Nestled in a hidden valley apart from the rest of Ecuador, Cuenca keeps
its cultural pride and heritage alive among the bussle of thousands of
large and small businesses. Among 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 in general. In
1999, honoring Cuenca's history, the UNESCO declared its center a World
Cultural Heritage Site.
Ecuador's third largest city, Cuenca, has long been a favorite among tourists
and photographers, both foreign and Ecuadorian.
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.
Cuenca also makes a good base from which to visit Parque Nacional Cajas,
as well as local thermal baths and villages.
Ingapirca is the major Inca site in Ecuador, but opinions are mixed about
the significance of the ruins. The archeological site is which ruled these
hills for several hundred year before the Spanish arrived in the 16th
century, is believed it might have had religious and ceremonial purposes;
and the complex may have been for runners carrying imperial messages from
Quito to Tomebamba.
Panama hat is actually an indigenous product of Ecuador. Panama hats got
their name because they were shipped through Panama on their way to the
United States. The erroneously named hats are woven from thin straw, which
grows in Ecuador's coastal lowlands. The straw is harvested, shipped to
weaving centers such as the Andean City of Cuenca, and made into hats