Calle BolÃvar 12-55 y Tarqui, Cuenca, 0000, Ecuador
More about Cuenca
The domes of the New Cathedral
Myra, Individual Student Coordinator
Cajas National Park
Travel Tips for Cuenca
I've been to Cuenca with churches with no name
As with all South American colonial gems, the great joy is wandering around Cuenca and stumbling on great old buildings that you won't find in any guidebook. I'd like to say it's fun finding information about them on the Internet when you get home but seek as you may and you shall not likely find. In fact, there doesn't seem to be a lot of information about the "big attraction" churches let alone these little wonders. Still, they are pretty to look at and after all their main purpose are as places of worship. And in a religious town like Cuenca, they are used extensively for that.
right from their bare hands
Cuenca’s Plaza Rotary was one of our favorite markets in Ecuador. It was about as authentic as you can get. You walk around and it immediately becomes apparent that even though there are 100 vendors there are only six or seven different dishes being served. Each one specializes in one. So, as you check out their wares the women implore you to try a taste in hopes of getting you to choose them. This is not for the overly careful as they will literally put the food right in your mouth with their bare hands! Unlike some markets, you do not sit in a communal area but right at the stall so you're really interacting with the vendors. It's quite an experience and not to be missed. A favorite of mine is fritada, or roast pork, generally served with potato pancakes. I had it many times, in many places and was never disappointed. This one was no exception. At $1.50 it was a bargain.
Plaza de San Francisco
Plaza de San Francisco is closest to the Parque Calderón and while not impressive in and of itself its namesake 19th century church is one of Cuenca’s finest and best kept in stark comparison to its surroundings that make one wonder how safe it would be to wander this area at night. That’s okay, it is particularly well lit early in the morning and that's the time to go.
Museo Pumapungo is not only Cuenca’s main museum but it’s also one of Ecuador’s top ones as well. This natural history museum is extensive and you will need a few hours to properly have a look. Most people come solely to check out the huge ethnology exhibit that takes up an entire floor but there are lots of other interesting displays like dioramas of traditional costumes of Ecuador’s diverse cultural groups. Of course, the kids (and most adults too!) will love the shrunken heads that harrowingly finish up your tour.
It’s three big bucks to get in and while expensive compared to what you pay for a room or food, it’s well money well spent.
Museo de las Conceptas
This austere religious museum, set in the infirmary of a convent, is a wonderful find. The air crackles with a blend of piousness and repression as you gaze upon the belongings of nuns from long ago - some of whom entered the orders as children, and brought their toys along.
Prepare to be shadowed during your visit by a forbidding docent - adding to the oppressive impression of the whole.
Popular Hotels in Cuenca
Presidente Borrero 8-44 y Mariscal Sucre, Cuenca
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We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:
- Mansion Alcazar Cuenca
Address: Calle BolÃvar 12-55 y Tarqui, Cuenca, 0000, Ecuador