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Perla Cuencana Reviews
Perla Cuencana Jun 26, 2011
Cuenca is very nice, well organized city in Ecuador highlands that is definitely worth visiting. Hostel was generally ok, good for backpackers due to its cheap price (only 6$ per night) and warm welcome by the owners. Owners waited for bus from Banos to arrive to station and got us with their good price and nice pictures on the brochure.
Perla is in downtown, three blocks from main square, and located on last two floors of faceless building. Entrance is a bit uncomfortable because of dark garage area and staircases that are not really lighten all the way. I was traveling with Romanian couple that took private room, and I got the same threat (because hostel was pretty empty in out of season months) by getting private room with TV, nice queen size bed and large window looking over the roofs of the city. Few cathedrals that you can see from here are very picturesque, and morning\evening light gives amazing “postcard” images.
On lower floor there is desktop that everyone can use, but WiFi is available through whole hostel. Two kitchens cover both floors, and top floor has unused terrace and laundry area that are available for use. Bathroom is not cleanest but very usable, with hot water coming from heater on the top of the pipe. For those who did not experience this system, DO NOT TOUCH THE APPARATUS because you can be easily shocked by electricity. Most of these heaters are connected by professionals that ignore fact that open wiring and water do not go together that well. Just use valve to open water, and wait for heater to work its magic. If it does not work… do not touch it…
Second floor also has an living room area with table and bunch of chairs that come handy during breakfast. Rooms are smaller privates, and they have night tables, cable TV and even carpet…
All transportation is fairly close to the center. Airport is way too close to city, and you can easily walk this 1.5-2km from center. Cab ride is around $2-3 from the center, and most of city transit buses go that way too. Needles to say airplanes fly very close over you while walking through the city, and you can get some nice images if you are lucky. Right next to the airport you can find main bus station, which is organized very well, with every bus agency having their boots and waiting areas. I was told that bus station is very dangerous and that most of the city’s crime happened here, but I did not see any danger.
Normally this hostel would be more than perfect for me to stay, but simply I could not stand that my every step squeaks like there is elephant moving through the place. Whoever was working on wooden floor and stairs did incredibly bad job of fitting and securing boards together... Imagine trying to walk in the morning up or down the stairs, to the restroom or just in your room… it squeaks like resonant box of badly tuned instrument. It was so uncomfortable for me that I moved to another hostel in town (Posada del Rio), just a fraction more expensive, but great in every way.
I recommend this hostel for everyone that looks for cheap, solid hostel with almost all amenities needed for long or short stay.
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