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Alternatur Cuenca: a New Concept in Travel

Rentals in Cuenca: An Insider's Guide to Housing and Renting in Cuenca

rentals in cuenca ecuador   cuenca ecuador

Tips and advice on navigating the rental market in Cuenca.

Finding the right accommodations in Cuenca can be a difficult challenge, but if you are equipped with the proper information and have the willingness to search, it doesn't have to be. For many individuals and families making the big move to the city, securing suitable housing is the first key step in what is expected to be a smooth and easy transition to Cuenca and Ecuador. The 2 main points everyone must take into consideration are the different rates that locals (and non locals) charge, which are based on 2 very important variables: Long term versus short term and furnished versus unfurnished. Even then, these 2 variables can take on very different meanings, often determined by the landlord's somewhat ambiguous and at times erratic definition of words like: furnished, long term, comfortable, apartment. Furnished is by far the most loosely used term, as it can encompass a wide range of interpretations. It can easily mean just a bed, table and chair. Fully furnished can mean all those items, plus a floor lamp. The lesson here is to always ask what is included in the apartment. This can serve as negotiating leverage for the potential tenant in circumstances where not everything that is expected to be there is made available by the landlord, or is not what you had envisioned. The fact that the TV set in the living room was last seen in 1980s Soviet Russia can maybe lower the rent a little. You will not know until you ask. The same rule applies when discussing the length of the lease with a landlord. For some, 3 months could be considered long term and comes with the applicable rate. However, the norm followed by most landlords in Cuenca is that the lease be 6 months or more in order for it to be considered long term. Again, always make sure to ask in order to avoid any misunderstandings.

Something else to consider is if the ads are in English, than most likely the owner or broker is either a resident foreigner or a local that has lived in the US for many years and is now back. This usually makes it easier to communicate, but are hardly ever the best deals available. The way locals here in Cuenca do it is by asking their neighbors and friends, knocking on stranger's doors and carefully surveying potential neighborhoods where they want to live. In other words, it will take some effort, tons of patience and a willingness to venture out of your comfort zone. The concept of Real Estate brokers is an American import, and a service rarely used by locals unless it is to buy land. They do offer convenience and expertise, but that comes at a price. If you have the resources and limited time and/or patience, then they are your best option. But if you are the adventurous type, then the best and most exciting way to find that perfect apartment or house is to hit the streets of Cuenca and just ask people. A nice stroll in any neighborhood in Cuenca will always be a delightful way to spend your Sunday afternoon, but if you happen to look up, you will see plenty of SE ARRIENDA (FOR RENT) signs displayed on windows and house fronts. You can ask anyone living there for more information, or get your best Ecuadorean friend to call and inquire about the rental being offered.

Finding the right house or apartment in Cuenca does not have to be a painful experience, so long as you are prepared. Taking the correct measures will go a long way in helping those moving to beautiful Cuenca secure safe and suitable accommodations, and you can instead focus your time and energy in enjoying everything wonderful this amazing city has to offer.

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Alternatur Cuenca: See more. Do more. Be more.

Quick Tips: Useful Advice for New Visitors to Cuenca

cuenca ecuador   cuenca ecuador

Tips and advice on what to wear and bring.
1- Wear Layers.

Cuenca is known as the city of eternal spring, with the weather ranging between 70 – 85 degrees for most of the year. At night, temperatures can drop to 50 degrees, and in very rare instances, even less. A sweater or light jacket should be suffice, but it is highly recommended to dress in layers. A short sleeve t shirt over a long sleeve shirt should do the trick, with a hoody being more than enough to protect you against a chilly night in Cuenca. Weather patterns have been changing drastically over the years, and it is getting harder to predict when the colder months will hit, but just make sure to have at least a few items in your wardrobe to help counter the effects of Cuenca's colder temperatures. Also, it is strongly advised to pack a light rain jacket, as it can rain at any moment's notice. Follow these tips, and you will be prepared against the forces of mother nature, whenever she may decide to strike.

2- Bring Quarters !

The Cuenca transit system is fast, efficient, safe, reliable and cheap. Getting around town on any of the 50 bus lines that criss cross the city costs only 25 cents. So for your trip, make sure you bring a few packs of quarters if you plan on staying a while and wish to see the many neighborhoods, districts and towns that make this beautiful city a complete joy to live in. Hop on the 11 or 12 bus anywhere in El Centro, headed East to Ricaurte, and after a quick 20 minute ride you will find the best cuy spots in town. Most of the bus lines stop running rather early, at around 8 pm for the main lines. Only a handful continue to run later in the evening, with the 100 and 102 running until 9 – 10 pm, usually.

3- Cuenca: Walkers are Welcome.

Cuenca is one of the first examples of a truly planned city in the Americas. Upon arrival, the Spaniards designed the layout of the historical center in the form of a grid, which in turn makes it easy to navigate once you are familiar with the city's main reference points. The best way to get around Cuenca's historical center is on foot, since the streets are always kept clean and many offer ample space to walk in. There are a few exceptions, where some streets may be too narrow for even a couple to walk along side by side. These streets are often the least frequented, and from personal experience are located mainly on the North West part of town. They are, however, charming in their own way, but can be somewhat dangerous to the new visitor if they are unaware of the traffic that pass swiftly along the city streets. A tourist can easily spend an entire day strolling along the city sidewalks, taking in the many beautiful views they offer, so make sure you bring your most comfortable pair of sneakers or walking shoes. Your feet will be sure to thank you!

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Allowing visitors to develop their own itineraries helps create a more dynamic and participatory travel experience that falls in line with Alternatur Cuenca’s philosophy of a client centered approach that aims to enrich, enliven and educate.

ALTERNATUR - Cuenca, Ecuador