Sunday, September 7, 2014

A trip to the ECUAGENERA Orchid Greenhouses and PAUTE - Only 45 minutes from Cuenca, Ecuador!

Ecuagenera Orquideas Del Ecuador

A bus from Cuenca costs 60 cents.  
Hours are M-F 7-6, Sat. 8-6, and Sun. 9:30-6:30 
(of course, check first as things change here daily!).

For plant lovers, the tour is educational and interesting and the variety of unique and colorful orchids are worth the trip.  

The orchid store where beautiful mature orchids are ready to be purchased by Plant Lovers!  

I’m continually amazed at the magical beauty that surrounds Bo and me since moving to Cuenca, Ecuador.  Our city has amazing mountains on all sides,  four rushing rivers (Tomebamba, Yanunca, Tarqui, and Machangara), and because of this “eternal spring” weather - there are beautiful exotic tropical flowers blooming year-round.  

I’m a die-hard mountain girl!  I love hiking up lush green mountain trails (Ahhh, the Cajas), experiencing areas with flowing rivers and magical waterfalls, and learning about an area's exotic plants and flowers.  Bo and I chose to land in Cuenca, Ecuador because from all we researched and read it reminded us of Oregon (remember, we had never been here before for an exploratory trip - and did we pick well!!!).  To this day, I never get tired of seeing the Andes mountains all around us, and I love walking along the Tomebamba River and listening to the sound of the rushing water and seeing the beautiful colorful blooming plants that grace this city.  I absolutely do not miss the long rainy DAMP colder winters in Oregon.  I do not miss those surprise few weeks of bitter cold weather with SNOW and ICE.  I do not miss the 7 to 8 months of continual rain and damp cloudy overcast skies.  Just about every day the sun shines here and the deep blue skies and majestic clouds formations take my breath away.  Every day I thank my God for guiding us to a place that continues to feel more and more like one of the most beautiful places I have ever lived, and we haven’t even begun to explore so many other wondrous areas of Ecuador.  

When time allows, we've been attempting to visit the outlying towns of Cuenca for day excursions.  Our daily life can get pretty busy here during the week - so it was a treat for me recently to be invited by friends to visit the Orchid greenhouses in Gualaceo, and a stop in Paute for almuerzo (lunch).  I had never purchased or grown orchids back in the USA.  Yet, a few months ago I went to a "Going Back To The USA" sale here in Cuenca and bought two large thriving orchid plants because of the photos I was shown of them in bloom.  I had no idea how to care for them or when they bloomed.  My recent excursion to the Orchid farm gave me a greater understanding and appreciation for this amazing and beautiful species of plant. I have a greater understand for the care of two blooming orchids that now grace my apartment now that I know many varieties bloom only ONE to TWO times per year and for only ONE to TWO months long.  My Chocolate Orchid is now in full bloom and does it smell DELICIOUS!!!!

I'll share this day through my lens!

Thousands of tiny orchid seeds are removed from this small pod ready to be planted.

First the seeds are germinated in these glass bottles for up to two years.

The second flask stage takes 6 months to 1 year of cultivating......

.......and finally the fragile healthy starts are transplanted to growing trays where they remain another 6 months to 1 year.

Large greenhouses display thousands of flasks filled with different orchid varieties.

Every jar and flask is carefully labeled with detailed information of each variety and their growing stage.  

Germination flasks can create up to 50 plants, are completely sealed to prevent fungi-growth, and are traded around the world.  

Here are a few of the varieties of the MANY orchids and plants I was able to photograph during our tour.  This Orchid farm grows over 3,000 varieties for trade around the world.

After inhaling the beauty of the many varieties of these blooming exotic orchids, it was time to stroll around the lush manicured grounds.

It was warm and sunny  and we couldn't have picked a more perfect day for our orchid tour!

We fed the grounds birds juicy oranges picked right from the fruit trees....

.....and spent time enjoying the fearless approaching turtle greeters!
A final stop in the colorful Orchid Shop enticed my friend to pick a tall blooming orchid for her classy condo.  Now hungry, we headed for Paute to dine at the Corvel Restaurant for almuerzo.
Refreshing fresh juice.....

......and a $4.00 lunch of Seco do Pollo, steamed seasoned potatoes, and fresh raw salad with a tangy dressing did not disappoint me.  It was satisfying and muy rico!!!
As we headed to our waiting driver, a tiny store with no name and beautiful colorful labeled jars filled with pickled vegetables, sweet marmalades, and freshly baked breads stared back at us and beckoned us in.

Sisters Rachel and Marielena greeted us warmly.  I began to compliment their store and beautifully displayed product with my heart-felt passion, and my enthusiasm opened the door for them to invite us "behind the curtain" (you know how I love going behind the curtain!!!). They gave us a tour of this over 100 year old historic home where bread is baked fresh daily for sale in the storefront . 

 The grounds were so inviting and lush with blooming potted plants, colorful clay pots, and mature fruit trees.
An old tiled tub added character and beauty to the garden area.

The sun was bursting through the trees, 
and ripe yellow lemons smiled back at us.

Their rustic kitchen!

 We were greeted by the baker who was busy cutting dough pieces and rolling them for loaves.  He works in this dark room, but his joyful smile lights it up!!

 A huge vat of dough is ready to roll into bread balls!!!

 He worked swiftly and with expertise, cutting, rolling and stacking perfectly shaped bread balls - something he's been doing for a long long time!

 The sisters invited us to return to the local facility where tours are given of their canning process from start to finish.  Unfortunately the facility was closed for vacation or we would have added that to this amazing day.

We each purchased some of these amazing products.  I went home with  large jars of Coconut marmalade, Guayaba in syrup, and a delicious Papaya-Pinapple preserve ($6 each).  Next visit I will buy their beautiful canned vegetables.

Yes, meeting Rachel and Marielena was a perfect way to end our visit to the ECUAGENERA ORQUIDEAS DEL ECUADOR and a few hours in Paute!  
Es hermoso pasar tiempo con mis queridos amigos en un hermoso país.

I hope you enjoyed touring the Orchid Farm through my lens.  Have you been there yet?  Leave me your comments.  I always enjoy hearing from and getting to know our readers!!

Es lindo when I spend time with dear friends exploring my beautiful country!

The kitchen!


  1. Absolutely Beautiful !! I had orchids when I lived in Florida. But, I don't have a place for them here in South Carolina. But I will in Cuenca - once I get moved.

    Don't you just love Paute and the Corvel restaurant. The day that I was there the owner insisted on giving a tour of his restaurant and the grounds. He was very proud - as he should be. The food was yummy!!

    Thanks for your amazing pictures.

    1. Hola Juanita,
      Glad you enjoyed this post and my photography of a fabulous day. I've fallen in love with Orchids! I also love Paute and visiting that lovely town - so close to Cuenca. Sounds like you're planning to move here. God bless you as you make big changes to leave the USA and settle in this beautiful city.


  2. Lived it! Thanks for sharing! My Joseph is graduating from Marine Bootcamp in Parris Island, SC on Friday! Ooh Rah!!

    1. Hi Dian,
      Wonderful to hear that your son is graduating. You must be so proud of him. Time flies, doesn't it? Praying you and your family are well. Write to us and let us know how you are doing and what is new. It's been a long time since we've heard from you. We always have fond memories of our times together.
      Sending much love from Cuenca,

  3. Hi Linda ; My name is John and my wife's name is Colette , we're from Toronto Can. We are flying into GYE tomorrow . Just discovered your blog ; love your writing and great pics . This is our first exploratory trip too Ecuador we'll be there for 3 weeks . My long term goal was always Costa Rica but as we found out last year the cost of living is crazy there . We are in need of transport to Cuenca on Sat morn . Very sorry for the last minute query but would like to know if Mr Freddy Remache would be available for the trip and if so how much he might need ? Sat morn we will be leaving Hotel Palace Guayaquil at 9:30 or 10 am and once in Cuenca we'll be very close to the Old Cathedral for a couple of days . While we are there it's my intention to find as many expats as we can to share stories and if possible to buy you both lunch . Look foreword to hear from you Thanks J Partridge

    1. Hi John and Colette,
      Welcome to our BlOG! And welcome to Cuenca - I know you will have a fabulous visit as the weather has been so beautiful lately. Glad you found our blog, and do contact us and we can get together while you are here. You can contact Eddie or Freddy Remache at c.p.s2012@live.com or 098-058-4551. They will let you know how much it will cost for transport. Bo and I live in El Centro, so we are only a few blocks to where you will be staying.
      Hope to meet you and see you soon!


Leave us your comments and I will respond with any questions you may have. Enjoy our Blog! Linda (y Bo)