The decsion as to where to retire has taken on a sense of urgency...

by Andy

... as my "position at work was eliminated" after about seven years. At age 64. And the beat goes on...

From all I've seen, Cuenca is at the top of the list, and I'm trying to decide when it would be best to visit and, if all goes well, at least start the process of visa stuff, finding an apartment, shipping, etc. I'm thinking that the move would take place in 60-90 days.

If anyone has any ideas, I would sure like to hear them. One thing that I'd like to know more about are these "all-in-one" services I read about, where you pay a fee for someone to do the necessary leg-work, show you places to rent, etc. Are they simply Gringo rip-offs? (I am an experienced ex-pat, lived in Brazil for over 10 years, and have seen people get snookered this way). Or would the local newspaper be the way to go, i.e. being there? And, finally, is it really true that I could live a reasonably decent life on $1100 month?

Any and all ideas and suggestions would be most welcome. Thank you.


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Aug 11, 2012
Living in Cuenca
by: Jeanne

Alicia and any others who care to reply - are there any places of accommodation where expats can land in Cuenca while they make enquiries of more suitable accommodation after taking the Cuenca tour? Also Alicia, it would be good to get details of your accommodation. You can reply on

Jul 09, 2012
Moving to Cuenca!
by: Ron

Myself and my Wife are planning on moving to Cuenca in Oct. 2013. We are looking to rent a One Bedroom One Bath House/Apartment/Cottage(250 per.month). It must be on the bus line as we will not have a car. I know its more than a year off, but it pays to plan ahead. If you know of anyone that will have a rental, please e-mail me at


Jun 23, 2012
Living in Cuenca
by: Marie

Hi Billy,

Living in Cuenca is certainly in your price range. This website has many wonderful tips and I would highly recommend hopping on a plane to come and take a look for yourself. I have found that Ecuador is not for everyone and I am a great believer in that you have to find out for yourself.

I took the "Getting to Know Cuenca Tour" which is advertised on this website and I think under the navigation tab on the left as "Know Cuenca Tour". They show you what it is like to live, shop etc in Cuenca witout doing the whole tourist thing.

I personally think that IL is very expensive and definately not worth the money as there are genuine people who don't charge the world who can help you out. Doing the tour above led me to meet other expats and also other people who could help me find a decent place to reside.

Please please don't just rely on someone to go looking for you as more than likely you will be disappointed.

I lived in Cuenca for 3 months and am now looking at returning full time. I still stay in touch with people I met and many of them are local English speaking Ecuadorians. Oh to have an idea of the Spanish language is also great although most folks are very helpful.

Sorry that this is long winded but I believe that people need to hop on that plane and go and find out for themselves. Take your time to have a look through this website as it is one that is free to browse and there are truly some wonderful things to read about. I also subscribe to the newsletters.

Hope this has helped and maybe if you do travel to Cuenca that we can meet up one day. I plan to go back in 2013.


Jun 23, 2012
Is it true?
by: Billy

I have been diligently scanning the net on living cheaply in Ecuador and am wondering if all the sites i visit are for real or are they just all bout making $$$. Cuenca is one of my choices, could I really live there on my income of 1700.00 monthly.I am a low maintenance type of person, would be very happy with a small cottage and yard for a garden, i try my best to live sustainable as far as i know how. How does one begin such an endeavor, should i just hop a plane to Ecuador and spend a month searching,or as Andy asks above, hire a company to search for me, or should i suscribe to Inter. Living or some other site who promise to hook you up?? I used to pick up and go quite often--back in the 70's, and is primarily what I,m thinking of doin. Any info will be Greatly appreciated. Peace

Apr 28, 2012
For Andy
by: Anonymous

Andy, I lived in Ecuador for 23 years, you can say that I am Ecuadorian. I have an apartment for rent that was just finished about two months ago and you may be interested in renting it. It has two bedrooms, living room, dining room, kitchen at all the utilities are included with rent. The apartment s completely furnished, you won't have to buy anything. If my add is approved, you may see some pictures on this web page. It has amazing views of the city. Cuenca is the only city that I really loved and like in Ecuador. It looks mostly European and above all, the city is very clean, and its people friendly. You would like it there. You can live pretty confortable with $1,000 a month for sure. If you want to keep in touch, just post a comment and I will get back to you. Alicia

Jan 13, 2012
Please tell me about the apartment building...
by: Andy

... you live in. Most interested, going to retire to Cuenca in 60-90 days.



Jan 12, 2012
$1100 Per Month - yes you can.
by: Anonymous

We have been here for 3.5 months and have kept detailed records of every penny spent just to see if people like International Living were full of B.S. Here is what we found out. I will provide details below. Please note all numbers are monthly.

Rent: $350 (4 month old apartment (2 bedrooms (ensuite bathrooms), guest bath, large living area, nice kitchen, quite neighborhood)
Building fee: $80 (includes 24 hour security, hot water, electricity, sewer, garbage)
Food from Bienda: $138 (Large meal delivered 6 days per week)
Misc groceries, cleaning supplies, toiletries, etc.: $150
Telephone: $3
Cold Water: $4
Maid: $62 (2 half-days per week)
Internet: $35
Direct TV: $50
Eating out - Entertainment: $120
Transportation (Taxi / Bus) $40

Honestly, there are ways to reduce these expenses. Walk more - this is a very walkable city. Get rid of the maid. Don't eat out as much - the budgets for the Bienda and groceries will cover everything.

Dec 26, 2011
by: Sharon

So can we be over the age of 65, have a resident visa for Cuenca, Ecuador, and be able to sign up for the IESS. Or are there certain age or medical conditions that are not accepted? I mean some people don't have the luxury to retire before the age of 65. It seems difficult, so far, to locate information regarding the IESS system requirements. I am hoping it is open to all, and of any age.

Thank you for any information on IESS.

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