A Canadian Family Traveling & Living Abroad (in Ecuador)

The Parishes (Parroquias) of Cuenca Ecuador

cuenca-parroquiasAs 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. 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.



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.

An article by

Bryan is a journalist, photographer, expat and dad. He writes for Gringos Abroad (Ecuador travel and living) and Blogger Abroad (run an online business abroad). He also enjoys living in Southern Ecuador (South America) with his wife and daughter. Connect with Bryan on LinkedIn.

More about: Cuenca Ecuador, Living in Ecuador

{ 13 comments… add one }

  • William Fitzpatrick April 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 December 15, 2013, 3:06 pm

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

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

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

  • Jakob December 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 December 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 December 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 December 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 December 14, 2013, 3:24 pm

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


  • Chuck Watson December 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 http://ecuador.all.ec/blog/ecuador/119.html

    • Bryan Haines December 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 December 11, 2013, 9:36 am

        I like to buy things from China at http://www.chinabuye.com/
        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 December 11, 2013, 9:57 am

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



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We are a Canadian family of 3 living in Ecuador since 2009. If this is your first visit, start here. We blog about life and travel in Ecuador. Interested to work with us? Read more about Bryan & Dena

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