We visited Quito and Cuenca Ecuador after Peru. Our trip planning wasn’t the best in that we had to pay the flight premium for going back north.
This happened as we'd spent longer than planned in Costa Rica with our Spanish lessons and the date for the Inca Trail had been fixed months before.
The cost of flights in South America if you cross borders is ridiculously high. The best solution is to take a bus over the border and then take an internal flight. For example when travelling from Ecuador back to Peru we took a bus from Vilcabamba to Piura and then a flight from Piura to Lima. The cost of a direct flight from Cuenca to Lima was over USD350.
We took a shuttle from Cuenca to Vilcabamba (another very liveable town) for USD15 and stayed there a few days. It was then an hour’s ride by taxi from Vilcabamba to Loja USD20, the bus from Loja to Piura was USD14 (8 hours including the border crossing) and the internal flight from Piura to Lima $60.
The saving was about USD250. It takes a little longer but we also visited a few extra places!
Cuenca was the one city we could have quite easily stopped at to live.
Not in any order or importance but just a great package.
It would a reasonable competence in Spanish to really get involved and enjoy all the community has to offer. There are many Spanish schools and support groups catering for that need.
So that’s it. Lots going for Cuenca Ecuador and plenty of reasons why it’s considered one of the world’s ideal “retirement” destinations.
On a mission to help others expand their horizons. Who knows where they can end? Passionate about learning and embracing the changing world. Adventurous and skeptical but optimistic!