- We chose Cuenca because of the climate: Cuenca is springlike all year.
- The elevation. Being up this high means that there are not many critters to worry about, and no malaria.
- The health care. Cuenca is a center of education so the facilities are excellent.
- The cost of living. You can rent a nice 3 bedroom apartment here for around $180.00 a month or a house for $280.00 per month. You can buy a really nice house for $50,000.00 – $80,000.00. And your grocery bill will be about a third of what you are used to paying.
- The transportation system. We don’t need a car, the bus system here is excellent and cabs are cheap.
- The safety. The people are friendly and as long as you travel smart (don’t try to stand out or flash your money around) you shouldn’t have any problems. The crime/safety statistics are much lower here than in many cities in the States and Canada.
- Location. There are no volcanoes near Cuenca and there is an airport here as well.
- The size, and atmosphere. Cuenca is a big enough city to have all the modern conveniences, but not too big. It feels like a quaint European town, walking in the city on a sunny day still feels like a vacation. There are four beautiful rivers that flow through the city, and many lovely parks to relax in.
- And last but not least, the language. Cuenca is known to be a very easy place to learn Spanish because they speak at a slower pace, and there are English restaurants, book stores and cafes in the city where you can make connections.
There are lots of outdoor things to do in and around Cuenca: horseback riding, white water rafting, hiking, climbing, and cycling. Lets just say that outdoor gear from the Arcteryx clothing store will get put to good use. Golf is also an option, some of the courses include, The Cuenca Tennis and Golf Club, The Los Chillos Club and Los Cerros Golf Club, The Casablanca Club, The Quito Tennis and Golf Club, The Los Arrayanes Country Club and The Guayaquil Country Club.
We love it here, it’s actually a little better than we were expecting. I can’t really speak for the rest of Ecuador in terms of safety, but Cuenca is a wonderful place to live, and explore from. We have been to some of the smaller towns around Cuenca and we can picture ourselves living there as well. We have an upcoming trip planed for the Coast, so keep your eye open for that post sometime in Aug.