"A World Heritage Site!" Top 5 Page for this destination Cuenca by elsadran

Cuenca Travel Guide: 270 reviews and 825 photos

Cuenca is privileged by nature as it is run by four rivers, and situated in a fertile valley enclosed by beautiful mountains. Thus its climate is mild and pleasant all through the year, although its altitude is 2535 meters.
Its first inhabitants go back to 8000BC or even earlier. At about 500BC Canaris started having a more organized society until the Incas conquered them and dispersed them around the area. In 1480 the Incas founded a city with great splendour and named it Tomebamba. Very little is left from the Incas today, except for some ruins in the city and more in Ingapirca. They were destroyed by internal wars and in 1530 the Spaniards had no difficulty in settling down in this region.

In 1557 the Spaniards founded the city of Santa Ana de los Quatro Rios de Cuenca, as its full name is, on the same spot. With its cobbled streets and its dazzling colonial architecture Cuenca is a great rival of Quito and an unforgettable destination. The city center is in the old town and it is here that all the commercial and cultural action takes place. The best way to see it is wandering around the picturesque streets looking up at the impressive building standing proudly there for almost five centuries.
Today the people of Cuenca have managed to develop greatly, economically and culturally, keeping in the meantime their customs and traditions, while presenting their artistic soul in a modern way of expression.

  • Last visit to Cuenca: Jan 2008
  • Intro Updated May 15, 2008
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Reviews (32)

Comments (3)

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Oct 21, 2012 at 10:27 AM

    Thank you for the great tour of Cuenca. Your tips on places to visit outside the city are esepcially comprehensive and helpful. We will be there in about 12 days :-)

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    Feb 13, 2011 at 8:24 AM

    Cuenca and the Cajas National Park looks lovely! Excellent tips Elsa!

  • SLLiew's Profile Photo
    Jun 5, 2008 at 2:24 PM

    Revisiting... Breath-taking view of town. No wonder it is a Unesco WHS site.

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