Is 3 years too soon to be planning or did we come late to the party?

Hello All,

Our names are Rose and Eric. We currently live in San Jose, Ca and we have been researching for just where is best for us to retire and Ecuador seems to be the spot for us. We are kind of sold on Cuenca and plan on coming out next year for a few weeks.

We are very very simple people, best friends and just want a nice quality of life. Our kids are grown and doing just fine as positive members of society,  so why now make it "our time" now and that's  just what our plan is. My wife can already speak the language and i will start learning.

I'm 59 and will be doing an early retirement and can't wait.

Is 3 years too soon to be planning or did we come late to the party?


Look forward to reading and learning more...


Cuenca is great if the weather and altitude agree with you. I suggest checking out Loja, Ambato, and Quito as well-- similar weather and altitude, but very different atmosphere in each city. Cuenca is more touristy, Quito is more cosmopolitan, Loja and Ambato are quieter, somewhat smaller, and less expensive-- and expats are rarer there. There is coastal living too.

I'm not sure what you mean by "coming late to the party". These cities have been established for 300-400 years! But if you are talking about planning for your trip, 3 years is sufficient. Ecuador has had very low inflation for the last decade. If the trend continues, you'll probably only see a price creep of +5% in three years in most of Ecuador, except for a few select, extremely trendy neighborhoods where location and demand factors into price bubbles

Be sure to check prices for rentals and real estate on sites like OLX. You'll get a better idea of the wide range of real estate prices available, not just over-priced ones sold or rented from expat to expat.

Thank you SO much for your reply and will definitely check out Quito, Loja an Ambato

Thanks again,


Hi my wife and I will be moving to Loja in October. Let us know if you have questions about Loja.


We have been living in Cuenca for almost 6 years and came from San Jose California. We arrived here with two suitcases and electronics. Bring your electronics, they will work here and we use the US dollar.
Some US tourists that we met here did not bring any electronics with them because they read online that they were not supposed to. They did not bring a cell phone,or a laptop and they were totally lost.

Cuenca' s
elevation is approximately 8400 ft.
Latitude and longitude is 2.9001 S x 79.0059 degrees W.
average temperature ranges from 68 - 72 F.
weather changes around 3 PM  or used to.  you will get showers, short duration though. Bring a backpack and short travel umbrellas.

You have to like living in the mountains because Cuenca is at approximately 8400 feet in elevation and it might take a few days to get used to it because the air is thinner and you will be coming from sea level.

If you like San Jose weather then you might find that it is too cold for you.  The UV index is usually high so  where a hat and use sunblock especially if you are light skinned. The weather is more like San Francisco. July and August are usually the coldest months of the year. There has been one hail storm in the last 6 years that I can remember but no snow. Homes built more than 5 years ago will most likely not have a heating source. The newer apartments/condos might have heated floors if it was designed or first bought by someone from North America.

Did you come too late to the party? Yes and no. Restaurant food here is steadily improving over the last 6 years. More international products are available in the supermarket on a hit or miss basis because of the trade agreements with the EU. More internationally trained Chefs than there were in the past.  But, with improving food and products and increasing numbers of tourists prices tend go up.

Housing prices have not changed that much and they are still building new condo/apartment buildings. Construction standards are not the same as the US. But, you will live better here than you could in the United States and for less.

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