GringosAbroad Ecuador

GringosAbroad helps expats and travelers navigate Ecuador. When you use our links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Guide to the 36 Parishes (Parroquias) of Cuenca Ecuador

Posted in: Cuenca Ecuador, Ecuador Facts, Living in Ecuador

As you are planning your move to Cuenca, you’ll start to notice that real estate is listed by parroquia. In this post, you’ll learn about each of the 36 parishes in Cuenca.


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 36 Parroquias of Cuenca Ecuador 

Cuenca is divided 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. CuencaEcuadorParroquiasUrban

  1. 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.
  2. El Batán: home to the Feria Libre, Cuenca’s largest open market.
  3. Yanuncay: home to Coral Centro and El Mercurio Newspaper. Borders the rural parroquia of Baños.
  4. Bellavista: both Av. Heroes de Verdeloma and Av. de las Americas cross this parroquia. The southern border goes into the downtown area of Cuenca.
  5. Gill Ramírez Dávalos: west of downtown Cuenca
  6. El Sagrario: western section of downtown Cuenca
  7. San Blas: downtown Cuenca: el centro
  8. Cañaribamba: downtown Cuenca: el centro
  9. Sucre: Av. 12 de Abril and Loja cross this parroquia
  10. Huayna Capac: contains Avenida Huayna Capac (obviously) down to the southern highway. Borders the rural parroquias of Turi and El Valle.
  11. Hermano Miguel:
  12. El Vecino:
  13. Totoracocha: home to Cuenca’s airport and the bus terminal (I think).
  14. Monay: home to Monay Shopping – one of the larger shopping centers in Cuenca. Borders the rural parroquias of Turi and El Valle.
  15. 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.

  1. Molleturo: goes into the Cajas National Park and has the largest land area of all of Cuenca’s parroquias.
  2. Chaucha: This is where we went for our hike in the Andes.
  3. Sayausí: borders the San Sebastián parroquia and is one of the largest rural parroquias in Cuenca.
  4. Chiquintad:
  5. Checa (or Jidcay):
  6. San Joaquín: there are lots of vegetable farms in San Joaquín. Rural and beautiful.
  7. Baños: home to Ecuador’s smaller Baños. Not to be confused with the more popular and larger Baños de Ambato.
  8. Sinincay:
  9. Octavio Cordero Palacios (or Santa Rosa):
  10. Sidcay:
  11. Llacao:
  12. Ricaurte:
  13. Parroquias Urbanas: (Urban Parishes shows in yellow) See the urban parroquias above.
  14. Paccha:
  15. Nulti:
  16. Turi: home of the famous lookoff: Mirador de Turi
  17. 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.
  18. Santa Ana:
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Cumbe: located on the via a Loja, after the redondel. It is similar altitude to Cuenca and is sparsely populated.
  22. Quingeo:

Images of Cuenca maps courtesy of Wikipedia. Photos of Cuenca are mine.

cuenca-ecuador-parroquia cuenca-parroquias

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.

You might also enjoy:

Check out our guides:

Meet the Author

Bryan Haines is co-editor of GringosAbroad - Ecuador's largest blog for expats and travelers. He is a travel blogger and content marketer. He is also co-founder of ClickLikeThis (GoPro tutorial blog) and Storyteller Media (content marketing for travel brands). Work with GringosAbroad.

24 comments… add one
  • Claudia P Swartz Nov 6, 2019, 12:47 pm

    I am moving to Sidcay Parrocchia in Jan 2020 and cannot find anything except the location on the Internet plus a few poor quality events videos.. Sidcay is a beautiful area i was told and has a Population of 3900 People.. Sidcay is only 0 miles from Historic Center Cuenca and directly located at the Panamericana Norte.. Has regular Bus service and a weekly Market there on Sundays.. I found an incredible House there and cant wait to get there !

  • Rex Sep 16, 2016, 6:36 pm

    The Southern border for #2, El Batan, is the north side of the Rio Yanuncay. The first East/West street is Canton Gualeceo.

  • Norma G Aug 3, 2014, 6:55 pm

    Inside Ecuador – fantastic! Thank you very much for asking what we wanted to know through the survey. You certainly listened. I find the maps & explanation of province, canton & perrish very informative. Would you be able to provide bus & taxi information. We’d prefer to live outside of the busy city life, so would need to depend on public transportation. What about crime statistics for each canton/parrish. This would help us narrow where to begin our search when we arrive. Our intention is to make Ecuador our forever home. Thank you so much for your blog this is just what we were looking for.

    • Bryan Haines Aug 5, 2014, 10:18 am

      Glad to hear it. We’ll do our best to answer your questions in the coming months.

  • Jon Jun 9, 2014, 1:20 pm

    I just need the codego postal-zip code- for my building on 12 de Abril and Paucarbamba. For example, 01-01-10 is the post office in El Centro on Borrero. They said, go to our website and see the page of zip codes. What website? Google only gives you.

    • Bryan Haines Jun 9, 2014, 1:37 pm

      What do you need it for? They just aren’t used here. We’ve never used a postal code for any of our shipments and they all arrive.

  • Rob May 24, 2014, 3:38 pm

    Hi Bryan, we are visiting Cuenca in July or Aug and was wondering of you could tell if a little about the El Sagrario area. Is it safe, are there stores markets etc. Anything else we should know about this area?


    • Bryan Haines May 26, 2014, 7:27 am

      Honestly, I don’t know where it begins and ends. I tried to find boundaries on the city site and they have a similar map to what we use on this post.

      The downtown is nice – and it isn’t that far to walk to most stores. Most areas in the city are safe – but there can be specific areas / streets that could be unsafe – especially at night. I would recommend choosing a place that has some activity (traffic, pedestrians, etc) in the evening so you can feel safe coming home at night. A benefit of the center is that most taxi drivers won’t have a problem finding your streets – in the outlying areas it can be more complicated to give them directions.

  • Monique May 18, 2014, 10:44 pm

    Are there parroquias that are safer than others? Can you please recommend a few urban and a few rural parroquais that we should look at for rentals?

    • Bryan Haines May 19, 2014, 7:54 am

      We’ve lived in two areas of the city and I would say that it depends on the specific area of each parroquia. For example, San Sebastián (Avenida Ordoñez Lasso) is generally safe but there are dangerous areas above the main road.

      I would say that you should decide on which part of the city you want to live, and then investigate the parroquia / sector for specific areas to find a home.

      • Monique May 22, 2014, 11:31 am

        Thanks, Bryan. I guess we will want to live next to bus lines as well as places to go out. My job location will be a consideration as well since I hope to teach there. When we are there in July we plan to use the services of a guide to show us around the first day. I have been using you blog and it has been so informative and helpful. Muchisimas gracias!

  • William Fitzpatrick Apr 5, 2014, 9:32 am

    We live in Bahia, but are planning a move to Cuenca……the info on the parroquias was very helpful, just curious which of these parishes do you live in?

  • Jon Rice Dec 15, 2013, 3:06 pm

    Bryan – can you tell me which parroquia has the airport? thanks

    • Bryan Haines Dec 22, 2013, 1:44 pm

      Like I mentioned in the post, I think it is Totoracocha – maybe someone else can confirm this?

  • Jakob Dec 15, 2013, 11:32 am

    This reminds me of a funny mix up when we first went to Cuenca many years ago. Someone in Cuenca had told us that Baños was only 30 minutes from Cuenca which was also confirmed by a taxi driver. We got excited and got into the taxi fully expecting that it would take us to Baños de Agua Santa, Ambato, even saying that it was somehow incredible that it was so close. Needless to say that we were in for the “Where the heck are we?” experience.

  • Lisa Dec 14, 2013, 10:12 am

    Nice going Bryan. You are quite right that was really really really confusing when I first got here, and after a year living in Cuenca it is only slightly less so.

  • SOnia and Frank Dec 13, 2013, 6:33 pm

    H I BRYAN,
    We just moved to Ecuador two months ago, really enjoying ourselves here, we have been reading your blog for a long time. We just want to thank you for being such a researcher and passing your information to us. THIS ONE BLOG

  • SOnia and Frank Dec 13, 2013, 6:31 pm

    H I BRYAN,
    We just moved to Ecuadotwo months ago, really enjoying ourselves here, we have been reading your blog for a long time. We just want to thank you for being such a researcher and passing your information to us. THIS ONE BLOG

    • Bryan Haines Dec 14, 2013, 3:24 pm

      Thanks so much. We’re so happy that you’re enjoying it!


  • Chuck Watson Dec 11, 2013, 7:26 am

    The post office has a web site showing the postal code of each parroquia. For example, San Sebastian (Gringolandia) is EC010111. You might want to add the postal code to your list. I found the codes at

    • Bryan Haines Dec 11, 2013, 9:01 am

      Thanks Chuck. I’ve seen postal codes talked about before, but I don’t know the use yet. We’ve received many packages from the US and Canada (without postal codes on the address label) and never had trouble receiving them. Do you know if they post office is going to start requiring this?

      I often put my cell number in the line for postal codes – U.S. companies require something in that line…

      • Chuck Watson Dec 11, 2013, 9:36 am

        I like to buy things from China at
        They ship worldwide for free, and require a postal code. I doubt that the Ecuador post office pays attention to the code, but I always provide it.

        • Bryan Haines Dec 11, 2013, 9:57 am

          Nice. It certainly won’t hurt. I’ll work on adding them to the post.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.