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Best things to do in Cuenca

Museum
“It's worth the walk east along Calle Larga to one of Ecuador's most significant museums. While there's some great modern art downstairs, the highlight is on the 2nd floor. Here begins a comprehensive voyage through Ecuador's diverse indigenous cultures, with colorfully animated dioramas and reconstructions of typical houses, including of Afro-Ecuadorians from Esmeraldas province, the cowboy-like montubios (coastal farmers) of the western lowlands, several rainforest groups and all major highland groups. The finale features rare and eerie tzantzas (shrunken heads) from the Shuar culture of the southern Oriente. Included in your visit is the Archaeological Park”
29local recommendations
Church
“Take the tour of the new cathedral to see the crypts below the church and hike up into the soaring towers for an incredible view of Parque Calderon, the main city square. Find out some interesting details about the cathedral and the city that houses it. ”
12local recommendations
Establishment
“Teresa’s favorite mercado is the Diez de Agosto (it's also the closest). It’s a true mercado experience and you can find just about everything there (including a haircut for $2.50, or they will sharpen your knives for $.25 each). If there’s a stack of anything, like avocados, it’s $1. If it’s a bag of tomatoes, it’s $1. (There is a distinct accent here and they say "dollar" like "DO-ZHAR".) If there’s a larger bag of tomatoes next to a smaller bag, that larger bag will probably be $2. It’s a good idea to stand back and listen to what other people are being charged for other things to avoid getting “gringo pricing” and, of course, learn your numbers in Spanish helps. ”
6local recommendations
Steakhouse
$$$$
“The food is delicious, service is really good and you will find typical and traditional food as well. Best meat restaurant of the city ”
14local recommendations
Park
“Important park to make exercise, next to the most important neighborhood in cuenca, and the new comercial zone. ”
12local recommendations
Shopping Mall
“This is the largest mall in Cuenca and is a short bus or taxi ride. It also has a food court.”
12local recommendations
Park
“Great place for people-watching! It's in the heart of the city between the Old & New Cathedrals. ”
8local recommendations
Art Museum
“Many local artists get to exhibit their work in this incredible space. The architecture is enough to visit this awesome building where in every corner you can see new details of Cuenca. ”
8local recommendations
Establishment
3local recommendations
Restaurant
$$
“Goza is open late and their food is to die for. Serious. Expensive compared to other local places, Goza caters mostly to the expat and tourist community, and the wealthier locals. ”
10local recommendations
Grocery Store
“Mainstream grocery store (ie; Safeway/Vons/WinDixie). Near soccer stadium, Chill-n-Grill, McDonalds, and Parque de la Madre.”
7local recommendations
Bar
“Great burgers and Mexican food. Sports bar on the banks of Rio Tomebabma. Indoor and outdoor seating. A gringo gathering place. Opens at 12 noon, closed Mondays.”
7local recommendations
Park
“Es el parque central del casco histórico de Cuenca. A su alrededor hay varios sitios Gastronómicos y es un bello lugar para recrearse y tomar fotos.”
6local recommendations
Church
“The Sagrario Church - commonly known as the Old Cathedral of Cuenca was the main place of Spanish worship during the time of Spanish colonization in Cuenca (Ecuador). It functions today as the Museum of Religious Art and is located in the Calderón Park, in front of the New Cathedral.”
7local recommendations
Cafe
“Homemade food, breakfast and lunch specials, situated in a colonial home on Plaza San Sebastian at the west end of the historic district. Open Wednesday through Sunday until 3 PM.”
9local recommendations
Museum
“This indigenous culture museum has more than 5000 archaeological pieces representing more than 20 pre-Hispanic Ecuadorian cultures going back some 15,000 years. But what makes this such a gem of a museum is the informative guided tour – touching upon such unexpected items as combs and obsidian mirrors (they were vain then, some of these pre-Inca peoples) and rather sophisticated cooking equipment as well as explaining the striking designs. It's one of those rare museums which makes artifacts enthralling to look at. A peaceful courtyard cafe sells wickedly strong coffee.”
4local recommendations