Cobbled streets, graceful ironwork balconies, flowering plazas and courtyards, and religious art treasures recall Cuenca's Colonial past. The stunning Andes landscapes, the blend of indigenous and Spanish peoples and cultures, the high artistic quality of local handcrafts and colorful markets are very Ecuadorian. Saint Anne of the Four Rivers of Cuenca, is located in the valley of Guapondelig (plain as wide as the sky). At an altitude of 2,550 meters (7,650 feet) above sea level, Cuenca enjoys a mild climate and a fabulous geographic position. It's historic downtown area was declared a UNESCO
World Cultural Heritage Site on December 1999, a fitting honor for Ecuador's most beautiful city. On November 3 Cuenca celebrates the anniversary of its Independence. When the patriots of Cuenca, heard about the Independence of Guayaquil (October 9, 1820), they became enthusiastic to obtain their own independence. So, on November 2, 1820 a group of young patriots, led by Jose Tomas Ordoñez, got together with the occasion of All Souls Day, to avoid suspicions, and planned the overthrowing of the Spanish colonialist regime.
The next day, while the Governor was in the main square, with his guards, the rebels attacked and disarmed the guards, proclaiming the Independence of Cuenca. The people of Cuenca backed the patriots and the church authorities intervened to prevent any bloodshed. Thus, Cuenca became independent. Among Cuenca's special sights are the panoramic view from Turi Hill of the old and new cities, Plaza Calderon and its imposing blue-domed cathedral, overhanging wooden houses and brightly colored laundry on the Tomebamba River banks, the flower and straw markets, Museum of Religious Art in the 17th-century Immaculate Conception Monastery and the Todos Santos pre-Columbian ruins. Art galleries and handcrafts shops display the original Panama hat and local ceramics, ikat (tie-dye) weavings, jewelry, embroidery, leather and straw work.
Cuenca Ecuador is also an ideal base for excursions to the Inca fortress ruins at Ingapirca, the Cajas National Park and the subtropical valleys of Gualaceo, Yunguilla and Paute.
Authors This article was developed by Metropolitan Touring, for their newsletter, and was wrote by a team of travelers, field guides, operations and marketing staff inside the company, all of them has more than 10 years working in the Galapagos cruises and tours guiding and sales, Sylvia Moncayo, Francisco Dousdebés, Santiago Tamayo, Gonzalo Alvarez are the team who produce our articles, Email firstname.lastname@example.org Article Copyright Metropolitan Touring Corporation 2005 - 2006