Cost of Living in Cuenca, Ecuador

Prices in Cuenca

More about Cuenca:

Compare Cuenca with:
Consumer Price Index (Excl.Rent): ?
Rent Index: 19.26
Groceries Index: 66.06
Restaurants Index: 28.10
Consumer Price Plus Rent Index: ?
Local Purchasing Power: ?

Currency: Default Currency      Switch to US measurement units
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Restaurants [Edit] Avg.
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 3.00 $
Meal for 2, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course 15.00 $
McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) 6.00 $
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught) 1.28 $
Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) 3.00 $
Cappuccino (regular) 1.88 $
Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle) 0.90 $
Water (0.33 liter bottle) 0.69 $
Markets [Edit] Avg.
Milk (regular), (1 liter) 1.17 $
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g) 1.28 $
Rice (white), (1kg) 1.43 $
Eggs (12) 1.45 $
Local Cheese (1kg) 7.00 $
Chicken Breasts (Boneless, Skinless), (1kg) 9.50 $
Apples (1kg) 3.60 $
Oranges (1kg) 4.50 $
Tomato (1kg) 2.00 $
Potato (1kg) 3.20 $
Lettuce (1 head) 0.70 $
Water (1.5 liter bottle) 1.32 $
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 11.00 $
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) 1.08 $
Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) 3.25 $
Pack of Cigarettes (Marlboro) 4.75 $
Transportation [Edit] Avg.
One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 0.25 $
Monthly Pass (Regular Price) 15.00 $
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) 1.46 $
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) 1.50 $
Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) 10.00 $
Gasoline (1 liter) 0.71 $
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) 24,250.00 $
Utilities (Monthly) [Edit] Avg.
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment 48.70 $
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans) 0.08 $
Internet (6 Mbps, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 36.85 $
Sports And Leisure [Edit] Avg.
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult 37.50 $
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) ?
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat 5.25 $
Clothing And Shoes [Edit] Avg.
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) 99.33 $
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, ...) 57.50 $
1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes 150.00 $
1 Pair of Men Leather Shoes 40.00 $
Rent Per Month [Edit] Avg.
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 450.00 $
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 446.20 $
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 928.57 $
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 775.00 $
Buy Apartment Price [Edit] Avg.
Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment in City Centre 1,325.00 $
Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre 1,216.67 $
Salaries And Financing [Edit] Avg.
Average Monthly Disposable Salary (After Tax) 419.25 $
Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly 4.75

These data are based on 306 entries in the past 18 months from 52 different contributors.

Last update: March, 2015

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43 Comments so far

#R. Rivera (Rick) on Mar 24, 2015 :
If there anyone from the Caribbean or PR living in Ecuador or Cuenca. I like to stablish some communication. Spanish or english works perfect. I like to ask about healthcare in Cuenca. What about bringing a car from USA. Is the town clean. What about air polution? Apartments for rent by the week in a good area? If there a good book to read about Cuenca or Ecuador in general? What about the goverment?
#Pablo on Feb 24, 2015 :
Hello, my name is Paul and I live 8 months basin, if anyone needs some information of the place just write me mail, the city is quiet and with everything one could need, not too big not too small, the prices have gone up a bit since I visit this place for the first time in 2010, the cost of living is not high though not the cheapest place in Ecuador, transportation is good and cheap, but as someone wrote, everything is imported it is expensive and out of food almost everything is imported, clothing, vehicles, electronics, gasoline is very cheap and if you want I can get around most of the country with little money, I particularly like but the center of the country and the east although there are some nice places on the coast, eastern properties are cheaper, it is warm, humid, with many places to visit if one likes the adventure, if you need information just write me.
#didimar on Feb 10, 2015 :
I was wondering if anyone would be able to tell me how are the services for Special Needs children(Autism) in Cuenca,Ecuador. Family of 4. Two adults and 2 special needs children.
#peter weinmann on Jan 27, 2015 :
What is the big fuss about this town. ? I don't understand. Just arrived yesterday jan 27 from Guayaquill on 4 hour bus ride because everybody is talking like its a heaven here.
Let me tell you something
I arrived tired and with back packs. For 1/2 hour at the bus station none of the taxi drivers would take me . There was another guy with his son who suggested we split up because the drivers don't want to have backpacks or any luggage in the car. What? Are you serious? They walked from one taxi to another and finally got it after 5 begging. I was just about to turn around and hop on the next bus to Guayaquill.. This is how you welcome people here that want to spend money.? Really
Drivers only picked up locals with no luggage.
Finally after 1/2 hour and my veins boiling , I walked to local bus station and asked which bus would take me to center? Hopped on the bus and found the place for $15 dollars. It's like New York City here. Pollution is through the roof and feel like being somewhere in Bangladesh.
Went to get a pizza because I was tired and wanted to sleep. $7 dollars for a small personal pizza with drink? Really u call this value?
Went back to my hotel and it's loud in here on the street that I have no intentions staying here another night. Leaving tomorrow ASAP and never will look back. This is nothing and offers nothing of value. I live in Poland on the beach for 1/2 what I am spending here.
#Justus on Jan 26, 2015 :
I would be interested in talking (emailing) with an expat in Cuenca that knows Cuenca. I am going to enroll in a Spanish Immersion School in late April 2015 for 4-6 weeks and would like to have an expat "friend" that can show me Cuenca and suggest other places that would be good to live and make a permanent move. I will not be purchasing; only renting. Thanks.
#Ruth on Nov 06, 2014 :
to Dianna Huntermen I speak Spanish and English also looking to explore the possibility of moving to Cuenca Ecuador I live in Florida now but I no longer like it here. I you can write to me at my email maybe we can travel together. Ok
#Dianna Hunterman on Oct 10, 2014 :
I'm considering moving there for 6 month tria in April.very concerned being a single woman because I only speak English and I'm probably a slow learner of a new language.I would be interested in teaming up with someone spoke Spanish it is or was an American. I would be interested in a rooming or boarding house if there was such a thing so that I'm not alone.
#cunamnt . on Oct 01, 2014 :
i am interested in coming to Cuenca to check out and possibly thinking of renting a apt long term. I have approx $1300 per month widows benefit check. Is apts for rent on Craigslist a good resource for finding an apt? What can I expect if spending $300-400 per month for apt? I would like to have internet and cable tv included in price. I am low maintenance and prefer modest dwelling. I dont like foo foo or fancy. Is a car needed or is there good bus service? Is travel within Ecuador reasonable. I would like to go to Otavalo for several days. Is bus or train a common mode of travel?
Thanks ...
#George on Mar 04, 2014 :
My condo apartment in Cuenca will be available March 15,2014, for anyone looking for a great value,it has 3 bedrooms 2 full baths, in a new 10 story building $400/mo. For complete details please email me at:
#donnab on Feb 02, 2014 :
At present time (Feb 2014) what is rent range for 1-bed city center furnished apt including utilities? Also, any work for math tutors -- maybe in expat population?
#Gerard on Jan 10, 2014 :
Hi Glenn, I saw your posting on August 18th. Would you please contact me on my email I would love to communicate with you about Cuenca. I hope you see this, Thank You
#Chris Sanchez on Dec 02, 2013 :
I too am single and thinking about retiring in Ecuador" cuenca. My. Spanish is rough can i hire some one to teach me. Also any places available looking at an ocean view? ~)
#chris on Nov 26, 2013 :
I see a lot more q's than answers. I would recommend joining the fb forum ecuador expats to answer your questions.
#Ger on Oct 10, 2013 :
I notice prices are rising in Cuenca at a crazy speed. 12 months ago a meal for one (single man) used to cost 2usd (before that 1.75 usd) now cost 3 usd.rents are gone crazy as the greedy eyed monster has well and truely come to Cuenca. Be careful coming here you will need at least 1000usd a month to live a simple life here. Just a word of caution. I love Cuenca and Ecuador but it is going the same way as Panama and Costa Rica. But all that said it certainly has better visas than anywhere else I know off. Where else could you get a retirement visa with all the benefits with an income of 800usd a month. Good luck
#Anonymous on Oct 05, 2013 :
I know a beautiful house 5 rooms 3 bathrooms 1 studio two yard and a patio nice neighbor 1 finished attic for 450 monthly
#Andrea on Oct 05, 2013 :
Hi, I used to love in Cuenca in my opinion Cuenca is the most beautiful place in Ecuador is very cheap to live there food is extremely cheap compared to USA the weather is perfect,(spring) the only r4eally expensive is the cloth, people is very kind have a lot of places to go at 45 min you have "valle de yunguilla" what is beautiful place for weekends with around 80 to 85 degrees in my future absolutely move there and have a lot of bars to go is a lot of people from Europe living there for the same reason schools for children are the best, food, gastronomy and everything
#Filip on Sep 19, 2013 :
@ Mladen Adamovic...

Are you currently living there I would love to know a little bit more, along with my family.

Molim te javi mi se na moj email pa da se cujemo.

Puno pozdrava.
#Glenn on Aug 18, 2013 :
I was in Ecuador in June 2013. It was fabulous. I looked at prices in grocery scores. Things imported are extremely expensive. The 2013 care I have would cost me $10,000. Saw a two story penthouse 3 bedrooms with their owen in the Banos area of Cuenca. Beautiful area, quiet. It was new consruction. Cost was $130, 000 plus $80 HOA but you get trash. I could have rented it for %500 a month. I don't want to own a car. I'll end up in Cuenca. Love the spring temperauture.
#bill hampton on Aug 02, 2013 :
i am old man and i would like to there but i got to know about the visa for all my life whot do i neet to do ?thanke you
#Ger on Jul 21, 2013 :
Darrell contact Ecuador Journey on Facebook. she provides a service for people looking for rentals in Cuenca.
#Darrell on Jul 19, 2013 :
I am coming to your fair city in like 2 weeks, I am looking to rent a home, condo, townhouse for several months, anyone point me in the right direction?
#Anonymous on Jul 18, 2013 :
Where do most expats live? How can I get the true cost of homes in Cuenca? Are there any tensions/hostilities among the expats and locals?
#Sebastian Debono on Jun 29, 2013 :
I am a Maltese citizen lives in Malta.For the past 2 weeks I was amazed and interested to know about living and work in the beautiful country of Ecuador. My profession is a catering campboss[supervisor] in the oil/gas onshore sector. I have 15 years work experience in this field running the catering sector to Nationals and expats at the same time.Should a foreign company operating in this field in Ecuador and interested into my work experience, I would be most grateful with great interest to open discussion with the possibility to offer me an employment in this beautiful country or the near by. Thanks in advance

Kind Regards

Sebastian Debono
#sam on Jun 15, 2013 :
This question is for David or anyone else with construction experience in US. I work at Oak Ridge Natl lab and was wondering what job opportunities are for experienced construction safety or demolition workers for companies in Ecuador or S.A any info would be helpful ... Thanks
#John on Jun 11, 2013 :
Ecuador is my favorite country in South America and Cuenca is my favorite city. It's clean , quaint, quiet and comfortable. the weather is great. Yes, housing can be pricey. You just have to look around. Most things are cheaper. I am retired and living in Peru. It's a far cry from Ecuador. Traffic is horrible. The towns on the coast are often dirty. Food is cheap. However my wife and I are planning a vacation to Cuenca in August.
#Wally Mountz on Jun 05, 2013 :
Jackie: There are not enough jobs here for the locals, so finding a job is going to be tough. Want to enter the local job market, you should speak fluent Spanish. Teaching English might pay $5 an hour; working as a maid=$3.50 an hour. Does that help?
#Jackie on May 21, 2013 :
I also am thinking about retirement. I am single are there many singles there,and how about jobs
#David on Feb 25, 2013 :
i have travel and work in 6 countries as an expatriate in construction (construction supervisor) , well now they r offering me a job in Ecuador , with a salary of 4000$ plus accommodation and house for living ,, i have read the living cost in Ecuador , it cost between 600 and 700$ with renting a house ,,, we cannot comparing the expatriate with locals Ecuadorian , the price that giving to them in renting or buying food is much different then our prices ,that s what i had recognize it in the pass countries that i lived and worked in ,,, they can arrange them self , but i agree that they should have a life better bcz their country is very rich ,SO don t worry dude they r not dying from hunger
#notagringo on Feb 25, 2013 :
Okay. Help me understand this.

The mean salary is $200 a month and an apartment costs $400 a month?

Does this mean that 80% of the population is homeless?

How can you afford a $400 a month apartment if your salary is $200?
#Dan on Nov 29, 2012 :
@Mladen Adamovic, Spot on! Cuenca is not as expensive as many first world countries around the world.
In general, Ecuador is an affordable place to live, but be aware, if you are looking for work, basic wage is 292usd. At the moment we are inside a real estate bubble... when will it burst? only time will tell. Be aware you will pay 25-50% more for everything (if you don't see a price tag) just because of your "gringo face" (no offense, I'm white blue eyed and have had this problem all my life). I'm an ecuadorian national. If you plan to have offspring here... just don't; you'll be condemned your grandchildren to a third world country passport (tell me about it!).
#Larry Maisonnade on Oct 08, 2012 :
I'm looking into retirement in Cuenca, I'm retired U.S. military, 55 years old, my take home pension is $1500/month. Can I live pretty well in Ecuador. I lived all over the world in the Air Force and it looks very nice there. How would I receive my retirement pension overseas if you know? Also, how is the health care/costs?

#Cwmorth on Sep 15, 2012 :
Im considering moving to Cuenca (not keen on Quito), I have 2 young kids. Whats the standard of education in the local schools and for what cost? Thanks
#Ginamaria on Aug 16, 2012 :
Yes, It is really expensive for everyone who wants to live on my city. Even me, I am surprise how expensive is everything now, but I can tell how beautiful is it too. My parents are living there five mins. walking away from the center city. They are renting a nice apt. with two bedrooms, bathroom, living room. kitchen. etc.
The price is very affordable. Any information you can email me
#jay on Aug 15, 2012 :
Wow, I retired from the military in 2009, my bring home after taxes is 1,641.00 a month (my retirement),,and im only 43,,could someone send pics of apts/condos that would fit my budget..thank you
#Cilia on Jun 22, 2012 :
Question: Can I live in Cuenca with an income of $1,370 per month? How much it will be the cost per month including rent? I appreciate any help.
#Matt on Jun 19, 2012 :
Ok, update on rents as of June 2012... I went for a visit to check it out myself and saw some rentals. Saw a brand new house, 4 beds plus loft, 2 car parking, in a great neighborhood 5 minutes from town for $350. Saw an apartment in one of the mid-rise buildings in one of the very best neighborhoods with an amazing view near to the river and the gringoland that is so piped about. That apt was about 1800 sqft, 3 beds, 3 baths asking $400. Another one in a great quiet neighborhood of luxury homes for $350 a 2 bedroom condo apt fully furnished and brand new. Seems very reasonable and consider that those were top neighborhoods, nice views, close to amenities and no blight. People I spoke to there are reporting to rent things for half those prices in average neighborhoods... where do you want to live?
#TOm on Feb 25, 2012 :
My friend moved to cuenca in 2011 and pays $200 a month for a 3 bedroom apt. His total living expenses are $300 a month. He is in centro. Ecuadorian apts dont have heat and dont usually have bathtubs.
#cilia on Feb 15, 2012 :
Cuenca is a very pretty place to live, but the prices are getting to high on property and rentals. According to the low income for the locals, it is getting ridiculos and imposible for any americans that are trying to retire in ecuador. The goverment in Ecuador should be doing something to fix the inflation, so they can get more expats that can afford the economy in that country. They want money? Please fix the prices.
#Justin on Oct 16, 2011 :
I'm in Cuenca currently and can back up the Internet vs. Actual price disparity. You can get an extremely nice apartment 2BR/2BA for under $300 USD a month in Centro. That's all inclusive with electricity, etc though you may have to pay for your propane (it's very cheap). I know a guy who has a 5BR/4BA three-story for $450/month. If being around other expats is your thing, Gringoland has many condos/apartments for around $700-$800 a month of 2BR/2BA size, which is where it sounds like Muffy's at. Very nice apartments with all the amenities.

Regarding the other prices - What I'm seeing here for food, etc. seems to reflect the downtown area. Go to one of the primary mercados (9 de Octubre for example) and you can get it for less with some creative haggling. Hit the stalls along the road outside of town and you can get vegetables, eggs, etc for dirt cheap.
#Muffy on Sep 25, 2011 :
My husband and I currently live in Cuenca. We live in a modern, fully-furnished, 2 BR, 2BA condo for $690 a month. All we had to do when we arrived was unpack our suitcases. Yes, the rent sounds high, but includes all utilities, 24-hour security, and condo fees. It is located in a very safe part of the city. With that said, I have recently created a cost comparison between Cuenca and Toledo, Ohio, where we lived before Ecuador. We are currently spending 47% less in Cuenca that we were there. Our expenses here include our rent, taxi fares, groceries, eating out, cleaning lady, cigarettes for both of us [$20.00 a carton], our medications and cell phone minutes. Combine that with Cuenca's low crime rate and fairly decent climate, we feel it can't be beat.
#Bob on Sep 19, 2011 :

Some prices seem rather high considering the average monthly disposable income
#Wally on Sep 08, 2011 :
Taxis start at $1.50USD per trip. They do not use meters.
#mickisue on May 27, 2011 :
Skybuddha--are you actually looking IN Cuenca, or looking online? There is a world of difference, in any country, between the prices on websites that try to cater to potential expats, and the people in the towns/cities who are actually renting or selling property. IE: you have to go there to check it out.

Why would you think of moving somewhere without doing that, anyway? It's a BIG step, and deserves to be taken seriously.

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