeir, a German architect, which explains why this church looks like something you’d see in Germany rather than South America.

Café Libre Plant-Based Vegan RestaurantCafé Libre Plant-Based Restaurant Cuenca Ecuador

Café Libre is one of my favorite restaurants in Cuenca.  It was also recently voted the “Best New Restaurant in Cuenca” by the popular Ecuadorian website, GringPost.com.

Considering it’s a plant-based restaurant without any meat on its menu, that says a lot about the quality of the food. Not only does it taste delicious, but the presentation is always picture worthy.

If you’re in Cuenca, you must try this restaurant and tell Paul, the co-owner, that Amelia and JP sent you. While you’re there, if it’s not too busy, ask Paul to tell you the story about how Café Libre came to be. It’s very interesting.

Jack’n Jack Gua Bao (BBQ Jackfruit) at Café LibreCafé Libre BBQ Jackfruit Cuenca Ecuador

This is one of my favorite dishes and I order it regularly. It’s BBQ Jackfruit that Paul sources from Guayaquil. It’s served on a vegan Bao Bun, which is a type of bread that’s steamed instead of baked, making it very soft and doughy. It comes with a side salad and either housemade papas fritas (french fries) or chips (shown here).

Curry Curry Curry at Café LibreCafé Libre Curry Curry Curry Cuenca Ecuador

Amelia ordered this plato principal (main dish) for the first time today and she loved it. As the name implies, or rather, explicitly states, it’s a curry dish with tons of flavor and a variety of colors and textures. It was served with a side of fresh avocado topped with some rock salt and cracked pepper. Yum!

Parque de la MadreParque de la Madre Cuenca Ecuador

Parque de la Madre is one of the most popular parks in the city and it’s centrally located between the old El Centro and the newer part of the city to the south. There are always lots of children playing (you can hear the soothing sounds in the video) and adults exercising, playing basketball, talking and relaxing. We’ve even seen running groups and concerts there.

Share the Love

We hope you enjoyed our adventure through Cuenca, Ecuador today. Please remember to like, comment, share and 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.

Watch Our Video About the Bumba Artisanal Market in Cuenca Ecuador

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING WE GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH OUR LINKS. THERE IS NO COST TO YOU AND SOMETIMES YOU'LL EVEN GET A DISCOUNT BY USING OUR LINK. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

 

Download the FREE Live Abroad Checklist

Enter your email address to receive helpful and timely information about living abroad, slow travel, having more freedom, and living life on YOUR terms!

You'll also get immediate access to our FREE Live Abroad Checklist, which will help you get focused and ensure you don't miss anything important as you embark on this amazing life transformation!