I spent today visiting Gualaceo, Ecuador. Gualaceo, nicknamed “El Jardin Del Azuay” (The Garden of Azuay), is a Canton (territorial subdivision) in the south-central region of Ecuador. It belongs to Azuay Province, Ecuador. The population is about 42,000 inhabitants. The elevation is about 8,000 feet and it’s about 20 miles east of Cuenca.
I’ve visited Ecuagenera which is an orchid farm on the edge of town but I’d never actually been in the city before. When we arrived in what looked like the middle of the city the driver pulled over and announced we were in Gualaceo and we all got out. I don’t think there is a bus station there and that looked like “Main Street”. (When I left I just flagged down a bus on the other side of the street going the other way that said Cuenca)
From there I took a side street to the left going slightly downhill. My guess was that it led to a river and just a few blocks away, there it was. The Santa Barbara river.
The Santa Barbara river is gorgeous and there’s a trail that runs beside it as well as a linear park.
From there I headed back towards the street where the bus stopped and noticed a couple of steeples in the distance. Thinking there was probably a plaza and park there I started walking towards it.
There was a gigantic open plaza beside the church and a nice little park in front of the church. The plaza looks like the town center with a tourist office and other “official” looking offices facing it.
Loved the city and especially the river and river trail. I saw a few mountain bikers and in a city this size there are probably two or three good bike shops. lol
When I take a day trip from Cuenca by bus I always try to sit on the same side of the bus each way. That way I get to take in all of the scenery on each side of the road. I also like to go during the week, Monday – Friday, the bus trips seem to go faster that way.
My only expense on this trip was transportation. Fifty cents round trip from my place to the main bus terminal in Cuenca and eighty cents each way to Gualaceo and back. Total, $2.10.