If you're walking along Calle Larga in Cuenca's El Centro, you'll come across a giant Panama hat adorning the front of one building.
Near the front, you'll see many more hats. And way in the back (it's a long building) is Rafael Paredes Panama Hats, a retailer of these Ecuadorian hats.
Don't be shy. They're open!
Before you even get to the store, you'll come upon Museo del Sombrero de Paja Toquilla, housed in the same building.
Enjoy learning about the history of Panama hats. And once you've had your fill, head for the hats themselves.
If you love hats, or if you just love to window-shop, you'll love Rafael Paredes Panama Hats.
You'll find at least 100 hats on display, including women's styles, in several different colors.
There are plenty of men's hats as well, including fedoras and other styles.
These hats are of varying quality. The finest hats cost several hundred dollars.
If you're looking for something to wear while gardening, or while at the beach, you'll want to go with one of the cheaper hats.
The video below was filmed at Rafael Paredes Panama Hats. You'll get an even better sense of just how many hats they offer.
Rafael Paredes Panama Hats is located at Calle Larga 10-41. That's on the edge of the barranco (riverbank), high above the Tomebamba River.
They're open Monday through Saturday (on special occasions, they may be open on Sundays, but, like most of Cuenca, Sunday is a day of rest).
Their web site is www.barrancospanamahats.com. If you can't make it in person, you can order a hat online.
If you're a Facebook user, you'll also find them here.
Enjoy your Panama hat!
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I just want to thank you both soooo much for creating this web site. I am originally from Cuenca but moved to New York 11 years ago and have not being back since. My husband and I are planning on visiting Cuenca over the Summer and this web site has helped me a lot.
When I came to the US we still had the "sucre," the bus ride cost 1,000 sucres and a pack of trident gum would cost 3,000 sucres. I am very nervous to go back, but thanks to your web site I now know what to expect.
My husband is American and Captivating Cuenca has taught him a lot about what my great city has to offer, things that I had forgotten about myself! :)
Thank You both so much! I cannot wait to visit Cuenca!!