What to do in Cuenca in one day?

Posted By : Best Trip Ecuador/ 188

Cuenca was declared as World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999. It is a city that deserves to be seen if you are planning to visit Ecuador because it has many tourist attractions, and wide historical and cultural richness. In this blog, we want to show you some of the essential activities to do while you visit this city, the capital of Azuay, for a day.

Cover photo by: fernandozhiminaicela

City Tour Cuenca

If your staying in Cuenca is limited, we recommend you to take the Cuenca City Tour because you will get to know some of the most important places in the city. The tour lasts 4 hours and you will visit the next places:

  • Barrio of San Sebastián and the Museum of Modern Art
  • Calderón Park (central park)
  • Flower Plaza
  • Sagrario Cathedral (Old Cathedral), and the Immaculate Conception Cathedral (New Cathedral)
  • El Barranco (area of terraced houses located next to the Tomebamba river)
  • Turi Lookout (natural lookout located in the heights of Cuenca offers a spectacular view of the entire city)

El Barranco

Photo by: fernandozhiminaicela

Once the Cuenca City Tour is finished, you could visit the Central Bank Museum, Las Conceptas Museum or Museum of Aboriginal Cultures.

Paja Toquilla Hat Factory

One of the charms of the province of Azuay and its capital is the fabrication of toquilla thatch hats made by craftsmen who pass this tradition from generation to generation. For this reason, we suggest you to include in your day of stay in Cuenca a visit to this factory that is more than 60 years old and is now a museum. In the factory, you could be able to appreciate the production process of the traditional hats. You may also buy one if you wish. This activity is also contemplated in Cuenca City Tour.

Photo by: NatashaG


If you are in Cuenca, you must necessarily try its food, and one of the many dishes made with mote, the essential ingredient of Cuenca’s gastronomy. You will find restaurants, businesses, and markets where people sell dishes, such as: mote pillo, mote sucio (dirty mote), mote casado (married mote), mote pata, among others. We are sure that Cuenca’s cuisine will surprise you!

Photo by: DEZALB


Do not forget to enjoy the nightlife of Cuenca as there are many restaurants, cafes, bars, and nightclubs. One of the areas that has the largest number of places of this kind is the well-known “Calle Larga” (Long Street) . In addition, you can visit the area of “El Vado” (first neighborhood raised in Cuenca) where you will find thematic cultural centers, and where you can see the development of traditional trades. Moreover, on “Avenida Remigio Crespo Toral”, known as “La Remigio”, you will also find a number of restaurants serving national and international cuisine and trendy bars.

We recommend you to walk through the streets of the city during the night and enjoy the nightlife. Be surprised by Cuenca’s majestic architecture and the warmth of its people.

Enjoy your stay in Cuenca, we are sure you will want to repeat. If you are going to have a long term stay in the capital of Azuay, you must see Ingapirca Archeological Complex (located at 80 kilometers north of Cuenca), and Cajas National Park (located at 33 kilometers north-west of the city of Cuenca). For more information about these destinations, visit our website: https://www.besttripecuador.com/en