• Experience the magic of Cuenca on this full-day journey tailored to encounter the city’s highlights: learn about its history, admire its architecture, and savor its delicious gastronomy.
  • Explore the main plaza, Parque Calderón, and get a sense of its bustling street life. Wander around the Historic Center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the best preserved in the Americas.
  • Stroll along the tree-lined banks of the Tomebamba river while you admire the quaint Barranco neighborhood.
  • Visit the gallery and workshop of one of Ecuador’s most renowned ceramist families, the Vegas, and enter the world of the famously misnamed “Panama Hat” inside of Homero Ortega’s hat museum and factory.


Magnificent Cuenca
Parque Calderón
Old Cathedral
New Cathedral
Santa Ana street
Plaza de las Flores
Plaza San Sebastián
Walk along the Barranco
Turi scenic lookout
Vega Workshop and Gallery
Homero Ortega Hats
This lively plaza is Cuenca’s most important square, flanked by the Old and New Cathedral on opposite sides, the Palace of Justice, the Azuay Province Governor’s Office, and several colorful restaurants and stores dotted along the streets.
The Old Cathedral of Cuenca was built in 1557 and is known for its colonial style. Its intricate interior holds religious paintings, wooden sculptures, and baroque altarpieces.
This three-domed Cathedral has inevitably become part of Cuenca’s identity. Construction began in 1885 and took almost a century to complete an iconic Neogothic, Romanesque, and Reinaissance-style structure.
This quaint pedestrian street has outdoor cafés and restaurants. It was closed to the public for 53 years and finally reopened in 2017. It leads directly to San Luis Seminar, one of the best panoramic views of the New Cathedral’s domes.
This kaleidoscopic plaza was included in National Geographic’s Top 10 Outdoor Flower Markets of the World. It features a vast array of flowers from Ecuador’s fertile Andes and a small hole-in-the-wall store selling the traditional “pitimas” herbal drink.
The beautifully designed gardens, fountains, and paths of the Bohemian Plaza San Sebastián make it the ideal spot for an urban stroll. Pop into the Contemporary Art Museum, where interesting exhibitions are usually on display, and admire the Colonial architecture outside, including the Spanish-style San Sebastian Church and its single-towered facade and dome.
Part of Cuenca’s charm is that it’s a city of rivers, four no less. Tomebamba, the largest, flows and burbles right through the middle of the city. It makes for stunning and calming walks along its tree-lined banks, with the requisite bars and cafés from which to appreciate its beauty dotted all along the Barranco neighborhood.
One of the best panoramic views of Cuenca. Just a few minutes outside the city, the Turi lookout is a romantic and scenic spot to admire Cuenca in all its glory.
Just around the corner from the Turi lookout, the colorful Vega family workshop and gallery will mesmerize you. Eduardo Vega is regarded as among Ecuador’s finest ceramists and muralists. Bring some of his stunning ceramic pieces back home with you!
It needs to be said repeatedly that the Panama Hat is originally from Ecuador and not, as its name suggests, from Panama. So, it is only fitting to visit Homero Ortega, one of the oldest hat companies producing and exporting these hats to the world, during your journey through Cuenca’s highlights.


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