Cuenca is a charming, walking-friendly city and UNESCO World Heritage site, which lies in a natural mountain basin, easily accessible by plane from Quito or Guayaquil. It enjoys a rich intellectual, artistic, and philosophical tradition, and boasts a sophisticated restaurant scene and many fine museums. It is one of the safest cities in South America and boasts friendly people and a large English speaking expat community.
Cuenca fosters creativity and art. There is a robust writing community, along with numerous artists, musicians, and craftsmen. Creativity is treasured here and fostered by the natural beauty, colonial architecture, and a unique lifestyle with something to delight your senses around every corner.
Its colorful markets and natural beauty make it a destination city for photographers. In spite of being only two degrees south of the earth’s equator, Cuenca enjoys year-round spring-like weather. Many insects, including mosquitos, cannot survive at Cuenca’s elevation of 8,200 feet. Water is safe to drink from the tap–in fact, according to the National Environmental Control Center, Cuencan water is purer than 90 percent of water in European and North American cities.
The monetary unit is the US dollar and you can easily receive cash from ATM machines. Cuenca’s many universities and active tourism means that you can usually find an English-speaking person to assist you. Metered taxis will take you almost anywhere you want to go for just a few dollars. Medical care is top-notch, with many English-speaking doctors and dentists.
If you are looking for a friendly, safe, and fascinating city to visit, Cuenca is an ideal location.