Cultural Places in Ecuador

Cultural Places in Ecuador


What is a visit to a new country if you don't slow down and learn something about its history — preferably whilst engaging with its people? The answer: it's a missed opportunity. Ecuadorian culture is incredibly interesting and diverse. The nation's culture is a mixture of Andean, Incan, indigenous Amazonian, and Spanish influences. The past remains more than alive in the present, and it flows through the blood of Ecuador's people.

In places like Quito, several of Ecuador's cultural traditions are present in one destination; in areas like the Amazon, the cultural influences are fairly separate. In each of the following destinations, you will have intimate access to Ecuadorian culture. There are museums to explore, cuisine to sample, and tours to take. Get ready to experience some of the best cultural attractions in Ecuador!

#1:  Cuenca

Cuenca’s culture has been shaped by years of Catholic influence. It has charming, colonial-style churches, but that doesn't mean this city is stuck in the past and nowhere is this more clear than at the beautiful Museum of Modern Art. For a look at what Cuenca looked like before the Spanish arrived, visit the Museum of Indigenous Cultures.

To explore the profound spirituality of Cuenca, visit churches like the Church of El Carmen Asunción and Iglesia San Sebastian. These are some of the oldest and most famous churches in the area.

#2:  Alausí

Alausí is a bit off the beaten path, tucked into a little-visited corner of the Southern Sierras. You'll find it at the end of a train voyage up a side of a mountain called the “Nariz del Diablo” (Devil’s Nose). It takes a winding (some would say thrilling, others might call it hair-raising) route, but the scenery makes it worth it.

When you get here, you'll get to meet Quechuas — a native people that have lived in the Andes since long before the Inca made their mark on the landscape. You can book cozy accommodations here that are a short distance from the Nariz del Diablo train station.

The town itself makes a charming and distinctive backdrop for some small-town exploration — the houses are painted with bright colors and the streets are lined with cobblestone. Visitors here should make sure to come in time for the Sunday Market, which is another opportunity for getting to know the people who live here, and admiring their handicrafts and artwork.