Travel

By Juliet Kinsman “Everything is bigger in South America,” smiles Fernando Polanco, the owner of Hacienda Zuleta, as he wields an eye-wateringly large star fruit. We’re on his family’s 17th-century, 4,500-acre working dairy farm and ranch. Zuleta, which is two hours north of Quito, has a big history, a huge heart, and charming accommodations. A great example...
By Eglė Gerulaitytė  A small, makeshift booth with sheets of corrugated metal for a roof served as the immigration and customs office in the desolate, desert-like landscape separating south-west Bolivia from north-eastern Chile. Inside, two officers huddled around a kettle and a wooden desk sipping hot tea. After they stamped my passport, one of them suggested...
By Lisa Mayfair A colonial jewel of Ecuador, spilling over with cobblestoned streets, well-preserved churches and attractive leafy plazas — all tucked into a verdant Andean valley traversed by four winding rivers — Cuenca wins out as the country’s most idyllic urban locale. Even as international headlines report high crime rates in Ecuador’s coastal cities,...
Editor’s note: Ever wonder what Cuenca was like a 110 years ago? The following is an excerpt from “Vagabonding Down the Andes” by Harry A. Franck. Published in 1917, the book is a travelogue of the author’s 1912-1913 journey, mostly by foot, from Panama to Buenos Aires. The following describes Franck’s visit to Cuenca in...
By Neil Geraghty When you’re a sea lion living in the Galapagos Islands, it’s important to keep cool during the heat of the day. I’m snorkeling along the cliffs of North Seymour Island, a low-lying lava outcrop that teams with colorful wildlife, but the fierce Equatorial sun is proving too much for the sea lions....
By Harrsion Pierce Peru is famous for many things, but two stand out – adventure and food. Peru is famously home to one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu. And it’s not all nature and history; in the 2023 edition of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, Peru holds four spots (including...
By Monica Pitrelli A new report has an ominous warning for air travelers. “No matter what you do on a plane, you’re probably annoying another passenger,” it states. The report, published by the data intelligence company Morning Consult, examined 12 types of behavior on flights, finding that most travelers (>50%) were bothered by all but one....
By Ronan O’Connell On October 19, the U.S. Department of State issued a rare advisory that Americans overseas “exercise increased caution” due to heightened tensions and chances of terrorism around the world, spurred by the Israel-Hamas war. It’s part of a system of travel warnings that’s been around in some form since 1978, designed to help citizens assess...
By Steven Casals After 20 years in the U.S. military, James Cummiskey was divorced and looking for a change. Relenting to his buddy’s request, he flew to Medellín, Colombia, for a visit. He looked, he saw, and, by dinner time, he decided to stay. Permanently. “After four to five hours, I was immediately captured by...
By Bani Amor “What time are we headed to Playas tomorrow?” I asked my mom at her cousin’s house in Guayaquil. “Seven in the morning,” she replied. “So eight, Ecuador Time,” I quipped back. She looked up at me for a moment from the mountain of luggage she was attempting to unpack — clothing for...
By David Morrill With the notable exception of the Otavalan craftspeople and merchants, no other indigenous Ecuadorian community has maintained its ethnic identity like the Saraguros. Centered around the town of Saraguro, 75 miles south of Cuenca, the Saraguro nation, which numbers between 30,000 and 40,000, has maintained an enduring presence in the rural areas...
By Mauricio Olmedo-Perez When I was mugged by a gang of teenagers in Panama City it was a surprisingly civil transaction, and it was all over in less than a minute. I was a tour guide and had worked throughout Latin America for a number of years, traveling to some places renowned for their crime...

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The Cuenca Dispatch

Week of June 16

Noboa’s Government Moves to End Fuel Gasoline Subsidies, Highlighting Inequities for Low-Income Groups.

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Cuenca-Girón-Pasaje Road to Temporarily Close for Pipeline Replacement.

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Ecuador to Initiate Construction of $52 Million ‘Bukele-Style’ Prison to Combat Organized Crime.

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