"Cuenca in Ecuador" Top 5 Page for this destination Cuenca by MalenaN
Cuenca Travel Guide: 276 reviews and 845 photos
Cuenca is the third largest city in Ecuador with an urban population of 330 000 inhabitants. Cuenca is situated in the highlands, in a valley surrounded by mountains, at an altitude of 2530 metres, and 441km south of Quito. Like Quito the city has an old historic centre which is an Unesco World Heritage Site.
The historic centre of Cuenca is the city centre and here you can walk along cobblestone streets admiring the historical buildings. There are many churches, small plazas and museums to visit, so it is a nice place to spend a few days in. From Cuenca you can also make excursions to Cajas National Park, the Inca ruins of Ingapirca or one of the nearby villages known for their traditional handicrafts and Sunday markets.
The Cañari people founded a settlement called Guapondeleg, probably around 500AD, in the area where Cuenca is situated. Later, in the 15th century, the Incas conquered the land of the Cañaries and constructed a city called Tomebamba. Tomebamba is supposed to have been a grand city, but during a civil war it was destroyed and its inhabitants killed. When the Spanish arrived they only found ruins of Tomebamba, and when building Cuenca they used much of the stones from the ruins. It was in 1557 that the Spanish founded Cuenca and they gave it the full name Santa Ana de los cuatro ríos de Cuenca. As the name implies there are four rivers floating through Cuenca, or in the vicinity.
As Cuenca is situated in the highlands the climate is mild year round. The average daily temperature is 14.6°C and the coldest months are June, July and August. The rainy season is between mid-October to early May, and during that period the mornings can often be sunny, while it gets cloudy in the afternoon with showers.
By many people Cuenca is considered to be the most charming city in Ecuador, but if I have to choose between Cuenca and Quito I would choose Quito. Maybe because I came to Cuenca directly from Galapagos Islands and it was quite cold and grey, with some rain, during the days I visited.
Cajas National Park is situated just west of Cuenca. The park has an area of 285 sq km and it lies between an altitude... more travel advice
The only reason I flew from Guayaquil to Cuenca is because I arrived to Guayaquil by plane from Galapagos Islands, and I... more travel advice
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