I do not feel comfortable starting this group--except for one reason. There wasn't any place like this and there really should be. Cuenca deserves to be introduced to the Baby Boomers. My hope is that those of you who are so much more informed and experienced, will tell the rest of us about this place.
Cuenca is situated over 8000 ft above sea level. There are no disease carrying mosquitoes. Year round the high temperature is about 70 degrees. There are lots of beautiful mountains, lush trees, and many flowers. Fresh grown fruits and vegetables are so delicious and so cheap.
A very nice apartment can be rented for $200 to $300 per month. A maid costs about $150 per month. You can buy a new scooter from the Ace Hardware (yes that's what I said) for under $1000,
One of the cleanest cities you will ever see. Population of 300,000 in Cuenca (about 700,000 in the metro area). Lot of parks, fountains, museums, and music. The people are very kind and friendly. Most are descended from Indians or Spanish explorers, or a mixture. Less than 2% are Muslim. Less than 2% are black. There is a growing expat population there.
One place to check would be www.ecuadorcentral.com for tips on lots of subjects. The folks at that site will also help you if you decide to visit.
Now . . . what do you know that we should be told?