Cuenca, whose complete name is actually Santa Ana de los Cuatro Ríos de Cuenca, is a beautiful city located in southern Ecuador. Its rich history, artisanal works, and rich culture draws in many tourists to visit, and many choose to stay there to live as expats!
The average population of Cuenca is a bit more than 400,000 and the city’s main industries consist of textiles and artisan works, furniture, and agriculture – which includes growth and exportation of flowers internationally. Did you know Ecuador’s roses are said to be some of the best and most stunning in the entire word?
Cuenca has many attractions, including the workshops for Panama Hats (Yes, they are made in Ecuador and not Panama), incredible churches, grand historical center, beautiful landscapes, and its pre-colonial history.
Cuenca history is exceptionally interesting, the first known inhabitants were a people known as the Cañari that had named the area Guapondeleg. The Cañari would later be conquered by the Incas, who further developed the city and named it Pumapungo – meaning door to the puma. This city would become a capital for the region, and was thought to be as grand, if not more so, than Cusco.
The really interesting piece is, when the Spanish arrived to this area, much of the city had been destroyed and abandoned, which have led many to believe that this place was once the legendary golden city of El Dorado that the Spanish had sought after, destroyed by its own inhabitants to keep it from the conquistadors’ grasp.
If you have a passion for beautiful cities, history, archeology or just love incredible views, then Cuenca is a must-visit city for you. Join us exploring this incredible place in its surrounding regions on your next adventure!