Cuenca

Pedestrian-friendly and surrounded by mountains.

Cuenca is a city of contradictions. It’s one of the oldest in Ecuador, founded by the Spanish in 1557, but its streets are lined with modern high-rises. The city is set in a deep valley, and the surrounding mountains are snow-capped most of the year, but the temperature is balmy and the locals are friendly. There are plenty of historical and cultural attractions, including a wealth of churches and cathedrals, as well as the world’s largest Inca ruins, but Cuenca is also a great place to just wander the streets and soak up the atmosphere. There are markets, parks, and plazas aplenty, and a thriving arts and nightlife scene. Be sure to try the local speciality, cuy (guinea pig), which is roasted on a spit.

Average temperatures during the day in Cuenca.

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