Frank and Angie’s Recommendation:
We think that’s great you have chosen to go the frugal route in order to retire early because you will likely enjoy seeking new ways to be frugal and at the same time go local also while in Ecuador, which brings, we think, more satisfaction in expat life. It’s much more enjoyable, at least for us to save money by blending in with the culture and going local, which is part and parcel of becoming a year round resident anywhere.
|Riding the bus in Cuenca Ecuador|
Both cities can sponge up any budget you desire. You can rent for $1250 or you can rent for $350 per month in both Cuenca and Quito. People often say Quito is more expensive than Cuenca but that is only partly true. Yes, Quito can be expensive when you rent where all the tourists and newcomers want to rent but go outside that area just a little bit and you can find rentals for $350 to $550 just like in Cuenca. As those of us know, Cuenca can be expensive too.
Both Cuenca and Quito have lots of free entertainment options such as really nice parks, bike trails, walking trails and even free symphonies. Shopping is good in both cities, however, Quito has more variety and more shopping malls compared to Cuenca.
|- Pumapungo - Archeological site and botanical gardens park in Cuenca Ecuador|
Both cities have numerous restaurants to fit all budgets. You can easily find upscale dining restaurants and also the more traditional fare restaurants.
You can easily find movies that are in English with Spanish subtitles. The Ecuadorians like to watch them that way to help them learn English.
|Movie Theater in N. Quito|
|North Quito Strip Mall|
You’ll actually blend in great by walking as many local folks walk about. It’s not like the U.S where people drive their cars to the store and walk 30 yards from the car into the store. People actually walk here and that’s a good thing.
|Walking up Calle Chile in El Centro - Quito Ecuador|
And actually Quito has excellent transportation such as the city bus, the trolley, and the Ecovia Tram, and so getting around on a budget is easy to do in Quito.
|Terminal Rio Coca in N. Quito|
Come visit and take a look at Quito and Cuenca and you will have a better “feel” and “personal awareness” that is unique to you and your circumstances. We can say that many foreigners prefer Cuenca over Quito because of the small town feel that Cuenca offers while still providing the shopping, restaurants, and infrastructure.
Quito can be a bit overwhelmingat first if you are coming from a small city in the US. There is also the overwhelming feel that happens because you are new to traveling abroad, and don't speak the language, etc…and some people rightly feel a need to minimize that by going to Cuenca.
|N. Quito Business District|
|Carolina Park Ares - N. Quito|
There’s no need to travel from one end of the city to the other when you're still in the initial Ecuador acclimatizing stage. So, whichever city you choose for your move, enjoy your new life in Ecuador!
We're an Expat Family of Five, Living Frugal, Healthy and Happy in Cuenca Ecuador! Enjoy the Discover Cuenca Ecuador blog!