Cuenca is a beautiful little city in Southern Ecuador surrounded by rivers, mountains and colonial architecture. It is listed as one of UNESCO’s world cultural sites. The city is clean, the people are friendly and the weather is spring like all year long. Cuenca sits at 8,200 feet and lies in the shadow of the Andes Mountains, which rise up nearly 15,000 feet in nearby Parque Nacional Cajas. The city was founded in 1587 based on the planning guidelines of Spanish King Charles V.
The downtown area is divided into two sections — the old historic center and the new downtown. The River Tombebamba separates the two areas of the city. Our condo is located on the banks of the River Tombebamba and the city divide. To reach the historic center we head out our front door, walk half a block and then ascend 84 steps. To reach the new downtown, we walk out our front door, walk half a block and then cross a bridge over the River Tomebamba. We could not ask for a better location.
Cuenca is a laid back town of about half a million people. There is very little traffic, honking is almost non existent and locals conduct themselves in an orderly fashion. Businesses shut down at lunch to enjoy the all important “almuerzo” and families stroll the nearby Parque Central. The city boats more than 50 churches and is the seat of government for the Azuay Province. Cuenca is also home to seven universities and is considered the cultural capital of Ecuador.
We have yet to experience many of Cuenca’s charms, however, we are excited to explore and discover the many it has to offer.
Posted by Ingelise Guy