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Girón is a small sleepy town nestled into the mountains 45 km southeast of Cuenca. Just an hour drive to the town, the climate is significantly milder than its larger neighbor. Most of the old colonial houses that line the street have not been remodeled in years, but this antiquity is what gives the town much of its charm. There is a quaint central plaza with a somewhat out-of-place modern church. If you have time, it is worth walking around town and on the outskirts, where the paved roads quickly turn to dirt and you are soon walking in farmland. Girón has a huge emigration rate to the US; don’t be surprised if some of the townsfolk speak surprisingly good English.

One of the main draws to the vicinity of Girón is El Chorro, the waterfall that flows down the cliffs outside of town. The walk to the waterfall makes for a nice day hike, including beautiful views of the valley below and trails in dense forest. There are two options to reach the waterfalls: one is by walking up a 5 km dirt road, which takes about two hours (ask for directions in town); the other is a bit hardier, along an uphill trail through the woods. This second hike gets you to a higher waterfall, much more isolated, but well-worth the sweat.

From Cuenca, buses to Girón ($1) leave from the terminal at the Feria Libre market every hour. You can also take any bus that heads towards Machala or Santa Isabel and ask the driver to let you off at Girón. The ride takes 45 minutes to an hour.



Other places nearby Girón: Jima, Chordeleg, Bulcay, Sigsig, Baños (Cuenca) and Gualaceo.

16 Mar 2009

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