As you are planning your move to Cuenca, you’ll start to notice that real estate is listed by parroquia.
What is a Parroquia?
A parroquia is a subdivision of a canton, commonly translated as “parish” in English.
Learn more: What is a Cantón & Parroquia in Ecuador?
The Parroquias of Cuenca Ecuador
Cuenca is dived into a total of 36 parroquias: 15 urban and 21 rural.
The only maps I could find are below. The maps available on the site of Alcaldía de Cuenca (Cuenca’s mayors office) are identical. The problem with these maps is that there are no points of reference. While they can help to place one parroquia in reference to another, they aren’t of a lot of use to someone unfamiliar with the city.
Note: I’m going to try to identify specific landmarks and principal avenues – but I’ll probably get some wrong. Please help me out in the comments.
Cuenca’s 15 Urban Parroquias
Cuenca’s urban parroquias are: Bellavista, Cañaribamba, El Batán, El Sagrario, El Vecino, Gil Ramírez Dávalos, Hermano Miguel, Huayna Cápac, Machángara, Monay, San Blas, San Sebastián, Sucre, Totoracocha, Yanuncay.
- San Sebastián: home to Avenida Ordoñez Lasso and the highest concentration of apartment towers in the city. El Palermo, the tallest building in Cuenca, is located in this parroquia.
- El Batán: home to the Feria Libre, Cuenca’s largest open market.
- Yanuncay: home to Coral Centro and El Mercurio Newspaper. Borders the rural parroquia of Baños.
- Bellavista: both Av. Heroes de Verdeloma and Av. de las Americas cross this parroquia. The southern border goes into the downtown area of Cuenca.
- Gill Ramírez Dávalos: west of downtown Cuenca
- El Sagrario: western section of downtown Cuenca
- San Blas: downtown Cuenca: el centro
- Cañaribamba: downtown Cuenca: el centro
- Sucre: Av. 12 de Abril and Loja cross this parroquia
- Huayna Capac: contains Avenida Huayna Capac (obviously) down to the southern highway. Borders the rural parroquias of Turi and El Valle.
- Hermano Miguel:
- El Vecino:
- Totoracocha: home to Cuenca’s airport and the bus terminal (I think).
- Monay: home to Monay Shopping – one of the larger shopping centers in Cuenca. Borders the rural parroquias of Turi and El Valle.
- Machángara: The most rural of Cuenca’s urban parroquias.
Cuenca’s 21 Rural Parroquias
Cuenca’s rural parroquias are : Baños, Chaucha, Checa, Chiquintad, Cumbe, El Valle, Llacao, Molleturo, Nulti, Octavio Cordero Palacios, Paccha, Quingeo, Ricaurte, San Joaquín, Santa Ana, Sayausí, Sidcay, Sinincay, Tarqui, Turi y Victoria del Portete.
The yellow area on the map below (#13) represents the areas of the urban parroquias, as noted above.
- Molleturo: goes into the Cajas National Park and has the largest land area of all of Cuenca’s parroquias.
- Chaucha: This is where we went for our hike in the Andes.
- Sayausí: borders the San Sebastián parroquia and is one of the largest rural parroquias in Cuenca.
- Checa (or Jidcay):
- San Joaquín: there are lots of vegetable farms in San Joaquín. Rural and beautiful.
- Baños: home to Ecuador’s smaller Baños. Not to be confused with the more popular and larger Baños de Ambato.
- Octavio Cordero Palacios (or Santa Rosa):
- Parroquias Urbanas: (Urban Parishes shows in yellow) See the urban parroquias above.
- Turi: home of the famous lookoff: Mirador de Turi
- El Valle: beautiful area located south of Cuenca. Many years ago, this area began to flood after the landslide and resulting dam of the river heading into Paute. We were told that an unknown person planted dynamite and blew up the landslide, thus removing the dam and saving the expensive homes of El Valle.
- Santa Ana:
- Tarqui: located on the via Loja, Tarqui is colder than Cuenca and survives on dairy farms. Reminds us of the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia.
- Victoria del Portete (or Irquis): The last parroquia before heading down into Yunguilla Valley. It is quite flat and there are lots of dairy cows.
- Cumbe: located on the via a Loja, after the redondel. It is similar altitude to Cuenca and is sparsely populated.
Images of Cuenca maps courtesy of Wikipedia. Photos of Cuenca are mine.
Do you live in any of these areas? What details have I missed? Please let me know in the comments below and I’ll update the post.