For obvious reasons, we’re huge fans of the city home to El Nomad HQ. Rich with history and culture, Cuenca and its surrounding areas boast fascinating museums, the Andes mountains, archeological sites, women and men in traditional get-ups, and architectural reminders of indigenous and colonial history.
These eight quirky facts will put Cuenca at the top of your bucket list!
1. You can visit Incan ruins in the center of the city.
At Pumapungo, Cuenca’s largest museum and ruins site, visitors can learn about the dozens of diverse ethnic groups in Ecuador and also visit a small zoo, home to hawks, macaws, parrots, and even alpacas and llamas!
2. You are at the crossroads of three distinct biozones.
Cuenca is in the heart of the Andes Mountains, and within hours you can travel to the Amazon Rainforest, sunny coastal beaches, some of the world’s largest volcanoes, or tropical valleys.
3. There are 52 Churches, one for every week of the year!
With one about every 2-3 blocks, Cuenca is a beautiful place to wander.
4. We eat guinea pig.
Guinea pig (cuy) is a delicacy here, and Cuenca is well-known as the best place in South America to try them! Don't worry, we promise to give you the best and only the best cuy at the El Nomad welcome dinner.
5. Conversation Clubs are everywhere.
With the increasing expat population, there are more and more foreigners and Cuencanos eager to exchange languages and cultures.
6. Four rivers cross the city.
With water coming down from the nearby national park, Cuenca is a city of rivers, all with green spaces and walkways for a great morning run or a nighttime walk!
7. We’re called “The Athens of South America”
Cuenca has earned this prestigious title for its colonial charm, historical importance, and constant springlike climate.
8. It’s an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Cuenca has earned this prestigious honour for being a city with outstanding historical and cultural significance! The coolest thing about this title? Downtown Cuenca, with it's cobbled lanes and hole-in-the-wall almuerzo places, will never be spoiled by the sky scrapers that don't fit in with their colonial feel.