Category Archives: Ecuador ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡จ

Historic Centre of Santa Ana de los Rรญos de Cuenca

Santa Ana de los Rรญos de Cuenca is set in a valley surrounded by the Andean mountains in the south of Ecuador. This inland colonial town (entroterra ), now the country’s third city, was founded in 1557 on the rigorous planning guidelines issued 30 years earlier by the Spanish king Charles V. Cuenca still observes the formal orthogonal town plan that it has respected for 400 years. One of the region’s agricultural and administrative centres, it has been a melting pot for local and immigrant populations. Cuenca’s architecture, much of which dates from the 18th century, was ‘modernized’ in the economic prosperity of the 19th century as the city became a major exporter of quinine, straw hats and other products.

Since 1999 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Steffi for the postcard.

ecuador - cuenca

Galรกpagos Islands

Situated in the Pacific Ocean some 1,000 km from the South American continent, these 19 islands and the surrounding marine reserve have been called a unique โ€˜living museum and showcase of evolutionโ€™. Located at the confluence of three ocean currents, the Galรกpagos are a โ€˜melting potโ€™ of marine species. Ongoing seismic and volcanic activity reflects the processes that formed the islands. These processes, together with the extreme isolation of the islands, led to the development of unusual animal life โ€“ such as the land iguana, the giant tortoise and the many types of finch โ€“ that inspired Charles Darwinโ€™s theory of evolution by natural selection following his visit in 1835.

Since 1978 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Isabella for the postcard.

ecuador - galapagos

City of Quito

Quito, the capital of Ecuador, was founded in the 16th century on the ruins of an Inca city and stands at an altitude of 2,850 m. Despite the 1917 earthquake, the city has the best-preserved, least altered historic centre in Latin America. The monasteries of San Francisco and Santo Domingo, and the Church and Jesuit College of La Compaรฑรญa, with their rich interiors, are pure examples of the ‘Baroque school of Quito’, which is a fusion of Spanish, Italian, Moorish, Flemish and indigenous art.

Since 1978 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Isabella for the postcard.