Cuenca, Ecuador: Stepping Back in Time


By Cacinda Maloney

This post is the #1 post in a series of posts regarding taking a trip to Ecuador:

Post #1:  Cuenca, Ecuador:  Stepping Back in Time

Post #2: Chordeleg:  A Day Trip from Cuenca

Post #3: The Markets in Cuenca, Ecuador

Post #4:  Ahh! The Foods of Cuenca, Ecuador

Post #5:  Equestrian Countryside of Cuenca

Post #6:  Quito: A Visit to the Middle of the World

Post #7: A City Upon A Hill:  Quito, Ecuador

Post #8 Montanita, Ecuador:  Out of My Comfort Zone

Cuenca, Ecuador:  Stepping Back in Time:  Cuenca is an UNESCO World Heritage city, and a charming, colonial capital city of Ecuador.  Going there is like stepping back in time, to another world, quite different from my own.

But,  o what a world it is!  Filled with over 52 churches and picturesque views of the Cajas Mountains, it will charm you.

The city  has cobble-stone streets and quaint old buildings with tile roofs and immaculately carved doors and windows with iron-scrolled balconies.

It has become known to the expat world as the #1 city for expats to retire to.  One draw to Cuenca is the cost of living,  but you really have to love the way of life in order to make this your permanent home.

In the main square, called Parque Abdon Calderon, are both the “Old Cathedral”, built in 1557 and the Cathedral de la Inmaculada (also known as the “New Cathedral”) built from 1885-1974!  It was planned to be the largest cathedral in all of South America, but some architectural miscalculations occurred so that the final domes could not be built for fear of collapse of the entire structure.  It is the one with the beautiful blue tiled domes with the towers.



Although I enjoyed my visit to Cuenca, Ecuador, for me, I would say , that an expatriate there I will not be.  The colonial city is a bit slow in the pace of life  for me and I am more inclined to enjoy the rhythms of a city where the sounds and the beats evokes more of a Spanish “heat of the night” vibe and less of a “pressed lip Catholic” vibe . There are so many places in the world to choose from in my search to live in some exotic and dynamic country, that I have taken the city of Cuenca off my list.  It is a decision we will each have to make on our own in our quest to find the  quintessential expat town, as each of us has our own idea of what we are looking for.  I know people who have bought  a place here and are extremely happy with their choice.  Let me know if you need recommendations on places to stay, as I have a few recommendations, depending on your style, comfort and budget.




  1. […] Post #1:  Cuenca, Ecuador:  Stepping Back in Time […]

  2. […] Post #1:  Cuenca, Ecuador:  Stepping Back in Time […]

  3. […] Post #1: Cuenca, Ecuador:  Stepping Back in Time […]

  4. […] Post #1:  Cuenca, Ecuador:  Stepping Back in Time […]

  5. […] and took the 6 passenger van up, up, up into the mountains, until we were above the clouds to Cuenca, Ecuador.  Wow, what an amazing place it as, as I told you about in my trip reports on this interesting […]

  6. […] Cuenca, Ecuador:  Stepping Back in Time […]

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