Day Trip to Artisan Villages near Cuenca, Ecuador

Small towns all around Ecuador offer artisan crafts, each village specializing in one or two products. In the mountains around Cuenca in southern Ecuador, it is possible to visit three of these villages on a day trip. Musicians from the world over make their way to the village of San Bartolome to buy the beautiful handmade guitars with unique inlay designs made by Jose Uyaguari. Chordeleg, where the residents still mine silver in the surrounding hills, is famous for its meticulously hand-crafted filigree silver jewelry, as well as miniature ceramic folkloric figurines, handmade from special clay sourced from the jungle. And Gualaceo is home to one of very few weavers who make gorgeous shawls and scarves from sheep's wool on traditional wooden looms. To read more about my round-the-world travels, visit my blog,