Staying for a month

My name is Ruth and I live on Long Island in New York. I am a single woman looking to experience what life would be like living in Cuenca Ecuador. My thought process is to come to Cuenca in early August and stay for approximately 30 days to get the feel of the city and Country.
What I'm looking for is information on where I can stay and the approximate costs and whatever paperwork would be necessary.
Thank you in advance looking forward to meeting some of you during my summer adventure.


HI Ruth.  I have been to Cuenca  5 times and loved it. I live in Lasvegas. I will get in Cuenca Aug.1 for a 2 month visit. The best place to stay if you want the centro area is  Gran Colombia suits. Enjoy.

Thank you. Do you plan on settling in Cuenca. I am close to retirement and wondering if living alone is a safe and smart option.  Any suggestions?


Hi Ruth. I think Ecuador is safer than the USA. I am a old guy 77. I like the river Tomebamba area the best.

I am 65 and was just wondering how safe women are. Wondering if I should look for an Expat community.

HOLA RUTH.   I know this american lady in Cuenca her name is Bridgit.   Her email is....... ***     I think she is about 70  She has lived in Cuenca for many years. You won't have any trouble.  If you want a driver ask her for wilson's ph.#

Moderated by Priscilla 7 months ago
Reason : Do not post your personal contact details on a public forum for your own security
grant gresser :

The best place to stay if you want the centro area is  Gran Colombia suits. Enjoy.

I think he means Gran Colombia Suites.

If you stay at Gran Colombia suits, you might be living over a tailor shop. :lol:


rcardace :

My thought process is to come to Cuenca in early August and stay for approximately 30 days to get the feel of the city and Country.

What I'm looking for is information on where I can stay.

Dear Ruth,

Welcome to the Ecuador and Cuenca forums of .....

Gran Colombia Suites is probably an excellent choice.  It gets extremely high ratings on TripAdvisor and the rate (I checked for August 1-31) on works out to about 24 US per night*.

But the thing is .. the hotel gets booked up early, months in advance sometimes.

I'd book it right away for August if I were you.


*Pricing based on the Genius rate.  Does not include any applicable lodging tax.  The room(s) currently available at this hotel in this post are priced for August .. and are still available as of April 28, 2018.

As for paperwork, Ruth, bring your passport with more than six months till expiration past your trip dates .. and proof of health insurance.  By August, the authorities may be enforcing the insurance-policy rule for some visitors. 

You can expect to receive a free 90-day tourist permit at the airport upon arrival.


Thanks I have all of that now so that is one thing off my to-do list.
Any other suggestions? Other places to stay I want to be able to visit different parts of the area to see where I might want to settle.

For a taste of Cuenca's suburbs, check hotel listings -- meaning descriptions, amenities, guest reviews, photos and nightly rates -- at ....

For a list of potential suburban locations for you, Ruth, google: cities towns suburbs near cuenca ecuador or list of cities near cuenca azuay

For stays of more than a week (often qualifying for weekly or monthly discounts), visit .... 


Do you speak Spanish?   I moved to Vilcabamba, rather outside it, age age 65 and have never regretted anything.   If you do not like cities you could always rent in Cuenca and explore other areas.  The world is literally your oyster in Ecuador, so many choices.  I am a woman living alone and it is fine, but there are so many variables.  I live in a tranquil place in nature, on a river, you may like the bustle of cities and museums.  I have visited Cuenca and for 30 seconds considered moving there, because of the museums , archaeology, and interesting historical district.  Then I remembered where I want to live.  You must seriously consider what kind of place makes you happy.  There are lots of expats in Cuenca, even in Vilcabamba, who speak English.  On the other hand, would you prefer to integrate more into Ecuadorian society / think about it, maybe that could come later for you, everyone is different.  Good luck!  By the way, the person who suggested that you stay at Gran Columbia, this must be a different  hotel than the one in which I stayed.  I have stayed at a Gran Columbia, it is right on a corner in the historical district of Cuenca, you can get a room for $16, but make sure that it has a window, it is not nice to be in a room where even the shower has no ventilation .  However, the included breakfast was always delightful and the people very nice, I met Venezuelans and other people there.

Thank you for your information I just read an article about Vilcabamba and I sounded delightful and would be VERY interested in visiting. I am tired of the hustle and bustle and do enjoy peace and quiet. I actually don't always mind being alone.
To answer your first question I do not speak Spanish.
Are there long term places to stay in Vilcabamba?

Yes there are, by the month or by the year, in town or out in the hills.
You can come for a short term stay in town through airbnb, or tripadvisor, then explore to your heart's content.  If a lovely place to settle surrounded by wonderful new friends crops up, grab it..

There is anything that you want in Vilcabamba, from short to long term. that includes rentals. Just to give you fullest information, do not be put off by the recent murder of an Argentinian young man by a crazy psychotic Northern Irish man here, that is one thing.  Although there is a big uproar at the moment, as this Irish guy knifed a woman beforehand and the police  let him go free after one day, unbelievably.   This time they are prosecuting him for sure, he is in jail.  There is trouble even in Paradise.  For e.g., before I came here, I was aware that a Canadian real estate agent had been murdered, but it meant nothing to me and still means nothing in the grand equation.  He possibly did shady dealings and got a strong negative result because of it.

You need to experience anything to be able to judge long term.

I was fortunate, I moved to Ecuador without ever having been here and love it.  But I speak Spanish and am rather embedded in the society here.  One nice thing, people here, extranjeros (that would be us) help animals and really try to make it a better place for dogs and cats.  The local vet is wonderful and also has annual programs of free vaccinations for pets, this is for poor , not for extranjeros.  There is at this point a fairly annual, possibly more often, campaign to sterilize pets also, which is fabulous and means so much to the pets and their families.

Other extranjeros focus on helping Ecuadorian families or their children, or the schools, or contribute in other ways.  You start to get a real sense of community which is noticeably absent in most places in North America.   There is so much that you can do to help, if you want to do so.

Come and see what you think of various places.  Some people need to see more than one place.  It all depends on who you are and what you want.


Thank you for that email very informative. Are you single living there. That was more of my concern how safe is it to live alone. There is crime everywhere and as you said even in paradise.

Yes, I live alone, with some pets, there are I think many women living alone here.  The living situations vary considerably, even for people living alone, everyone appears to have a different situation, i.e. some live in part of a house, maybe 1 floor, with the owners on another floor, that is certainly safe, some live alone in grand houses, some live alone in apartments, etc.  It helps to develop links with Ecuadorians whom you can trust, who will look out for you somewhat.  Then you feel protected and safe.  I have a friend, she lives in downstairs from the house owner, her Spanish is limited as is her hearing, and she is quite close to the Ecuadorian family, they definitely look out for her.  Also the locales are very varied, from in the village itself, to high on another mountain, and everything in between.  Before I moved I must have thought about safety and wondered, but I do not remember.

Thank you, you have given me great insight and really appreciate it.
I hope to meet you when I finally arrived in Ecuador, I would love to come sooner but I still Take care Of my Mom who will be 98 in June and I am her support system.


I'm 71 years old, single retired woman who has lived in Cuenca for 8 years. Before that I lived in Mexico for 23 years. Maybe I can answer some of your questions now and we can correspond. In addition, I'd be happy to meet you for lunch or a drink when you arrive. I'm bilingual and enjoy exploring the city and traveling.
regina in Cuenca

Moderated by Priscilla 7 months ago
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HOLA> I will need a apt. Aug 1 to sept 10. I don't smoke and no pets. In centro area. Thank you.

Please contact me for rental information. I have lived in historic centro for eight years. I live in an apartment on a quiet street yet enjoy neighborhood shopping, public transportation, sightseeing, and Ecuadorian neighbors within a block or two of my place. I have a second apartment that I offer for short term rentals. ***
Regina in Cuenca
Single, retired Chicagoan

I stayed at Apartmentos Otorongo on 12de Abril for a month. It is on the river and very safe and secure. Close to historic center and everything close by. They have great rates if you are staying for the whole month. I used it to stay in while I decided where in Cuenca I wanted to be.

Hi, this is my first post. Can I bring my cat and my dog for short term or long term stays? I'm in pretty deep research about the place but just realized this was an unanswered question of mine. Thanks, Randall

There is a lot of red tape involved in transporting a pet to EC. I'm not sure if any airlines would permit you to bring two pets unless you are traveling with a companion. I have a 3BR short-term rental in Cuenca and I do not permit pets.
regina in cuenca

randallt :

Hi, this is my first post. Can I bring my cat and my dog for short term or long term stays? I'm in pretty deep research about the place but just realized this was an unanswered question of mine. Thanks, Randall

Yes, you can, but there is paperwork involved, proof of vaccinations and a small fee.  Read all about it in these three links from Agrocalidad, the Ecuadorian government agency that sets the rules for importation of pets: … portacion/ … as2015.pdf … 2.2014.pdf

Thank you both. We are looking at a two week visit in January that wouldn't include pets. Then we'll see about further stays based on real estate. Good to know it can happen.

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