Cuenca, Quito - Stein Travel

    • 16+ years

    • 12-15 years

    • 2-11 years

    • 0-23 months

Welcome to Cuenca

The Spanish founded the pretty colonial city of Cuenca in 1557. Despite being Ecuador's third largest city, it is quaint and colonial, and a favourite for photographers, with its cobblestone streets and 16th Century buildings in the old centre. It is a good place to spend a few days relaxing in the grand atmosphere. There are a number of museums and churches to see, and plazas, markets and cathedrals that can be visited during a leisurely ramble of the city. Nearby are the country's only major Inca ruins, the fortress of Ingapirca.

Spanish is the official language, but Quechua is the main language spoken among the indigenous people.

The US Dollar (USD) is the official currency in Ecuador. In 2000 the sucre was replaced by the dollar as the legal currency, but despite dollarization, the sucre will likely persist in rural areas for a while longer. It is recommended that travellers bring both US dollar notes and travellers cheques as other foreign currencies are difficult to exchange outside of Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca. Small denominations in good condition are the easiest to exchange outside of the main cities. In the main centres most currencies can be exchanged at banks and exchange houses ( casas de cambio) at variable commission rates. ATMs are available in the cities, and major credit cards are accepted in tourist areas and large hotels although a commission of 6-8% is often charged.

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