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The best introduction — or reintroduction to Cuenca — may come on the top of a double-decker bus

By Liam Higgins

Expat Patricia Stanyard has lived in Cuenca for four years but had never seen the city from the top of a double-decker tour bus until her sister came to town last week.

The tour buses leave from the east side of Parque Calderon
A tour bus at Parque Calderon.

“It’s fabulous. You get an entirely different view of the city from up there,” she said. “I can’t believe I put it off for this long.”

The buses, which board on the east side of Parque Calderon, charge $8 for narrated 40-minute drive through the historic district and parts of New Town, on their way to the Turi overlook south of the city.

“I learned the difference between colonial architecture and and republican architecture and found out why there’s so many French-looking buildings in El Centro,” Stanyard said. “Getting a new perspective of the all the churches was also a treat.”

Tourists riding on the open-air top deck of the bus are warned to watch out for low-hanging wires and tree branches, and to stand up to take pictures only when there are no obstructions.

Riders also experience all types of weather. “Our ride was pretty hot because of the sun but as went up the mountain to Turi, we got a little sprinkle too,” Stanyard said. “Like they say, you can get all the seasons in one hour in Cuenca.”

Two companies offer the bus tours seven days a week. Tickets can be purchased at the buses.
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Updated and reposted from 2015.

3 thoughts on “The best introduction — or reintroduction to Cuenca — may come on the top of a double-decker bus

  1. 3 times so far, its excellent and a good value, last January a friend came and its the first thing we took him on. You get a quick and good overview of key points in the city of Cuenca.

  2. I love the Red Bus! We’ve taken it twice, and I agree, it’s a wonderful way to get a birds-eye view of the city. Be sure to take the bus that goes to Turi — I don’t know that they all take the identical route. The last time we went they gave you time to get off and walk around, even down to the Vega shop — and that view from the top is worth a $million!

  3. I agree on all counts. Every time I have out of town guests I take them on the Double Decker buses, but I think by calling them the Red Bus, you’re giving the yellow version short shrift. When I first started riding them, all they had were the red ones and they were only $5. Now, both versions charge $8, but I still find it to be a relaxing way to take a little tour of the city. I’d estimate I’ve gone 10-12 times and I never tire of it.

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