Cuenca is the capital of the province of Azuay and the fourth largest city in Ecuador. The city has retained much of its colonial character, with beautiful old buildings.
Many Ecuadorians consider Cuenca to be their most beautiful city and it is difficult to disagree with them. The old cobblestone streets, the flowery parks and the white buildings with antique wooden gates and iron balconies make it a pleasure to visit. In 1999 Cuenca was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Cuenca is the economic center of the Austro – that’s how the south of Ecuador is called. But Cuenca is also of great intellectual significance: it has a long tradition as the birthplace of famous artists, writers, poets and philosophers and is therefore also called the “Athens of Ecuador”.
Cuenca is also a fairly formal city, true to its conservative traditions. Everything closes between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. and many places close on Sundays.
To visit: the colonial center, the many museums, the hot water baths at 5 km. from Cuenca, the Ingapirca ruins, …
But forget in Cuenca Café JODOCO (Calle San Sebastian) not to visit. It is run by the Flemish Carlos Vuegen. He brews three types of beer: a triple, an amber and a dark one. In his cafe you can eat tasty Belgian dishes, steak, fries, stew, a video, etc. Opening hours, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11am to 11pm. It is closed on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, as he brews his beer then. The cafe is located on a pleasant square with a pleasant terrace, and used to be the home of the anonymous alcoholics.