10 Things to Do in Azuay Province That You Shouldn't Miss

August 18, 2017 Milan Banda

Azuay (Spanish pronunciation: [aˈswaj]), Province of Azuay is a province of Ecuador, created on 25 June 1824. It encompasses an area of 8,309.58 square kilometres (3,208.35 sq mi). Its capital is Cuenca. It is located in the south center of Ecuador in the highlands. Its mountains reach 4,500 m (14,800 ft) above sea level in the national park of El Cajas.
Restaurants in Azuay Province

1. El Cajas National Park

Cuenca 010219, Ecuador +593 7-237-0127
Excellent
78%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

El Cajas National Park

Known for its more than 275 Andean lakes and many Waterfalls, this national park is a popular destination for trout fishing, rugged hiking and camping.

Reviewed By Chuck H - New York City, New York

Brother lives in Cuenca. Had driver pick me up at Guayaquil airport and drive to Cuenca through Cajas Park. Thrilling ride, not scary although you go from sea level to 14,000 feet to 8,400 ft (Cuenca). Took three hours. Lots of lovely restaurants that have trails, lakes for fishing, burros, horses and llamas. Had no problem with altitude. Subsequently went to restaurant for lunch (good meal; upscale) and drove back to Guayaquil during the night. Road was well lit and felt safe.

2. New Cathedral (Catedral de la Immaculada)

Juan bautista Agui y Mariscal Sucre, Cuenca 010150, Ecuador +593 98 333 5238
Excellent
66%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 839 reviews

New Cathedral (Catedral de la Immaculada)

This large Cathedral (circa 1885) features a series of sky-blue cupolas; the interior contains a magnificent altar and a famous crowned image of the Virgin Mary.

Reviewed By Torquay102010 - Blaine, Washington

Our guide gave us all the history of the Cathedral, including the fact that the architect did not allow for the weight of the bell tower, so they do not have one! Do not miss the old Cathedral, across the square.

3. AMARU Bioparque Cuenca Zoologico

Autopista Cuenca _ Azogues, en el Km 10 1/2, Cuenca 010150, Ecuador +593 7-421-3982
Excellent
67%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 246 reviews

AMARU Bioparque Cuenca Zoologico

Reviewed By globetrottingYankee

I am generally not a fan of zoos, which are usually concreted highly artificial environs where animals are always looking painfully lethargic. Amaru Cuenca is what a zoo should be. The entire zoo has been cleverly designed against the mountain forest, all of the enclosures had been carefully designed to follow the natural topography of the mountain. Lots of natural vegetation. The exhibits are mostly South American fauna, with the odd lions and ostriches. The animals are very active, including Andean bears, deer, ocelots, tapirs, pumas, capuchins, condors, crocs, snakes, and many others. An amazing design is the wire tunnel mesh in which monkeys travel through the trees! There’s also the bird house where many large macaws, parrot, etc fly within inches of visitors. But perhaps the best attractions are marmosets roaming around freely in one of the rest areas, and jovially join in visitors.... Truely a great zoo! Forget any of the Western zoos you ever visited... To visit, plan for it on a dry day, wear comfortable shoes with not skid rubber grip soles (best would be hikers) , and bring water... backpacks not allowed...it is a 3 hour trail hike up the mountain, not suited for those who need canes/walkers, strollers, or small children (unless carried) & the heavyset. Enjoy the animals, and yes, the exercise.

4. Rio Tomebamba

Cuenca, Ecuador +593 99 221 0921
Excellent
61%
Good
31%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 839 reviews

Rio Tomebamba

Separating the colonial section from the modern residential areas of the town of Cuenca, this river features scenic walking paths along its north bank and several Inca ruins.

Reviewed By alaskantravelnut - Anchorage

There is a very nice cobblestone path along the river dedicated to pedestrians and bikers. It is very nicely landscaped and amazingly clean given that the river runs right through the city. If you need a little escape from your sightseeing regimen, take a walk along this river.

5. Plaza Abdon Calderon

Mariscal Sucre, Cuenca 010150, Ecuador
Excellent
60%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 600 reviews

Plaza Abdon Calderon

The main city square of Cuenca is dominated by the magnificent Catedral de la Immaculada (New Cathedral).

Reviewed By crankymainer - Maine

What a delight this one square block is right in the middle of El Centro. The cathedrals are built on this historic plaza along with the semenary which now houses lovely retail shops and international cafes. The park is a highly used amenity in this city. The benches built around the trees and in front of low fencing planted with season flowering plants and towering shade shoe trees. There is a gazebo that is almost always filled music of some kind. From live bands to breakdancing, the space is used.. you can feel the pulse of Cuenca here. Fireworks, ice cream, bifpg dogs, families, teens, young lovers, restful park benches filled with all ages enjoying the day or evening and late into the night. A friendly, clea, welcoming, safe city center.

6. Museo de las Culturas Aborigenes

Calle Larga 5-24 y Mariano Cueva, Cuenca 010150, Ecuador +593 2841540
Excellent
58%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 191 reviews

Museo de las Culturas Aborigenes

5000 Beautiful archaeologic pieces displayed in 15 rooms.

Reviewed By OttawaAsia2010 - Ottawa

This private museum is an exceptional place. It is the collection of an archeologist and university professor. The collection rich, very large, beautiful and priceless. Allow several hours. Has a gift shop with reasonably priced imitations of inca pottery.

7. Museo Catedral Vieja

Mariscal Sucre | Luis Cordero, Cuenca 010150, Ecuador +593 7-282-6402
Excellent
56%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 280 reviews

Museo Catedral Vieja

Situated on top of some ancient Inca ruins, this Cathedral was built in 1557 when modern Cuenca was founded.

Reviewed By EMILE D - Guatemala City, Guatemala

Located aside the “Plaza Grande” and in front of the new Cathedral. It is the old Cathedral turned into a museum. The museum was set at the church respecting its original structure. You can apreciate the original wooden images, the altar, details from 100 years ago. A must visit if you´re in Cuenca. Fee for entrance of $1.

8. Ecuagenera - Orchids from Ecuador

Km. 2 1/2 Via a Cuenca | Sector Llampasay, Cuenca 010150, Ecuador +593 7-225-5237
Excellent
70%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
3%
Terrible
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 145 reviews

Ecuagenera - Orchids from Ecuador

If you are an orchid lover and have planned to visit Ecuador, one of the most biodiverse countries in the world where more than 4,200 species of Ecuadorian Orchids grow, home to more than 1600 species of birds, 16 ethnic groups, 70 volcanoes in the Andes Highlands, and its wonderful Beaches... We invite YOU to visit the SOUTH AMERICA'S LARGEST ORCHID NURSERY... "ECUAGENERA". It is located in the South part of Ecuadorian Highlands, 40km near to Cuenca City in the Province of Azuay. A privileged area with an altitude of 2200m above sea level and a temperature of 17oC that allow us to grow orchids of different microclimates: Coast, Highlands and Amazon. Visit us and enjoy this wonderful weather, take amazing pictures of all the Ecuadorian orchids that are in bloom and be part of the experience. As well, you will learn about the conservation program Ecuagenera is caring out, orchids growing process, commercialization and exportation. We are sure that your visit to this wonderful place will result you a FASCINATING EXPERIENCE AND MARVELOUS ADVENTURE.

Reviewed By Cynhoff - Brewster, New York

It is really nothing but a store & a nursery! The orchids in the store ARE beautiful, but who can buy an orchid while traveling? The tour is only 15 minutes long! What a tourist trap!

9. Pumapungo Museum and Arqueological Park - MCYP

Calle Larga y Huayna Capac s/n, Cuenca 010110, Ecuador +593 2831521
Excellent
55%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 730 reviews

Pumapungo Museum and Arqueological Park - MCYP

The Museum and Ancestral Park of Pumapungo, are the two main elements that conform the cultural complex administered by Ecuador's Culture and Heritage Ministry in the city of Cuenca. These are public spaces, open to a variety of cultural activities, projects, and initiatives, that have a very profound meaning for Cuenca's citizens. Pumapungo Museum has a lot of different components. It has seven temporary exhibition rooms were a wide diversity of Exhibitions are produced: art, history, photography, sculpture are some of them. It also has an archeology exhibition room - site museum, where the development of society is explained through time, as well as the Inca occupation and findings at the Pumapungo archeological site. In addition, the museum exhibits the national ethnography room, where Ecuador's multicultural diversity is displayed through vivid representations of every day's life, dresses, instruments and images. The museum also counts with a library and historic archive; both open for free and open access from the public, art, archeology and ethnography reserves, which are available for students as well as for national and international investigators. In total, the complex conserves around 160.000 cultural and heritage goods. Another important component of the cultural complex is the Ancestral Park. There are three main elements: The archeological park, where visitors can appreciate the remains of the once most important administrative, military and religious center of the northern part of the Inca Empire; the Ethnobotanic park, with more than 230 species of native Andean plants and trees, this space has become the last native ecological niche in the center of Cuenca, and it is the reason why it is visited by more than 30 local species of birds daily. The park is also a very important space for educational activities aimed at illustrate ancestral knowledge and traditions. The bird rescue center is the last element of Pumapungo's Ancestral Park. At the moment it contains about 200 birds of around 25 species. It complements the whole educative content of the park, as this animals are filled with significance and myths of our ancestors. We work together with the Ministry of environment to fight against the illicit traffic of native species. In this area we cure and feed the birds that are brought by the competent authorities. After the birds have reached its optimal shape, we coordinate its liberation in the birds original environment. Shamefully, in most of the cases, this liberation process is not possible, as the birds have suffered from irreversible injuries, and conditioning of their behavior. The park has a full time 13 people team, that carry the traditional knowledge needed to attend all of its areas. Biologists, veterinarians, agronomic engineers, are amongst them.

Reviewed By da50 - innerkip, on

This was probably one of the nicest museums I have ever been to and it was free! The 2nd floor exhibits of traditional life and culture were just fantastic. The paintings on the first floor too were very special. The Gardens outside are lovely and the archeology interesting. I was really glad not to have missed this!

10. Mirador de Turi

D. Gonzalez del Barco, Cuenca 010150, Ecuador +593 98 756 0290
Excellent
47%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
14%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 959 reviews

Mirador de Turi

Reviewed By 2Luv2Trvl - Phoenix, Arizona

The church is ok, but the real reason to go is for the view. Unless you feeling VERY fit, take a cab. The hill to the top is windy and very steep. Hope you like dogs, because there are plenty of them hanging around on the top. Again, great view!!!

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