When we set out with Guayaquil in the rearview mirror, we had no idea what to expect... We were genuinely surprised by the sheer beauty of the Andes. The fog grew thick as we climbed elevation, but before long we were above the clouds. Colors have never appeared so vivid. Traffic was light, but the ride was a bit white knuckled at times with no visibility, random herds of cattle and alpacas, oncoming busses and trucks around the bends, and sudden complete stops by other drivers. Prior to approaching the Andes we saw a sign that said Jesus Marie, we weren't really clear on the context, but it reminded us of Breaking Bad so it was the catch phrase for this leg of the trip. Every close call warranted a "Jesus Marie." We'd channel Hank and laugh over "Jesus Christ, Marie, they're minerals." Despite its challenges we thoroughly enjoyed the four hour ride that took us through El Cajas National Park before arriving in Cuenca.
Tolls varied from 40-cents to a dollar.
El Cajas National Park