Destination guide: Cuenca
Useful information about Cuenca
Flavors, colors, aromas and seasonings stand out in Cuencan cooking. These combinations stem from traditions that are hundreds of years old, as well as family recipes and Spanish and even climatic influences.
In Cuenca, it's normal, for example, to find a wide variety of different kinds of soup, due to the temperatures here which are normal for high altitudes. One of the most typical dishes is locro, made mainly from potatoes.
In local cooking in general, highly seasoned corn, cabbage, pulses, turnips and rice are abundant.
The official currency of Ecuador is the United States dollar (US$), which in 2000 replaced the Sucre, the former official currency. 1 dollar equals 100 cents. Bills come in denominations of 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 dollar and coins in 1 dollar and 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1 cent pieces.
All products and services include a Value Added Tax (known as IVA) equivalent to 12% of the value of what is being purchased. The Airport Tax is a cost per person - without exception - of US$ 28.27. The amount is non-refundable and valid for 7 days.
The official language in Cuenca and all of Ecuador is Spanish, but dialects exist in specific areas. This means you'll find coastal, Andean and Amazon versions of Spanish spoken.
Ecuador is divided into two time zones: GMT -5 for continental Ecuador (also known as ECT or Ecuador Time) and GMT -6 for the Galapagos Islands.
In Cuenca, the voltage used is 120 V/60Hz, so if any of your electrical appliances use a different voltage, bring an adaptor with you.