Destination guide: Cuenca
The Immaculate Conception Cathedral
This is one of the largest cathedrals on the continent, which is why it's a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Immaculate Conception Cathedral is in the center of Cuenca and was built at the end of the nineteenth century using a combination of styles and alabaster and marble.
One of the things that most surprises visitors to the cathedral is its floor, made from an exclusive white marble brought over from Carrara, Italia, clearly showing how much wealth was around at the time.
Municipal Modern Art Museum
This building - located in the former Casa de Temperancia - was constructed in 1876 for social reintegration purposes. In fact, it has served as a rehabilitation center for alcoholics, a male prison and a school.
As the current Municipal Modern Art Museum, it has periodic exhibitions of work by Ecuadorian and foreign artists and houses collections of paintings, ink etchings, sketches, lino-cut paintings, screen prints, engravings, etchings, photographs and sculptures.
Straw Hat Museum
If you love hats, you'll know that Cuenca is an important producer of handcrafts, including the famous Jipijapa or Panamahat.
The city even has a Straw Hat Museum commemorating the history of this craft. Don't miss it!
El Cajas National Park
Extending over 28,000 hectares, the El Cajas National Park has more than 230 lagoons, which are home to a large number of trout and endangered birds, such as the condor.
This paradise for recreational fisherman is currently a candidate to become a World Heritage Site.
The average temperature in the park is 10° C, mainly due to the fact that it's 3,200 to 4,500 meters above sea level.
Some 8 kilometers southeast of Cuenca, in the Baños neighborhood, water springs up from deep in the earth. The thermal baths here are rich in minerals and sulfur, as well as other elements whose properties have health benefits.
There are pools, saunas, Turkish baths and all the facilities a visitor needs to relax.