My Top 10 Favorite Things about Cuenca
- The mountains
- The rivers (4 flow through the city)
- The people
- The culture
- The architecture
- Cost of living
- Critters (lack of)
See below the gallery, for more on the top ten . . .
The mountains – mountains surround Cuenca. They widen my sense of open spaces and adventure. Read about our hike in the Andes.
The rivers – four rivers run through the city. These rivers are like long parks winding their way all through the city, providing a lot green space. It’s nice to pack a picnic and sit on their grassy banks enjoying some quiet time with friends and family. There are also huge eucalyptus trees lining the river banks which add a unique freshness to the air.
The people – the people are very friendly. How often do you smile and say hi to the people you pass on the street and get a pleasant smile and greeting in return? That happens all the time here. Most of the people here are very respectful and patient. Even though we don’t know much Spanish, people are more than willing to work with us and help us communicate what we need.
The culture – the culture is diverse. I really enjoy seeing the traditional types of dress and methods of cooking and selling goods. At the same time I’m very happy that there are modern shopping malls here. The malls and other modern facilities have helped me adapt to my new surrounding much more easily. The biggest mall in Cuenca is Mall del Rio.
The architecture – the colonial architecture really stands out. The old colonial buildings are beautiful, with their intricate wooden details and charming iron balconies. There are also very old adobe mud homes peppered throughout the city and countryside. The red/orange clay tiled roofs add real warmth to the city as well.
Sunshine – the climate here is spring like all year. Because of the altitude the weather changes a lot in the run of a day, cloudy and cool to clear and hot. It’s generally pleasant here whatever the weather, but when it’s clear and sunny Cuenca feels like the most beautiful place on earth. The rivers sparkle, the clay tile roofs gleam, the parks bustle, my skin is warm and I’m home.
Cost of living – the cost of living is about half of what we paid in Canada. This means working part time, and having more time for family. See what our Cuenca family budget is.
Parks – there are a lot of parks in Cuenca. We are always just a short walk to a park, and they are always clean family friendly places. Often the parks have equipment for the kids to play on, or lots of benches to sit and relax. One of the nicest parks here in Cuenca is Parque Calderon.
Cafes – tons of cafes are tucked away all over the city. A cafe is a little escape for me, somewhere to relax and forget about everything else for a while. A place to pretend time is standing still while I enjoy the moment with my family.
Critters – there are practically none. I hate biting flying bugs, but they absolutely love me. I always come out worse off than the rest of my family when we are around them. I’ve found Cuenca to be a wonderful hiding place because there are practically no flying biting bugs. I see the odd mosquito on a rare occasion and little black flies only when I’m hiking through the grasses on the countryside.
We’d love to hear some of your favourite things about where you live, please tell us about them by leaving a commenting on this post.