CUENCA – TOP 10
Cuenca is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Ecuador because of its colonial and republican architecture. Located in the south of the Ecuadorian Andes. In 1999 it was declared a World Cultural Heritage Site in recognition of the architecture of the city’s Historic Center.
The 10 best things to do in Cuenca.
TOP 1.- CATEDRAL INMACULADA CONCEPCIÓN DE CUENCA
Considered one of the largest in South America, it is also known as the New Cathedral. The combination of Gothic-Renaissance styles, its architectural details such as its colorful stained-glass windows, its marble and gold leaf details, the main altar, the 6 domes, its 2 towers, its main door all together make the cathedral an impressive work of art to be visited. Do not miss the Terrassa Santa Ana, an excellent viewpoint, and allows you to observe the urban landscape of the city in all directions. Its construction began in 1885.
TOP 2.- EL SAGRARIO
The Church of Sagrario was built during the year 1557, one of the most historic buildings in Ecuador, also known as the Old Cathedral. In the 18th century, it was used by the French Geodesic Mission as a reference point for geometric triangulation work and for measuring the circumference of the earth.
A beautiful cathedral converted into the “Museo Catedral Vieja” which maintains invaluable works of religious art.
The Sagrario Church was the first temple of religious worship in the city.
TOP 3.- PLAZA DE LAS FLORES
Located in the historical center of the city, recognized by the international magazine National Geographic as the first of ten best open-air markets in the world. Well known as the Flower Market, an explosion of aromas, colors, and textures for the range of flowers that are displayed there which beautify the place. “In simplicity lies the secret of what is truly great”
TOP 4.- EL BARRANCO
With its hanging houses full of tradition and history, surrounded by nature, this is a place not to be missed. Walks along the river that call for reflection, tranquility, and peace. A way in which you can see part of the wonderful architecture of Cuenca.
A beautiful place to take pictures, exercise, have a picnic, or simply take a quiet walk.
TOP 5.- PUMAPUNGO MUSEUM AND ANCESTRAL PARK
Valuable cultural wealth, definitely the right place to visit if you like museums and appreciate all of Ecuador’s history, a combination of exhibition and nature. Walking through each and every one of its spaces: museum, archaeological Inca ruins, bird watching trails will make this an interesting and enriching visit.
TOP 6.- MIRADOR DE TURI
Turi – and indigenous Kuri word, meaning gold.
With a unique panoramic view that allows you to glimpse the beauty of Cuenca in its entirety.
The viewpoint is also known as “El Balcón de Cuenca”. An obligatory stop in your visit to the city.
TOP 7.- CAJAS NATIONAL PARK
Cajas National Park a natural beauty located only 33km northwest of the city, Cajas National Park offers a close encounter with nature. An ecological reserve with multiple mountain elevations, flora, fauna, glacial lakes, steep slopes, wetlands, small valleys in the form of “U” and its forests of magical stories will make your visit something unforgettable.
Ideal for trekking, camping, bird watching, sport fishing.
TOP 8.- CALLE LARGA AND EL PUENTE ROTO
It is considered the longest street in the city with 1900 meters, 15 blocks full of history, tradition, anecdotes, and experiences.
It is the most popular street in the historical center due to its cultural offer, surrounded by sites such as the Pumapungo Museum, the Museum of Aboriginal Cultures. The Puente Roto (Broken Bridge), at the foot of the Tomebamba River, an icon of Cuenca’s history, a great witness to the river’s rise in the year 1950. A must see and get a perfect picture of your visit to the city.
In La Calle Larga you can also find a great offer of entertainment concentrated in most of the bars and restaurants of the city.
TOP 9.- TYPICAL GASTRONOMY OF CUENCA
The city of Cuenca, in addition to the charm of its people and the beauty of its landscape, is characterized by its delicious typical dishes made with products from the region. To cite a few: composed basically of corn is “mote pillo,” “tamal,” “chicha.” Specialties such as the roasted guinea pig, “el hornado” (pork meat put in the wood oven,) sandwiches with coconut juice, among others.
Seasoning, smell, flavor, aroma, and taste are the senses that will dazzle us when we try each of these typical dishes.
TOP 10.- PARKS AND MARKETS
Full of tradition, history, and color.
One of the characteristic markets of the city, full of flavors, smells, and colors where you can better experience a sample of real-life in Cuenca is the Mercado 10 de Agosto. You can walk through its corridors through the stalls of clothes, vegetables, fresh fruits, spices, meats, crafts, food.
We can find the delicious typical Cuenca dish as the “chancho hornado”. We cannot fail to mention the stalls selling all the medicinal herbs, a series of magic potions to help attract money, or to find love. On Tuesdays and Fridays, you can have a “limpia” (cleansing) by the healers who practice ancestral medicine.
As an example, we can mention San Sebastian Park, its trees and colorful gardens make this place a pleasant place for rest and passive recreation. This park escorts the building of the modern art museum and in its center is the statue of the Cuenca poet Miguel Moreno. Around it, you can also find the church of San Sebastian, located in one of the first neighborhoods of Cuenca.
What's the perfect place to escape on our vacation? The perfect place is Cuenca
PH:Astudillo Juan Carlos. Fundación de Turismo. Cuenca Marithza