I could tell you all about seeing shrunken heads at the Museo del Banco Central in Cuenca or leaving the city to hike the cold and rainy hills of Cajas National Park, but Panama Hats (made in Ecuador) were just so much more fun. The Barranco store has a small “museum” area, an open work area where they mold and finish the hats and, as you can see above, plenty of product to try on. I nearly tried every hat in that store on my size L head!
It’s mind blowing that they’re called Panama Hats and yet made in Ecuador, right? Poor Ecuador, Panama is getting all the fame! Back in the day, products were shipped to Panama before making their way via ship to the rest of the world. They took on the name of their sale origin and not their manufactured origin. Depending on the intricacy of the weave, typically hats sell anywhere from $30 USD to hundreds upon hundreds of dollars!
Photos by Joshua Riedel