Located in a valley of the Andes Mountains, Cuenca is the third largest city in Ecuador, and capital of the Azuay Province. It is know as a commercial location for most of southern Ecuador, leading a large portion of the country’s trades and manufacture.Mountains enclose the whole city along with four winding rivers that cross Cuenca. This natural beauty is complemented by the presence of Cuenca’s buildings.
The city displays rich architecture dating from many different cultures. Among them, Incan and Spanish.The moment you arrive to the city you’ll notice that an endless number of church domes form a skyline that surrounds it.UNESCO declared Cuenca a World Heritage Cultural Site in 1999 to protect its original roots. Stroll around the historical center of Cuenca, where you’ll find the major concentration of street artisans, traditional streets, museums, churches, and national monuments worth of admiration.
Río Tomebamba & Calle Larga: the Tomebamba is attractively lined with old colonial buildings that tower above the riverside. The buildings themselves are placed in Calle Larga, which runs parallel to the river. From Calle Larga, three attractive stone stairways lead down to Avenida 3 de Noviembre, which follows the river's northern bank and makes for a pleasant walk. The largest staircase, at Hermano Miguel, is known as La Escalinata.
Churches: just to name some of them you'll be able to admire: Church of San Cenáculo, church of Gran Colombia (the main handicraft and shopping street in Cuenca), Church of Santo Domingo, the Church of El Carmen de la Asunción, founded in 1682, is one of Cuenca's prettiest sights, thanks to the colorful flower market held on the small Plazoleta del Carmen out front or Church of San Blas, on the plaza of the same name, was once the western boundary of colonial Cuenca.
Hot springs: the healing properties of the water springs emerging from the mountainous terrain made Bath a thriving tourist center. The hot springs with healing properties, emerge from the soil at 60 ° and 75 ° C, and feed the pools installed in the field
Parque Calderón:It is the city's main square. The impressive New Cathedral (Catedral de la Inmaculada) and its huge blue domes dominate the plaza. On the opposite side of the plaza is the Old Cathedral (El Sagrario).
Museums: you must see the Museo del Banco Central, that contains a permanent collection of black and white photos of 19th and early 20th century Cuenca, as well as displays of art and archeological pieces, and the Museo de las Culturas Aborígenes, that houses a private collection of 5,000 archeological pieces representing over 20 pre-Columbian cultures of Ecuador.
Mirador de Turi: A lovely view of Cuenca. The views are especially splendid on the occasional evenings (usually around holidays) when all of the churches' steeples and domes are lit throughout town. It's about 4km from the center.