Cost of Living in Cuenca

Cost of Living Index (Excl.Rent): 44.78
Rent Index: 10.77
Groceries Index: 46.04
Restaurants Index: 29.63
Cost of Living Plus Rent Index: 28.47
Local Purchasing Power: 37.96
Restaurants [ Edit ] Avg. Range
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 3.75 $ 2.50-5.00
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course 20.50 $ 15.00-28.00
McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) 6.00 $ 5.00-7.00
Domestic Beer (1 pint draught) 1.25 $ 1.00-2.00
Imported Beer (11.2 oz small bottle) 3.00 $ 2.00-4.00
Cappuccino (regular) 2.06 $ 1.50-2.50
Coke/Pepsi (11.2 oz small bottle) 0.90 $ 0.50-1.50
Water (11.2 oz small bottle) 0.49 $ 0.35-0.75
Markets [ Edit ] Avg.
Milk (regular), (1 gallon) 3.88 $ 3.22-5.12
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (1 lb) 1.66 $ 1.13-2.27
Rice (white), (1 lb) 0.53 $ 0.50-1.00
Eggs (12) 1.89 $ 1.50-2.20
Local Cheese (1 lb) 1.91 $ 1.70-3.00
Chicken Breasts (Boneless, Skinless), (1 lb) 3.33 $ 1.25-4.08
Beef Round (1 lb) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) 3.89 $ 2.25-5.44
Apples (1 lb) 1.33 $ 0.91-1.81
Banana (1 lb) 0.40 $ 0.23-0.68
Oranges (1 lb) 0.93 $ 0.45-1.83
Tomato (1 lb) 0.55 $ 0.45-0.75
Potato (1 lb) 0.46 $ 0.23-2.00
Onion (1 lb) 0.47 $ 0.34-0.68
Lettuce (1 head) 0.73 $ 0.50-0.90
Water (1.5 liter bottle) 1.00 $ 0.50-1.75
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 12.00 $ 12.00-18.00
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) 1.09 $ 0.85-1.50
Imported Beer (11.2 oz small bottle) 2.67 $ 2.00-3.50
Pack of Cigarettes (Marlboro) 5.00 $ 4.50-5.80
Transportation [ Edit ] Avg.
One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 0.25 $ 0.25-0.25
Monthly Pass (Regular Price) 15.00 $ 10.00-15.00
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) 1.50 $ 1.35-1.50
Taxi 1 mile (Normal Tariff) 2.25 $ 1.50-2.41
Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) 8.00 $ 7.00-10.00
Gasoline (1 gallon) 1.50 $ 1.48-5.56
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) 28,500.00 $ 20,000.00-30,000.00
Toyota Corolla 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car) 31,500.00 $ 28,000.00-35,000.00
Utilities (Monthly) [ Edit ] Avg.
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Water, Garbage) for 915 sq ft Apartment 33.68 $ 20.00-45.75
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans) 0.15 $ 0.10-0.20
Internet (10 Mbps, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 42.17 $ 20.00-79.00
Sports And Leisure [ Edit ] Avg.
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult 33.35 $ 20.00-45.00
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 4.00 $ 3.00-5.00
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat 4.50 $ 3.50-5.50
Childcare [ Edit ] Avg.
Preschool (or Kindergarten), Private, Monthly for 1 Child 300.00 $
International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child 400.00 $
Clothing And Shoes [ Edit ] Avg.
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) 64.54 $ 40.00-80.00
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, ...) 61.25 $ 50.00-70.00
1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) 110.56 $ 60.00-150.00
1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes 63.75 $ 35.00-80.00
Rent Per Month [ Edit ] Avg.
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 336.82 $ 260.00-500.00
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 257.73 $ 200.00-350.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 511.36 $ 400.00-750.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 402.27 $ 250.00-650.00
Buy Apartment Price [ Edit ] Avg.
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment in City Centre 105.29 $ 92.90-120.77
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre 99.41 $ 74.32-111.48
Salaries And Financing [ Edit ] Avg.
Average Monthly Disposable Salary (Net After Tax) 435.75 $
Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly 7.00 4.00-10.00

Prices in Cuenca, Ecuador

These data are based on 659 entries in the past 18 months from 92 different contributors.
Last update: February, 2017
Sources and References: Info
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Cost of living in Cuenca is 55.22% lower than in New York (Info)Our estimator (with default settings) estimate monthly expenses for a single person at 462.94$ and for four person family at 1,685.91$ (without rent).
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41 Comments so far

#gus klumpp on Feb 10, 2017 :
Please help me with some advice. I and wife thinking about visiting Quito for a month in Nov 2017 for 1 month. I need to know if Quito is ok for Americans to retire in. Thinking we should stay 2 weeks in Quito and 2 weeks in Cuenca, is this a good idea. I am looking to stay in places from Home Away, are there any suggestions? How can I get from Quito to Cuenca if I don't rent a car?
Any information I would appreciate. Took 1 yr Spanish in high school many moons ago.
I just retired from 26.5 in USNavy and 21 yrs at the USPostal Service. I still have the desire to travel and live in other places overseas, I guess it is in my blood.
Thanking anybody in advance for contacting me.
#angela on Sep 22, 2016 :
hello, i would like to know the average cost of living in an apartment for one person.
i would know food, transportation and more. Thank you
#sherell Greer on Sep 19, 2016 :
I was just looking at the cost of living, real cheap, I was just curious to know how much does it cost to buy a house there?
#Anonymous on Aug 31, 2016 :
The difference may be that a lot of expats only shop in Supermaxi vs the local markets. Oranges are 20 for $1. Potatoes are 4lbs for $2. The meter on the taxi starts at .55. Beef round at the market is $1 all day long.

I live in a 4 bedroom house with a living room, dining room, den, and 3.5 baths. My electricity, water, and garbage are $25 a month max. Houses in Cuenca don´t have heat or air conditioning.
#Denise Gilmore on Jun 15, 2016 :
Your taxi comparison/estimate for Cuenca, Ecuador is way out of line.
IF I took a taxi every day from one side of the city to the other side, it would not cost more than $12 R/T
And, I don't know anybody who travels that distance even once a week
Fares here are based upon time not mileage
The minimum fare in the day (before 6pm) is $1.50
After 6pm it is $1.79
What is "taxi 1 hour waiting'? do we even have that here

Mortgage rate - using credit here to buy a house is very new - and the current mtge rate is closer to 20-26%

Gas is $1.49 per liter - it has been that for over four years
#pat. linda on Jun 11, 2016 :
I am planning to go to ecuador to verify if it would be a good country for my retirement. I intend to go early december. I speak spanish and intend not to be considered a gringo milking cow. But I wonder if someone could tell me thé reel uptodate costs of renting in Cuenca vs Loja ? And what about Cotacachi ?
#p. l. choiniere on Jun 11, 2016 :
If i se arch with the name Loja a comment appears: highest cost of living in Ecuador. But if i open and se arch the cost of living it says that Cuenca has à higher cost of living than Cuenca though it says that there is not enough up tout date datas for Loja...
#Jon on May 19, 2016 :
I have family and had some property in Cuenca for awhile.However,The only people that call Ecuador heaven are the citizens of Ecuador that migrated to the US or other countries illegally or legally to work.Unless you have good contacts in Ecuador and or are well educated on the culture or language (because there's quite a few dialects) DON'T GO. It will not be for you.For gringo extra dinero. Got It ?
#june on Apr 16, 2016 :

I am a widow, 69 with 2 small dogs. I want to come there alone. Please email me. I would like an honest opinion.

Thank you.
#Yose on Mar 13, 2016 :
Hey Everyone I'm planning to go to Cuenca. I'd like to know about the life there and if it's easy have a good business. I went to cuenca 4 months ago and I liked this place. And I'd like tk move now.
#Deby on Jan 03, 2016 :
I am a very young 69 year old woman. Are the expats taken advantage of. Is my money safe in Do Ecuador banks. How do I contact other expats to receive info on leasing long term in Cuenca. Do any of the expats produce a flyer or little newspaper? Does Ecuador really offer travel to retirees at 50% off?
#Jorge on Dec 25, 2015 :
I have been living in Cuenca for 10 months. These are the actual figures.

Restaurant 3 course, service charges do not exist 1.50 - 3.00
Pizza which is expensive, 500mm diameter $15
Coke 0.33
Water 0.77
Beer local 0.82
Beer imported 6.00
Rent 3 bed appartment 280 per month
Buy 3 bed house 79,000
Meat any cut 2.00 per pound
Onions 0.50 per pound
Tomatoes 0.50 per pound
Avocadoes 0.25
Mangos 0.50
Pineapple 1.37

If you purchase these in SuperMaxi you can expect to pay 3 x these prices. We shop at the farmers markets ( usually Nueve de Octubre) and for what we cant get at the farmers market we shop at Coral.

You could spend a lot more if you are determined to buy imported goods (which many foreigners do)
#Wes Groleau on Apr 15, 2015 :
Seems to be a lot of disagreement about the prices. Suggestion: Learn Spanish! I can get a nice place to live in Monterrey, Mexico for half what numbeo says I should expect, just because I am able to read the advertisements. (It tok me a long time to FIND the advertisements, though!) Probably could do even better when I go there and talk to people who don't know how (or can't afford) to put advertisements on-line.

If you think you can't learn a language, you have already done so—you're reading this!
#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.
#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?