Enchanted by Cuenca, Ecuador

Handmade alpaca blankets, gloves, and socks and other souvenirs can be found in several markets around town

Located in the Andes Mountains, the city of Cuenca, Ecuador, holds an old-world charm where the confluence of the Spanish Inquisition and native traditions transformed this high-altitude pueblo into the pulse of the country. Its narrow cobblestone streets are lined with panaderias, lavaderias, and heladerias (bakeries, laundromats, and ice cream parlors), where everyone from indigenous women to well-dressed businessmen gather. Spiritual cleanses are performed in the marketplaces and guinea pigs are considered a delicacy. This is a city where wild dogs rule, drivers are ruthless, and good beer is cheap.

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