10 Years of Blog Archive

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Which Cuenca Sector Is Better, the Westside or Eastside?

Remember the early 70’s TV comedy show “The Jeffersons”, about a family that moved to the wealthier Eastside of Chicago? George Jefferson sure thought he was Moving on up to the Eastside….as the song goes.  

In Cuenca we have noticed some lovely homes on the east end of the city, and most newcomers to town don’t know this because 90% of foreigners live on the Westside of Cuenca. That's why we're going to show you a little bit about the East end of Cuenca today.

The Southwest and the Northwest (gringolandia) part of town seem to be where most of the gringos live and want to be.  I think a few little birdies tell them where they think everyone else should congregate and live in the city.

However, living where everyone else thinks they want to be can be disadvantageous when you are looking for a rental because of the high demand. More and more Ecuadorians are putting their houses and apartments up for rent in the  Westside, (Northwest and Southwest) with high price tags; research shows some of these homes and apartments still need updated and remodeled but apparently they’re still renting at ridiculous (to Ecuador) prices.

Rental Prices Eastside vs.Westside

On the other side of that coin, after doing just 15-minutes of rental market research, in general, there are just as nice of rentals on the Southeast side and they are going for $50 to $100 less than the rentals on the Westside, although you would have to study the rental market for a while to see this, we already know the market and consistently see better priced rentals on the southeast end of Cuenca, although they are going up too.

As an example of what we’re talking about, here’s a spacious 5 bedroom 3 bathroom home directly across the street from the Tomebamba River with views of the river for $390!! And that’s the asking price, mind you. It's possible to rent this home for $350.  This same house on the west end of town would go for $490 or more!

5/3 house with views of the Tomebamba River

Banking, Shopping, Restaurants, Hospitals

Gonzalez Suarez is the Las Americas of the Westside. You’ll find a variety of shopping, organic produce, hardware and houseware stores, cafés, restaurants, banks, and parks on Gonzalez Suarez as you would on Las Americas.  The Eastside of town also has several bus routes. We’ve taken the bus from this part of town to El Centro and it takes 15 to 20 minutes, depending on traffic and how far east you are coming from.

A couple of nice neighborhoods come to mind when I think of the Eastside, Monay/Bosque and Totoracocha.  I really think that people are missing out on an area of town that they might just like better than the Westside. If you haven’t been there to check it out, how will you know?

Most expats probably do not know that the Eastside of town also has a huge IESS José Carrasco Arteaga Hospital.
IESS Jose Carrasco Arteaga Hospital - Cuenca Ecuador

Hospital Del Rio, the newest, largest, and some say, the nicest hospital in all of Cuenca is located on the east side of town as well.  The super nice Monay Shopping Mall is also located in the east sector and inside the mall is the grocery/department store Coral Hypermercado. 

To help our readers get an idea of the area, look on the map below; notice where Avenue Gonzalas Suarez is. Now just below it is the Gran Aki North American Style Grocery store, to the right of that is Monay Shopping Mall which has a huge Coral Hypermercado and just a few blocks away is the IESS Hospital. Click to enlarge the map.

This side of town also has an organic fruits and vegetable market just like the one off of Las Americas.
Gran Sol Coopera Farmer’s Market  - Monay/Bosque sector.  Gran Sol Organic produce market is located off Avenida 24 de Mayo. Mercado is on the right hands side, 2 blocks behind Monay Mall. If you pass the bridge that goes over the Rio Paute you have gone too far.

Cuenca has Four Rivers

On the Westside runs Rio Yanuncay and the Rio Tamebamba, which runs into the Eastside Rio Paute right after Paraiso Parque and a bit further east is the Rio Machanagara. We’ve walked the river walk on the Machangara and it is unspoiled beauty and in our opinion just as pretty as the Westside YANUNCAY River walk.

On the map below we show you another view with four points of interest. In the upper right hand corner is Rio Machangara which intersects with Rio Paute; on the southern bottom of the map you’ll see where the biggest and newest “Del Rio  Hospital” is located, and just below the Hospital is the Cuenca Amuru zoo, which has a nice selection of awesome, exotic animals and nice walking paths (up hill) through the zoo. 

If you live in Cuenca now, next time you have a little time, hop on a bus or take a cab and check out the Eastside of town because it is just as nice of an area as the Westside with lovely homes and neighborhoods. We suggest walking on Gonzales Suarez Avenue so you can see up-close the different restaurants, cafes and shopping that is located on this street.

If you liked this article, you’ll probably want to check out these videos and article too.

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. Very helpful article. Thank you for the detailed work.

    1. Thanks. Yes, it takes awhile to get the details but that's what we're known for...giving the details.


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