UNESCO has declared Cuenca as a World Cultural Heritage Site for its cobbled streets, crafted balconies, and beautiful gardens. Four rivers run through Cuenca - Tomebamba, Yanucay, Machángara and Tarqui. The city's colonial past can still be perceived through the art of its churches and convents. 

The Inga Pirca ruins are located 1 hour and 45 minutes south of Cuenca. Inga Pirca was a religious and administrative center, as well as a fortress, and there is also a museum on site. 

Cajas National Park, also nearby, is home to many kinds of mammals such as white deer, bears, cougars, rabbits, and the Andean Tapir. There are also important species of bird such as condors, toucans, and spectacular Andean ducks.  The park has several archaeological Inca sites in the area of Molleturo. Gualaceo is well known for its handicrafts and folklore. On Sundays there is a market where you will find stacks of handmade garments, colored belts, shoes, fine leather, jewelry, and more. Chordeleg is the place to buy fine gold and silver at reasonable prices.