Learn About Cuenca, Ecuador
Don’t speak Spanish? No problem.
Thousands of Americans and Canadians visit Cuenca every year – and the majority don’t speak Spanish. If you are concerned, you can hire someone to help you get settled in Cuenca and even give you some basic language lessons. Although this is available, the vast majority of visitors get by with hand gestures and a Spanish/English dictionary.
- Noshy Pinos of New Resident Services
Learn more about Cuenca on GringosAbroad.com
Cuenca is a charming colonial city in the Andes mountains of Ecuador. It sits at over 8000 feet (over 2000 meters) and has a population of over 500,000. In place of the skyscrapers that are seen in many cities there is centuries old colonial architecture and warm clay tile roofing.
Because of the elevation and approximate to the equator, Cuenca has a spring-like climate. Days are often sunny and warm, or overcast and cool.
There are four rivers that wind their way through the city, adding beauty and green space. Parks are easy to find in Cuenca. On Sundays the parks are full of families and friends relaxing or enjoying a game of football (soccer) the most popular sport in Ecuador.
Along with the colonial architecture there are modern hospitals, shopping malls, grocery stores and restaurants. It’s not hard to find what you are looking for in Cuenca.
Getting to Cuenca
On your way to Cuenca you will first arrive in the Guayaquil or Quito airport. You will then either catch a flight to the Cuenca Airport or take a van/bus service to Cuenca. The drive from Guayaquil takes about 4 hours, and from Quito over 10 hours. A flight from either city will take less than an hour.
Ecuador is a breathtakingly beautiful country and you will see amazing scenery as long as the skies are clear. If you will be traveling by land, leave as early as possible because the fog closes in around 3:00 in the afternoon. If you choose a drive up the Andes, you’ll be rewarded with views like this:
Staying in Cuenca
Accommodations in Cuenca, Ecuador
Accommodations range from a $10 / night hostel to a $160 presidential suite. Here are two options:
- Hotel Oro Verde Cuenca. A higher end option, located just two blocks from our clinic on the upscale Av. Ordóñez Lazo.
- Villa Nova Inn. Located on the Tomebamba River, the Villa Nova Inn is a great boutique hotel. It is just off the center and near the popular Parque de la Madre (Mothers Park).
Cuenca has a good system of public transportation. For $0.25 you can catch a bus anywhere in the city, and the taxi’s are safe and reasonable priced, ranging from $1.50 to $5.00 to anywhere in the city.
You can also hire someone to help you make transportation arrangements.
There are a wide variety of restaurants in the City. Prices range from $2.50 to $20.00 for lunch, although you will be hard pressed to pay more than $10 (including drink, desert and tip) at more than 90% of the restaurants. Food options range from typical (Seco de Pollo) to Italian, Mexican, Columbian and American (Burger King, Pizza Hut).
Images on this page provided courtesy of GringosAbroad