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Cuenca: A Destination for Romance and Gastronomy

Published on March 06, 2023

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The Municipal Tourism Foundation for Cuenca is actively promoting the city as an ideal destination for romantic activities, particularly destination weddings. With the campaign “Love Invades Cuenca,” the Foundation seeks to work with the private sector to promote experiences that generate millions of dollars.

“Say Yes” Exhibition

The “Say Yes” exhibition, which will be held on March 13th, is a platform to bring together 30 local suppliers and showcase the city’s attractions and services to foreign businessmen. The event aims to motivate them to include Cuenca in their portfolio of events. Local weddings in Cuenca have an average cost of $20,000, but destination weddings can cost up to $100,000.

Why Choose Cuenca?

Paulina Jaramillo, a businesswoman dedicated to wedding planning, attests that Cuenca’s flexibility allows for weddings to be organized according to the client’s budget with high-quality suppliers.

She has worked with couples who come from other countries, and in many cases, one of the partners is from Ecuador. Others have discovered Cuenca and have come to like it.

Couples are attracted to Cuenca because of its heritage category, 17 churches in the center, and the picturesque landscape. The city offers several environments within the same event, making it an ideal choice for receptions. It has extensive tourist infrastructure, including four- and five-star hotels, a convention center with a capacity for 4,000 people, 25 banquet halls, and heritage houses with a capacity of 200 to 300 people.

A Gastronomic Destination

The Municipal Tourism Foundation presented another project in February to position Cuenca as a gastronomic benchmark at a national and international level. The project aims to obtain the international certification of “Culinary Capitals,” which will put the city on the world map.

The Foundation generated a management model for gastronomic tourism, where five culinary criteria must be met: culture, strategy, promotion, community, and sustainability.

Consultants Carlos Andrade and Carlos Bacacela, who are working on the project, believe that Cuenca is at the ideal time to meet that objective.

Investment in the Private Sector

The city has a culinary culture that has begun to show itself. There is a boom in new gastronomic proposals without neglecting popular cuisine. The private sector has invested heavily in offering experiences that go beyond the consumption of a plate. Cuenca has 22 three-fork restaurants, which are considered the most touristy, and eight establishments with four and five forks, the highest category.

Diversification of Experiences

The two projects are part of the city’s effort to diversify experiences and attract more tourists.

The Municipal Tourism Foundation reports an increase in visitors, and hotel occupancy during recent holidays has exceeded 60 and 70%, up from less than 50% in the past.

According to the Foundation’s calculations, visitors spend an average of $89 per day during holidays and have extended their stay from one to three days.


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