Learn Spanish in Cuenca Ecuador
Located in a valley 8200 feet above sea level, Cuenca is the lively and gorgeous capital of the Azuay Province in Ecuador. Cobblestone streets, breathtaking architecture, and nature make this city an inspiration and delight to all its visitors. The historic downtown is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the city itself is full of rich culture.
The mild climate allows for year round recreation. The days are warm with cool nights and the rainy season is October through May, though there is generally a period of sun each day. The city contains many attractions, wonderful shopping, and delicious cuisine. After you’ve explored Cuenca, any of the surrounding villages, or nearby Cajas National Park, spend the night discovering the vibrant and engaging nightlife.
This intellectual community has produced the majority of the country’s most noted thinkers. Whether a writer, artist, philosopher, or simply an avid traveler— Cuenca is an amazing place to visit.
Steeped in rich history and culture, you won’t lack for opportunities to learn more about this fascinating area. For those starting in the city, there are many museums including the beautiful El Sagrario, Museo Municipal de Arte Moderno, Museo del Sombrero de Paja Toquilla, Casa de la Cultura, Salón del Pueblo, or the Museo de las Culturas Aborigenes.
Make sure to stop by and see the awe-inspiring “new” cathedral whose construction began in 1885 and spanned a century. Shopping is a wonderful experience with several areas to find traditional hand made goods and crafts at excellent prices. Panama Hats and ceramics tend to be the area’s most popular purchases. Other areas of interest in the city are El Barranco, the Pumapunga neighborhood, and the ruins of Todos Los Santos.
Although you’re not likely to run out of places to explore in the city, Cuenca also makes a great central location for visiting the charming villages, ruins, and archeological sites within driving distance. If you happen to be in the area during Cuenca’s Independence Day, Carnaval, New Year’s, or one of the other festivals— you’ll enjoy the bright and colorful fiestas the city has to offer.
Cajas National Park is located approximately thirty kilometers west of Cuenca. This scenic park full of spectacular lakes is going to be the main source for outdoor recreation for those visiting the city.
There is an abundance of wildlife, and birdwatchers descend on this park to view the large number of bird species, including some that are extremely rare or endangered. The park also offers plenty of hiking, climbing, fishing, and camping opportunities.
Another great trip is to the wildlife preserve at Mazán. Not only is it a haven for wildlife, it is also home to forty species of orchids. Within the city, visitors can stroll and enjoy the green spaces or rent a bike to tour the city. The year round spring-like weather supports the beautiful flowers grown in the area, and will delight guests wishing to spend ample time outdoors.
International flights land in Quito where you’ll then have the option to bus, drive, or fly into Cuenca. Buses and cars are the main way to get into Cuenca, although they have a domestic airport with flights from Quito, Guayaquil, and some of the neighboring countries.