Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Cuenca Ecuador

A $3 taxi ride delivered us to the Hotel Casa del Aguila where we spent our week in Cuenca.

This restored colonial home was splendid. The rooms were modern, the linens were luxurious and the complimentary breakfast featured scrambled eggs each morning.

Cuenca is recognized as a UNESCO Heritage Site and the colonial architecture did not disappoint. Our favorites were the churches. Cuenca is reputed to have 52 of them!

We ate well in Cuenca. In fact, the variety and quality of the cuisine is a big factor in Cuenca's appeal for an expat lifestyle. We can recommend: Kookabura Cafe, Hotel Alcazar dining room, Sucre Sale Cafe, Tutto Freddo, El Yogur, California Kitchen, La Vina Pizzeria, Inca Lounge, Wunderbar, and the spectacular, Tiesto's.

We transversed the Rio Tomebamba daily. We happened upon a parade of the Indigenous, kicking off the Carnival festivities. We took the tourist bus up to Turi for the panoramic view of the city.

Ultimately, this visit was about assessing Cuenca as a possible location for our future expat lifestyle. We found a perfectly suitable condo for less than $500 a month just south of the Rio Tomebamba, about 10 blocks from Parque Calderon. We found the area surrounding the Hotel Oro Verde to be most attractive to us with plentiful options for mid rise condos or typical Ecuadorian housing.

We were blessed to have dinner companions almost every night with which to contemplate all things expat. Jon was a buddy we were introduced to in Cuenca and we enjoyed his stimulating conversation on more than one occasion. The Kimblers were one of the expat couples who graciously met with us to help us get real world experience about an overseas move. Meeting up once again with friends made in Quito was icing on the cake.

As always, trips come to an end. Here we are on our last day up in Turi with all of Cuenca spread out before us, incredibly happy. Cuenca gets our vote should we elect to expatriate to Ecuador.

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