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Galapagos > Ecuador > Cuenca

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Cuenca

Located in the south of Ecuador at 2500 meters of altitude , Cuenca is the capital of the Azuay province and it is also called Santa Ana of the four rivers of Cuenca. Cuenca was formally the Inca town of Tomebamba, but most of the Inca stonework was destroyed by the Spanish and replaced by colonial buildings. Its red tiled roofs, cobblestone streets, whitewashed buildings, flowery plazas and museums make it a very interesting and beautiful place to explore.

Cuenca Ecuador, CathedralEcuador's third-largest city, Cuenca has a strong intellectual tradition, boasting three major universities and several smaller ones. With its large student population and popularity with foreigners, the city also has a modem edge, with international restaurants, art galleries, cool cafés and welcoming bars all tucked into its colonial architecture. Cuenca's location in one of the country's most traditional regions also bestows the city with a very strong indigenous presence.

The central square, Parque Calderón, is dominated by the new Cathedral, \build in pink marble and has splendid blue domes. It contains a famous crowned image of the Virgin. You also find there the old Cathedral, which has a fine organ. The other side of the square is lined with the Court of Justice, the Municipal Palace, the Governor’s Palace and the Church of El Sagrario. Cuenca is an important crafts outlet and stands at the center of the panama hat trade, so the shopping is excellent. It's also a good base for visiting nearby Parque Nacional Cajas, local hot springs, villages and markets, and the Inca ruins of Ingapirca.

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Cuenca

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