10 Years of Blog Archive

Sunday, March 06, 2016

How Can I Find a Good Rental in Cuenca Ecuador? Long & Short Term UPDATED 2016

Things have certainly changed in the last 4.5 years of first writing this article on December 20, 2011. You can still find good, inexpensive rentals in Cuenca when you are not in a hurry and when you know where to look, even though prices have jumped up. All new updates in red text.

Reader asks: Will be arriving in Cuenca and staying for 10 days and would like a nice safe place to stay. A hostel is ok, as long as it has a private bath and kitchen in the hostel. Any contacts or numbers you can give us would be a blessing, thanks. 

Update 2016 - It is an unfortunate fact of life that within any industry there are some that don't have any scruples and will charge whatever they can get away with, even if its overcharging, price gouging, unfair and/or illegal practices etc.  And the real estate industry in Cuenca Ecuador is no different.  

Unfortunately again, the gringo is generally at a disadvantage since he doesn't know the market, doesn't know the language, doesn't know fair practices, etc. etc. so you see, it takes two to tango and if you'll do your part then you can help keep everyone honest.

How can you find a good rental property in Cuenca?

Update 2016 - Our educational website material,including the DIY Cuenca Landing Guide, will give you the knowledge you need to be an informed and wise consumer here.  And that can only mean good things for you.  Whether you’re going to stay 10-days or 10 months or years you’'re sure to benefit one way or another.  

We list several hostels (good for short stays) in the DIY Cuenca Landing Guide that we checked out personally and we list the top five resources for finding a good rental in Cuenca. Knowing basic Spanish would be a plus here because obviously it is how people get the best rental deals. 
Below is a sneak peek into our eBook/book written for the do-it-yourselfer who does not want to over-pay or be gringo-targeted on their first time visit to Cuenca to see if they like it for a future retirement home.


Hostels are a big deal here in Cuenca and there is a lot of them to choose from. When most people think of hostel living they automatically think, “shared rooms” and “shared bathrooms”. The truth is a hostel can be those things and so much more.

The hostels we list in our DIY Cuenca guidebook have private baths, free wifi and other such amenities, just like a hotel!  They are all nice, comfortable and clean and will not break your travel budget. However, some can be noisy if they are in the heart of Calle Larga, especially on the weekends.

Most people when they first come to Cuenca end up throwing hard-earned dollars down the drain because they don’t know where to stay, or they stay in a hotel or hostel that is too expensive because they were in a hurry.

This is what Frank did when he first arrived because we booked a hostel online that was $50 a night!The Internet is not always the best place to look for places to stay.

Now $50 dollars may not seem like a lot of money, but we have to compare apples to oranges here. This was a $50 a night hostel, not a luxury hotel, and this is Ecuador, not Europe!   

For $15 to $25 dollar a night hostel you can have the same amenities and comforts as the $50 a night hostel. We know this for a fact because we’ve been INSIDE the hostels we list in our DIY Cuenca guidebook—we’ve talked with the owners and looked inside each room! We even have pictures of the hostels we list in the DIY Cuenca Guidebook.

Long Term Apartment, Condo, or House Rentals

Reader Asks: We’re coming to Cuenca in March 2012 and were wondering if you know of any good apartment or house rentals? We prefer a furnished 2 bedroom with washer and dryer, and security, but do not want to pay more than $500. If you have any information please let us know.

We have a lot of information for you. We list in our DIY Cuenca guidebook, the best of the best resources for finding good long term rentals. Needing a rental is your top priority of needs.

Update 2016 -  Gringo Good Samaritans Website is a ministry designed to protect expats from unfair and/or illegal dealings, overcharging and price gouging, and any other issue that may crop up from time to time to take advantage of your foreignness.  These practices crop up more often than one might expect.  

Since you don't know the language, don't know the practices, don't know the law, don't know the prices, and don't know your way around, among other things, who do you think is taking advantage of whom?

For short term stays, we suggest that you make your first five days stress free and book yourself into one of the many hostels we offer in the Cuenca guidebook, and during that time look for a longer term rental by looking though the excellent resources we have laid out for you in the DIY Cuenca Landing Guide Book. 

Update 2016 - We do want to add however, if the hostel is on Calle Larga then it is more geared to the younger crowd of people because in that area of the city, it can be noisy on the weekends. But they are located in a great area, walking to night life, restaurants, shopping, museums, parks, etc. 

The other two hostels we list in the guide are not located in noisy areas and have more comfort amenities that us older folks prefer.  LOL.  We do not receive any money from these hostels. 

We recommend staying in a hostel when you first arrive, this way you will not be rushed into renting something that was actually not right for you. We know this happens. When people are in a hurry they end up over-paying and really not liking the place they have just signed a 6-month lease on.  Don’t let this happen to you.

So it is important to take your time while looking for a longer term rental that meets your budget and personal preferences.

In two weeks time, with the DIY Cuenca guidebook in your hand, you’ll be sharing what you know and have learned with other newcomers to Cuenca! We know you’re going to appreciate all of the useful and practical information the DIY Cuenca guidebook has to offer. 

Here is what we cover in the DIY Cuenca Landing Guide. 

Clear Instructions and maps to:
  • Where to stay short term and long term
  • Pictures, names, numbers to recommended hostels
  • Walking distances (addresses) to almost everything
  • Pictures so you’ll recognize where you’re at
  • Our personal experiences and recommendations
  • Rechargeable cell phones and Internet access
  • Maps and directions to museums, Mercado’s and more
  • Where to meet up with other expats
  • What stores to shop at within walking distance of your hostel
  •  Immigration offices – Visa Renewal
  • Everything you need at your fingertips, plus free email support!
We Talk About…
  • Gringo Targeting
  •  How to negotiate with the produce vendors at the Mercado’s
  • Weather – what to bring with you
  • Staying safe throughout your visit
  • Check list for when renting long term and how to negotiate on the rental price
  • Recommended restaurants and other neat hang outs
  • Post office -- Sending and receiving packages
  • Gringo hang outs; names and directions, all walking distance to your hostel
  • Locations of Coral and Supermaxi
  • We got you covered
  • We don’t think we left anything out
  • But if we did, please tell us so we can include it in the DIY Cuenca Landing Guide
This eBook will be published mid January and available for instant download.
We want to ask our readers what they think they would like to see in this Cuenca guidebook that we have not covered. Your feedback is valuable to us and helps us to help you and all others who will be coming to Cuenca in the future.

UPDATE 2016 *** The DIY Cuenca Landing Guide was first published in March of 2012 and four years later it still is out on top of the top ten travel books on LULU.com!
Until next time we think you might want to read these related articles about renting in Cuenca Ecuador.
We're an Expat Family of Five, Living Frugal, Healthy and Happy Abroad. We live in Cuenca, Ecuador and travel the Ecuador coast whenever we get a chance. We just adventured throughout the country of Panama for five weeks! Come along and enjoy some of our experiences with us!


  1. Looks like you will have most things covered. One thing you may want to add is having the hotel/hostel having a dependable/safe taxi to pick you up at the airport using a name sign? Is this a common practice?

  2. It's not a "common" practice, and is not needed in Cuenca. If I was in Guayaquil, I would certainly want that...but not here. As long as you know where you are going, which you will, with the DIY Landing guide in hand, you'll be better equipped than I was when I landed at the airport and hailed a taxi outside.

  3. Hi, I really like your blog and will look forward to your guide when it comes out.

    Things you may wish to include;
    1. Top 20 customs that you should know so you don't stand out. I.E. that for them it's ok to stare, or other things so you know what to expect.

    2. Top 20 safety tips. This one is huge because most nortamericanos don't know how to cross the street in South America. Then when the driver doesn't stop they yell at them. Maybe cover how to wear your back pack or how to leave your stuff in your room so it's their when you come back or other things for safety and security which seems to be a big question for many.

    3. Maybe cover what level of Spanish you should be at for basic communications before you come.

    4. Maybe cover how to get from Quito or Guayaquil to Cuenca. The fact that the van guy only goes 2 blocks from the airport in Guayaquil and not to the terminals. Cover how to find the van when you arrive. Cover getting your tickets from each airport if you choose to fly.

    One of the things I really like about what you said you're including is all the pictures so you have a visual reference, I think that may be one of the best parts of the guide so feel free to go over board w/photos. Like maybe photos in airports of go here, and go here etc..

    Thank you, Patrick

  4. Thinking of things that other people would want I forgot what I would want...DERP!

    I would really want to know furnishings such as costs of couches, beds (especially mattresses), office chairs where to get 60 or 72 inch long folding table for my desk (that's what I like to use). Anyway household stuff, sheets, towels, silverware etc.. The best places maybe with a photo of an item like a couch and it's price as an example/reference.

    You see, my biggest choice will be whether to rent a furnished place or buy all the stuff for the 1st year?

    I would also appreciate a link to a catalog of all the furniture you make and prices in your guide. That would be great.

    Thanks, Patrick

  5. We have younger children than you. Do you have any information on schools, activities, daycare, hiring a nanny or mommy's helper, orthodontists, etc. that might pertain to families with school-age children?


  6. Is there info concerning bring a pet, pets allowed in rentals/hostels, etc.
    aso, info about starting or buying a business?


HMFamilyLife and Discover Cuenca Ecuador Comment Policy
We welcome applicable and respectful comments. Off-topic comments may be removed.