Wonder the the cobbled backstreets of this colonial gem

Nestled in the Andes mountains, at the end of the Avenue of the Volcanoes, lies the UNESCO world heritage centre of Cuenca. The timeless city is Ecuador's third largest, having experienced a boom in the 19th century, thanks largely to the production of traditional Panama straw hats. Despite the expansion, Cuenca has fiercely guarded the charm and colonial beauty that makes it so special, perfectly embodied in the pastel domes of the New Cathedral (the city simply outgrew the old one).

Another reason why Cuenca is popular with travellers is its proximity to El Cajas national park, who's lakes and rivers create a haven for birds, attracting thousands of nature lovers each year.

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