Top things to do

Top Choice Colombian in Cuenca

Moliendo Café

This is one of the best little eateries you'll find in Ecuador – and that's why Moliendo Café is always rammed. The hearty arepas (maize pancakes) herald from Ecuador's northern neighbors but are a specialty here. T…
Top Choice Museum in Cuenca

Museo de las Culturas Aborígenes

This indigenous culture museum has more than 5000 archaeological pieces representing more than 20 pre-Hispanic Ecuadorian cultures going back some 15,000 years. But what makes this such a gem of a museum is the info…
Top Choice Church in Cuenca

El Sagrario

Standing across the park from the new cathedral, the whitewashed El Sagrario is also known as the 'old cathedral.' Construction began in 1557, the year Cuenca was founded, and in 1739 La Condamine’s expedition used …
Top Choice Monument in Loja

Puerta de la Ciudad

With perhaps more pomp and circumstance than you'll encounter anywhere else in Loja, the City Gate greets you into downtown from the northern corner. It's a giant castle with an arched doorway spanning Sucre, a stre…
Top Choice Museum in Loja

Museo de la Música

This fun museum located in an old school explores the lives of famous musicians who hailed from Loja (most peaking in success during the golden 1890–1940 period). Many old instruments and scores of music are on disp…
Top Choice Pizza in Vilcabamba

Shanta’s Bar

We love Shanta’s – and have done for years. It serves pizza and big plates of frog’s legs in an innovative rustic setting with saddle seats at the bar and a bartender with a handlebar mustache. Ask about the licor d…
Top Choice Museum in Cuenca

Museo del Banco Central ‘Pumapungo’

It's worth the walk east along Calle Larga to one of Ecuador's most significant museums. Whilst there's some great modern art downstairs, the highlight is on the second floor. Here begins a comprehensive voyage thro…
Top Choice Seafood in Loja


Serving some of Loja's best seafood, Riscomar prepares delicious ceviche in an inviting but unpretentious dining room. The chivo en cerveza (goat in beer) is a surprise addition to the menu.
Top Choice Church in Cuenca

Catedral de la Inmaculada Concepción

Also known as the ‘new cathedral,’ construction began on this vast cathedral only in 1885. Its giant domes of sky-blue Czech tile are visible from all over Cuenca, and if it looks like the bell towers are bit short,…
Top Choice Ecuadorian in Zamora

Tio Bolo

The town's most popular place: sublimely cooked grills in an intimate open-sided space overlooking the river. It would be premature to say that it's transformed the malecón (waterfront) into a gastronomic hub, but h…