Things to do in Cuenca

See ancient Inca ruins in Cuenca

Cuenca, located in Southern Ecuador, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is famous for its ancient Inca ruins and historic significance. The city has beautiful architecture, stunning nightlife, and rich culture. Cuenca is a very popular holiday destination for visitors from around the world. There’s plenty of museums, attractions and fun things to do in Cuenca that will make you want to return again and again.


Things to do in Cuenca



The most popular activity in Cuenca is a visit to the Ingapirca where you can tour the ancient Inca Ruins and learn more about the history and culture of Ecuador.


Tours and local treats

You can also take a tour bus throughout the city to learn more about the main landmarks and buildings of Cuenca. As you walk along the city streets, you may want to visit the outdoor markets, eat at a quaint local restaurant, and perhaps stroll down the riverfront.


The Amaru Zoo

The Amaru Zoo is a unique place to visit because you can walk along a hiking trail and look at crocodiles, pheasants, lions, and other incredible animals as you pass by. The trail takes about 2 hours to complete, but is a great way to see flora and fauna from around the world.



While in Cuenca, you can also play a round of golf on the sprawling grounds of one of the golf clubs.



If you are a night owl, you can spend the night exploring the nightlife scene downtown. There are plenty of bars, clubs, and jazz party venues where you can celebrate your time in Ecuador.


When to go to Cuenca

Cuenca has a mild climate year round, with distinct rainy and dry seasons. Days are generally warm and nights are cool, so bring a light sweater or jacket with you. November 3rd is the Independence Day in Cuenca so expect festive celebrations throughout the city if you visit during this time.

Cuenca Facts

Population331 888
CurrencyUS dollar
AirportMariscal Lamar, Ecuador (CUE)

Cuenca average temperatures

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UNESCO World Heritage Sites Cuenca - Historic Centre of Santa Ana de los Ríos de Cuenca

As the name suggests in Spanish, the town Santa Ana de los Ríos de Cuenca (also known as simply Cuenca) lies on a valley irrigated by four rivers. Cuenca’s original grid layout has been preserved, and the Renaissance style is still visible in many buildings like the Old Cathedral or the Carmelite Monastery. Cuenca is a great example of urban planning of the Renaissance in the New World with a successful combination of the different cultures that got together there, making it a World Heritage Site according to UNESCO in 1999.

Historic Walled Town of Cuenca

After its construction by the Moors due to its strategic position, Cuenca was conquered by the Castilians in the 12th century. Its good preservation and historical importance, being a royal town and a bishopric and having the first Gothic cathedral in Spain, are the reasons why Cuenca is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A must-visit in Cuenca that may not be as obvious as the Cathedral is the casas colgadas, “hanging houses”, built and suspended on the very edge of the cliff. One of the buildings houses the Museo de Arta Abstracto Español, an abstract art museum totally worth a visit.

Read more about UNESCO World Heritage Sites