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joanne

Anyone been to Cuenca, Ecuador?

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I was in Cuenca 45 years ago and remember it fondly -- BUT of course it will have totally changed since then. Sorry, nothing more current for you.

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My son-in-law is a professor from Ecuador, teaching in the USA. He would not even visit there.

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And pretty cold at times, not that much different than what would be experienced with similar elevations in central and southern Mexico.

I know of no other popular expat destination that can match the climate here which is unique due to the moderation effect caused by the lake and protected by the surrounding mountains.

Find me another place that offers all this:

1. Extraordinary climate.

2. 30 minute access to a major airport with numerous non-stops to the U.S.

3. 3.5 hours to the beach.

4. 30 minute access to a major metro area with all the amenities but we don't have to live in it.

5. Costco/Sams

6. Competitive cost of living though certainly not the cheapest.

7. The ability to drive in one day in daylight from here to a U.S. border city.

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The elevation is 8200 feet. My breathing was fine the entire time I lived there. Some folks are affected by the altitude, many are not.

Gosh RV Gringo, can't imagine why your son in law wouldn't visit. Beautiful city, so much to do, wonderful people...and on and on and on...

I left last month MC...wanted just one more adventure...but LOVED the city, the culture, the activities etc, quickly made many friends there, and will certainly go back for visits.

Now I love it HERE! ^_^

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And pretty cold at times, not that much different than what would be experienced with similar elevations in central and southern Mexico.

I know of no other popular expat destination that can match the climate here which is unique due to the moderation effect caused by the lake and protected by the surrounding mountains.

Find me another place that offers all this:

1. Extraordinary climate.

2. 30 minute access to a major airport with numerous non-stops to the U.S.

3. 3.5 hours to the beach.

4. 30 minute access to a major metro area with all the amenities but we don't have to live in it.

5. Costco/Sams

6. Competitive cost of living though certainly not the cheapest.

7. The ability to drive in one day in daylight from here to a U.S. border city.

I'll take you up on that one. All except the U.S. driving access. Medellin, Colombia. The weather is consistently warmer and steady throughout the year, colder at night, but never freezing. More rain showers throughout the year, keeping the hills green, and world famous flowers growing. International aIrports - of course, including the Caribbean destination of Cartegena (or drive if you want). Outstanding, award winning public transportation. The only drawback is that is completely adrift from U.S. culture, it has its own, very vibrant Latin America version. For some - that is a feature! Home to the second largest annual Carnivale for example. Universal healthcare, or if you want to upgrade, low cost private add ons. Urban living without the crime and grit. As far as getting Ebay/Amazon goodies - the Estafeta/Ebay system is now well established there.

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I've heard a lot of good things (and some, of course, not so good) about living in Cuenca. Anyone

have first-hand knowlege?

I was in Cuenca in 2011, traveled all over the country. It´s small and easy to navigate by bus. I stayed 6 months in one year. I have a very good friend that´s lived there for 5 yrs now and she wouldn´t move, she loves it. I thought the weather was rainier and colder, being that it´s cold when it rains, I can take one or the other, not both at the same time. It´s a big city but doesn´t seem to be when you´re there. There´s a little of everything there and a big ex pat community that gets together for happy hours almost every day of the week. It´s easy to make friends, etc. Give it a shot.

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This will be a long reply... I have spent about 6 months total in Cuenca in the last two years. I like it a lot, enough to move there. Very friendly people, great coffee and chocolate, feels like a small town. On the US dollar.

Very polluted because of the bus exhaust. Many dshonest landlords, inferior construction, NO sense of interior design or color, as Mexico does. Most places have stairs and no elevator. Most houses are like row houses, not bright and light inside. Most days are overcast to some degree. Takes about a month to get used to the altitude.

Taxis are cheap, easy to live without a car, and maybe safer! Very walkable. Lots of newer multi-ethnic restaurants, great mercados for fresh veggies. Four lovely rivers that run through town. Rents run abour $500- $900, so cheaper than Lakeside. Much colder, too. No heat, no insulation, big cracks around windows. Somewhat acceptable internet.

Ecuador has not had much immigration for years, so has not been exposed to North American standards much. It was known as the 2nd most corrupt country in SA. It is only now getting free, but is run by a hard-left socialist who has a spending addiction, LOVED Hugo Chavez (and we all know what he did to venezuela) and IMHO, will have the entire country owned by the Chinese in 10 years. His mother and sister are in mental institutions for bipolar problems, and many think that he also has this issue. He is dictatorial in the extreme, which, coupled with this desire to spend, does not bode well for EC. Is issuing a "digital currency", backed by nothing, so he can spend the actual dollars he has. For anyone who understands currency functions, it's obvious that this does not end well.

Anything imported is very expensive, even food. A tiny jar of dijon mustrad is $4, a small bottle of EVOO is about the same. No peanut butter we know it, but the ladies at the mercado can mix it up for you. Lots of fresh goat milk and stuff like that. Food is VERY boring. Tariffs have been raised to extreme levels, and forget about access to what N. Americans would consider "normal" things that one would find at Home Depot, Sams, or Walmart. They are just not available. Substitutes can be made, and things can be done without, but it's kinda third-world, and due to the President's hatred of America, changes that would make it a place with those luxuries that gringos like, are not in the the future.

It's a poor country, and Cuenca is the best city in it. Easy to live comfortably as a couple on $1600 - $2000 /month, gas and propane are subsidized (at least through 2016), the city is very clean, and police not corrupt. Wonderful flower market, beautiful countryside, and the Galapagos are there.

So it's a mixed bag. Please PM me is you want a phone conversation or more info. Am stil considering Lakeside, as I love Mexico, know it well, and love its sense of color and food.

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