10. Cuenca: Historic Sites and Landmarks Biking Tour
Following your arrival at the convenient meeting point, get ready to depart after getting familiar with your bike and choosing your helmet. Begin your bike tour of the beautiful city of Cuenca by heading for the cliffs of Barranco, the name given to the buildings that hang above the rushing Tomebamba River which is flanked by grassy riverside and gorgeous colonial buildings. Next, see Puente Roto, the broken bridge originally built in the 1840s by Juan de la Cruz Pugara. The bridge was destroyed in 1950 when the river broke its banks and took the bridge with it, along with other bridges in El Vado and El Vergel. It was reopened as a monument in 1961 and is used for open air markets and events. Continue onwards to the Pumapungo Archaeological Park, the central city of Tomebamba ordered to be built by the Inca commander Topa Inca Yupanqui after the Inca defeat of the Cañari. In its splendor it was said to have rivaled the Inca capital of Cuzco. See also El Paraíso Park, the largest park in Cuenca covering 17 hectares. The park opened its doors for the first time in 2003. Two rivers pass through the park — the Yanuncay and Tomebamba — and you'll also find hundreds of trees including eucalyptus, willow, and alder. Lastly, visit the colonial house Quinta de Bolívar, the location at which Simón Bolívar used to rest and plan military and political actions when in Cuenca. It is now a cultural center used to exhibit work related to the life of Bolívar and his ideology.