- New member
- From: Carson City
- Registered: 2011-05-22
- Posts: 2
I am in the process of planning my first trip to Ecuador. I plan to visit in about a year if I can find a deal on airfare as that seems to be the most expensive part of the trip.
My question is has anyone visited and did a homestay?
To me that would be the best way to get a true feel for the country.
My only concern about that is water. I have been reading that if you are not from there you should avoid the water and I would not assume that the home stay families would provide bottled water.
I am very easy going ,laid back so hopefully I would do ok there.
I think I would like to go to Cuenca(sp) area but I don't see any flights listed from the US.
I am mainly visiting to try to see if I like the area and research for possible retirement later.
I mainly researching this to find a place where I can actually live on my retirement. I read that the weather ranges from 40-75 degrees which is perfect to me as it reminds me of San Francisco- a place I cant even afford to live in with my job.
When I retire I expect to receive about $1300 a month from my military pension (National guard) when I turn 58 plus social security at a later date.
Any suggestions or thoughts are greatly appreciated.
- From: Jacksonville
- Registered: 2011-01-16
- Posts: 23
We just returned from Cuenca after spending 9 wonderful days there to see if we wanted to move there in October. We found it very charming, friendly and helpful.
As to airfare? We live in Jacksonville, FL and we flew on American to Miami and from there to Quito on LAN/ECUADOR. We stayed overnight and flew out the next day to Cuenca. Three airlines service ECU. LAN; TAME and AEROGAL. We found LAN to be extremely comfortable and the flight attendants very attentive. The food (they tell you that you will get a snack. However, we got a full course meal, complete with free wine of our choice.) It is a 4 hour flight from MIA to UIO.
The water is safe to drink, so I don't know who told you that it wasn't. In Cuenca, anyway. And I am quite sure that it is in Quito, the Capitol, as well as in Guayaquil. We did drink a lot of bottled water, which by the way, is 19 cents a bottle ! but we also brushed our teeth in the tap water and no one got ill from it.
We love Cuenca and we are looking forward to moving there in October. So much so, that my husband and I are now taking Conversational Spanish from the state college here in Jacksonville. The indigenous people there were so friendly and helpful and we had little or no problems communicating.
You will find that prices on just about everything there are "cheap"..or should I say "inexpensive". We are going to rent for 6 months until we know exactly where we wish to buy a home. It is a city of half a million people..on the US dollar and there are roughly 1,000 ex-pats living there now. Yes, the temps when we were there in April, ranged from 57 to 68..perfect.
You can expect to pay about $2.00 for a three course meal (lunch). Dinners are higher...$3.50 lol.
You can go most anywhere within the Cuenca city limits in a yellow taxi and it will cost you $1.50. From the hotels to the airport in Cuenca, where you can catch a flight from Cuenca to Quito, you can catch a taxi for $4.00. (Just like SFO, right? lol again.)
Like I said, food is inexpensive. We bought enough fruits and veggies for a week at the "Super-Maxi" market and it cost us $38.00. Vegetables are bought into the coopera (CO-OP) every morning fresh by the farmers. A head of lettuce? 9 cents. Fresh asparagus? 19 cents a pound. Huge avocados? 5 for a dollar. a five pound bag of juicy oranges? 52 cents. Large tomatoes? 10 cents each. And on it goes.
If you need to know anything further or if we can help you in any way, please contact me at roadrunner393[at]gmail.com. We took loads of pictures, so can transfer them to you if you so wish.
Carole Walter (formerly of So. California).
You also might want to check out around Bahia de Caraquez, Cuenca is one of the most expensive places in Ecuador to live. We have a B&B on the Ruta del Spondylus in Bahia de Caraquez and would be happy to answer any of your questions about this area.
- From: Quito
- Registered: 2013-03-25
- Posts: 14
You are right that staying with a local host family is a great way to learn more about the country and culture.
You can find reliable homestays in Cuenca and other places through some of the Spanish schools that regularly receive and place students with local host families. Yanapuma Spanish School will be glad to recommend one to you even if you don't want to take Spanish classes!
- Active member
- Registered: 2013-06-29
- Posts: 28
First, I should remind folks that the post to which they are replying is more than 2 years old. So the OP will be long gone. But it's certainly a useful post for other people looking to do this.
I would recommend AirBNB for people wanting to stay with a local family and not get charged an arm and a leg. That did not exist, as far as I know, back in 2011 when this post was first started.
Misha16: Are you still building your website? Might be a good idea to have it completed before publicizing it. I went to your Rooms & Rates page, and so far each room I've clicked on just takes me back to the home page. No rates anywhere.
- From: Quito
- Registered: 2013-03-18
- Posts: 107
You will not find a flight directly to Cuenca from the USA. You will need to book a flight that goes through Quito or Guayaquil first, then take a local Aerogal or Lan flight to Cuenca.
Our site is fairly new as our Bahia de Caraquez Bed and Breakfast was built from ground up a few months ago. Thank you for informing me about the wed site. Our rates range from $25 a single to $56 a triple.
Our B&B is not a homestay each room is equipped with a flat screen Tv, AC, ceiling fan and private bathroom with hot water. On our ground floor we have a restaurant with a full time Colombian chef. Apart from the traditional Ecuatorian and Colombia dishes, she also prepares paleo,vegan and gluten free meals and takeout or room service upon request.
Hope this helps,
Bahia Bed and Breakfast
Thank you, I will
- From: St. Louis
- Registered: 2011-11-23
- Posts: 23
I will be arriving in Cuenca in a couple of weeks and had been told (by travel agent and tour guide) that B&B's didn't really exist. That although the hotels offer breakast, it is somewhat more expensive and less intimate than a B&B. Nice to klnow that's not true. Will do my own research whiole there to get better prepared for next time!