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El Barranco (Ravine) of Tomebamba River

The link between the past and present of a World Heritage Site

QUICK PROFILE

• Interest:

CULTURE

• Country:
ECUADOR

2250

• Altitude meters:

• Min. visit time hours:

1

PUBLIC WALKING

• Type:

• Location:
CUENCA CITY

• Kind:

URBAN

• Altitude feet:

7381

• Max. visit time hours:

3

RELEVANT CATEGORIES

Within Cuenca's Historic District World Cultural Site by UNESCO - Within Cajas Massif Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO - Cultural National Heritage by the Ecuadorian Government

GALLERY 

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ADDRESS & ACTIVITIES

ADDRESS OR VENUE

OPENING HOURS (or DATE if it is an event)

Tres de Noviembre pathway, between El Vado neighborhood and Pumapungo Museum, Cuenca City, Ecuador

  • Open every day 

RELATED ACTIVITIES

VISITS:

  • PANORAMIC SIGHTSEEING

  • GUIDED VISITS

  • INDEPENDENT VISIT

  • EXPERIENTIAL JOURNEY


CULTURAL:

  • ATTENDING ARTISTIC EVENTS

  • ATTENING SPORTING EVENTS

  • ATTENDING COMMERCIAL EVENTS


ENTERTAIMENT:

  • ATTEND SHOWS

  • NIGHT LIFE


SPORTS:

  • WALKING/TREKKING

  • RUNNING

  • BIKING


SPECIALIZED:

  • BIRDWATCHING


ABOUT

The Tomebamba River Ravine is the natural southern limit of the Historic Center of Cuenca (Cultural World Heritage Site by UNESCO). The ravine is part of a bio-corridor with unique characteristics that crosses the city. In this place, history and culture are united with the landscape and architecture. The Viceroy Andrés Hurtado de Mendoza ordered, in the middle of the 16th century, that the city of Cuenca be founded with the same name as his hometown in Spain. At present, both cities are sisters and both have a ravine with similar qualities.

 

The Tomebamba’s Ravine has an extension of two kilometers. It begins in the Vado neighborhood and ends in the Pumapungo Museum and Archaeological Park. It is possible to walk along the Ravine in an integral way, by any of the two margins of the river. But along the margin of Paseo Tres de Noviembre, you can also travel the ravine by bicycle.

 

Points of interest in the Tomebamba’s Ravine, for postcard photos, along the way are: the Casa de los Arcos, the descent of the Centenario Bridge, the Ordóñez family house, the old Hotel Crespo, the Remigio Crespo Museum, the CIDAP (Interamerican Center of Popular Arts), the stairs of the Parque de la Madre, the church and neighborhood of Todos Santos, the Broken Bridge and the Pumapungo Museum and Archaeological Park.

 

Through several pedestrian and vehicle bridges, the historic city on the side of the Tomebamba River Ravine, is linked to the new city on the other side of the Tomebamba River. A relatively recent place is the Alameda 12 de Abril, a tree-lined walk that allows one to observe and photograph the Tomebamba River Ravine from a greater perspective, while walking between the Centenario Bridge and the Todos Santos Bridge.

 

A romantic myth idealizes the Tomebamba River Ravine. There is a belief that its landscape and nature are an inspiration for poets, musicians, photographers, lovers and visitors. But without a doubt those who enjoy walking it, marvel at its hanging houses, the abundance of birds and the diversity of species of trees and plants. It also attracts the tranquility provided by the sound of the waters of the Tomebamba River. Today it is possible to stop the walk and enter one of the bars or restaurants open in the area to enjoy excellent food, a refreshing drink and beautiful panoramic views of the new city. The Barranco is a must see in Cuenca. It allows the realization of sports, artistic or outdoor activities.

 

During the 70's and 80's of the 20th century a trade was developed in the Tomebamba River Ravine, the washerwomen. Women who went down to the riverbank to wash clothes. Another typical activity that was lost due to the over exploitation of the resource, is fishing. Decades ago, during the season, the people of the valley would come down by the thousands to the ravine to collect fish from the river waters.

 

The Tomebamba river is the city's main water resource. It is born in the lagoons of the Cajas National Park, a source of drinking water. The Tomebamba River is a tributary of the Paute River where, downstream, in the middle of the Eastern Andes, the largest hydroelectric dam in Ecuador operates. 

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