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Cuenca or Quito

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Basilbeau
1/27/2019 08:25 EST

I can’t decide whether I should retire in Quito or Cuenca.

Can you share your experiences?

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EARLABS
1/27/2019 09:26 EST

COME HERE IF YOU HAVE NOT DONE SO AND STAY IN EACH CITY FOR A WHILE ONLY YOU CAN DECIDE WHATS BEST FOR YOU. WE ALL HAVE DIFFERENT OPINIONS WANTS AND NEEDS AND STANDARDS OF LIVING. IN THE END OTHERS OPINIONS SHOULD NOT BE YOUR DECION MAKER. NOTHING IS CAST IN STONE IF YOU CHOOSE ONE AND DONT LIKE IT YOU CAN MOVE EASILY. GOOD LUCK

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Kimac
1/27/2019 09:41 EST

Quite a question, and I suspect you should get some interesting and pertinent responses.

I'd try to be sensitive to your responders perspective and goals, but more importantly, make sure you have a clear sense of your own.

I had a few months in Cuenca for my papers before moving to Quito, where I've been nearly 3 years. Frankly, I found Cuenca a bit small and slow. After a few months I was recognizing the dogs and vice versa. We were beginning to bore one another.

I also wanted to continue the work game. Sure, there is volunteer work in Cuenca, saving the aforementioned dogs, or perhaps developing a career in real estate or gringo herding (tourism: an expression used here I think very clever and apt).

Unlike every other foreign city in which I've lived, and there've been a few, the density of retired gringo's in Cuenca can be a bit much. But, that's just me. Still, I was not yet at the point in life for South Florida, if you know what I mean.

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kmoriarty45
1/27/2019 11:11 EST

I live on the south coast but spent considerable time in both cities prior to permanently moving to Ecuador six years ago. I can't say I'm particularly enamored with either city enough to live there. Both have their positives and negative. Cuenca - too rainy, damp, and too many gringos for my taste. Quito - too cold and too crowded ( and expensive ). On the plus side, both cities are cultural landmarks, both beautiful with lots of diversions and attractions. I found the people are extremely nice and helpful in both !


You really have to experience for yourself and determine which suits your needs better - particularly starting off. Most expats who move to Ecuador DON"T stay in the first place they live in for very long. Finding a permanent home in Ecuador is an ongoing process - which many folks give up on, after a couple of years.


I suggest that you come down, rent short term and look around for yourself.


Cuenca seems to be the starting off place for many newcomers because of the large and fairly close-knit expat community there. But be aware that it's because of those expats that the prices are higher in Cuenca than in other areas of the country. You're paying "gringo" prices for everything if you're not careful, and don't speak Spanish.

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Kimac
1/27/2019 14:58 EST

Not to put too fine a point on my own perspective: that one must be engaged, but I just noticed the next topic down here is about AA meetings in Cuenca.

It's misleading to generalize from the small sample of people I met there, but I did sense a lot of people who were not meaningfully engaged with anything other than the bottle.

Speaking Spanish, even at a fairly basic level, helps, but it is only a key. You will need to use Spanish, or some other key, to develop a life for yourself, wherever you decide to invest your time and energy.

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NilesS
1/28/2019 14:54 EST

. "Still, I was not yet at the point in life for South Florida, if you know what I mean."
ha ha I know exactly what you mean!

I've visited Quito a couple of times, as well as Cuenca, Although, I witnessed an assault on 2 gringos in the street in Quito my first night there, I am open to giving it a shot for a long term stay.

How do you cope with security there? I'm sure the right neighborhood is important. Luckily, my Spanish is around 90 percent fluent.

thanks

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Kimac
1/28/2019 17:45 EST

Quito is a big, big place, once you count in the suburbs. Gated communities can make an otherwise dicey barrio a reasonable met, or so think the locals with cars (evidently).d

North, and Central, especially around Carolina Park and Gonzales Suarez is bucks up. Heading South there's the Centro Historico if that's your taste. Further South, people roll their eyes regarding safety, although you'll transit it getting to the Southern bus station (again, lacking a car, or liking to slum). The valley to the East is collectively known as Cumbaya, but includes a number of other relatively affluent 'burbs, and being lower is a few degrees warmer, which many people prefer over the city proper.

Like most of Latin America, at least in my experience, you need to come and scope out where you feel best given your lifestyle, resources, and expectations.

Cuenca and Quito are both overbuilt and buyers markets. Similarly, family run hotels and hostels will cut you quite good deals for a month, cash up front.

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