When retiring overseas, all expats have one main objective: To move somewhere where they can live their life on their terms. They want to be able to pursue their own interests, live by their own schedule (or even live without one), and be able to make the most of their retirement. And Cuenca, Ecuador is the perfect place for all of that.
In Cuenca, you have so many choices. This mid-sized colonial city in the highlands of southern Ecuador is literally teeming with possibilities. Are you a culture buff? There are enough museums, churches, and galleries to keep you busy for weeks, and regular symphony performances that you can attend for free.
If you’re a foodie, visit a mercado and prepare to be amazed at the bounty of farm-fresh fruits and vegetables, including exotic varieties you’ve possibly never seen before. Or choose from a head-spinning number of dining options—everything from almuerzoes (inexpensive fixed price lunches) to handmade pasta to sushi, to meat feasts known as parrilladas.
Perhaps you love the outdoors. You can hike to your heart’s content in the magnificent Cajas National Park just 30 minutes outside of town. Why not ride horses through the countryside and along the Inca trail, or fish for trout in hundreds of lakes and rivers. Or you can just bike, run, or walk along designated paths throughout the city. If you prefer to exercise indoors, Cuenca has traditional gyms and health clubs, Crossfit, yoga studios, and dance classes too.
If you want to give back to the world through volunteering, you can join any of the non-profit foundations in town that assist orphanages, disabled children, and the needy. Animal lovers can join groups that work with stray dogs.
Or maybe you feel like you’ve worked hard your whole life and you’re ready to do a whole lot of nothing. You’re finally going to prop up your feet to watch all those TV shows you’ve missed and open the books you’ve always wanted to read. Take a nap. Putter around. Take another nap. The laidback atmosphere in Cuenca suits this type of lifestyle too.
And that’s only a handful of the choices you have here. Ready to write your autobiography? Why not? Become fluent in Spanish? Great idea. Start a band? Rock on! With its low cost of living, excellent medical care, and spring-like climate, Cuenca, Ecuador may just be the place for those dreams to come true.
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