Ecuador, Here We Come!!

Mike and I visited Ecuador in 2010 and fell in love with the country, culture and people then.  If we had been able to sell our house at that point we would have been here almost four years.  Year after year we put our house on the market with the same results – ZERO!!  We did receive one offer in 2014 which we took, practically giving everything away.  Our thought, though, was the price of housing in the north Georgia mountains hadn’t gone up and we didn’t want to wait another four years and be too old then.  So, we took a deep breath and swallowed hard and took the offer and started planning for the next phase of our lives.

We were luck to win the International Test Drive Retirement Overseas contest in 2014.  The prize was a month’s stay in Coronado, Panama.  If you would like to see the video we submitted, you can click HERE.  While there we decided to spend another 6 weeks and see what Panama had to offer.  Although we enjoyed our time there and Panama has places we would feel at home in, we decided before making a decision we would visit Ecuador again.

We arrived in Cuenca on New Years day 2015 and stayed with friends.  Within a week we had fallen in love with Ecuador all over and decided we wanted to move to Cuenca.  January 15, 2015 we signed a lease on a 2 bedroom/ 2.5 bath apartment with views looking onto the Rio Tomebamba.


We will be sharing our adventures as we start a new life in Ecuador.

2 comments to Ecuador, Here We Come!!

  • Susan Riggs  says:

    I am doing my homework and have also about decided on Cuenca.
    I am a 61 year old single lady, still working and hope to come next year on my vacation and check it out.Lord willing, maybe I can come the following year for good.
    Appreciate any information you supply. My brother and sister in law have just about decided on Boquette, Panama. I appreciate your information.

    • Susan Herron  says:

      Hi Susan,

      In 2010 my husband and I made a trip to Ecuador and spent a week in Cotacachi and a week in Cuenca. Had we been able to sell our house at that time we would have been here a lot sooner. As it turned out, last year we just practically gave our house away so we could move on with our dreams. Also, last year we won International Livings’ “Test Drive Retirement Overseas” and spent a month at Coronado, Panama. Since we were there we decided to extend our trip to Panama by 6 weeks and spend two more weeks in Pedasí, which I loved and two more weeks in Boquete, my husband loved, and the rest of the time in Panama City. After spending 10 weeks in Panama we decided we had to revisit Ecuador so came this January and spent a month with our friends. After the first 10 days we knew Cuenca was for us and found an apartment to rent. We had to go back to Georgia to finish our paperwork and as of March 21st, came back permanently.

      We love it here. We love the climate, the culture and the people. The historic district is a walking town so we do a lot of walking. Taxi’s are inexpensive; you can get anywhere in the city for $2.00. We are just learning the bus routes; they are inexpensive $.25 for regular and $.12 for seniors 65 and over.

      I feel Cuenca is a safe city. Whenever you have people you are going to have crime and just like back in the US you just use common sense. We are rarely out after dark unless with a friend who has a car or a taxi. But with that said, we have been walking around El Centro with friend after dark but make sure we stick to the streets with people and not down a deserted one.

      Cuenca also offers lots of cultural events and most of them are free. Although not really cultural, today we are going with friends to a Malbec tasting event that runs from 11:00a to 9:00p. General admission is $5 and I was told that you could taste all day. But we are paying $20 to have the tasting and also attend a class on pairing the wine with various foods.

      Cost of living can be an inexpensive or as expensive as one wishes. The “gringo” highrises with 24-hour security guards can be quite expensive running into the thousands per month for a penthouse. We found a 2-bed/2.5 bath in a gated but not security guarded complex just across the Rio Tomebamba from the historic old town for $380/mo. We haven’t been here long enough to know what our total utilities will be but were told to estimate $25 for electricity and $5 for gas; water and trash are included in the rent. We have eaten at the local establishments and had the “meal of the day” for $3.00 each and eaten at more upscale establishments where we might spend $12.00 each and have found the food good. Now that we are getting settled we are starting to cook more at home.

      I am going to end this now with what I feel is important if you plan on making this your home. If you don’t already know Spanish, start learning now. The people are very patient with you as you bugle through a conversation but from experience I can tell you, you miss out on so much. My husband and I will be starting our conversational Spanish lessons next month and I so look forward to being able to converse with those I meet.

      I hope this helps.


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