Cuenca has been named the number one retirement haven in the world for several years now. 2016 has seen it again being named by esteemed "Internations" expat site as the #2 "Best Retirement Paradise" for Expats from all over the world. In January, 2015 it was reported that over 8,000 expats now live in Cuenca, Ecuador, although other sources say it is even higher than that!
Cuenca's population is almost at 500,000 people. If you do like city life Cuenca could be for you. You certainly won't feel you are living in an overcrowded city.
Because it is the provincial capital of Azuay, you have the state and municipal offices at your convenience There are many great fine-dining restaurants, plus theater, orchestra, and plenty of festivals and celebrations to enjoy.
The colonial architecture, Andean markets, and heritage of the city make you really feel that you’re really experiencing another country and a rich culture.
Public transportation is great, both within the city and between cities. The city buses are plentiful and inexpensive. Taxis are about $1.50 - $2.50, and a three hour ride to Guayaquil in a six-seater new Minivan is $12. Not many expats own cars as the city is easy accessible by walking, taxi or bus. We of course have our motorcycle which allows us the freedom to venture out a little further.
In Cuenca, you not only enjoy beautiful weather, spectacular mountain views, modern conveniences and an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables, your wallet will be very pleased with the prices.
Cuenca also offers great cultural activities. Over the past few years Cuenca, Ecuador has become increasingly popular with those who are looking at retiring. Simply because in Cuenca you can afford to live a comfortable lifestyle. Prices have risen as more expats relocate to Cuenca, but they are still affordable. Gone are the days where it was advertised that you could live on $600 per month. Realistically a couple would most certainly live a very affordable lifestyle on around $1300 per month.
Food is very affordable in Cuenca. Imported goods in the SuperMaxi are a little pricey but you can get most anything. Eating out is fantastic as you can have wonderful nourishing and affordable meals. Where else can you get a 3 course lunch for around $2-3 a course.