Cuenca Ecuador Neighborhoods

Cuenca Ecuador has several neighborhoods that are popular with expats.

We lived in El Vergel, which was more popular with Ecuadorians at the time, but now has become more popular with expats, as well.

In this article, you’ll learn about the inner and outer neighborhoods of Cuenca Ecuador that are most popular with expats.

Cuenca’s Outer Neighborhoods

Then we worked our way east to Challuabamba before looping back to the north to Cebollar and finally west to San Joaquín.

The east side of Cuenca where Challuabamba is located is about 1,000 feet (305 m) lower in elevation, which means it’s also warmer, sunnier, and drier than El Centro and the western neighborhoods.

San Joaquín is about 1,000 feet higher in elevation than El Centro and near the base of El Cajas National Park so it can be quite cool, especially at night. It also rains a lot more in that area and it’s cloudier.

Cuenca Outer Neighborhoods Map Legend

  1. Turi
  2. Ciudadela de los Ingenieros
  3. Machangara
  4. Challuabamba
  5. Colinas de Challuabamba
  6. Cebollar
  7. San Joaquín

Cuenca Outer Neighborhood Map

Watch a Video About the Outer Neighborhoods of Cuenca Ecuador

Xavier Montezuma owns and operates Apartamentos Otorongo, which I like to call the “Expat Landing Zone” because it’s so popular with new expats. He is a Cuenca native and offers neighborhood tours like the one in this video, as well as more adventurous hiking and mountain biking tours.


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Cuenca’s Inner Neighborhoods

Most new expats choose to live in the inner neighborhoods of Cuenca Ecuador. Unlike the outer neighborhoods, you’ll able to walk most places and easily find taxis and buses, which means you won’t need a car.

The most popular areas are El Centro, San Sebas, El Vergel and Gringolandia, which is a bit of a misnomer. While there are a lot of expats living in Gringolandia, they account for less than 5% of the population in that area. It was given that name mainly because it has western-style housing and highrises.

Cuenca Inner Neighborhoods Map Legend

  1. El Centro
  2. San Sebas
  3. Gringolandia
  4. El Batan
  5. Sucre
  6. Don Bosco
  7. El Vergel
  8. Cañaribamba
  9. Totoracocha
  10. Miraflores

Cuenca Inner Neighborhood Map

Final Thoughts

If you’re considering a move to Cuenca, we recommend checking out the inner neighborhoods first so you can get around easily without a car.

After living in Cuenca for awhile, some expats choose to move further out from El Centro where the rents tend to be less expensive and the neighborhoods are quieter. However, they usually buy a car to make transportation easier.




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Hola todos! Welcome to my author bio page! Let's see. Where to begin... I grew up in the country on a lake outside a small Kansas farm town. As soon as I could, I got the hell outta there! Since then, I've lived and/or worked in Kansas City, Washington D.C., Denver, San Francisco, and Ecuador. I started and sold a dotcom, wrote a book about it, started a YouTube channel, and now I write a lot. Amelia and I have embraced the Unconventional Life and we want to help you do it, too!

4 replies
  1. chadd coates
    chadd coates says:

    I have dreamed of living in Ecuador since 1975 when I got married in Guayaquil. My wife’s family was wealthy, I did not have the ability to support her in that affluent life style, so we lived in the US. Today we are ready to retire and I still want to live in Ecuador. She has a huge family, most of them tell her it is not safe. Most of her family is in Guayaquil but she has friends in many areas saying how dangerous it is and they are also concerned that Correa will return to power and finish destroying the country. How can I convince her that it will be safe?

    • JP Stonestreet
      JP Stonestreet says:

      We do not recommend living in Guayaquil right now. It’s the center of most of the crime in Ecuador. The country is more dangerous than it was before the pandemic, but it’s not bad everywhere. I think the Ecuadorian people lack a little perspective because it was so safe before. Now it has a similar level of safety to Mexico or Colombia, and a lot of people live in those countries without being the victim of a crime.

  2. Ryan
    Ryan says:

    Hi JP, would love more info about Challuabamba. We have 4 young children. If we were to come we wouldn’t want a house in a downtown condo. We would want to be more in the countryside. Challuabamba comes up often but all I can see is that there are some nice American style homes and there’s a Supermaxi. Would love to know more about that area and get some footage if possible.


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