A UNESCO World Heritage site (founded in 1557), Cuenca is one of Ecuador's most important historical locations. It often plays second fiddle to its Northern Neighbor, Quito, but Cuenca has a laid-back charm and appeal that makes it well worth the visit.
Gentsetter's "What Not To Miss" List:
Pumapungo Ruins & Museum
Explore the remnants of Pumapungo, a once bustling Incan religious site. These ruins are a quick walk from Las Herrerias neighborhood, and are nestled in what now serves as a relaxing park area. The Pumapungo Museum (on-site) is well worth your time - artifacts, shrunken heads, etc. Did we mention that everything at Pumapungo is completely free?
Cuenca Flower Market
Barranco Riverwalk & Calle Larga
The Barranco Riverwalk is a great area to take a stroll along the Rio Tomebamba, which acts as the natural divide between "Old Cuenca," and the modernized portion of the city. When you've worked up an appetite, head up to Calle Larga (literally, "Long Street"), where you'll find the vast majority of Cuenca's best restaurants, cafes, and nightlife.
Gentsetter's "Best Bag" for the Trip:
Dress it up or down, VOE's Broad-Axe Messenger is our pick. Shop the Broad-Axe: