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Handicrafts

The Cuenca region is noted for its artesanía. Good souvenirs are carvings, leather, basketwork, ceramics, painted wood, onyx, woven stuffs, embroidered shirts and jewellery. There are many craft shops along Gran Colombia, Benigno Malo and Juan Jaramillo alongside Las Conceptas. There are several good leather shops in the arcade off Bolívar between Benigno Malo and Luis Cordero. At Plaza Rotary baskets, pottery and wooden objects are sold. Polleras, native women‘s skirts are sold on Gral Torres, between Sucre y Córdova, and along Tarqui, between Córdova and the river.

Jewellery

Prices are reported as high, so shop around.

Markets

Markets sell mostly produce, but some crafts can also be found. Only a few are listed here. Watch your belongings at all markets.

Panama hats

Cuenca is a centre of the Panama hat industry. Manufacturers have museums explaining the hat-making process and offer factory tours followed by visits to their showrooms, which also have straw crafts, where purchases can be made. Note there is a wide range of quality and prices; the finer the fibres used, the more supple and long-lasting the hat, and the higher the price.

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