Cuenca

Cuenca is a gorgeous UNESCO World Heritage city nestled in the southern Andean mountains of Ecuador. This pretty little city has a very traditional ambience where locals congregate in the leafy plazas next to terracotta-tinted Catholic churches dating back to the 16th century. 
This quaint and conservative city is synonymous with its most famous export- the Panama hat. You will find Cuenca awash with small, dingy and traditional shops full of hundreds of different shapes, styles and sizes of hat that are made in Cuenca and the small towns close to the Pacific coast of Ecuador. There are also small artisan boutique shops that make a variety traditional methods to make local goods that range from weaving baskets to ice cream.

The highlights of Cuenca


Cuenca has a very relaxing atmosphere that caters better for the culture vulture rather than the adrenaline junkie. There is a very pleasant climate here, generally with sunny days and cooler evenings throughout the year. It is a calm place to wander around, read your book in the plaza and soak up traditional life in this extremely pretty part of Ecuador. Outside of the city there are interesting pre Inca ruins known as Ingapirca and multiple trails and hot springs for those seeking to discover the local countryside life.
 
Holy Week in Cuenca is a different matter. During the week leading up to Easter Sunday, this usually very quiet and relaxed city comes alive with daily parades and packed churches; this a fun time, but certainly much busier than usual, so booking early is essential.  

The best hotels of Cuenca


Our favorite hotel is Mansion Alcazar. A historical, traditional and perfectly located option.

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Map of Ecuador

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