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Cuenca : And the True Panama Hat August 9, 2007

Posted by Jason in culture, Ecuador, South America, Travel.
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After our adventures in the Galapagos we were ready to head out traveling once more, this time south to the City of Cuenca, Ecuador´s 3rd largest City.

Trying on the Panama Hats!

It is known for its wonderful Colonial Architecture and a place where many of the “Panama Hats” are finished and sold. Yes Panama hats. They are not made in Panama but in Ecuador! They were made world famous by the people building the Panama Canal at the turn of the last Century when the hats were imported on mass and have been associated with Panama ever since. They should be known as the Ecuadorian Hat or maybe a Montecristo.

Ecuadorian hats     Panama Hats     Panama Hats

Anyway, an overnight 10 hour bus journey lead us to Cuenca where we stayed in a wonderful Hostel called Monarca. The city is quite laid back and pretty in parts, we quite liked it. And it was interesting to see the Panama Hats being finished.

The museum Pumapungo is interesting and has wonderful artifacts of different tribes of Ecuador and to the rear of the property has the ruins of the once amazing Inca City here.

The Cathedral in Cuenca     Plaza in Cuenca     Colonial architecture in Cuenca

We found the best pub/restaurant in Ecuador at El Eucalyptus. Great food and atmosphere where the locals dance the night away to their lovable Salsa. Needless to say me and Chez sat this one out!!

From here we took a day trip to Ingapirca the best Inca Site in Ecuador.

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