Cuenca is a city of approximately 400,000 people located in the Andes mountains of Ecuador. The city's elevation is approximately 8,400 feet. Cuenca is known for its textile making, as well as furniture and other crafts like hats and shoes. Cuenca also exports flowers to the United States and many countries in Europe. The straw hats known around the world as "Panama Hats" are in fact made in Cuenca by local artisans. It is a very reasonably priced city, with restaurant meals available for as little as $2-$3 dollars. Cuenca is also very safe. As in any city with a half a million people, travelers need to be vigilant with their cell phones and other valuables. The city is rich in history and culture, with festivals, farmers markets, cathedrals and many large parks to explore.