Quito’s Counterpart

Cuenca is a charming colonial town located in the southern part of Ecuador.  This unique city is surrounded by majestic snow-capped mountains. This is why it is known as the ‘Athens of Ecuador’. Tourists enjoy visiting the city’s center. It’s many cobblestone streets, cathedrals rich in history, and colonial buildings are worth the visit!

This city is Quito’s counterpart in the southern Sierra. Likewise, it’s home to Ecuador’s other historical centre that has been declared a UNESCO Cultural World Heritage Site. The monuments and dozens of churches in this city date from Inca, colonial, and republican times.

With just over 330,000 inhabitants, this city is significantly smaller than Quito and Guayaquil.

However, although it’s the country’s third largest city, it is more tranquil compared to the others.

Fun Fact: Cuenca exports toquilla straw-hats (Panama hats) all over the world. This also includes exclusive models to many celebrities! These manually woven palm fiber hats are recognized as an UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.