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Visit Chordeleg Ecuador: Silver Jewelry Artisans (Day Trip From Cuenca)

One of the little towns close to Cuenca that we really like to visit is called Chordeleg. It’s only about a half-hour away by bus. Chordeleg is also bursting at the seams with jewelry stores!

Chordeleg Azuay Ecuador

Guide to Visiting Chordeleg Ecuador

We took the bus and it dropped us off in Gualaceo first, from there we took a truck taxi ($2.00) and about 10 minutes later we were in the pretty little park in the center of Chordeleg.

The park is really charming, and lining all four sides are jewelry stores!

Street View Tour of Chordeleg Ecuador

Map of Chordeleg Ecuador


 
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You might enjoy: Travelers Guide to Paute Ecuador

So Much Silver

There are dozens of jewelry stores lining the streets surrounding the park, and scattered through the side streets as well. I’ve never seen so many jewelry stores in such a small area!

The abundance of silver jewelry is almost overwhelming, and the unique way the silver is worked made it hard to choose what I wanted. I’ve got rings and earrings there, but they also have necklaces, brooches, bracelets, and ornaments. We also saw gold jewelry, but the focus is on silver.

The prices were really good. My ring, which is a combination of the traditional solid silver, mixed with twisted silver wire woven into a delicate leaf design, was under $10.

The silver and pearl earrings my husband bought me (the pearls are large) were under $15.

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Chordeleg is the “Silver Town”. There are four jewelry stores (joyeria) in this photo!

Makes A Great Day Trip, Or Stay The Night

We spent the day in Chordeleg and still made it back to Cuenca before dark. We also went there for our anniversary and spent the night.

We stayed at Zhirogallo Gran Hotel, the rooms are really nice. There is a rooftop balcony with views of the town and surrounding mountains. The restaurant/Café/Bar on the main level serves a wonderful steak and eggs, one of my favorites.

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We hope to head back to Chordeleg soon. And we always try to take friends there when they visit, silver jewelry from Chordeleg makes a nice souvenir. Chordeleg makes a great Cuenca day trip.

(If you take the bus from the bus station in Cuenca remember to look for the bus line heading to Gualaceo.)

Filigree Silver Jewelry in Chordeleg, Ecuador

Chordeleg is famous for its skilled artisans that make beautiful silver jewelry. It’s unlike any jewelry I’ve ever seen.

The silver is twisted and woven into beautiful designs. Chordeleg is a nice little town not far from Cuenca.

This special technique is called filigrana and is amazingly detailed. We have seen filigrana being sold here in Cuenca and other places and we are always told that it was made in Chordeleg.

I’m not sure if it is made anywhere else, but certainly, the most popular place to find it (near Cuenca) is in Chordeleg.

Silver filigrana ornament, Chordeleg Ecuador

Filigrana Silver Jewelry In Chordeleg

You can find rings, earrings, bracelets, pendants, and ornaments in the same unique style. Most of the twisted silver jewelry is made with just silver, but some of it has color-fill as well.

We were told that the color-fill is baked so that the color is durable. Bryan bought one of the silver color-fill rings for me and I love it. The ring looks kind of whimsical and was very affordable, it was only around $12.00.

My silver filigrana color-fill ring

My silver filigrana color-fill ring

There are other types of silver jewelry in Chordeleg as well, but the filigrana is by far the most unique that I saw.

You can also find a lot of gold jewelry in Chordeleg,  but if you’ll be wearing it in Ecuador, silver is a much safer option.

This video slideshow shows some of the styles of filigrana. There are other types of traditional silver jewelry shown as well.

Filigree Silver Jewelry, Chordeleg Ecuador

These are some of the most popular Ecuador souvenirs for foreign tourists.


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Shelley Rampton

Wednesday 15th of September 2021

Are there any places in Chordeleg where you can view the jewelry being made?

Bryan Haines

Wednesday 15th of September 2021

There have been. I'm not sure what the current situation is now.

Paula Hansen

Wednesday 13th of April 2016

We took the bus (today) straight to Chordeleg ($1 each) then later one back to Gualaceo (.30). The bus back to Cuenca was maybe .70 - not sure of amount because we didn't count the change, but we were happy with the trip.

Steve

Monday 10th of December 2012

Do you think any of the little jewelry store owners would be interested in selling their jewelry on the Internet, internationally? If so, how could I contact them? Thanks! :)

Bryan Haines

Monday 10th of December 2012

It would be best to come and make the deals in person. I'm not sure how you would ship, the post office and couriers refuse silver shipments.

Zdzislaw

Saturday 29th of September 2012

It's a pity you haven't taken any picture of the jewelery you have seen, bought... It could make your report more impressive;) Regards Zdzislaw

Stewart

Thursday 13th of September 2012

Fortunately my wife also likes silver jewelry. We'll have to make a trip to Chordeleg sometime before her birthday, Christmas or our anniversary! The good thing about silver in Ecuador is the price and the fact that there are craftspeople that work it who don't charge too much so the price is very low for the customer compared to gold. If you ever come to Quito there's a silver store called "La Mina" in "El Jardin" mall you should check out. I bought a set of ear rings and pendant and chain for about $40. Best regards, Stewart