Get to know CUENCA and Ecuador


The City of Four Rivers

Credits: Municipal Tourism Foundation of Cuenca –

Santa Ana de los Ríos de Cuenca, better known as Cuenca, is known as the “City of Four Rivers” because it is crossed from west to east by the Tomebamba, Yanuncay, Machángara and Tarqui rivers. It is located in an inter-Andean valley of the Ecuadorian Southern Highlands at 2,538 meters above sea level, has a population of approximately 580,000 inhabitants and is the capital of the province of Azuay.

Cuenca is that corner of the world where, paradoxically, Panama hats are made and the only place in South America that places the Old Cathedral in front of the New, as if it were an architectural challenge. Its perfect location facilitates the practice of any adventure sport -from bungee jumping to canyoning and paragliding-.

A trip to Cuenca is Cuenca and all that surrounds it! The Pumapungo Archaeological Park, with its ruins of the Inca empire, does not go unnoticed, nor does the Cajas National Park, where in addition to hundreds of glacial lakes you can see some remains of the Royal Andean Road, which connected the highlands with the coast. On the other side of the city of Cuenca awaits the Mazán Protected Forest, an Ecological Reserve where you can see wildlife ranging from the adorable Andean condor to the fearsome puma! Ante Cuenca: hats off Panama!

Cuenca can be visited at any time of the year, since it is a city that does not have extreme temperatures. It has an oceanic climate and a variable temperature between 7ºC and 18ºC.

In spring, the time of the SLAN 2023 Congress, Cuenca has a mild climate during the day and cold at night.

Recommended attire: For the spring season, light clothing may be worn. At night the temperature drops, so it is recommended to wear a coat.

Official currency: U.S. dollar.

Currency exchange: It is possible to exchange euros and other foreign currencies at authorized exchange houses, hotels and banks. It is not recommended to exchange currency in the streets.

ATMs: They can be easily found throughout the city and are easy to operate with various types of debit and/or credit cards issued in any city or country in the world.

Credit cards: The most widely accepted are Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Diners Club.

Cuenca is the safest city in Ecuador and one of the safest in all of Latin America. Even so, you should take into consideration the security recommendations made worldwide, such as not leaving your belongings unattended and avoiding deserted places at night.

Cuenca has several entities that ensure the safety of its inhabitants and visitors:

  • Integrated Security Service ECU-911 – Telephone: 911
  • National Police – 1-800 Crime Hotline (1-800 335486)

The city center is easily accessible on foot. Cuenca has a streetcar line with 27 stations throughout the city and several bus lines that reach different parts of the city.

In addition, yellow cabs are available. It is recommended not to use informal yellow cabs that do not have the cooperative’s logo.

In the gastronomy of Azuay, and mainly of Cuenca, products from all climates come into play, whether hot, temperate or cold, and this enormous range of ingredients and their mixtures are what give a special touch to the food of the area.

Cuenca’s cuisine of yesteryear is a Spanish cuisine with indigenous touches; it is simple, uncomplicated, but varied and exquisite.

Tourist attractions

Credits: Cristóbal Jaramillo –

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Cuenca

Also known as the New Cathedral, it is a Catholic church in Gothic, Romanesque and Renaissance style. It has three domes overhanging the roof and was inspired by St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The cathedral can be seen from every angle of the city and you can climb the 150 spiral steps to the terrace to enjoy a great view.

Sagrario Church

Commonly known as the Old Cathedral of Cuenca, this church has a structure typical of a colonial basilica and is known for its magnificent gold leaf altarpieces and its fantastic bellows organ.

Credits: Cristóbal Jaramillo –

Credits: Viajes Vista al Sur –

Neighborhood of San Sebastian

The neighborhood of San Sebastián is an emblematic neighborhood of Cuenca, since it was one of the first in the city. The emblematic church of San Sebastián is located in this area. This neighborhood was characterized for being the cradle of artisans dedicated to the trades of pottery, tile making and tailoring, and, despite the passage of time, still retains the characteristics of a traditional neighborhood, in which there is high social cohesion.

El Barranco and Tomebamba River

El Barranco is an area of terraced houses located next to the Tomebamba River. The Tomebamba River divides the old town from the more modern area of the city, with green banks and crystalline waters that make it a pleasant walk.

Credits: Cristóbal Jaramillo –

Credits: Viajes Vista al Sur –

Turi viewpoint

It is a panoramic viewpoint of the Tomebamba River located 10 minutes from the city. From there you can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the city of Cuenca. The views cover the entire city and you can climb it at any time, so you can even see Cuenca illuminated at night.

Museum and ruins of Pumapungo

Pumapungo was the religious center of the Inca city of Tomebamba (the original city, prior to the Spanish colonial period). Today it is a park, entertainment center and city museum with exhibits of cultures that date back even before the Incas and Spaniards in the area. The grounds have Inca ruins where you can see ritual baths and an aqueduct system that is still used today for the complex’s extensive gardens.

Credits: Tourism Foundation for Cuenca –

Taken from Ecuador Travel –

Choose Ecuador as your vacation destination! This beautiful country is a paradise everywhere you look. Let yourself be dazzled by its culture expressed majestically in its churches, buildings and heritage cities.

For example, in Quito, get to know the best-preserved historic center in South America. In its coast, fall in love with its landscapes, beaches and the abundance of fauna that they contain. Increase your adrenaline by practicing a variety of adventure sports that Ecuador has to offer. And, for nothing in the world, forget to delight yourself with the taste of its gastronomic diversity, which you will find as you travel through this country full of magic and charm…
Live a unique experience, live Ecuador!

Credits: Ecuador Travel –

Entry requirements

As of October 23, 2021, visitors to the Galapagos Islands 2 years of age or older must meet one of the following entry requirements:

  1. Complete vaccination card, with at least 14 days of validity. All vaccines are valid.
  2. Negative result of an RT-PCR test, performed up to 72 hours prior to flight boarding.

It is still mandatory to present the Transit Control Card issued by the Government Council of the Special Regime of Galapagos.


Galapagos is one of the most pristine destinations on the planet. This natural paradise will show you life in its purest state as it is a living laboratory of animal species that do not exist anywhere else on Earth.

Touring the islands and getting to know their immense natural wealth is, without a doubt, a fascinating adventure where you will discover that there time passes without haste and that the horizon is lost in infinity.

They constitute one of the best preserved volcanic archipelagos in the world and have a high ecological value due to their endemic flora and fauna. Ninety-five percent of its originally recorded biodiversity is in a good state of conservation.

It is made up of 13 large volcanic islands, 6 small islands and 107 rocks and islets. It is estimated that the formation of the first island took place more than 5 million years ago, as a result of tectonic activity.

The main islands are: Isabela, San Cristóbal, Santa Cruz, Floreana, Baltra, Santiago, Fernandina, Marchena, Española, Pinta, Santa Fe, Pinzón and Genovesa. Of these, only five are inhabited

The capital of the Galapagos Islands is Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, which is located on San Cristobal Island.

More information in Ecuador Travel


Quito, the second highest capital city in the world, sits on the slopes of the Pichincha volcano. It is also known as “Carita de Dios” (God’s Little Face), and was declared UNESCO’s First Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 1978.

In Ecuador, the Historic Center of Quito is one of the largest and best preserved in Latin America, a true heritage treasure. Churches, museums and cultural centers allow you to discover the history of Ecuador, its richness, cultural and natural diversity, through a wonderful journey.

More information in Ecuador Travel


Guayaquil rises like a pearl on the southern Pacific coast, on the banks of the majestic Guayas River where it is crossed by several estuaries such as the Salado. The “Pearl of the Pacific”, as it is known, has countless tourist attractions that will make your visit an unforgettable experience.

Among the places you should visit in Ecuador’s main port is the Malecón Simón Bolívar, one of the most successful urban recovery projects in the Americas. It is made up of more than 2.5 km of public, cultural, entertainment, green and historical areas, among other attractions.

More information in Ecuador Travel

Chimborazo Reserve

Chimborazo, the highest mountain in Ecuador, is the face of this reserve. The colossus is 6,268 meters high and is surrounded by an immense sandy area with a dry moor, different from most. The reserve, however, provides water to the three provinces where it is located: here are the sources that feed the Ambato, Chambo and Chimbo rivers.

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Cotopaxi National Park

To talk about Cotopaxi National Park is to talk about the volcano. They may have told you many stories about this place, but the only truth is that you can enjoy nature in its purest form. Few can imagine what they will appreciate with their own eyes in this National Park, a must-see during 2019.

With a majestic height of 5,897 meters, a perfect cone, its mantle of perpetual snow, this impressive volcano is perhaps, together with the Galapagos, the advertising face of Ecuador’s natural beauty, recognized worldwide.

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Yasuní National Park is located in the central eastern Amazon region in the provinces of Orellana and Pastaza and is the largest protected area in continental Ecuador. It was created on July 26, 1979, with more than one million hectares, it houses an important natural and cultural heritage. It is considered one of the most biodiverse places on the planet and has been scientifically qualified as a “Pleistocene Refuge”.

The tropical rainforest of the Yasuní is a privileged place in relation to other regions of the planet. Due to a combination of geographical, geological, meteorological and historical factors, the Yasuní rainforests are considered the most biodiverse and richest on the planet; there is no other region in the world that offers the necessary conditions for such a vast and complex development of life.

More information in Ecuador Travel

Con el aval de


XX Congreso Latinoamericano de Nutrición
22 al 26 de octubre del 2023
Cuenca - Ecuador


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