the activities are numerous traditional cultural events and fiestas
complete with authentic costumes, museums, art exhibits, fine concerts
and a myriad of other interesting activities, should your stay permit
indulgence in such. To see the real Cuenca in a day, in depth, is
impossible and for that reason we recommend a typical visit lasting
for several days to hit the high points and to really see the city.
The low cost of living contributes to an inexpensive, hospitable,
yet cozy environment in Cuenca. Low crime and well guarded streets
offer secure touring in Cuenca by all who wish to enjoy its splendor.
Business endeavors flourish here due to the tourism and affluence
Ecuador's third largest city, Cuenca, has long been a favorite among
tourists and photographers, both foreign and Ecuadorian. Its numerous
brooks, green spaces and parks, old mixed with new, and general
mixing of extremes of cultures make for a parklike feel throughout
the entire city.
weather in Cuenca is ideal for people who don't like extremes. It's
not too hot, nor too cold. It's been described as a perpetual spring-like
climate. The temperatures range from about 8ºC (45ºF) at night to
28ºC (85ºF) in the day.
to do in and around Cuenca
There are many good places to buy local wares which include embroidered
blouses, natural sheep wool sweaters, gold and silver filigree jewelry
and weavings with tie-dyed patterns called ikat. Crafts, as well
as fresh produce, are also on sale at the weekly Thursday market
which is held around 9 de Octubre and 10 de Agosto squares. In Cuenca
and the surrounding area, hats are a leading cottage industry and
several factories are open to visitors. The most famous one, of
course, is the "Pánama Hat", first made in Montecristi,
Ecuador during the construction of the Pánama Canal and sent
north to the workers. Nowadays, Cuenca is the leading production
center for these infamous straw hats. Among other things to see
in Cuenca are the Municipal Museum whose displays range from the
Cañari and Chordeleg cultures the first to appear in the
region and the CIDAP Inter-American Museum, devoted to handicrafts
of the continent, which are at their best in this region.
There is a full and fascinating day trip from Cuenca, which takes
you to the massive ruins of Ingapirca rising above the dramatically
beautiful valleys. This is the only remaining major monument of
the Incan empire which ruled these hills for several hundred year
before the Spanish arrived in the 16th century. It is believed today
that Ingapirca was both a religious and administrative center. as
well as a fortress. We've got more info on Ingapirca.
The colonial days of Cuenca brought the conversion of the indengous
peoples to Catholocism and the discovery of the rich agricultural
potential which enriches the Cuenca region. Cocoa was discovered
and chocolate export began, and is doing well to this day. Quinine
was discovered near Loja in the southern Andes and found to prevent
There was a new cathedral built in place of the old one whose construction
started in 1880 yet remains unfinished. Due to an architectural
miscalculation the towers were too heavy for the edifice to sustain,
and the bells remain on the ground outside the church.