All You Need To Know About Cuenca

View of the city of Cuenca, Ecuador, at dusk

Cuenca, a beautiful and poetic city of the four rivers, is known to be one most important cities in Ecuador and all of Latin America.This amazing spot is internationally known for the historical and cultural richness it possesses, been the second most important city in the Inca empire after Cuzco.  Keep reading to learn more about  Cuenca.

Historical Richness

According to studies and archeological discoveries, the origins of the first inhabitants go back to the year 8060 BC in the Cave of Chopsi. They were hunters, and nomads, following the animals and seasons. Their culture is represented by tools such as arrows and spears, which have been found throughout the Andean Valley. The culture was most present about 5585 BC.

The beautiful Cuenca has four nominations to be the Cultural Patrimony of Humanity. To begin with, this city has exceptional natural resources, such as  “El Cajas” Massif. The beauty of its historical center that conjugates the prehistory cañari, and inca, the Sígsig and Montecristi in the Province of Manabí, where the hat of straw is elaborated. Finally by the intricate Inca Trail that runs from Argentina to southern Colombia and crosses the Andean Cordillera. These are the four nominations that Cuenca has and boasts for its historical, cultural and natural wealth.

All these characteristics make Cuenca a tourist city by excellence. And not just that, Cuenca has an expectacular colonial architecture that really stands out from the rest.  The old colonial buildings are beautiful, with their intricate wooden details and charming iron balconies. There are also very old adobe mud homes peppered throughout the city and countryside.  The red-orange clay tiled roofs add real warmth to the city as well.

Beautiful Nature & Perfect Climate

Several mountains surround the city of Cuenca. The peaks are high and very green, which serve as a perfect background for the colonial city. On the other side of the city there are also four rivers that run through the city.  These rivers are like long parks that make their way through the city, providing plenty of green space. It’s nice to have a picnic and sit on their grassy shores enjoying a quiet time with friends and family. There are also huge eucalyptus trees on the banks of the river that add an extra freshness to the air.

All this nature is due in part to the spring weather throughout the year, however, due to the altitude, the climate changes a lot in one day including cloudy and cool to clear and hot.  It is usually pleasant and warm days in Cuenca make anyone feel at home.

People and Culture

People are very kind, they smile and greet everyone that come across. Most of them are respectful and patient and very friendly towards tourists. The traditional types of clothing, the methods of cooking and selling products make Cuenca’s culture very rich and diverse. For example, not everything is traditional or colonial, there are also modern shopping centers that facilitate adaptation and are a source of entertainment for locals and tourists.

What to do

Most tourists visit the historic area, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, between the Tomebamba River and Gran Colombia Street to the north. This area, its grid-shaped distribution and its numerous easily identifiable monuments facilitate navigation. Outside this area the city can be confusing, as there are dozens of narrow colonial streets with similar buildings.

There are many parks in Cuenca and they are open, clean and welcoming places for the family.  The parks often have equipment for the children to play in and many benches to sit and relax. One of the most visited parks is Parque Calderón. But in addition to Cuenca parks there are coffee places hidden all over the city.  These locations are perfect for relaxing and forgetting the bustle of the city, ideal for pretending that time has stopped while enjoying a delicious Ecuadorian coffee. Learn more about this special coffee here.

The beautiful city of Cuenca is visited by many tourists every year. An excellent starting point to visit it is the capital city, Quito. Stay at Anahi Boutique Hotel, one of the best hotels in the city. We offer unique suites that showcase outstanding aspects of our country’s culture and we have an ideal location to get to know the best of the city. Book your suite with us here

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