Located on a valley at about 2500 meters above sea level and surrounded by majestic mountains, Cuenca is Ecuador’s third biggest city. Given its stable climate, rich soil and abundant water sources; this area has been inhabited for thousands of years, since long before the Spanish conquistadors arrived to the American continent.
Today, Cuenca is one of Ecuador’s most attractive cities for expats and tourists alike. Apart from its year-round spring-like climate, one of the city’s main pulls is its undeniable charm. With its gorgeous architecture and clean streets, Cuenca’s historic centre was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999.
Most of the architecture in Cuenca’s city centre dates from the 18th century. However, much of it got modernised in the 19th century as the city went through an economic boom. Some of the most notable buildings are the New Cathedral, the Old Cathedral, the Carmelite Monastery and the Santo Domingo Church.
The city centre still follows the grid-like street pattern of its colonial past. Also, it’s small enough that you can explore it by foot; but it’s still big enough to keep it interesting. And when you venture out of the historic area, you’re greeted by nice and colourful street art and well maintained parks. What else could you ask for?
Have you travelled to Ecuador? Which was your favourite city there? Why? Leave me a comment, I’d love to know!