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Why I Love Cuenca’s Parque Calderon

Parque Calderon is in the center of Cuenca, it’s a beautiful little park where we like to sit, relax and enjoy the atmosphere of the city.

Culture in Parque Calderon Cuenca Ecuador

What is Parque Calderon Like?

Parque Calderon differs from some of the other parks in Cuenca like Parque de la Madre and Parque Paraiso. It’s mainly just for sitting, visiting and people watching. There is no playground equipment or green space for picnics or sports.

Sometimes there are public performances and other displays set up around the perimeter of the park.

Parque Calderon in the middle of Cuenca
There are a lot of benches, flowers, trees and plants. The trees and plants are all behind little low fences, you can’t walk in among them, but you can sit and enjoy them.

I really like the big trees with benches around them. The sun can get really strong in Cuenca and it’s nice to sit in the shade of a big tree.

ParquemCalderon Cuenca Ecuador
Every time we are at Parque Calderon we see tourist police. This can add to the atmosphere in the way that you may feel a little more relaxed knowing they are there and keeping an eye on everything.

Parque Calderon tourist police

Parque Calderon Street View and Map

Why We Like Parque Calderon

We really like Parque Calderon because it’s peaceful and convenient. Although it’s in the middle of the city we can still enjoy a little bit of nature sitting there and listing to the birds in the trees.

It’s the perfect place to take a break while shopping in the center, whether it’s just for 15 minutes – or for an hour and a half.

Parque Calderon in Cuenca Ecuador
We like picking up some bread at one of the local bakeries, taking it to the park for a snack and sharing some with the birds.

Parque Calderon feeding the birds
It’s also fun to watch people walking by, selling ice cream, taking photos for tourists and other things.

Parque Calderon tourist pictures

The dog is looking for customers

Parque Calderon tourists buying pictures

… and it works

It’s also a great place for drinking in the atmosphere. Sitting in the park on a sunny day enjoying the architecture and culture of Cuenca is a beautiful thing to do.

There is often soft music playing on the speakers set up around the park which also adds to the pleasant atmosphere.

Ice cream in Parque Calderon
Friends and family that come to visit always enjoy visiting the park. It’s a great spot for photos.

Culture in Parque Calderon Cuenca Ecuador

Enjoy a Birds-Eye-View of Parque Calderon

parque calderon cuenca

Cuenca is recognized as one of the top retirement cities in the world. It’s also a top tourism destination.

Thinking about a visit to Cuenca? Check out our guide: Cuenca Ecuador: The Complete Guide

There are, at the least, half a dozen great coffee shops lining the Parque. This video was shot from a second-story cafe (above Frutilados).

On a side note, Frutilados is one of the nicest cafes in the center. Certainly worth a visit. Also – be sure to try the $0.90 espresso. It’s good stuff.

Parque Calderon Video

Cuenca Time Lapse Video (GoPro Timelapse)

cuenca time lapse video
In this new time-lapse video, get a glimpse of downtown Cuenca. Whether you will be visiting or living in Ecuador, the downtown area of each city is a highlight.

In this downtown Cuenca video, you’ll visit Parque Calderon and the famous flower market. Check it out:

Cuenca Time Lapse Video

See how it was made in this GoPro travel time lapse tutorial.

Both the flower market and Parque Calderon are on our kid-friendly walking tour of Cuenca. And the flower market is one of nine family attractions in Cuenca.

Have you been to Parque Calderon? What did you think of it? Please share your thoughts by commenting on this post.

Rodrigo Becerra

Sunday 30th of July 2017

I enjoy reading all the articles of foreigners especially Americans living in Ecuador. It is my dream to visit this great country and perhaps extend my visit when my wife and I fully retire. My wife and I speak Spanish fluently, we hope to meet new people and make new friends. I would into photography and writing, would love to take pictures of various places of interest and scenery and write about our experiences. Seems like Cuenca is a good place to start.

Kristi Black

Tuesday 19th of January 2016

Last night was our first night in Cuenca. After a delicious dinner at Raymipampa, we strolled around Parque Calderon. It is a beautiful park that is frequented by locals and foreigners, young and old. I was happy to find that our lodging is walking distance to this lovely park. We plan to visit it frequently during our stay!


Tuesday 11th of February 2014

I stay out of the parque because it is replete with old(er) Americans with backpacks on they never open, baseball hats, with a stooped shouldered shuffle, none of which have any social grace. They frequent all the "joints" with the We Speaky English signs hung out and never venture beyond five restaurants. Someone said it looks a lot like Orlando but for people on a very low, fixed income. 99 reasons to stay, but 1 reason to leave. Want to find an American? Look for a pack (usually) on the front, a hat and who appear to be text god knows whom.

Dena Haines

Tuesday 4th of February 2014

Thanks for all the comments on this post!

Hal/Kathy Moneymoney

Monday 27th of January 2014

Love to read your updates about Cuenca. Have been playing with the idea of a move to Cuenca for years. I believe my wife is more, let's just do it, and I'm more of the research person. I hear a lot of good things about Cuenca and I have heard my share of bad things too. The economy in the US seems to be getting worse all the time and I AM ready for the move. However, neither of us speak Spanish or even enough to get our way from point A to point B. I recently read an article from a couple in Panama (that lived in Cuenca too) that you DO NOT move here unless you know Spanish well, along with the different dialects and inflections per country. The decision has been made, we will leave the US and either end up in Ireland, Italy or Ecuador. The climate and cost of living in Ecuador are really the sweet spot for the both of us. If my wife doesn't land a job this week, then we will both be heading down for the first visit (several weeks) to get a taste of Ecuador. I'm still scared to death of being a stranger in a strange land and I don't even speak the language. This is daunting to me, but I can't make excuses any longer. I want to come down. Next are the questions about how I get from Quito airport to Cuenca --puddle jumper, bus, rental car?, What reasonably cheap hotel can we stay at and how to hook up with expats that can really be a little compassionate with us while were visiting. I will take Spanish lessons, I will hire a private tutor, I will go out of my way to be accepted by Ecuadorians, but I will not be treated like leper/gringo by rip off artist and con men everywhere. Let me know of any advice you can offer me. I can be down there within 30 days, if not earlier. Hal Money, Kathy Money


Saturday 1st of February 2014

Hal, I think you'll do fine in Cuenca. Keep an open mind and your sense of humor. You might want to travel about for a week or so when you first go - Cuenca is not everyone's cup of tea - we love it and are buying a place there, but some people would prefer a warmer climate, smaller city or whatever. So, you might want to set aside a couple weeks to travel to the coast, to the Oriente (small cities like Macas) or, Vilcabamba, Otavalo or Quito, wherever. They're all different and all worth visiting. There's a great bus system (and even trains!) that will take you around in much greater comfort than the buses you might be used to in your home country. We absolutely love Cuenca and are buying a place in the historic district - yippeeee! You may hate the cold, overcast of 8200' elevation. We find it invigorating. If you keep that "sense of humor" thing going for both of you, you won't NEED Spanish (maybe a phrasebook or a well-trained smart phone). People in restaurants, hotels, and may other businesses are going to want to practice their English on you. But let me suggest for both of you: get yourself into a Spanish language school - we went to Amauta on Hermano Miguel and I can personally recommend it. Check for reviews of Cuenca Spanish schools. I recommend Amauta on Hermano MIguel but you may like another school. But, here's the thing: the school (rather than private lessons) will get you associating with other student, teachers, staff and the area. All a good thing and the language lessons don't hurt, either. Generally it's one on one with breaks taken with other students & teachers PLUS after school activities. Treat it as more than just school - as a chance to meet other people including Ecuadorian teachers at the break. You can learn a tremendous amount about Cuenca in the bargain. Amauta's very good at that. They called us back after we were done with classes and we went to a "paseo" in the country - free of charge and a blast. My teacher was there as were plenty of Ecuadorians. We played games, did stupid things together and had a great time and no big $$'s. In fact, the "paseo" out in the country - after we were done with classes - cost us exactly nothing. I guess my point is that the school will get you out-and-about and talking to/working with other people. Whichever school you choose, treat it as more than a language school. You can learn about the culture, the city, where to go/eat/get you laundry done, etc. On the housing front - allow me to recommend This is a service that will put you in touch with people in Cuenca (and around the world) who rent out apartments and, more commonly, rooms in their house. This is a great way (and a lot cheaper than a hotel) to mix with an Ecuadorian (usually) family. Lots more fun than a hotel! Great place to practice your Spanish and a bunch cheaper. We'll be using a couple places located in Cuenca when we visit in March. Might see you there!

Bryan Haines

Wednesday 29th of January 2014

You should just fly from Quito to Cuenca. The flight is fast and cheap. Yesterday morning we flew Quito to Cuenca and is a good route. The flight is less than an hour and you'll likely see snow-capped volcanoes out the left side of the airplane.