One of Ecuador’s most charming cities, with a relaxed pace of life and a beautiful historic centre
Dominated by the three domes of its cathedral, Cuenca is a great place to discover more about Ecuador’s art, craft and cultural scene. It is the sort of city you can wander around in quite happily for a few hours – discovering little handicraft shops, grand churches, funky bars and some excellent restaurants.
The city’s cobblestone streets, winding rivers, graceful ironwork balconies and numerous churches are quite enchanting and blend together to create a delightful atmosphere. You never quite know what you are going to stumble upon next: an evening procession of a saint from a local church; a little workshop making Panama Hats; fascinating museums and galleries; or a flower market, perhaps. Being a University city, it also has a vibrant cultural scene a lively nightlife – particularly at weekends.
Cuenca is blessed with a pleasant year-round climate, being located at an altitude of 2,500 metres (8,300 feet) and it has also not been affected by any significant seismic activity for many years now. With low crime rates and excellent medical facilities it is no surprise to learn that an increasing number of retiree Americans are choosing to make the city their home: indeed, one district of the city is now known as ‘Gringolandia’! This is all helping to boost the local economy, although Cuenca and its surrounding region is in fact already one of Ecuador’s more affluent areas.
The city is a good base from which to discover a number of villages in the vicinity – many of which have Pre-Inca roots. A little further out, the Pre-Inca and Inca remains at Ingapirca – about one and half hours’ drive to the north – are also well worth a visit. There is also good trekking in the El Cajas Lagoons Reserve which is only 30Km west of Cuenca.
Lovers of the great outdoors will want to head west to the magnificent Cajas National Park, which boasts some 230 glacial lakes and lagoons. We can arrange hiking, fishing or overnight camping trips – or we can simply take you to have a short walk around a lake and enjoy the dramatic mountain scenery.
To discover more about Cuenca and its surroundings, give us a call or send us a message.
Places we love to stay
Cuenca’s best boutique hotel is conveniently located in the heart of the city and offers guests personalized service and a memorable stay.View details about Mansion Alcazar
This delightful country hacienda offers extensive equestrian activities and is just a short drive from the heart of the city of Cuenca.View details about Caballo Campana