Are you ready to know one of the most beautiful cities in Ecuador? Cuenca definitely gets the title. Being the third largest city in the country, Cuenca is classified as a colonial and cultural city. Its paved streets, churches and squares will take you back to colonial times, where you will be part of the culture and traditions of the Andean people.
If you are planning to travel to the south of the country, you can’t miss this Cuenca, Ecuador guide. Discover all the hidden charms of this UNESCO protected city.
GET TO KNOW CUENCA
Cuenca, Azuay’s capital, is known as the cultural city of Ecuador. Due to its rich heritage, culture, architecture and landscape, in 1982, Cuenca ‘s Historic Center was recognized as Cultural Heritage of Ecuador. And in 1999 UNESCO declared it as Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Visit its churches, artisan neighborhoods, museums, walk through its colonial streets, visit the impressive archaeological zone. As well as delighting in its delicious Andean cuisine is a unique experience that will leave you amazed at every corner you visit.
Cuenca, Ecuador will leave you in love and wanting to return more than once!
HOW TO GET TO CUENCA-ECUADOR?
From Quito, the easiest way to get there is by air, a flight that takes about 30-40 minutes.
Flights are generally cheap and available every day of the week. The other option is by land, an 8-10 bus ride.
From Guayaquil, the easiest way to get there is a 3-4 hour bus ride.
WHAT TO DO IN CUENCA?
Cuenca’s Historic Center
Cuenca’s Historic Center keeps its design and structure. Walking through its streets, you will see the houses’ architecture, its colorful balconies that will take you back to colonial times.
The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, with its imposing blue domes, is one of the largest cathedrals in South America. As well as its open squares: The Calderon Central Plaza and the smaller San Sebastian. Traditional markets where you can see the “indigenous Cholas” selling their handicrafts and merchandise.
Pumapungo Museum & Ruins
Surely Pumapungo is one of the places in the city that holds a great history. This place was the religious center of the Tomebamba Inca city. Today, Pumanpungo is a great park and place where the best museum of Cuenca is located.
The place is famous for the Inca ruins, as well as the exhibitions that are made of ancient artifacts and especially the history of the indigenous culture. Also, the Cuenca Symphony Orchestra and many international musicians usually perform here.
Panama Hats museum
The famous Panama hats are originally from Ecuador, and Cuenca is the largest exporter worldwide. This product keeps a great technique of confection, which results in elegant and beautiful hats.
Homero Ortega or the Panama Hat Museum is the place to learn more about the creation of these beautiful hats. As well as here you can buy the one you like the most.
Your trip to Cuenca will not be complete until you visit the Tomebamba River that runs through the center of the city. This mighty river divides the old town from the more modern part of the city.
Once here you can take some great pictures of the historic landscape of the city.
If you want to enjoy a panoramic view of Cuenca, you have to visit the Turi viewpoint. Here you can see the ancient part of the city in another perspective. On the way to the viewpoint you can visit the ceramic workshop of Eduardo Vega, a well known local artist.
The Andean region’s gastronomy has a great variety of dishes based on ancestral products. Each province of the region has typical dishes that characterize them.
Cuenca ‘s most representative dishes have “mote” as their main ingredient in all its variations: mote pillo, pata and sucio.
Contact us to help you organize a trip to this lovely and unique city in Southern Ecuador.