Cuenca, Ecuador, took home the title of South America's Leading City Break Destination as per the World Travel Awards. While lesser known than Quito, Cuenca, which dates back to the 16th century, is equally beautiful, and a similarly colonial city. In fact, its historic center, filled with cafés and galleries, is a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Quayaquil is also worth a visit. While often dismissed as a necessary layover en route to the Galapagos islands (another must-visit), a refreshed riverfront, as well as new hotels and restaurants popping up all over town are enticing visitors to spend more than just one night.