Slowing down the pace in Cuenca

Slowing down the pace in Cuenca

The third largest city in Ecuador, Cuenca is located 500 kilometres south of Quito and remains famous for its panama hats. Get a taste of the sweet life.

At an altitude of 2,500 metres in the Azuay region, time seems to have stopped. Here, it is customary to take your time. In Cuenca, an urban stroll will never be complete without making your way to one of its markets: for instance, the colourful flower market or the Mercado 10 de Agosto for local flavours, or even the crafts market in which you will find ceramic and wrought items, as well as panama hats – the men's apparel fashion item made of vegetable fibre that, contrary to what the name would let one think, is actually a typically Ecuadorian endeavour.
Stroll around the 16th-century colonial style historic centre, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, before making your way to the Barranco neighbourhood. From the promenade that runs alongside the Tomebamba River, gaze at the houses suspended on a cliff, with a quimbilito in hand, an Andean pastry made of corn flour and chocolate. Young and old adventurers alike may also visit the Cajas National Park, about 30 kilometres from Cuenca, for a family trek that weaves around a hundred lakes, right in llama country!