Are you a Canadian who is looking to retire cheap? Cuenca, Ecuador is a great choice for you. Located in South America, it has quite a bit going for it. One of the biggest things is the great weather, and low cost of living.
As you know if you are a reader of this blog, there are several factors that are considered for finding the best countries to retire cheap in.
- Weather: Cuenca, has spring like weather all year around. Coming from a place where the air hurts my face during winter, you know what I’m talking about.
- Cost of living: $1000 a month CDN is not a problem to have a good life in Cuenca. An average meal or the Menu Del Dias (a typical meal…beans, protein, rice and a plantain) is $2 CDN. I stayed at the Blue Door there. Rent there for a month was roughly $300 a month CDN for a shared apartment LINK Cheap housing in Cuenca
- Culture: Since I’m not the first person to find this place, there is a large community of Expats that live here. I watched the UFC fights in a local sports bar that wouldn’t have felt out of place in any major city in Canada.
- Wifi: Getting WiFi can be frustrating. You’re going to need to be able to speak Spanish to get through, and what they promise, isn’t what you’ll get. My host had to fight for days for the high speed internet the companies promised. Once you did get though, I had no problems. I load videos all the time, and it was quick and fast.
- Gyms: There are tons of gyms all around this sleepy city. $25 CDN will get you a gym membership that is similar to a $40 gym in Canada.
- 3 month visa on arrival: You can stay in Ecuador for 3 months every 365 days without an arduous process. I am counting down the days till I can visit again. If you’re going to be a snowbird this is a great option.
- Healthcare: It’s available, and it’s good.And you can even get on their national healthcare system as an expat!
Is it all sunshine and smiles in Cuenca? Not necessarily, there are definitely drawbacks.
- English: Much like other parts of South America, English is not spoken there. It’s a Spanish only city. Cab drivers, shopkeepers and restaurants all are Spanish only. If you do find an English speaking environment, chances are prices are also “English”.
- Safety: This was the safest city I found in South America, but I had a backpack stolen at the bus stop by a hobo. It was horrible. But, it isn’t so dangerous that I wouldn’t recommend it.
- Imports: Bring your technology, and supplements if you’re going here. If they don’t make it in Ecuador, your prices are going to be ridiculously high. When I was there, it was pretty much impossible to get the latest technology, and people frequently fly out of the country just to buy things.
Considering all of these things, why would I recommend this city? Culture, fun and quiet. It’s really got the whole trifecta of awesomeness. If you’re thinking of living in a difference part of the world, Cuenca Ecuador is one of my top choices in the world.
I’ll keep you all updated, but right now Cuenca, Ecuador is my number one choice of where to stay in the world.