The former Inca town of Cuenca is the capital of the Azuay Province. It is located in the highlands of Ecuador at about 2,500 meters (8,200 feet) above sea level, with an urban population of approximately 400,000 rising to 700,000 inhabitants in the larger metro area. For its charming historical center, the churches, the small cobbled streets and colonial houses with noble facades, prim balustrades, wrought iron balconies and red tiled roofs, it was declared as World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 1999. Cuenca is well known for its stunning architecture, tourist attractions, hotels and night activities. It is also unarguably the center of culture and art of Ecuador.
The inhabitants of Cuenca are more conservative and in this tranquil city traditions and customs are connected to modern life in a very harmonic way. You won´t find many skyscrapers here! For everyone who is interested in history and culture Cuenca is the town to visit. Being a meeting point for many different cultures has had a strong influence on arts and traditions.
Cuenca boasts a huge variety of museums and art galleries and is the most important center of Handicrafts in Ecuador. There you can buy unique souvenirs of high quality, such as Panama Hats, leather jackets, ceramics, embroideries, gold jewelry and clothing, which are produced around Cuenca.