CUENCA TOURISM BOARD
CUENCA – ECUADOR, THE ANDEAN CHARM
Without doubt Santa Ana de los Ríos de Cuenca, is a unique city.
It conjugates past and present and fusions them through an amazing route along the Tomebamba River, which crosses the city from West to East and divides it in the historic and the modern parts.
Cuenca, has always been a city of contrasts combining three cultures: Cañari, Incan and Spanish. This particularity makes walking down its streets a charming experience. In fact, due to the implementation of urban planning principles as part of the renaissance process in the Americas, the mixture of cultures, and other unique qualities, UNESCO declared Cuenca Cultural Patrimony of Humanity on December 1st 1999.
NATURE AND ADVENTURE IN THE ANDES
Nature in Cuenca: the city and surroundings
Cuenca is a privileged city surrounded by natural sites of great beauty with a great biodiversity. In the heart of the city, picturesque gardens follow the course of the four rivers that cross it. In the vicinity are subtropical valleys, mountain forests, páramos as well as desert landscapes.
The most remarkable site is the Cajas National Park, one hour from the city. It is a protected area consisting of a lacustrine system of glacial origin with more than 230 lagoons and numerous ecosystems. In 2013, Unesco classified the Park and the entire massif as a World Biosphere Reserve
The fauna is rich and diverse: dozens of species of mammals including white-tailed deer, spectacled bear, puma, tapir, as well as the emblematic llama and alpaca.
Not to mention some 150 species of birds …
Activities: There is something for everyone: sports fishing, climbing, hiking, bird watching, etc…
In the park, there are 13 leisure areas, 5 for leisurely strolls and 8 for trekking for the more knowledgeable travelers!
In addition to the Park, there is the Bio-touristic Corridor of the Yanuncay River for lovers of nature and culture. The village of San Joaquin is a stone’s throw from Cuenca, which is the starting point. Besides its many cultivation fields, the village is distinguished by its crafts, including basketwork. From there, you can follow the banks of the river to observe several specimens of Andean flora and fauna. A paradise for hikers …
ADVENTURE IN CUENCA
The Cuenca region has become one of Ecuador’s most popular destinations for adventure tourism with its many national competitions, some of which have an international reputation. It is the perfect equation thanks to a great diversity of landscapes and ecosystems that adds to the quality of the services offered which allows for a safe practice of any extreme sport.
Bicycle riding the Andean páramos or forests, horseback riding in the moonlight or climbing the rocky walls of a sacred mountain are some of the unforgettable experiences that enrich the discovery of a city classified as a World Heritage.
Among the most outstanding activities of adventure tourism:
CANOPY: Near Bibin, in the commune of Ricaurte, about thirty kilometers from Cuenca, in the middle of the eucalyptus with precipices of 50 to 85 meters depth on 160 to 360 meters long. With 10 years of experience, Cuenca Canopy offers an infrastructure with all international safety standards. Adrenaline assured with different zip lines and specialized guides for maximum safety.
CLIMBING: Mainly Cojitambo, a peak of volcanic rock located 25 kilometers northeast of Cuenca which offers many climbing opportunities, and the Cajas National Park with majestic peaks within a spectacular landscape.
HORSEBACK RIDING: For those who want to embark on a different experience with walks of a few hours or several days to follow ancestral routes in the middle of constantly changing landscapes. The must: horseback riding at night by the full moon!