Cuenca, Ecuador

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Cuenca, Ecuador

Find the best place to stay — Cuenca

Discover world heritage in Cuenca

Nestled in the Andes mountains in southern Ecuador, Cuenca delights travelers with its architectural wonders such as Las Conceptas Museum and the blue-domed Catedral Nueva. Add breathtaking scenery, colorful festivals, and a delicious dining scene into the mix, and it's easy to see why visitors from across the world are drawn to this Colonial city. Whether enjoying a weekend break with friends or a longer stay with family, Cuenca vacation rentals place you right in the heart of the action. You'll find many rentals offer an ideal base in the historic center, while others boast a setting along the Rio Tomebamba River.

Soak up the cultural prowess in Cuenca

Cuenca's cobbled streets reveal cultural curiosities on almost every turn, but there are none that are quite as popular as Parque Calderon. Located in the heart of Cuenca's 500-year-old UNESCO heritage area, travelers can explore the whitewashed El Sagrario while savoring traditional rainbow-sprinkled whipped meringue. Nearby, the fragrant Mercado de las Flores is another must-see. As day drifts into night, the locals come out to huddle in the area's numerous dining spots, while out on the street, social gatherings, vendors hawking panama hats, and Hare Krishna parades are a common sight.

Enjoy family fun in Cuenca

If you're traveling with kids, a trip to the hillside Amaru Zoo, where inhabitants include Andean bears and African lions, is a must. The zoo is open daily all year round, although visiting on a clear morning will likely reward you with the best experience, as well as sweeping views of the city below. Be sure to wear sturdy shoes, as the absence of paved paths means that a visit is rather like taking a hike through the woods. Animal feedings take place throughout the day, so you should be able to catch at least a few sessions before heading back to your Cuenca vacation rental.

Cuenca is a year-round destination

There's never really a bad time to enjoy a stay in Cuenca. Although there are 2 official seasons – dry and rainy – the temperature doesn't change all that much throughout the year, hovering around the 60 mark, no matter what the calendar might say. What does seem to be quite changeable is the weather on any one day. Locals and expats report that it's entirely possible to wake up to a somewhat gloomy day, only to find yourself slapping on copious amounts of sunscreen an hour or so later. Preparing for all eventualities is a wise move.

Explore sweeping landscape near Cuenca

Green spaces in Cuenca, such as Parque Paraiso, offer ample opportunities to escape the hubbub for a little while, although if you're looking for a slightly more rugged experience, Parque Nacional Cajas lies within a 45-minute drive of many Cuenca vacation rentals. With hundreds of lakes and vast evergreen cloud forests, hikes here can easily span 2 or 3 days, although there are numerous easier routes for those short on time. Fishing, especially in the trout-rich Lake Toreadora, is a popular pastime, as is training a set of binoculars to catch a glimpse of the condors and Andean gulls soaring through the skies above.