Cuenca captures the heart

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February 6th 2012
Published: June 16th 2017
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Geo: -2.89844, -79.015

It's the most wanted place to retire in the whole world and it's at 8,000 feet elevation. International Living puts it ahead of Mexico, Panama, Uruguay and Italy.

EVERYONE we've talked to, every single person, has told us we'd love Cuenca, that it's charming, the weather is perfect and the climate is invigorating, it's an ideal walking town, it's old world beautiful, it's safe...and on and on.

While we can't refute any of that--it all appears to be true--we would never retire here. But boy do they make it appealing.

As a senior citizen you get half off public and private transportation within Ecuador, including the Galapagos; half off tickets for all cultural and sporting events, including movies; half off electric and water bills; free domestic landline; half off international airfares for round-trip flights originating in Ecuador and you don't even have to stand in line. If you're a senior citizen, it's the law that you go directly to the front of the line. You pay lower income tax and you get any money spent on VAT (value-added tax) refunded each month. And free health care and medication.

Ecuador ranks #1 in the world for retirement. The US ranks #22. But of
Street performer--how's he do thisStreet performer--how's he do thisStreet performer--how's he do this

Look closely at the soles of his shoes...
course, that's only if what's important to the people making the list is what's important to you.

But while not planning on retiring here, we've enjoyed our stay. We took the city tour on the red double decker bus ($5 each) and could see why this city is so loved. It truly is in the most spectacular setting with three rivers running through it that they've landscaped with parks and great family green spaces.

And this is the only city in all of Ecuador with purified drinking water right out of the tap. They have a modern sewage treatment facility on the edge of town that would rival any in the US.

Additional photos below
Photos: 23, Displayed: 23


Indigineous womanIndigineous woman
Indigineous woman

Looks a little like an indigenous hooker, doesn't she?
Whole roasted pigWhole roasted pig
Whole roasted pig

Notice the hands reaching in for meat on his rear end
Couple at lookoutCouple at lookout
Couple at lookout

His hairstyle is all the rage here
Little flirtLittle flirt
Little flirt

She had fun making eyes at Bob
Scarf on headScarf on head
Scarf on head

Couldn't figure this one out--is it to keep warm?

Because just one picture is never enough

12th February 2012

I always wonder when I see them what the ones on the bottom look like.

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