Cost of Living in Cuenca

Restaurants [ Edit ] Range
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 3.50 $ 2.00-5.00
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course 20.00 $ 12.00-34.00
McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) 5.25 $ 3.00-7.00
Domestic Beer (1 pint draught) 1.50 $ 1.00-2.50
Imported Beer (12 oz small bottle) 2.75 $ 1.46-4.00
Cappuccino (regular) 2.00 $ 1.50-2.75
Coke/Pepsi (12 oz small bottle) 0.71 $ 0.35-1.20
Water (12 oz small bottle) 0.45 $ 0.25-0.60
Markets [ Edit ]
Milk (regular), (1 gallon) 3.72 $ 2.84-5.26
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (1 lb) 1.13 $ 0.68-2.00
Rice (white), (1 lb) 0.54 $ 0.35-0.64
Eggs (regular) (12) 1.79 $ 1.20-2.00
Local Cheese (1 lb) 2.21 $ 1.13-3.50
Chicken Breasts (Boneless, Skinless), (1 lb) 2.19 $ 1.25-2.95
Beef Round (1 lb) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) 2.41 $ 0.91-3.63
Apples (1 lb) 0.76 $ 0.45-1.25
Banana (1 lb) 0.46 $ 0.23-0.91
Oranges (1 lb) 0.45 $ 0.45-0.91
Tomato (1 lb) 0.40 $ 0.23-0.57
Potato (1 lb) 0.45 $ 0.30-0.45
Onion (1 lb) 0.39 $ 0.23-0.45
Lettuce (1 head) 0.70 $ 0.25-1.00
Water (1.5 liter bottle) 1.00 $ 1.00-1.25
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 11.00 $ 6.00-12.00
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) 1.18 $ 0.89-2.00
Imported Beer (12 oz small bottle) 1.98 $ 1.25-3.00
Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro) 5.50 $ 2.40-5.80
Transportation [ Edit ]
One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 0.30 $ 0.25-0.31
Monthly Pass (Regular Price) 15.00 $ 10.00-30.43
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) 1.25 $ 1.25-1.50
Taxi 1 mile (Normal Tariff) 2.01 $ 0.80-2.41
Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) 10.00 $ 10.00-10.00
Gasoline (1 gallon) 1.67 $ 1.48-3.10
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) 30,000.00 $ 20,000.00-35,000.00
Toyota Corolla 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car) 29,750.00 $ 24,990.00-35,000.00
Utilities (Monthly) [ Edit ]
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 915 sq ft Apartment 40.00 $ 22.50-100.00
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans) 0.15 $ 0.10-0.25
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 37.55 $ 25.00-55.00
Sports And Leisure [ Edit ]
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult 35.25 $ 25.00-40.00
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 6.33 $ 5.00-20.00
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat 6.00 $ 5.00-7.00
Childcare [ Edit ]
Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child 323.64 $ 150.00-350.00
International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child 2,912.00 $ 2,400.00-8,000.00
Clothing And Shoes [ Edit ]
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) 57.00 $ 25.00-95.00
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, ...) 57.14 $ 25.00-100.00
1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) 100.00 $ 60.00-135.00
1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes 73.00 $ 35.00-140.00
Rent Per Month [ Edit ]
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 370.56 $ 300.00-450.00
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 270.67 $ 150.00-350.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 588.89 $ 450.00-750.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 461.50 $ 350.00-700.00
Buy Apartment Price [ Edit ]
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment in City Centre 113.68 $ 102.19-120.77
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre 95.95 $ 74.32-111.48
Salaries And Financing [ Edit ]
Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax) 427.22 $
Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly, for 20 Years Fixed-Rate 9.95 9.00-12.00

Prices in Cuenca

This city had 79 different contributors in the past 18 months.
Some data are estimated due to a low number of contributors. If you are living here, please update our data.
Last update: November 2019
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20 Comments so far

#Warren Light on Mar 05, 2019 :
Several of the questions asked in the comments below might be better answered by the internet resources listed in my portal web page. If you are considering Cuenca as a place to live, I recommend you read "Cuenca High Life" and "Gringo Post". Both are published daily. Go to in your browser and look for the Cuenca links and the Ecuador links. My email is on my home page, and I will answer questions. I have lived in Cuenca for six years and enjoy the city. I am not stuck here, but could have moved away long ago if the city did not please me.
#Warren Light on Mar 05, 2019 :
(1) I have my clothing made here in Cuenca by a tailor. It fits well and wears well, and is about one third what I would pay in Macys in Houston.
(2) Heath care has been affordable in Cuenca - including medicine - about 1/4 that in Houston. Hospital costs are about 1/10 that in Houston. But health insurance here is very problematic. Some companies never pay clams. Others go out of business leaving you hanging. Ecuador has been struggling to improve their public health insurance, but that is very expensive for expats living on SSI. The public health insurance, IESS, charges 17% of the SSI to those who legally report their correct income. Many expats have resorted to fraudulently claiming that their income is only $600/month.
#Anonymous on Feb 01, 2019 :
plus Ecuador is beautiful and why not live there even if just for the fun of it all - I say if Trump in US is your thing, then yes the cultural diversity and architectural riches of Latin America are not...
#Anonymous on Feb 01, 2019 :
well, the person from the last post should note that the prices listed here are well below your average 1st world prices, so dont talk badly abouth something you are not even sure about...
#Anonymous on Jan 07, 2019 :
Why would anyone want to move to a 3rd world country like Ecuador? The government is corrupt as hell but the government likes to chisel every penny from expats.Ecuador can't even manage it's own currency so they copped out and changed to the dollar instead.All the while expats living in Ecuador think they've got it made funny.I'd never live in Ecuador pay u s prices and let the government rip me off.
#Jorge on May 08, 2017 :
The meat prices you quote is from SuperMaxi. At the Mercado 9 de Octubre meat is $2.00 per pound.

We are a family of 2, including all expenses rent, transport, food, utilities, internet, phone etc $700 - $800 per month
#Peter on Apr 21, 2017 :
Kindly add cost of health insurance.
Preferable private health insurance companies- monthly rates and some mechanicsbpike coverage, co-pays and doctor visits, etc
These are important matters too.
#Mak Shwaish on Apr 09, 2017 :
good day ..
i heard a lot of positive reviews about Cuenca , i am planning to move there with may family (two kids (between 4 - 7 years Old ) and wife by June 2017 from Dubai.

i want to know about the schools there and fees structures . my kids and i can not speak Spanish so we prefer English ones .

please if some one can help me on this as its big concern , and if any one have a business would like to have silent or active partner i may be interested as well .

#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)