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Marcel's Muebles, carpenter

Marcel has done an awesome job at our house from building custom cabinets and doors to repairing (loose joints, gouges from shipping, replacing antique broken glass, etc.) and refinishing "antique" furniture that we had shipped from the US. Our stuff is now in better shape than before we shipped it.

We did a price comparison and haggled a bit and he was very reasonable compared to others. He will come to your home and do the repairs on site.

Also, he arrives on time with his crew.

Address: Calle el Cebollar y Abelardo J. Andrade

Contact information: 098 636 5063 – 098 910 3931.

Recommended by Anne B Howard:

Cafe Park, restaurant

Nice $2 almuerzo. Has nice wall murals and furniture cleverly made from crates. Ample meal served on china dishes. Also sandwiches, nachos and such. Open 10 to 8 Monday to Saturday. Have eaten the lunch 3 times and enjoyed each one.

Address:12 de Abril, Mercado area Ave. Viracochabamba beside La Paz Clinic

Contact information:  099 970 8762.

Recommended by Mary Overcash:

Dalila Belén, Spa and Massage

I am writing this recommendation for Dalila Belén for all your beauty and spa needs. She is currently looking for a few clients to work with in the privacy of your own home.

Dalila is one of those rare people these days with an excellent work ethic and passion for what she is doing. She is very knowledgeable about massage therapy and the best I have had to work on my Neuropathy. I have been using her now for a couple of years and I believe she is instrumental in keeping me walking. Her reflexology technique works wonders on my feet and legs.

Although she mostly just speaks Spanish, she has incredible people skills and has the ability to make her clients feel comfortable instantly. She gives a great massage that is both relaxing and therapeutic; this translates to clients experiencing improvements in their overall well-being.

Dalila found her niche here working as a spa and massage therapist with a wide variety of clients’, young and old. They loved her massage and they loved her.

She has my highest recommendation.

Español: Dalila Belén 098 808 5729
English: Eddy 096 831 3061

Recommended by Dave B:

Raul Meza, private transportation

If you need private transportation from Quito airport to surrounding areas like Cotacachi, Ibarra and Otavalo I highly recommend Raul Meza. He met us at the airport at 2 AM and took us to the hotel in Cotacachi. He has a new KIA SUV (with air-conditioning) that can fit 4 people and luggage. We also took a local tour with him to see Peguche waterfall. Raul is a very careful driver and has a friendly personality.

Contact information:

Recommended by Ala Max:

Amelie's French/Italian Bistro, restaurant

Just back from the new restaurant Amelie's on César Andrade y Cordero (2 names for 1 street). This is the street that goes up to San Juan de Balzay. The restaurant is well marked on the right side going up from Ordóñez Lasso. It is an Italian/French Bistro. 

We had the sampler for 2 which included way too much food $15. We started with a cup of thick carrot soup seasoned w/ ginger and curry, and 4 different tea sandwiches - egg salad w/ asparagus, salmon w/ cream cheese (my favorite), chicken w/ capers (oh my) and ham and cheese. Then we had a rich toasted cheesy ham sandwich w/ bechamel sauce and Dijon mustard. Wow. Next came a slice of quiche with ham and bacon in a flaky crust. By this time, we could hardly eat the bolognese w/ ground beef and pieces of bacon in tomato sauce. We ended the fabulously delicious meal eating a piece of cheesecake made with ricotta cheese. 

We sat in the front room with a view of the street and the mountains. Qué vista! Louis serves beer and wine at Amelie's. Please visit. They are open on Thursday and Friday, 11 AM to 2:30-ish and dinner begins at 4 PM. 099 524 1088

Bus 50 stops directly in front of the restaurant. Excellent.

Address: César Andrade y Cordero

Contact information:  099 524 1088

Recommended by P Harlow Rhoades:

Linxfasttrax English service, English for work

I would like to recommend this excellent, profesora who has been helping me with my English for over a year. Her methods are easy to follow and she has really helped me within a short time. She has a lot of experience working with people who need English for work purposes and believe me, she knows what she is doing. She’s Canadian, very professional, dynamic and fun. I have recommended her to some of my friends and they are very pleased with her.

To get in contact, you can reach her at: or Cel: 098 375 3134

Address: Cuenca

Recommended by Mauricio Astudillo: 098 723 3698., CPAP supplies

Don't use this company and expect that your goods will be delivered to your location in Cuenca without issues. I checked with them before ordering regarding a trackable delivery option. I was told that the USPS service was trackable and for their stated price of over $67 (USPS) I thought it had to be true. It was trackable to Quito where the last reporting said 'departed Quito' on 11th August. After 5 days I contacted the company and was told it had cleared customs and might be delivered the next day. 2 days later I contacted them again and was told it was being held in Quito customs. I asked what the hold-up was and wanted a phone number and name of someone from USPS that could assist me in getting the issue resolved. CPAPPlus responded that they hand off to Ecuador Post after it arrives in Ecuador and it is up to me to find out where it is now and resolve any issues. They sent me a link to a google map of the Quito customs location.

Contact information:

Recommended by Denis Cruickshank:

Sarah, Spanish online classes

Hello everyone, For those who feel the desire to learn or improve their Spanish language skills, I highly recommend Sarah who is a very intelligent and patient woman from Arizona. She offers classes online service to all who wish to improve their Spanish.

For more information on this subject, I leave here more contact information.

Skype: Arizona

Contact information: +001 480 516 2216

Recommended by Christian Flores:

Maria Mercedes Salazar, filing SRI, etc.

Thanks to a previous recommendation on the GringoPost, we contacted Maria to help us with filing our IVAs. We were extremely impressed with her professionalism in expediting the filings. She speaks perfect English (she is an English teacher here). She is also available for other services such as accompanying you to Dr.’s appointments, etc.

Address: Cuenca, Ecuador

Contact information: 099 764 4380

Recommended by Ken LaCount:

Free Walking Tours, tourism

I cannot recommend the Free Walking Tours of Cuenca enough. It was amazing, informative, funny and very interesting. The guides were great and answered questions that we posed that were probably not part of the script. Also, it was great exercise. We went to parks, churches, museums, mercado, artisan shops and received advice about where to get the best prices, favorite almuerzo, nearby towns to visit and the products for which they are famous. The tour lasted 3 hours and is in El Centro.

Address: Parque Calderon next to the statue in the middle. El Centro, Cuenca

Contact information:  096 813 2948 after 7 AM

Recommended by Chris Canute:

Patty Siguencia, house cleaning / baby-sitting

We can highly recommend a friend of ours for house cleaning or baby-sitting. Patty has had experience working in the US and she lives here in Cuenca. Patty is responsible and thorough. She can be reached by email:

Address: Cuenca, Ecuador

Contact information: 099 905 2421, or contact us,

Recommended by Ken LaCount: or

Ajirma, restaurant

I went to Ajirma for the first time today. I was very impressed with the food. It was in the Shuar style, reminding me of my trip deep into the Amazon last year when I spent a few days with members of the Shuar tribe. Really great, tasty food---at very affordable prices. The ambiance and service were also great, and the menu is bilingual.

Address: Benigno Malo 5-18 y Calle Largo (almost across from the Taj Mahal restaurant with Indian food.

Contact information:

Recommended by Susan E Schenck:

Cyrene restaurante

It is with pleasure that I recommend the new Mediterranean/Arabic restaurant, Cyrene. The owner and wait staff are excellent and the food is delicious. We have eaten their falafels, hamburger, garbanzo, ensalada a parrilla, taboule, ensalada griega, and their kofta. Everything was delicious and freshly prepared. The quality of food and the preparation are excellent with good prices, between $1.50 and $4.50. They also offer very nice, generously portioned, daily almuerzos. Not everything on the menu is available yet. So I'm looking forward to tasting their Manakish next week. I encourage you to stop by the restaurant, meet the wait staff and the fabulous chef, and try their wonderful offerings. You won't be disappointed.

Address: Calle Mariscal Sucre 6-46 y Hermano Miguel

Contact information:  099 535 3339

Recommended by Holly Shrader:

Lupe Housecleaning

Lupe has 10 years of experience cleaning houses. I think she'd be happy with full time work, or days, at $3 to $3.50 an hour plus bus fare. 

She lives near the industrial park in the northeast, near Via a Patamarca and Uncovia. 

Access would likely be easy for her in the north, east, or downtown area. She may be willing to go further for regular work. 

She has cleaned for me some, I find her charming and a willing worker. 

Her house phone is 07 280 6046 Her cell phone is 099 078 9780.

Address: NE area Industrial Park

Recommended by Jeannie Alvin:

Jaime Ochoa, selling property, houses

Jaime is a very serious charge and also excellent local commercial seller of properties, houses and land at a great price.

Address: Daniel Muñoz 165 y Victor Albornoz

Contact information: 099 539 3086.

Recommended by Jorge Dutan: 098 722 9331.

Broken Bridge Tavern, restaurant with music

Where else can you go and enjoy the great tavern cuisine plus music and outside covered patio with a fabulous tranquil view of the river? Mark, the owner, is friendly and makes guests feel special while connecting with other patrons.

He offered many musicians an opportunity to play different music; the ambience is low-key and has a variety of seating areas.

Address: 3rd of November at Puento Roto

Contact information:  098 584 5426

Recommended by Trudy Newton:

Luis Garzon, tailor

Luis is a very accomplished tailor. He can make clothing from scratch, alter items and repair your pet's clothing. He does amazing work at a very reasonable price. Don't let this resource get away from you.

Address: Juan Montalvo 11-54 Entre Lamar y Sangurima, Cuenca

Contact information:  284 2477 or 099 941 9587.

Recommended by Trudy Newton:

Mary Carmen Velez, transportation

I highly recommend Mary Carmen Velez and her husband Javier for any private transportation needs. The couple owns a furniture store in Cuenca (Home Metal) but has a transportation business as well. Their drivers are bilingual, as is Mary Carmen. My husband and I used this service in May, 2016. We rented an entire full size van to take us from our home in Cuenca to Quito Airport. The cost was $250. We had 2 dogs with carriers and 8 big suitcases with us. The dogs were allowed to ride in the van, out of the carriers. It was a very pleasant trip in a new vehicle. It took under 7 hours, using the new highway. The drivers were attentive and made plenty of pet stops.

Contact information: 098 431 2261 or

Address: 27 de Febrero Avenue y Francisco Moscoso, Home Metal storefront, Cuenca

Recommended by Clare Nowlan:

Annie's Sushi, authentic Korean food

Annie's Sushi, authentic Korean food. Can't believe the greatest Korean food I've had in a long time. We will be ordering again and often. Glad she posted on GringoPost.  The kimchi and spicy radish made my taste buds happy.

Address: 3 de Noviembre y Puente los Todos Santos

Contact information:  098 030 4499

Recommended by Jeanette Menegay:

Deli del Barrio, beat market butcher

I was recently introduced to this fantastic butcher/meat market that is located behind Common Ground (up on the hill). Extremely friendly staff. They speak some English. They also have diagrams to assist you in identifying the specific type of roast or steak you're looking for. I stopped by yesterday to see if I could find a butcher to give me a nice boneless leg of lamb. Although it was not in stock the owner and I worked to identify the exact cut I wanted and I was told simply call with two days-notice and they can have almost any meat or cut ready for me. Beef in almost any cut is available immediately. In my experience, finding a butcher that takes the time to ensure you get exactly the cut prepared exactly as requested is difficult. These guys are the real deal. They can be reached at 403 8558 or cell 098 971 6678. A welcome addition to my Cuenca cooking resources.

Address: Mariscal Lamar 23-62 y Alfonso A.

Contact information:  403 8558 or cell 098 971 6678

Recommended by David Jackson:

La Caleta, restaurant

Chef Diego Vivar demonstrates innovation and dedication to Ecuadorian cuisine in his new restaurant La Caleta. The flavors he creates Monday through Saturday in almuerzos ($2.85) and his dinner menu are intense. They reflect his dedication and pride in his profession and country. These are dishes you will remember. The service is prompt and friendly, the atmosphere contemporary and comfortable.

Address: Estevez de Toral 8-17 y Mariscal Sucre

Contact information:  099 394 1618

Recommended by Arthur Hoffman: 314 409 0486

Fausto Belarezo Crespo, Spanish language instructor

Recommendation: Accomplished Spanish instructor that gets results. If you’re looking for a Spanish Instructor who can take you to the next level, I’d recommend you working with: Fausto Eloy Balarezo Crespo.

He is Ecuadorian, has worked in the US and served as director of a premier language school in Cuenca. He understands adult learning principles and uses reinforcement techniques to ensure your progress. He can work with you individually or small groups at your home. In addition, he is also a facilitator for those Ecuadorian issues that give you reason to pause. I’m available for answering questions.

Address: Cuenca, Ecuador

Contact information: cell: 099 998 0407.

Recommended by William Timmerman:

Priscilla Calderon, house/ pet sitting

Priscilla is a very responsible caring person who will take great care of your home or pets while you are away. She has limited English, but we communicate very well with Google translate, I highly recommend her.

Address: Cuenca

Contact information: 098 303 6832.

Recommended by Sue Hampton:

Romolo e Remo, Italian restaurant

Romolo e Remo is a "value for money" Italian restaurant with a different twist. They serve square pan individual pizzas for under $5, pastas under $8 and stuffed focaccio around $5. They use good and interesting ingredients, jamon serrano, speck, arugula and sundried tomatoes. for example. They make their own focaccio which, on the Italian menu, is Focacce Ripiene. They also serve salads, soups and meats, wine and beer.
They're open 7 days and close (for unknown reasons) between 5 and 7 PM weekdays.

Located on the north side of El Estadio on Florencia Astudillo. It is around the corner from Parque de la Madre. Head down Federico Malo and turn right. It is in a house set back from the road.

Address: 1541 Calle Tulipanes

Contact information:  760 632 8872

Recommended by Sumana Harrison:

Giovanna Rivera, banking

We have worked with Giovanna Rivera from JEP during our time here in Cuenca. She is a true professional, very responsive and knowledgeable about the current banking issues and laws in Ecuador. She speaks excellent English and is always available when you need an appointment. She always has recommendations on the best products available.

Address: Avienda Ordonez Lasso K 3

Contact information:

Recommended by Mick Mekkelsen:

La Enfrijolada, restaurant

Hello to all you foodies in Cuenca, This is my first restaurant recommendation and I do not take it lightly. There are a plethora of fine restaurants in this city. It was one of the main reasons I decided to settle here. I have several years restaurant experience myself, including French and Italian. So, when I find a worthy, but obviously overlooked establishment, I gotta speak up. My favorite cuisine other than Mediterranean is Mexican. I do nor mean burritos, tacos and such. What I speak of here is “cocino Mexicano autentica” with traditional ingredients and seasoning. I’ve spent countless hours watching Chef Rick Bayless on TV and then attempting to recreate his recipes. I am so glad I won’t have to do that now.

Eduardo Gonzalez, insurance broker

Eduardo handles all types of insurance: life, health and  P and C. He works with the brokerage firm of Gestion Segura, which is affiliated with Chubb, the large US insurance company. Eduardo speaks fluent English and will meet with you at your home or his office. He is very accommodating and knowledgeable and has been a help to me.

Address: Cuenca

Contact information: 099 750 8367.

Recommended by Myra Zimmerman:

Rosa Garcia, cleaning

Rosa is the best cleaner I ever had. She is only $5 an hour and is punctual as well. She also helps. For example, when I went on vacation, she took care of my dog and helped me pack when I moved and wanted no money at all. She has a big heart.

Address: Cuenca

Contact information:  099 590 4321

Recommended by Georgina Nunez:

Las Americas SuperMaxi, super market

For those who are sensitive to gluten, or would like to find amaranth flour as was I looking for it for certain recipes, you will be delighted to be able to get it and more hard-to-find items at this store. This ancient grain is scarce even in the US, so readers can imagine my surprise and great delight when Augusto, the friendly English-speaking manager, immediately took me to it. If they don't have it certain items and SuperMaxi carries them, they will order it at the customer's request, even from Quito.

This store also carries some organic produce as well as Schull organic rolled and steel-cut oats, and other such items I did not expect to find here.
Paul, one of the assistant managers, has been extremely helpful, friendly, and speaks perfect English. Jose in produce, has gone and checked produce for us in the back when I couldn't find it displayed. Even the store "guards" who watch over checked items brought into the store, are cordial. It's worth the hassle to get there with torn up streets. We are thankful for this great shopping blessing nearby.

Address: SuperMaxi, Av. Las Americas, Cuenca

Contact information:  098 086 2122

Recommended by Sylvia Z: 098 333 2020

Jenaerobic, dance work out

Very wonderful dance work out with Jennifer. Great music and great people and high energy. from 5 PM – 6 PM in the Mujeres con Exito building on Baltazara de Calderon y Miguel Velez this Wednesday.

Address: Baltazara de Calderon y Miguel Velez

Contact information: 093 974 5972.

Recommended by Raine Grant:

Biochemical Lab Viviana Molina Diaz, biochemical lab

I highly recommend Dr. Viviana, she is the owner, in case you need a blood test, etc, and for any reason you can’t go to the lab, she will go to you. She has excellent prices and she is very professional and super sweet. I totally recommend her.

Address: Acropolis Building 1-019 José Peralta. Diagonal from Milenium Plaza

Contact information:  099 976 3583

Recommended by Ligia Vega:

Bicis Moran, bicycle service-sales

If you need a used bike, repairs or accessories, I can recommend Gustavo of Bicis Moran highly. I was on a strict-ish budget, and he made me a sweet deal on a used Taiwanese 21-speed mountain bike, and then put new big handlebars and Shimano shifters, and a kickstand on for only $12 more. I brought it back two times for minor adjustments, no charge, "it's guaranteed." He's very easy to work with. A small shop, but he carries all the accessories. NB: he was willing to take credit cards, but his connection was down, and English is minimal; we used my crummy Spanish and it worked.

Address: Av Diez de Agosto, between E Marquez and M Diaz

Contact information:  098 511 6370, 07 288 7564

Recommended by Paul Meers:

Ted Liggett, computer repair extraordinaire

Ted is the real deal. As many of you know, my computer was dying. Ted emailed to me asking if he could try to help keep it alive until I got a new one from the States. He asked to come on Sunday because he knows I work the rest of the days. He was on-time, worked on the computer for almost 4 hours, lent me a computer to use while he tried to fix mine at his home. He contacted me to say he was able to back everything off to my portable hard drive and was formatting my hard drive Sunday night. First thing in the morning on Monday he said he thought it would live. He came by with it on Wednesday due to my schedule. It is like a new computer and Ted knows his stuff, no half repairs, not excuses why it is not working and no I will need to come back for another extra amount of money.

He is polite, friendly, honest and very, very reasonable. Please do yourself a favor. If you need your computer fixed, contact Ted. He will make your day.

Address: Ted Liggett, Cuenca

Contact information:

Recommended by Jodie Mansfield:

Ivan Navarro, yoga instructor

I had done many sessions with Ivan Navarro and can definitely recommend him. He is thoughtful, energetic and extremely helpful. He tries his best to cover every single thing a client needs in a session. Ivan is highly qualified in all kinds of yoga with 15 years’ experience teaching yoga. I learned a lot with his straightforward approach in teaching.

He teaches Thursdays from 6:30 PM to 8 PM at Sono Estudio, located at the corner of Borrero and Sucre. The fee per class is $6

Address: Sono Estudio

Contact information:  098 809 5923.

Recommended by Enrique Gavilane:

Yolanda Vacacela, artesanal jewelry

I have bought many beautiful things from Yolanda who is from Saraguro, like native beaded necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. She sells from her house off don Bosco along the river at very good prices and also makes to order.

Address: Menéndez Y Pelayo y Fernando De Aragon.

Contact information:  099 951 9630.

Recommended by Claudia Calvi:

Taita Panadería Cafetería, bakery and café

I've been looking for a good, French-style croissant in Cuenca without any luck (full disclosure: I've been here only 3 months). But today, I stumbled upon Taita, on Calle Larga, near Todos Santos church. My butter croissant was quite good (would have been better earlier in the day), and I sampled their sourdough rye bread (masa madre, de centeno). It was very good, with a sturdy crumb, not sweet, and a substantial crust with oats and flax seeds (no caraway; seems rare in Ecuador. SuperMaxi doesn't have it). Plus, my croissant and espresso cost $1.20. Can't beat that.

Proprietors José and Mario were great, enthusiastic, and they know what they're doing. Hurry down and get some bread.

Address: Calle Larga 2-48, between Tomas Ordoñez and Manuel Vega

Contact information: 098 418 6707 / 099 553 1738.

Recommended by Paul Meers: +593 98 284 8203

El Faro, Pizzeria Italiana

There is a new Italian restaurant on the scene and we tried it last night for the first time. It is some of the best pizza we have had in Cuenca. My husband even loved it and he is Italian. At the moment they are only serving pizza as they just opened. The husband and wife that own the place are just delightful people. The décor is nautical in theme. It is called El Faro and it is located on the corner of Primero de Mayo and Fray Gaspar de Carvajal, which is one block east from Las Americas. They are on the ground floor of a new building there. We highly recommend it. Try it, you will love it. We did.

Address: Primero de Mayo S/N and Fray Gaspar de Carvahal

Contact information:  098 387 2879

Recommended by Cindy Tesno:

Polylepis Tours, Edison Juca, touring company

The Polylepis Tours Company provided several options for my brother's and my trip to the Galapagos Islands. Eddy was successful in identifying an outstanding opportunity. The entire trip was turn-key with no surprises. Every travel detail was fully covered. This included our flights and booking the Queen of the Galapagos boat. 

Eddy and his team did an outstanding job of arranging our trip. The Queen of the Galapagos boat was fabulous; only 15 people. The cabins were spacious, the 9 member crew excellent, great food and 3 lounge areas for relaxing. The licensed Naturalist Guide, Omar, was extremely knowledgeable; he provided short discussions throughout the day and briefing for the next day. We visited 7 islands; all had different venues including animals, birds and landscapes. Our days consisted of land excursions (hiking), shore line adventures in the dingy and amazing snorkeling in the coral reefs once or twice each day. Highlights included viewing the land and marine iguanas, all 3 boobies species, all 4 of the Darwin finches and giant tortoises plus swimming with sea turtles, penguins and sea lions in the incredibly beautiful coral reefs. Each reef had an amazing number and types of fish.

Address: Hermano Miguel 4-70 y Honorato Vasquez, Cuenca, Ecuador

Contact information: 099 355 7648

Recommended by Trudy Newton:

Susan Schenck, raw food classes

I have attended several of Susan Schenck's raw food classes. Her classes are entertaining and highly educational. The food is always quite tasty and healthy, and portions are always very generous. The information on health and nutrition that she provides is very educational. Susan and many of the students think outside the box of mainstream corporate propaganda when it comes to health and nutrition. The recipes that one takes home afterwards allows participants to continue to enjoy the delicious and healthy food. Susan also provides information to attendees on where to find any special ingredients. The classes are a valuable way to spend a lunch time. Each class is $12, or one can pre-purchase 4 classes for $40.

Address: Condominio Manza​neros, 2-18 Manzaneros y El Cañero dept. 4D

Contact information:

Recommended by D. Davis: 098 168 6569.

Malali Wilches, visa assistance/translator

Malali assisted me in getting my visa in 3 easy steps, she picked me up in her car and walked me seamlessly through the process. She is Cuencano born but was raised in Canada, teaches English in a local high school. Also extremely adept with iPhone communication problems and internet protocol. She is very congenial and loves to help people, I highly recommend her.

Address: Juan Flores y J Cabrera Andrade

Contact information:

Recommended by Don Smith: