Top ChoiceMuseum in Cuenca

Museo del Banco Central ‘Pumapungo’

Museo del Banco Central ‘Pumapungo’

One of Ecuador's most significant museums, Pumapungo houses great modern art downstairs, but the highlight is on the 2nd floor. Here begins a comprehensive voyage through Ecuador's diverse indigenous cultures,...

Top ChoiceChurch 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...

Top ChoiceChurch 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...

Museum in Cuenca

Museo de las Culturas Aborígenes

This indigenous culture museum has more than 5000 archaeological pieces representing more than 20 pre-Columbian Ecuadorian cultures going back some 15,000 years. But what makes this such a gem of a museum is the...

Viewpoint in Cuenca

Mirador de Turi

For a lovely view of Cuenca, take a taxi ($5) 4km south of town along Avenida Solano to the stark white Church of Turi. The views of Cuenca’s famous, romantic skyline are especially pretty at sunset and on...

Park in Cuenca

Archaeological Park

Walk through the extensive ruins of buildings believed to be part the old Incan city of Tomebamba. Thanks to the Spanish conquistadors who carted off most of the stone to build Cuenca, there’s not much left – but...

Museum in Cuenca

Museo de la Ciudad

Housed in the former Escuela Central la Inmaculada, this beautifully preserved colonial building has been revamped with sleek, contemporary lines to house art exhibitions in its salons. Of particular interest is...

Park in Cuenca

Río Yanuncay

About 1km south of the Old Town's La Escalinita staircase, this peacefully wending river has tree-clad bankside green space perfect for a picnic. Upriver, at the confluence with the city's third waterway, Río...

Ruins in Cuenca

Inca Ruins

A patch of Inca ruins lies near the river, between the east end of Larga and Av Todos los Santos. Most of the stonework was destroyed to build colonial buildings, but there are some fine niches and walls.

Museum in Cuenca

Centro Interamericano de Artes Populares

Just down the stairs on the riverbank, the Inter-American Traditional Art Center exhibits indigenous costumes, handicrafts and artwork from around Latin America and has a classy, well-priced crafts store.

Church in Cuenca

Church of San Francisco

Resplendently colonial, yet curiously ramshackle, plaza San Francisco's set-piece is the 19th-century Church of San Francisco, which features an important gold-leaf altar from the colonial period.

Museum in Cuenca

Museo de Arte Moderno

On the south side of Plaza de San Sebastián, this fun museum was once a home for the insane. It now houses a highly regarded collection of Ecuadorian and Latin American art.

Plaza in Cuenca

Parque Calderón

A central meeting point and generally lovely place to relax, Parque Calderón is the central park of Cuenca.

Museum in Cuenca

Museo del Monasterio de las Conceptas

This religious museum in the Convent of the Immaculate Conception, founded in 1599, offers a glimpse into the centuries-old customs of the cloistered nuns who live here. You can’t see the nuns (they’re...

Museum in Cuenca

Museo Manuel Agustín Landivar

At the east end of Calle Larga, this museum has archaeological exhibits and tours of the Ruinas de Todos Santos, which reveal Cañari, Inca and Spanish ruins, layered one over the other. If you don’t want a guide,...

Gardens in Cuenca


If you've any interest in the world's most outrageous and beautiful plant species, you'll love the Universidad de Cuenca's Orquideario. With over 400 species of orchids, it's hailed as one of the country's best....

Gallery in Cuenca

Prohibido Museo de Arte Extremo

El Vado, an up-and-coming area, has some unusual establishments, such as this Grim Reaper–themed gallery, bar and nightclub. Find it on the upper (pedestrianized) level of La Condamine, just southeast of...

Bridge in Cuenca

Puente Roto

Most of this bridge, above a pretty stretch of Paseo 3 de Noviembre, was washed away during a flood, but its stone arches make a nice venue for an open-air art fair (10am-5pm Sat) and cultural events every Saturday.

Church in Cuenca

Church of San Blas

The only Cuenca church built in the form of a Latin cross, and one of the city's largest, the Church of San Blas sits at the eastern end of the slightly decrepit Parque San Blas, at the east end of the historical...

Church in Cuenca

Church of El Carmen de la Asunción

The stark, white church just around the corner from Plaza de San Francisco was founded in 1682 and contrasts beautifully with the colorful flower market held on the small Plazoleta del Carmen out front.