If you love clean, quiet, charming cities, shopping and or jewelry, then you will love Chordeleg. Most people visit Chordeleg from Cuenca because it is less than an hour away. The city, nestled in the hills of the Azuay province just like Cuenca, filled with jewelry shops awaits visitors.
Our half-day trip from Cuenca to Chordeleg to do some silver jewelry shopping with our two out-of-town female friends was well worth it. Everyone left with something beautiful and some great buys.
If you haven’t heard of Chordeleg, it’s a city that’s a little over forty-five minutes outside of Cuenca ($2 bus ride) with a population of about 11,000. We had a private driver take us to the small town of Chordeleg. He takes people to Chordeleg often so he knows some great lunch spots.
Chordeleg means “gold waterfall.” It is the original Silversmith city of Ecuador. In Ecuador, you’ll still find the adherence of the Spanish Guild system that started centuries ago. Guilds were groups of artisans or merchants that practice their trade in a particular town. Other Guild cities in Ecuador include San Bartolomé for guitars, Gualaceo for textiles/weaving, Otavalo for leather and San Antonio de Ibarra for its wood carving.
Small and Quaint
You will not find crowds in Chordeleg. The shop keepers will give you their full attention. In at least one shop you can often watch the shop keeper make filagree. You will see a few people checking out the shops, maybe some kids in the park and a few gentlemen discussing life. It is a city that feels like it has no cares.
As soon as you enter the city, you can’t help but notice the large filigree earrings hanging from the town light poles. The art of filagree uses fine wires to form delicate pieces of jewlery. The earrings inform visitors that they entered an artisian city. There are also a couple of pottery shops and a small museum. Chordeleg with it’s beautiful square in the center surrounded by a church and of course silver shops is a gem.
So how is filigree made? A Chordeleg craftsman feeds silver into a rolling mill, now the sliver fashioned into the shape of a wire ready for use. Thus, by hand, they work the wire until it becomes a thin strand. Then, they twist the silver strand and dust it with silver powder. Eventually, they meld it together with a soldering torch. Utimately priced according to the difficulty of the design and the weight of the silver, Take home a one-of-kind piece of Chordeleg’s handmade filagree and be the envy of your friends.A nice pair of chandelier earring will cost between $20 and $30 USD (USD is the currency of Ecuador).
Easy to Make Friends
Don’t Forget to Barter in Chordeleg
Chordeleg means “gold waterfall.” It is the original Silversmith city of Ecuador. In Ecuador, you’ll still find the adherence of the Spanish Guild system that started centuries ago. Guilds were groups of artisans or merchants that practice their trade in a particular town.
Chordeleg is the best city in Ecuador to buy Silver and Gold. The competition in Chordeleg is great so prices are kept low and you can bargain.