Top Backpacking Destinations Ranking – 6/10
If you like to go backpacking to nice, pretty towns with excellent food and drink and great value for money then Cuenca is the place for you.
When travellers think of Ecuador it’s likely that the Galapagos Islands will spring to mind first, but Cuenca is an equally worthy destination and one that can be done on a backpacker’s budget unlike its more famous compatriot.
It is a pretty, well kept colonial town which sits in southern Ecuador and is an obvious point to stop off whichever way you’re backpacking around South America. It has a wide variety of backpacker accomodation and superb eating and drinking spots that could keep you happy for weeks. One hostel in particular stands out, El Cafecito, a little hostel which feels more like a posh hotel. Its rooms are all set around an indoor courtyard which acts as a cafe/bar/restaurant and offers great food and drink in an intimate setting.
Cuenca’s drawback is that outside of indulging in the culinary delights there isn’t that much to keep you busy. I’ve already said in previous posts that backpacker travel is all about exploring new places and seeing as much as you can and Cuenca doesn’t offer enough in the way of sights. Whilst it’s certainly a pleasant place to visit and you could easily get stuck there if you have the time, it can’t compete with the Machu Picchus and Taj Mahals of this world. Despite this, its location, value for money and European feel certainly make it worthy of a visit.