Tag Archive | "Cuenca province"

Cuenca Ecuador Story


Here is a story about moving from the US to Ecuador.

Cuenca is the city we get the most questions (and raves about) from our 20,000  readers… as it should. If you want to be in a city and want to be in Ecuador… Cuenca is small… colonial… beautiful.

In fact there has been so much interest from readers that we added Cuenca as a real estate tour destination.  Stephen Milden moved from North Carolina to Ecuador and now conducts our real estate tours in Cuenca. Here is his story of the move.

Gary

From Asheville NC to Cuenca EC (via Panama)
By Stephen Milden

We began our research for a place to live outside the US in 2006. The process included developing a list of criteria and then casting the net far and wide to see what fit. Without going into the details of where, how and why – we settled on Ecuador and Panama as likely candidates. FYI – the net was cast as far as New Zealand.

Next step was to get our feet on the ground and separate the hype from reality so we booked our flights and made exploratory trips to both. As you may know visiting and living in a place are very different experiences hence the expression, “nice place but you wouldn’t want to live there”.

Recognizing this to be the case we tried to do the kinds of things that one would do as a resident such as going grocery shopping, the post office, etc.

We’ve been eating organically for years so finding sources for organic produce was high on the list of criteria and a potential deal breaker if not available. Both Panama and Ecuador offered much of what we wanted foodwise and most of our other criteria. Panama had a slight edge because Panama City is almost first world in terms of the availability of goods and services including a well stocked health food store.

Long story short, we packed up the house, our three dogs and two cats and moved to Panama on January 28, 2009. Knowing the move was part of our due diligence versus a cast in concrete decision to live in Panama, we chose to rent  (rather than buy) a house in a little mountain town called Sora which is about an hour and 15 minutes outside of Panama City. The location was beautiful. We sat on a ridge overlooking lush green valleys with an expansive view of the Pacific only 6 kms away.

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John Wayne Island in the distance from our front patio in Sora, Panama

Having grown up in the Virgin Islands, being back in a tropical climate was like coming home. What I forgot was that the tropical conditions included not just balmy breezes and warm temperatures. We quickly discovered that we were sharing the house with centipedes, scorpions, bats, spiders, snakes and finally army ants.  I say finally because the invasion of the army ants was the final straw.

There were lots of other insects that came to visit from time to time, but they didn’t take up residence. Did I mention the 6 foot Boa Constrictor that we came across while walking our dogs in the yard? For these reasons and a few others including a much higher cost of living than expected, we decided that Ecuador deserved another look.

Our initial trip to Ecuador in 2007 included Quito, Guayaquil, the coastal area and Cuenca. We’re not city people so Quito and Guayaquil weren’t even considered as places to live. We just wanted to see what was available knowing that sourcing goods and services would likely involve shopping trips to the city. The coastal area was not a fit largely because I’m a beach snob. If you’ve ever been to the Caribbean you know that the ocean and beaches there are hard to beat. My desire to be close to the ocean was to pursue my love of  sailing, surfing and scuba diving which, while possible, weren’t in the same league as what I was accustomed to.  So having accepted that to have the kind of experience I wanted on the water was going to require going to the Galapagos, we went in search of what was available inland.

We landed in Cuenca and proceeded to the Mansion Alcazar which is a delightful boutique hotel right downtown. It’s a colonial building that has been lovingly restored and  includes a great restaurant.

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Rear garden courtyard of the Manzion Alcazar

During the following two weeks we explored Cuenca 12-14 hours a day as well as the surrounding area and found it to be much of what we wanted. The culture was rich as was the architecture. Art and music were an integral part of life. The people were very welcoming and patient with our basic Spanish. The cost of living was unbelievably low and real estate quite reasonable.

All in all we saw that Cuenca was a place that we could easily call home except that it was a bit cooler than I wanted. So, as I mentioned above, we went to Panama – and you know how that turned out. Therefore a return to Ecuador was planned to take another look. Several trips later including visits to places we’d not looked at before including Otavalo and Cotacachi, Cuenca emerged as our favorite once again.

Clearly we are not alone in our appreciation of what Cuenca has to offer. It has received a lot of attention of late and been rated as the best city in the world to retire to.

We’ve been in Cuenca since the beginning of November and are in the midst of renovating a house which is about 15 minutes outside the city. It’s right on the Tomebamba River in a grove of Eucalyptus trees and is both lovely and serene.

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Crossing the wooden bridge over the Tomebama River to our house

Yesterday it was 28°C (82°F) degrees which is slightly warmer than customary but not by much. The nights are cool enough that a fire in the fireplace is all that is needed to take the chill off.

The fact that we have no ticks or fleas to worry about for our animals and none of the rest of the insect population we left behind in Panama, makes life quite grand.

Cuenca, like any Latin American country, has its challenges for those of us coming from a different culture to be sure. If you’re sitting at a traffic light and don’t start moving within 5 nanoseconds from when the light turns green, you’ll discover how horns are used to move things along. I joke that the first lesson taught in the mandatory driving schools is Horn 101.

There is no Home Depot or Lowe’s so finding the things we want for our house requires more time and effort. Food shopping involves going to several places versus one and it’s a process of discovering what is available locally. We’ve found that the local markets offer an abundant array of fruits and vegetables, and…

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Local market

for an experience more like what you’d expect in the US, there is SuperMaxi which is a stateside quality supermarket.

There are articles galore extolling Cuenca so I won’t repeat any of what you can easily find on-line. I think the best way to describe succinctly what it’s like to live here is via a recent exchange with someone near and dear to me.

My phone rang the other day and it was my significant other  who was walking around town doing some shopping.

Her reason for calling?

“I just wanted to tell you that I’m so happy I’m almost giddy. I love this place!”

In cooperation with Gary and Merri we are conducting tours of Cuenca and would love to show you our adopted home.

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Downtown looking at the main square

Here is our schedule of upcoming Cuenca real estate tours.

April 25-26-27 Cuenca Real Estate Tour

May  24-25-26    Cuenca Real Estate Tour

July 8- 9-10     Cuenca Real Estate Tour

Stephen

You can learn more about the Cuenca real estate tour schedule here.

Join us for a multi tour program beginning with our April 12 -15 Ecuador exports at our Ecuador Export Expedition Tour ($499 or couple $749).

Then attend Cuenca and our other Ecuador real estate tours.

Apr. 17-18   Imbabura Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 20-21  Coastal Mid Coast Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 23-24  Quito & Mindo Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)

April 26-27 Cuenca Real Estate Tour

Our join our May Spanish course, a shamanic tour and Cuenca

May 9-12       Super Thinking + Spanish Course, Cotacachi Ecuador

May  13-14    Ecuador Shamanic Minga

May  16-17    Imbabura Real Estate Tour

May  19-20    Coastal Real Estate Tour

May  22-23    Quito Real Estate Tour

May  25-26    Cuenca Real Estate Tour

You enjoy discounts by attending multiple seminars and tours.

Here are our multi tour adventure discounts.

Two Pack… 2 seminar courses & tours $998 Couple  $1,349 Save $149 on couple

Three Pack… 3 seminar courses & tours   $1399 Couple  $1,899 Save $98 single or $348 on a couple or more

Four Pack… 4 seminar courses & tours   $1,699 Couple $2,299 Save $98 single or $697 on a couple or more

Five Pack… 5 seminar courses & tours  $1,999 Couple $2,699 Save $496 single or $1,046 on a couple or more

Six Pack… 6 seminars courses & tours  $2,199 Couple $3,099 Save $795 single or $1,395 on a couple or more

Here is the balance of our 2010 schedule.

June 24-27 International Investing and Business North Carolina

June 28-29    Ecuador Travel & Andes

June 30-Jul 1 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

2010 Summer Schedule

July 3-4      Coastal Real Estate Tour
July 6-7      Quito Real Estate Tour
July 9-10     Cuenca Real Estate Tour

Sept.   3-6   Ecuador Export Tour
Sept.   8-9   Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Sept. 11-12   Coastal Real Estate Tour
Sept. 14-15   Cuenca Real Estate Tour
Sept. 17-18   Ecuador Shamanic Mingo

Oct.    7     Quantum Wealth North Carolina
Oct.   8-10   International Investing & Business North Carolina
Oct.   11-12  Travel to Quito and Andean Tour
Oct.  13-14   Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Oct.  16-17   Coastal Real Estate Tour
Oct.  19-20   Quito Real Estate Tour
Oct. 22-23    Cuenca Real Estate Tour

Nov.    4-7   Super Thinking + Spanish Course Florida
Nov.    8-9   Travel to Quito and Andean Tour
Nov. 10-11    Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Nov. 13-14    Coastal Real Estate Tour
Nov. 16-17    Quito Real Estate
Nov. 19-20    Cuenca Real Estate Tour

Dec.   3-5    Ecuador Shamanic Mingo
Dec.   7-8    Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Dec.  10-11   Coastal Real Estate Tour
Dec. 13-14    Quito Real Estate Tour
Dec. 16-17    Cuenca Real Estate Tour

Cuenca Hotel Savings


Here is another Cuenca hotel savings.  Ecuador Living subscribers can now receive discounts at the Cuenca El Dorado hotel in the center of Cuenca.

The Cuenca El Dorado has 40 executive standard rooms all of which have been recently renovated.

You can choose among singles, doubles, triples or a special handicap room.

Cuenca-hotel

Here is a shot of a Cuenca El Dorado…

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All rooms include: international direct dialing, local news paper in the morning, LAN or WI-FI internet access, bathrooms decorated with marble, hair drier, elegant amenities, massage shower heads, minibar, HD LCD flat screen televisions, electronic safe, desk, welcome cocktail, and airport shuttle during week days.

The Cuenca El Dorado suites are a tranquil, elegant haven away from the city. Abundant natural light serves to accentuate their luxury. You will find that all their designs have a perfect harmony and balance.

You can choose between a Presidential Suite or Junior Suite.

Cuenca-hotel

Presidential Suite: This is the ultimate in luxury, design and comfort. It has a separate living room with cable tv, electronic safe, minibar, executive desk, direct dialing access, LAN and WI-FI internet access. The master room has a King bed specially designed for the hotel with luxury linens and pillows, two HD LCD flat screen televisions, the bathroom has a cabin shower and an elegant jacuzzi.

The junior suite is designed with ample spaces and has a living room with a magnificent view of the city, the master room has a King bed, two HD LCD flat screen televisions, desk, minibar, electronic safe, LAN and WI-FI internet access, the bathroom is decorated with marble and has a massage shower head.

Ecuador Living subscribers can receive rates as low as $50 (plus Ecuadorian tax) per night.

The Goda restaurant is on the premises and in the opinion of many is one of the best restaurants in Cuenca.

Cuenca-hotel

See Cuenca hostel discounts for Ecuador Living subscribers at Cuenca Hostel Discount

See Cuenca boutique hotel discounts for Ecuador Living subscribers at Cuenca Boutique Hotel

See how spending a few nights in a Cuenca hotel can make your Ecuador Living subscription free.

See Cuenca hotel El Dorado’s website here.

Gary

Here are our upcoming courses and tours.

Learn more of the Cotacachian wisdom. December 6-8 Blaine Watson’s  Beyond Logic & Shamanic Tour

December 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

December 11-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Join us in 2010. See our winter Ecuador real estate tours below.

Jan.   8-11     Ecuador Export Tour $499 Couple  $749

Jan. 13-14     Imbabura Real Estate Tour   $499 Couple $749
Jan. 21-22     Coastal Real Estate Tour $499 Couple $749
Jan. 23-24    Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour  $499 Couple $749
Jan. 22-23    Cuenca Real Estate Tour  $499 Couple $749

Enjoy extra savings with our special early bird fees (if you enroll in November 2009)

Join us in February or March.

Feb. 11-14   Quantum Wealth Florida -International Investing & Internet Business, Mt. Dora, Florida ($749) Couple $999

Feb. 15-16   Travel to and visit Quito
Feb  17         Travel to Manta
Feb. 18-19   Coastal Real Estate Tour   $499 Couple $749 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.
Feb. 20        Travel to Cotacachi
Feb. 21-22   Imbabura Real Estate Tour  $499 Couple $749 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.
Feb. 23-24  Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour $499 Couple $749 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.
Feb. 26-27  Cuenca Real Estate Tour  $499 Couple $749 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.

Mar. 11-14     Super Thinking + Spanish Course, Mt. Dora, Florida $749 Couple $999

Mar. 15-16    Travel to Quito and Andes
Mar. 17-18     Imbabura Real Estate Tour   $499 Couple $749 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.
Mar. 19-20    Cotacachi Shamanic Tour      $499 Couple $749 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.
Mar. 22-23    Coastal Real Estate Tour        $499 Couple $749 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.
Mar. 25-26    Cuenca Real Estate Tour        $499 Couple $749 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.

Enjoy extra savings with our special early bird fees (if you enroll in November 2009)

2 seminar courses & tours $949 Couple  $1,399

3 seminar courses & tours   $1199 Couple  $1,749

4 seminar courses & tours   $1,399 Couple $2,149

5 seminar courses & tours  $1,599 Couple $2,499

6 seminars courses & tours  $1,999 Couple $2,999

(Be sure to show in the comments section which courses and tours you are attending)

International Club attend up to 52 courses and tours in 2010 free.

See our entire 2010 seminar and tour schedule here

Cuenca Real Estate


Cuenca Real Estate

The Cuenca real estate market grows.

Cuenca-real-estate

Real Estate in Cuenca has wonderful architecture. Here is Cuenca’s Main Square.

Even the daily press is catching on to Cuenca and Ecuador real estate.

An article “House Hunting in … Ecuador” by Lisa Keys recently appeared in the New York Times.

Here are excerpts from that article: A THREE-BEDROOM, 3000-SQUARE-FOOT HILLTOP HOME IN CUENCA
$220,000  This rustic home — made from local bamboo, hardwood, river rock and tile — was built two years ago by a local architect. It sits on a third of an acre in the Cuenca, a Unesco world heritage site about 300 miles south of Quito.

The front door is inlaid with the local wood, called chanul. An open living room/dining area has mountain views, as well as a stone fireplace, exposed hardwood beams and posts, and a brick ceiling. Off the dining area is a 96-square-foot terrace. The eat-in kitchen has granite countertops; off the kitchen is a maid’s suite. The master bedroom is on this level, along with a second bedroom; both bedrooms have en-suite baths.

A brick-and-bamboo staircase leads upstairs to a sitting area and another bedroom, which has a sloped ceiling and a 36-square-foot terrace. The lower level has a workshop and a storage room.

The house is off an unpaved road in the Rio Amarillo neighborhood, in the foothills of the Cajas Mountains. The area, until recently very rural, is morphing into a suburban neighborhood with large homes, according to David Morrill, the home’s listing agent.

Colonial buildings, art galleries, museums and concert sites are about six miles away in Cuenca. A shopping center as well as Cuenca’s indigenous market is four miles away; the airport, with numerous daily flights to the international airports in Guayaquil and Quito, is eight miles away.

MARKET OVERVIEW

Though predominantly a local real estate market, Cuenca is becoming increasingly popular with American expatriates, particularly retirees, said Mr. Morrill, a partner at Cuenca Real Estate. They are attracted to the relative affordability, he said.

In spite of the global economic downturn, home prices in Cuenca continue to rise, in part, because of they are relatively low to begin with. Condos sell for around $700 a square meter ($56 to $65 a square foot); new construction is $850 a square meter ($79 a square foot), Mr. Morrill said. Single-family homes are $300 to $500 a square meter ($28 to $46 a square foot); new construction is approximately $500 a square meter ($46 a square foot), he added. The house featured here is more expensive than the average, at $73 a square foot, because of its unique design and expensive building materials.

North American buyers are not the only reason for the uptick.

There are some great things about Cuenca like…

Cuenca-real-estate

The agriculture that surrounds Cuenca. Here is an organic farm in the San Joachin area of Cuenca.

One of Cuenca’s public markets.

Cuenca-real-estate

Here a Cuenca flower vendor in one Cuenca’s many public markets.

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Cuenca has many parks. Here is Parque de Paraiso which has walking and biking trails.

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Four rivers flow through Cuenca.

Cuenca-real-estate

Yet there are more forces pushing Cuenca’s and Ecuador’s real estate market.

An article from entitled “$600 Million Earmarked by Government for New Housing projects” World Assurance Group Inc.” says: Nov 02, 2009,  World Assurance Group Focuses on Central America in Conjunction With a New Ecuadorian Housing Mandate . World Assurance Group (PINKSHEETS: WDAS) announced today that the Ecuadorian Government has recently announced substantial policies aimed to increase new home buyers in Ecuador.  New home buyers will be allowed a $ 3,960 bonus given by the Housing Ministry for a new house they purchase. It seeks to expand such support to $ 5,000 for homes with a value of up to $ 60,000.

WDAS had announced on Oct 22, 2009 that its subsidiary ANAV Holdings Corporation signed a proposal to enter into a purchase agreement for an 8.5% participating interest in a 15 hectare private housing community located at one of the leading ports in Latin America with Premier Developments. The project’s first phase is in full production and has already sold 20% of the 207 homes. The entire project including phase two will be an estimated 500 home development. Currently these homes sell for $40,000 – $80,000 price range.

Low prices…  great natural resources… colonial charm… every facility a city can possess… but not too many people are all helping Cuenca real estate grab attention.  All of this will help the Cuenca real estate market to grow.

Gary

See the best Ecuador property for you.  Find the best real estate offers.  Know more of Ecuador. To help you experience a bigger adventure in this wonderful nation, to broaden your horizons, to expand your awareness of all Ecuador offers, we are providing deep discounts in 2010 for those who sign up for multiple tours.

See more on Cuenca real estate  at “Cuenca Real Estate

Gary

Join us in Ecuador or Florida or Both. See the best Ecuador property for you.  Find the best real estate offers.  Know more of Ecuador. To help you experience a bigger adventure in this wonderful nation, to broaden your horizons, to expand your awareness of all Ecuador offers, we are providing deep discounts in 2010 for those who sign up for multiple tours.

Join us at our upcoming courses and tours.

December 6-8 Blaine Watson’s  Beyond Logic & Shamanic Tour

December 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

December 11-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Join us in 2010. See our winter Ecuador real estate tours below.

Jan.   8-11     Ecuador Export Tour $499 Couple  $749

Jan. 13-14     Imbabura Real Estate Tour   $499 Couple $749
Jan. 21-22     Coastal Real Estate Tour $499 Couple $749
Jan. 23-24    Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour  $499 Couple $749
Jan. 22-23    Cuenca Real Estate Tour  $499 Couple $749

Enjoy extra savings with our special early bird fees (if you enroll in November 2009)

Join us in February or March.

Feb. 11-14   Quantum Wealth Florida -International Investing & Internet Business, Mt. Dora, Florida ($749) Couple $999

Feb. 15-16   Travel to and visit Quito
Feb  17         Travel to Manta
Feb. 18-19   Coastal Real Estate Tour   $499 Couple $749 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.
Feb. 20        Travel to Cotacachi
Feb. 21-22   Imbabura Real Estate Tour  $499 Couple $749 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.
Feb. 23-24  Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour $499 Couple $749 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.
Feb. 26-27  Cuenca Real Estate Tour  $499 Couple $749 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.

Mar. 11-14     Super Thinking + Spanish Course, Mt. Dora, Florida $749 Couple $999

Mar. 15-16    Travel to Quito and Andes
Mar. 17-18     Imbabura Real Estate Tour   $499 Couple $749 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.
Mar. 19-20    Cotacachi Shamanic Tour      $499 Couple $749 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.
Mar. 22-23    Coastal Real Estate Tour        $499 Couple $749 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.
Mar. 25-26    Cuenca Real Estate Tour        $499 Couple $749 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.

Enjoy extra savings with our special early bird fees (if you enroll in November 2009)

2 seminar courses & tours $949 Couple  $1,399

3 seminar courses & tours   $1199 Couple  $1,749

4 seminar courses & tours   $1,399 Couple $2,149

5 seminar courses & tours  $1,599 Couple $2,499

6 seminars courses & tours  $1,999 Couple $2,999

(Be sure to show in the comments section which courses and tours you are attending)

International Club attend up to 52 courses and tours in 2010 free.

See our entire 2010 seminar and tour schedule here

$600 Million Earmarked by Government for New Housing projects

www.marketwire.com/press-release/World-Assurance-Group-Inc-1069068.html

Cuenca Ecuador Hostel


Ecuador Living subscribers are involved in opening a new Cuenca Ecuador hostel.

Many North Americans look for ways to earn income.  Cuenca real estate is one way to do this and we looked at Cuenca real estate in yesterday’s message.

However there are other ways to earn income in Ecuador beyond property as an excerpt from the article Cuenca real estate and Ecuador income points out.

A subscriber wrote:  Gary We are doing very well in Cuenca.  We have recently become 40% non-operating partners of the local CURVES franchise which went into the black in its first month.

Next month sees the opening of VILLA NOVA INN, located on Avenue Third of December on the city side of the Tomebamba River.  It is about 20 yards  from SAKURA SUSHI, the best Japanese restaurant in Cuenca, perhaps in all of Ecuador.   This is  a new 12 bedroom hostel in which we are 25% non-operating partners that will open next month.

Now this five star hostel Villa Nova Inn in Cuenca Ecuador is open and offers a savings opportunity for you.

cuenca-ecuador-hostel

This is an attractive location overlooking Cuenca’s Tomebamba River and directly across from Parque de la Madre (Mother’s Park).

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View from Cuenca Ecuador’s Hostel Villa Nova Inn

cuenca-ecuador-hostel

This Cuenca hostel is Ecuador’s newest intimate urban inn in this wonderful town.  Cuenca Ecuador is one of UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage Cities.

This Cuenca hostel was developed and is run by a group of experienced Ecuadorian and American international travelers who have spent over 70 years experiencing the best in clean, friendly, comfortable, low-cost hotels, inns, and hostels throughout Ecuador, Europe, Canada, and the United States.  They put those years of experience to work in creating their motto  “Do It Right So The Guest May Sleep Tight!”

Here are a few of the initial guest comments sent to us by the management:

“First Impression – Excellent; Front Desk – Excellent; Room – Excellent; Staff – Excellent; Additional Comments – Feels like home plus Location, Location, Location” Penny Ripple (USA)

“I walked past the little hotel and went in out of curiosity.  After I set myself on staying (which was a very easy thing to do, considering the warm welcome and the looks of the clean rooms) I found that I didn’t lack anything during my stay.  The staff was very nice and helpful.  They took care of everything which was needed to make my stay a warm and delightful one, including quick inexpensive laundry service and clear explanations about Cuenca.  Oh, and plenty of smiles.  All in all, without a doubt, a wonderful place to stay.  Not to be missed.  I am looking forward to coming back.” Paul Memran (Israel)

“Thanks brothers and sisters.  Best treatment.  Best hotel.  Thanks for everything.” Guardarraya (Quito, Ecuador)

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Room with a view of Cuenca’s river.

This Cuenca hostel has spacious guest rooms,. Each have have a private bathroom with plenty of hot water and and shower.

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There is ample closet space, a writing desk, new comfortable mattresses, soft sheets, warm quilts — and a free continental breakfast served either in the unique Bananas Breakfast Restaurant  or on the Inn’s riverside terraces.

cuenca-ecuador-hostel

Ecuador Living subscribers who, at check in, provide their Ecuador Living password receive a 20% discount off the room rate.

Other amenities include the Japanese Sushi Bar and Restaurant, Sakura, located next to this Cuenca hostel.  Sakura offers an in room menu for guests who want to dine in their room or or on one of the Inn’s terraces.  The menu includes hot and cold dishes from a simple glass of wine and appetizers to a multi-course meal of sushi, teriyaki steak, salmon, or chicken topped off by a classic brownie and ice cream with chocolate sauce.

cuenca-ecuador-hostel

Villa Nova Inn provides its guests with a unique combination of affordable contemporary conveniences and a quiet restful night’s sleep. There is  broadband Wi-Fi throughout the hotel and its terraces and Direct TV in the Inn’s Main Lobby.  Snacks, cold drinks, beer, wine, and coffee are also available in guest rooms  and the hostel’s sunset terraces overlooking Cuenca, the river, park, and Andes Mountains.

Villa Nova Inn is within easy walking distance of a wide variety of Cuenca’s sites of interest including:  Cuenca’s Colonial City Center, the Central Square “Parque Calderon” and  its two cathedrals.  The Cathedral Viejo, built in 1557, houses a charming museum and the “new cathedral” built in 1880 conducts numerous services throughout the week.  The colonial center also features beautiful colonial and modern  architecture, numerous museums, dozens of art galleries and indigenous shops interspersed with totally contemporary stores, and restaurants galore for all pocketbooks from $1.50 for a lunch-of-the-day to five-star dining at internationally famous restaurants.

Cuenca’s Millennium Shopping Plaza has a multi-screen movie theatre, wide variety of shops, a Super Maxi.   The Esquina de las Artes is also nearby across from the University of Cuenca.

The Banco Central Museum in Cuenca has numerous early Inca ruins.  The Centro Inter-Americano de Artes Populeres (CIDAP) and Broken Bridge Gallery Cooperative offer contemporary art and display examples at the hostel on a rotating schedule.

This Cuenca hostel is near three of Azuay Province’s medical centers — Monte Sinai, Santa Ines, and Santa Ana. Each of these Cuenca medical centers is staffed by internationally trained doctors of all disciplines. Each of these Cuenca medical centers are within walking distance or less than a 5-minute taxi ride away from Villa Nova Inn.

Alejandro Serrano Stadium is nearby and features both class A international soccer and regional soccer league matches as well as frequent music concerts by national and international stars.

Villa Nova Inn also offers first-class guided tours of Colonial Cuenca, the surrounding Andes Mountains and national parks, into the Oriente (Amazon Jungle), to a wide variety of nearby indigenous “guild villages”, and of course to the Galapagos Islands.

The management of this Cuenca hostel  offer Ecuador Living subscribers a 20% discount.  When you subscribe to Ecuador Living, we provide you with a password that entitles you to the discount.

Cuenca is one of Ecuador’s most popular cities. Three hotels in Cuenca, Ecuador offer Ecuador Living subscribers discounts.

Gary

See the best Ecuador property for you.  Find the best real estate offers.  Know more of Ecuador. To help you experience a bigger adventure in this wonderful nation, to broaden your horizons, to expand your awareness of all Ecuador offers, we are providing deep discounts in 2010 for those who sign up for multiple tours.

Join us in Ecuador

Join us at our upcoming courses and tours.

December 6-8 Blaine Watson’s  Beyond Logic & Shamanic Tour

December 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

December 11-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Join us in 2010. See our winter Ecuador real estate tours below.

Jan.   8-11     Ecuador Export Tour      $499  Couple  $749

Jan. 13-14     Imbabura Real Estate Tour   $499  Couple $749
Jan. 21-22     Coastal Real Estate Tour $499  Couple $749
Jan. 23-24    Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour   $499  Couple $749
Jan. 22-23    Cuenca Real Estate Tour  $499  Couple $749

Enjoy extra savings with our special early bird fees (if you enroll in November 2009)

Join us in February or March.

Feb. 11-14   Quantum Wealth Florida -International Investing & Internet Business, Mt. Dora, Florida ($749) Couple $999

Feb. 15-16   Travel to and visit Quito
Feb  17         Travel to Manta
Feb. 18-19   Coastal Real Estate Tour   $499 Couple $999 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.
Feb. 20        Travel to Cotacachi
Feb. 21-22   Imbabura Real Estate Tour  $499 Couple $999 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.
Feb. 23-24  Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour $499 Couple $999 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.
Feb. 26-27  Cuenca Real Estate Tour  $499 Couple $999 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.

Mar. 11-14     Super Thinking + Spanish Course, Mt. Dora, Florida ($749) Couple $999

Mar. 15-16    Travel to Quito and Andes
Mar. 17-18     Imbabura Real Estate Tour   $499 Couple $999 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.
Mar. 19-20    Cotacachi Shamanic Tour      $499 Couple $999 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.
Mar. 22-23    Coastal Real Estate Tour        $499 Couple $999 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.
Mar. 25-26    Cuenca Real Estate Tour        $499 Couple $999 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.

Enjoy extra savings with our special early bird fees (if you enroll in November 2009)

1 real estate tour  $499 Couple $749

2 seminar courses & tours $949 Couple  $1,399

3 seminar courses & tours   $1199 Couple  $1,749

4 seminar courses & tours   $1,399 Couple $2,149

5 seminar courses & tours  $1,599 Couple $2,499

(Be sure to show in the comments section which courses and tours you are attending)

International Club attend up to 52 courses and tours in 2010 free.

See our entire 2010 seminar and tour schedule here

Cuenca Real Estate


Cuenca Real Estate

P1000823

Cuenca real estate offers excellent quality and value for exapts visiting Ecuador. Here is a shot of downtown Cuenca.

One of the first cities that Merri and I visited when we began looking for Ecuador property was the Spanish tile roofed colonial city of Cuenca which sits in a broad valley surrounded by lush green mountains. I have always loved the real estate opportunities in Cuenca and am happy to report we can now share this with you in our upcoming 2010 Cuenca real estate tours.

Here is an example why Cuenca is such a popular place.  Our friends, Bill Bushnell and his wife, Leita Hulmes live in a spacious and modern condo in Cuenca within walking distance to the historic colonial city center.

Cuenca condo building
Cuenca Condo building

Cuenca condo living room

We’ll look at more Cuenca property pictures below.

Cuenca is easily Ecuador’s (and perhaps all of South America’s) most beautiful city with a distinctly European look and feel. In a previous
article I reported that MSN has named Cuenca the best retirement city in the world.

It is both modern and classic in its architecture. This is an aristocratic town with hard workers and a solid middle class. The downtown area is remarkably clean and is built around a central park bordered by a huge golden cathedral with brilliant ceramic domes. There is a sense of order in the narrow cobblestone streets which for the most part run on a grid. The markets are filled with color and exotic design, and there is no sense of crime or poverty found here.

Tall Willows and Eucalyptus are abundant along the river banks of the four rivers running through its center where you’ll see locals washing their
colorful clothes. Red tiles on white stucco sparkling in the brilliant sun are the predominate vista.

Cuenca has perhaps the largest North American population in Ecuador though it is a much smaller city (350,000) than Quito or Guayaquil which have many millions of people. It’s large enough to offer almost all goods and services one could want without the hustle and bustle of a big city.

The beautiful sites are not the only joys Merri and I have experienced  in Cuenca. Property prices are startlingly low. Values have certainly risen
since we first began looking almost 15 years ago, yet asking prices still seem like bargains.

For example brand new apartments just down the road from the 5 Star Oro Verde Hotel are offered at just $42,000.

Here is that condo, just…

cuenca-ecuador-condos

four blocks from the center of Cuenca.

cuenca-ecuador-condos

Quality is not lacking.

Here are some more shots of our friends Cuenca condo with all hardwood floors, cabinetry and top quality fittings and additional lighting.

Cuenca condo hardwood finishes

There’s is a 1,690 square foot condo cost  that they bought for under $100,000.

Cuenca condo studio
the studio

The views from the 5th floor living room of the Ecuadorian Sierra Mountains show Cajas National Park in the distance.

View from Cuenca condo

There is space throughout this Cuenca home.

Cuenca condo master bedroom

Hardwood excellence is seen throughout this Cuenca house.

Cuenca condo kitchen

Currently there is a lovely first-floor 2-BR apartment located just across  the Tomebamba River from Cuenca’s historic district. It is within walking distance of El Centro which is Cuenca’s version of Central Park and is offered for $35,000.

If your preference is a house, only four blocks from downtown there is a new 4 bedroom, 4 bath house with 1991 sq ft of living space on 1/3 of an
acre for $77,000.

Another delightful opportunity in Cuenca is within a 10 unit gated community where there are only two townhouses left. The 1600 sq ft 3BR, 3
bath units have solid wood cabinetry, doors and windows and feature an open floor plan connecting the living area, dining room and kitchen for
$89,900. These units are within walking distance of supermarkets, shopping malls and some great restaurants for which Cuenca is renown.

Here are the these brand new condos, outside and…

cuenca-ecuador-condos

in.

cuenca-ecuador-condos

You can find superb spacious country homes in an area called San Joaquín which is known for its agricultural heritage still evident today. Numerous
farms and livestock abound in this area just 10 minutes from downtown.

Here houses sit above the city on gentle slopes with commanding views offering tile, hardwoods and marble, plus exquisite workmanship not found
in the U.S. Yet prices are as low as $145,000.

Just a few kilometers down the road from Cuenca is Challuabamba which has seen a fair amount of new construction in the last few years. It is a
slightly lower than Cuenca so is a bit warmer. Because of the highway, it is more accessible than in the past and many locals have moved out of the
city to be in a more rural locale. New homes range from the low $70s to over $200,000 so there is a wide variety to be had.

In the country you may find the best buys as is the case in most parts of the world. In-town prices are always higher than in the country and if
living closer to nature is your preference, you can have a large hacienda with plenty of land for farming and livestock at unbelievably low prices.
We’ve seen prices starting at $1.50 a square meter ($15,000 per acre) for land featuring stunning views, flowing streams and rich dark soil.

Yunguilla, about an hour from Cuenca via the newly paved highway, is one of the most beautiful valleys in the world. It’s like a Swiss mountain
valley covered in Irish emerald green – all in South America! Explosions of white pampas grass line the road and paisley swaths of forest and
cotton wool clouds cover the broad valley floor. Huge waterfalls spring from the hillsides like gigantic white snakes crashing hundreds of feet.

Here is a shot of Yungilla.

yungilla-ecuador-condos

Currently there is a house with outstanding views sitting on just over an acre. It has 4 bedrooms and 2 baths in 2045 sq ft with an asking price of $80,000 or how about 5 acres with a river running along one boundary for $35,000.

Further on you can find plantations with entrances lined with sugar cane, bananas, mango, papaya, mango, naranjilla, babaco, orange, lemon, lime,
yucca, coffee plants, bread fruit, guavas, achote, grapefruit, coconuts and all the vegetables you could eat. Also abundant are avocado, bamboo,
corn, potatoes and tomatoes.

These veritable gardens led to rustic old farm houses graced by birds of every type, humming birds, toucan, choco, bromeliad fly catchers,
tanagers, finches and animals include agouti, tapir, fox and deer.

You can find land with horses, cows, pigs, numerous dogs, chickens and even llamas which are indigenous.

I viewed one plantation there some years ago that had its own .7 kilowatt hydro electric turbine and sugar cane crusher, distillery where they
distilled 50,000 liters of schnapps a year overlooking the San Francisco river, a broad cascading mountain stream bounds the land and the smaller
Sarayunga river runs through it.

All in all Cuenca, and the area immediately surrounding it, has a great deal to offer no matter what your preferences. Whether you want to live in
an apartment, a home or buy land and build your own – it’s all possible at prices that are a throw back to times past.

Speaking of prices that are from times gone by, our friends and representatives in Cuenca, Stephen Milden and Leanna Palermo, reported today that they went to a local co-op and bought 12 bags of organic fruits and vegetables for only $20.91! If they had purchased the same items in the US it would have cost them close to $200.00 and everything was locally grown. They will be delighted to be your hosts and show you their adopted home during the first tour of 2010 which is set for January 22-23 2010.

Not only will you have an opportunity to see a cross section of available land, homes and apartments, you will be able to experience the local
culture by way of fantastic restaurants, galleries, artisan shops and a walking tour along cobblestone streets that will take your breath away.

Cuenca is one of Ecuador’s most popular towns and we look forward to sharing Cuenca with you on our 2010 Ecuador real estate tours.

Gary

See the best Ecuador property for you.  Find the best real estate offers.  Know more of Ecuador. To help you experience a bigger adventure in this wonderful nation, to broaden your horizons, to expand your awareness of all Ecuador offers, we are providing deep discounts in 2010 for those who sign up for multiple tours.

Join us in Ecuador

Join us at our upcoming courses and tours.

December 6-8 Blaine Watson’s  Beyond Logic & Shamanic Tour

December 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

December 11-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Join us in 2010. See our winter Ecuador real estate tours below.

Jan.   8-11     Ecuador Export Tour      $499  Couple  $749

Jan. 13-14     Imbabura Real Estate Tour   $499  Couple $749
Jan. 21-22     Coastal Real Estate Tour $499  Couple $749
Jan. 23-24    Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour   $499  Couple $749
Jan. 22-23    Cuenca Real Estate Tour  $499  Couple $749

Enjoy extra savings with our special early bird fees (if you enroll in November 2009)

Join us in February or March.

Feb. 11-14   Quantum Wealth Florida -International Investing & Internet Business, Mt. Dora, Florida ($749) Couple $999

Feb. 15-16   Travel to and visit Quito
Feb  17         Travel to Manta
Feb. 18-19   Coastal Real Estate Tour   $499 Couple $999 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.
Feb. 20        Travel to Cotacachi
Feb. 21-22   Imbabura Real Estate Tour  $499 Couple $999 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.
Feb. 23-24  Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour $499 Couple $999 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.
Feb. 26-27  Cuenca Real Estate Tour  $499 Couple $999 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.

Mar. 11-14     Super Thinking + Spanish Course, Mt. Dora, Florida ($749) Couple $999

Mar. 15-16    Travel to Quito and Andes
Mar. 17-18     Imbabura Real Estate Tour   $499 Couple $999 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.
Mar. 19-20    Cotacachi Shamanic Tour      $499 Couple $999 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.
Mar. 22-23    Coastal Real Estate Tour        $499 Couple $999 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.
Mar. 25-26    Cuenca Real Estate Tour        $499 Couple $999 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.

Enjoy extra savings with our special early bird fees (if you enroll in November 2009)

1 real estate tour  $499 Couple $749

2 seminar courses & tours $949 Couple  $1,399

3 seminar courses & tours   $1199 Couple  $1,749

4 seminar courses & tours   $1,399 Couple $2,149

5 seminar courses & tours  $1,599 Couple $2,499

(Be sure to show in the comments section which courses and tours you are attending)

International Club attend up to 52 courses and tours in 2010 free.

See our entire 2010 seminar and tour schedule here