A Half Day Kid-Friendly Walking Tour of Cuenca Ecuador

Posted in: Cuenca Ecuador, Ecuador Travel

walking tour of cuencaThis self-guided walking tour is great for a half day of exploring Cuenca with your family.

Whether you have a morning or an afternoon this tour will put you in the right place at the right time.

We have done this walk many times, it’s one of our favorites.

Ready to begin your walking tour of Cuenca?

Half Day Kid-Friendly Walking Tour of Cuenca

After breakfast/lunch head to Parque de la Madre on Avenida Doce de Abril, where this walking tour starts.Running track Parque de la Madre Cuenca Ecuador

Fun at the Park and a Walk Along the River

Assuming it’s around 9:00 am (or 1:00 pm) when you arrive at the park and you spend around an hour there, at around 10:00 am (2:00 pm) you’ll head across Doce de Abril and turn left to take a nice walk along the Tomebamba river.

This is a picturesque walk and there is a wide sidewalk with some benches.

path along river in Cuenca Ecuador

The Tomebamba river, near Parque de la Madre.

Within about 15 minutes (you will see Banco Pichincha on your left, turn right and cross the bridge over the Tomebamba river, this will be the second bridge you come to) you’ll reach the stone steps heading up to Calle Larga. 

When you reach the top of the steps just keep walking up the hill and go straight across Calle Larga. You will be on Benigno Malo.

Cuenca below Calle Larga

Ice Cream and Feeding the Pigeons At Parque Calderon

Within four blocks you will reach Parque Calderon. All around the park you will see beautiful colonial architecture!

Park Cuenca Ecuador

It will probably be getting close to 11:00 am (3:00 pm) when you arrive at the park. The kids might want to grab an ice-cream to enjoy in the park. We really like Tutto Freddos/Nice Cream, they have lots of flavors of both hard and soft ice-cream.

tutto-freddos-cuenca-icecream-restaurant

If that sounds good just keep walking Benigno Malo with the park on your right, as you near the next street (Simon Bolivar) Totto Freddos will be on the corner to your left. The ice cream will help keep the kids tummies from growling during the shopping you’ll be doing before lunch.

We often pick up some bread to feed the pigeons at Parque Calderon. There is a bakery called Panesa near Totto Freddos where you could grab some and head back to the park. To get to Panesa just turn left as you come out of Tutto Freddos and cross Simon Bolivar, you will still be on Benigno Malo and the bakery will be half way down the block on your left. Mom will probably notice the Payless shoe store on the right.

Parque Calderon feeding the birdsNow that you have your ice-cream and bread, you can head back and enjoy some time at Parque Calderon (turn to your right as you come out of the bakery).

Parque Calderon in the middle of Cuenca

Outdoor Flower Market and Cultural Shopping

Around 11:45 am (3:45 pm) you’ll be heading toward the flower market. To get there head toward the Caterdal de la Inmaculada Conception (the one with the famous blue domes) and walk toward the left corner. You will cross the street and be on Mariscal Sucre. As you walk with the Caterdal on your right you will see the flower market on your left. As you cross the street and walk into the market notice how the air smells.

Cuenca Ecuador flower market

Cuenca flower market looking at flowers

After enjoying the flowers for a little while walk down Mariscal Sucre a little farther (away from Parque Calderon) at the end of the block (you will be on the far corner of the flower market) turn left. As you turn onto Padre Aguirre you will see shops selling cultural clothing and souvenirs on your right. As you walk a little farther you will see a large open market, this is the San Fransico market.

Turn right into the market as soon as you come to it (the street you will be walking is San Fransico) continue straight, the next street you come to is General Torres, cross it and you will be in front of Casa de la Mujer. Casa de la Mujer is a covered shopping center where you will find something for everyone in the family.

casa de la mujer Cuenca

dolls

After about an hours worth of shopping you’ll probably want to get something to eat. We usually head back to Tutto Freddos for pizza, or for something traditional, Raymipampa which is right next to Tutto Freddos.

Raymipampa Cuenca downstairs

Take a complete tour of Cuenca in this 12-video city tour.

Will You Take This Walking Tour of Cuenca?

I hope you like this walking tour as much as we do! If you give it a try please let us know what you think by commenting on this post.

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Meet the Author

Since moving to Ecuador in 2009, Dena and Bryan have made their living as bloggers. Dena is a partner at Storyteller Media, a content marketing company for Canadian travel brands. She is a contributor to Bryan Haines and is co-founder of Click Like This - a photo tutorial blog.

13 comments… add one
  • Lourdes Marie Alfonso Jan 20, 2015, 10:07 am

    Hi Dena & Bryan,

    Your blog brought back beautiful memories of my visit to Cuenca in early December. Even though my stay was only few days, I was able to enjoy every minute . I loved everything about Cuenca, the people, the food, the fruits, restaurants, the beautiful Colonial architectured buildings and churches. There are even Double-Decker Tourist Buses!!!
    The traffic is much more organized than in Quito and Sto Domingo.
    I stayed mostly in Santo Domingo and Quito during my 3 weeks. We drove to Cuenca, the drive through the Andes and the beautiful landscape was breath-taking and picture perfect!!
    The places in Cuenca you spoke off in your blog, I was familar with them. We stayed at a Hostal (B&B) on Calle Larga, the terrace was overlooking the Tombebamba river and Avendia Doce de Abril. The next block was the Parque Calderon. (in your caption at the far right there’s the terrace of Hostal- Casa Del Barranco) We were in the heart of the Historic District.

    All your blogs were very informative, and weren’t “sugar coated” your readers will have a good idea of what to expect in Cuenca.

    P.S. So sorry we weren’t able to meet for a coffee. 🙂 next time I hope
    Thank you very much.

    Lourdes

  • Gerry Dec 31, 2014, 8:48 pm

    Thanks for the walking tour information. My wife and I will most likely follow this self guided tour when we are there in February.

  • Rafael Szymanski Dec 17, 2014, 12:34 am

    Is it safe to hike around Cuenca with kids ( 10 and 11 years old )? Is Cuenca safe for kids ?

    • Bryan Haines Dec 17, 2014, 7:01 am

      We haven’t had any issues with safety while walking walking the city. Our daughter was 8-years-old when we moved to Cuenca.

  • Elaine Dec 16, 2014, 1:49 pm

    Thanks for sharing these photos. We visited Cuenca for a week this year during our tour of Ecuador and enjoyed the wonderful parks and markets. Brings back some great memories!

    Elaine and Dave
    Halifax, Nova Scotia (Canada)

  • valentine Nov 22, 2014, 7:27 pm

    hi
    love the tour in CUENCA,,,, all those place that we have been there last year at this time so much good memory
    and that restaurant in front of park Calderon evryday we had a capuchino and trasberry tarte deligtfull
    oui nous avons aime notre sejour la bas j
    nous aimons beaucoup vos photos CONTINUEZ votre bon travail Valentine

    • Dena Haines Dec 8, 2014, 4:37 pm

      Hi Valentine,

      So nice to hear that you enjoyed your time in Cuenca!

      Thank you for your comment.

  • Marylyn jester Nov 22, 2014, 11:11 am

    Cuenca walking tour……….Very very nice you guys!
    Been all those places and was impressed with your little city.
    ( I am NOT a city girl..so that is a big compliment)
    But all the time I was a bit lost…direction wise.
    How about including a little map that could be printed out
    along with the lovley photos?

    • Dena Haines Dec 8, 2014, 4:42 pm

      Hi Marylyn.

      I’m not a city girl either but I do enjoy spending time in Cuenca 🙂

      You might want to connect with me on Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/denahaines/. Our Cuenca board has a map with many of the locations on the walking tour.

      Thanks for commenting.

  • Stewart Nov 22, 2014, 10:01 am

    I would love to take this walking tour with my 2 kids next time we visit Cuenca.
    If possible with your family as well. I wouldn’t include my wife now because of
    her health. When she finishes treatment next year definitely the whole family
    would go!

    Many thanks for the info. and best regards.

    • Dena Haines Dec 8, 2014, 4:46 pm

      Thank you Stewart,

      I hope your wife will be feeling better soon.

      All the best!

  • Bennett Guthrie Nov 22, 2014, 8:36 am

    I enjoyed the walk in the park. I have been watching and reading your comments for a couple months and get a better feeling of Ecuador especially Cuenca. Thank you and good luck with your book…

    • Dena Haines Dec 8, 2014, 4:48 pm

      Hi Bennett,

      Cuenca has beautiful parks! We love spending time at the parks.

      Thanks for reading our blog and commenting!

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