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The road leading south out of Cuenca leads to the intersection of the highways to the city of Loja in one direction and the cities of Machala and Passaje in the other. The latter leads through the Yunguilla Valley.

To be honest, calling the road a “highway” is quite a stretch. The posted speed limit on the road most of the way is on 6okmph or 37mph and that’s only advisable on some straightaways. The road surface itself is not so bad in general, it is paved with drainage gutters, but some of the landscape in the steeper areas are still very prone to landslides and thus, the roadway itself has developed dips, heaves, and drop-offs that take even the most experienced drivers by surprise when they first drive through the area.

Unfortunately, the problems for the road are compounded by the heavy trucks that use it to transport building materials like sand and boulders up to Cuenca. Repairs to the roads by the officials are mainly limited to emergencies only, so the worse areas remain passable, but there are no indications as of October 2022 that any major repairs are scheduled.