Most Ecuadorians feel Cuenca is the most beautiful city in the country...

  • Cuenca |
    Cuenca |

  • Cuenca | Cathedral
    Cuenca | Cathedral

  • Cuenca |
    Cuenca |

    Cathedral

  • Cuenca |
    Cuenca |

    © Sapa Pana Travel

  • Cuenca |
    Cuenca |

    © Sapa Pana Travel

  • Cuenca |
    Cuenca |

    © Sapa Pana Travel

  • Cuenca |
    Cuenca |

    local market

  • Cuenca |
    Cuenca |

    © Sapa Pana Travel

  • Cuenca | Panama hat
    Cuenca | Panama hat

    © Sapa Pana Travel

  • Cuenca | Panama Hat
    Cuenca | Panama Hat

What is now the city of Cuenca used to be the Inca city of ‘Tomebamba’. When the Spanish colonized this region (in 1547) the old Inca city was completely destroyed. Only a few pieces of the ancient city wall have survived on the banks of the eponymous river. On 3 November 1820 Simón Bolívar declared Cuenca independent from Spain. Around 1860 about 2000 French Jesuits came to Cuenca. This monastic order is still present in the city.

Cuenca is also called the ‘Athens of Ecuador’ or the ‘Athens of the Andes’.

Cuenca is the third largest city of Ecuador with its 500.000 inhabitants, situated at an altitude of 2500 metres, south of the capitol Quito. These days Cuenca is famous because of the world famous Panama hat and the sizeable ceramics industry.

In 1999 Cuenca was listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO. The streets are characterized by brick paved streets, courtyards and squares full of flowers and green/white plastered houses with wooden doors and cast iron balconies.

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