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Driving in Cuenca Ecuador: Avenida Ordoñez Lazo (Gringolandia)

Posted in: Cuenca Ecuador, Living in Ecuador

This is part of a new series featuring the main areas of Cuenca, Ecuador with HD wide-angle video posts. Let’s go for a drive along Avenida Ordoñez Lazo in Cuenca, Ecuador!


This area is affectionately known as Gringolandia by both expats and locals. Because of the number of apartment towers and its closeness to Supermaxi (a high-end grocery store) many expats start their lives in Ecuador on this street.

What’s nearby on Avenida Ordoñez Lazo?

Within walking distance, you’ll find the Cuenca Orchidarium, our English dentist, and Plaza de las Americas – home of Supermaxi (1 of 3 in Cuenca) and SuKasa.

This area is close to both the city center the airport. There are many stores nearby and there are nice walking trails along the Tomebamba River which runs parallel to the Avenue.

The majority of buildings in this area are security buildings and the area is known to be safe. After we were robbed, we moved to one of the apartment towers for a year. The safety overkill was just what we needed to get over the shock of what happened.

Avenida Ordoñez Lazo is located in the parroquia (parish) of San Sebastián.

Driving Avenida Ordoñez Lazo in Cuenca Ecuador

Watch on YouTube

How Do You Spell Ordoñez Lazo?

It’s a good question. We’ve seen it spelled at least three different ways:

  • Ordoñez Laso
  • Ordoñez Lasso
  • Ordoñez Lazo

We’ve noticed that consistent spelling isn’t that important in Ecuador. Many towns have multiple spellings – even multiple names. Sometimes two signs within sight of each other will spell the town name differently.

This is part of a new series featuring the main areas of Cuenca, Ecuador. Would you like to know what it’s like on the ground in Cuenca? Subscribe to free weekly updates. We have lots more planned!

Is there an area you would like to see covered? Please share in it the comments!

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Meet the Author

Bryan Haines is co-editor of GringosAbroad - Ecuador's largest blog for expats and travelers. He is a travel blogger and content marketer. He is also co-founder of ClickLikeThis (GoPro tutorial blog) and Storyteller Travel.

29 comments… add one
  • Mark Leeds Sep 10, 2015, 8:20 am

    Your utube drives around different areas of Cuenca are super!
    Now I really have a feel for what the area and different neighborhoods look like in everyday life.
    Thank you for all your hard work and well designed communication.

  • Laurel Dec 2, 2014, 4:59 pm

    Have just started toying with the idea of moving to Ecuador. We are retired and have a little dog. Do you know what regulations there are about bringing pets into the country?

  • Chuck Watson Oct 29, 2014, 8:24 pm

    Next time you want to make a driving movie, we could use my car. I think you were in a taxi which went too fast in some places.

    • Bryan Haines Oct 30, 2014, 6:14 am

      Hi Chuck, thanks for the offer.

      We were actually in our car – but because of the wide-angle lens it makes it look faster than it actually was. I was surprised how fast some of the videos appeared as they were edited. I was driving between 30 and 40 kph.

      I think the only option is to shoot with a different lens, but then it will show significantly less of the area. I’ll do some experimenting and see what I can do.

      Thanks again!

  • LuSinda Oct 28, 2014, 10:41 am

    Hi Brian
    Several of my friends, retired, want to travel to Ecuador (me too) again. Their health insurance is only good for two months.
    Can you recommend a good travel insurance for Ecuador that is good for a longer duration?

  • Darlene Oct 25, 2014, 5:22 pm

    Thanks Bryan, for this awesome video. We visited Cuenca a few years back on a real estate tour, and ended up buying in Bahia de Caraquez. We would love to come back to Cuenca for at least a week of sightseeing, shopping, eating great food, and spending some time at concerts, jazz clubs, and so on. All the videos you have done will help us somewhat, to navigate thru the city, (hopefully), much more than if we had not seen them. Navigation would be nice, but the videos are great! Smooth and nicely done!

    • Bryan Haines Oct 25, 2014, 9:39 pm

      Thanks Darlene. These are a work in progress. If there is enough interest, we’ll keep making them and improving as we go.

  • Bob Oct 25, 2014, 6:37 pm

    Everything I read about Cuenca is that it’s a very nice place, etc. But, every picture shows overcast. How often do the skies clear and do you experience sun shine. Without it, the town looks depressing… like Seattle. Am I only finding the bad pictures?


    • Bryan Haines Oct 25, 2014, 9:38 pm

      Just like everywhere Cuenca is overcast and sunny. We have more videos that show sunny days. If you look around on our site you’ll see lots of nice weather photos from Cuenca. 🙂

  • Tyson Taylor Oct 25, 2014, 1:11 pm

    I think a narration would be much better than the music. You don’t have to be a tour guide in these videos but explaining the driving habits,courtesies or even how the signage works would go a long way.


    • Bryan Haines Oct 25, 2014, 1:42 pm

      That’s a good suggestion. We’ll look into that for future videos.


      • Shari Dec 20, 2018, 1:31 am

        That is a good idea. Funny, my husband and I have both remarked about the music in your videos & would really like to know who the artist(s) is/are. We are relocating to Cuenca very soon & your videos have provided us with some very helpful info. We are very excited, just wish the flight was over already!

  • Jane Ann Engel Oct 25, 2014, 11:07 am

    Loved the “on-the-ground” video. Wish you lived in Bogota and could post one from there. We’re moving there in January. Additionally, I loved your choice of music! One of my favorite pieces and goes well with the driving. Thanks for sharing!

    • Wally Guevara Oct 25, 2014, 7:41 pm

      Jane Ann Engel, if you think driving in Bogota looks anything remotely like this…in Cuenca…you are in a for a HUGE surprise. I know other ex-pats drive there, but I don’t…traffic can be a nightmare. I take the bus or call for a taxi…call, not usually hail one on the streets, to prevent “un paseo milionario”…good luck there.

      • Jane Ann Engel Oct 25, 2014, 11:12 pm

        Thanks, Wally. I’m very well aware of the traffic issues in Bogota. No driving for us.. And I already have an app on my phone to call for a safe, secure taxi!

        • Jane Ann Engel Oct 26, 2014, 12:19 am

          Also, I would like to add that when I made my original comment I was making a compliment to Bryan on his video. If I was expecting a response back it would have been from him. Additionally, in my six sentence, 43 word compliment, never did I make any comparison between Cuenca and Bogota. I simply state I’d enjoy seeing a video like this one taken in another city.

    • Bryan Haines Oct 26, 2014, 7:10 am

      Thanks so much! We have plans to keep producing these – they response has been very positive.

      All the best on your plans!

  • Murray Hindle Oct 25, 2014, 10:18 am

    Suggestion: some narration or some local music would in my opinion provide a better experience to the viewer. I have been Cuenca and still had a hard time following locations.

    • Bryan Haines Oct 25, 2014, 1:43 pm

      I agree about the local music, but I can’t get rights to it. If I can get it, we’ll start sharing that for sure.

      Thanks for your comment!

  • Louis-Marie Ste-Croix Oct 25, 2014, 8:26 am

    What was the camera being used for the video
    Smartphone, regular video camera or a GoPro ?

    Nice video!

  • John Himbert Oct 25, 2014, 7:40 am

    Even though we have no car, it makes walking more interesting and informative.

  • Stewart Oct 25, 2014, 7:26 am

    Dear Bryan,

    Great to know something about Gringolandia in Cuenca. I just wanted to make a few comments.

    First, the traffic seemed pretty light. Did you drive in rush hour or an off hour? Either way much less traffic and fewer buses than in Quito. Buses in Quito can be a problem. Sometimes there are so many on the same route that they are actually racing each other to get passengers at the next stop (or just for fun maybe, but dangerous).

    Pedestrians crossing. Yes this is typical. You really have to watch out for them as your video shows they cross without much care.

    Home Vega is a home appliance store on this street worth visiting.

    Bike lanes. Or lack of compared to Quito. Cars don’t respect bike riders in general so sharing the road with them is risky. Still I saw a couple doing this without much care.

    Sidewalks. Towards the end of your video the sidewalks disappear. That must be the end of Gringolandia?

    Also sometimes in Ecuador you see graffiti, but this is more just kids expressing themselves. Not so much like in the States where it is gang related.

    Lastly, Privacy. Videos on Google Maps also show cars, but they take out the license plates (thru photoshop maybe). It would be nice if you consider driver’s privacy in your next videos.

    That’s it Brian and I’m glad to know more about Cuenca without having to go there.

    Best regards always,


    • Bryan Haines Oct 25, 2014, 1:52 pm

      Hi Stewart, this was shot at around 11:30 am on a Friday. Yes, when the sidewalks end so do the apartment towers. The road continues west until it connects with the road through the Cajas.

      I understand your concern about the drivers privacy but these are editorial videos not commercial ones. Nothing can be gained by seeing a license plate number of a random car – any more than walking through any random city and taking random photos.

  • Joe Reynolds Oct 25, 2014, 7:34 am

    Hi Brian, I was surprised to see no cyclists in this driving vid. Are bicycles not a common form of transportation in Ecuador? I would think that with the fine climate there would be many. Curious. Thanks for the video!

    • Bryan Haines Oct 25, 2014, 1:46 pm

      There are many cyclists in Cuenca – it really depends on the time of day and the area of the city.

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