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Casa Verde, Banos, lodging

Spent the last week at Casa Verde - Eco Guest House in Banos (Ambato). A great place to stay on the outskirts of the city. Only about a 20-minute walk to the center or you can take a taxi for $2. Casa Verde is very nice and quaint. They try to do as much as possible to recycle almost everything. From arrival to departing it was like visiting family. They bend over backwards to help you with everything that you would like to do in the area.

Go here if you are interested in Living the Lifestyle (www.winthelifestyle.com/main). But don’t wait. You could be too late.

Address: Calle Camino Real, Baños

Contact information: stay@lacasaverde.com.ec 03 274 2671

Recommended by Nathanael Jackson: Jackjajunk@gmail.com

Bill Dixon, lodging

Bill Dixon, Innkeeper, Cuenca Inn, is truly one of a kind. I can barely find the words to express how gracious, accommodating and professionally he manages this wonderful jewel just off Don Bosco. The inn itself is both beautiful and feels as comfortable as a second home. The well-appointed accommodations include a fully functional kitchen, multiple lounges with large screen TV and a barbeque grille certain to please any weary traveler. The resident chickens are a nice touch.
Folks (like me) needing a base of operations while searching for more permanent housing can rely on Mr. Dixon's advice and knowledge of Cuenca to be insightful, thorough and well considered.
I could not have made a better choice. And neither could anyone else who requires the highest standard of care. I enthusiastically recommend the Cuenca Inn and Bill Dixon as superlative. 
Thanks Bill. I could not have had a more enjoyable introduction to this extraordinary city.

Address: Cuenca Inn, Santa Maris 4-112 y Av. Don Bosco

Contact information:  098 893 9388

Recommended by Robert J Bradley: robtjbradley@gmail.com

Luigi Roman, Luigi's Professional Painting

JD's Muebles would like to recommend and thank Luigi for his fine workmanship in our new location. In addition to painting for us, he and his associate removed and modified several walls. The workmanship was flawless and the project was completed early. We have used Luigi for several years and his prices are more than reasonable and his work ethic is second to none. Whatever your needs may be, call Luigi and let him make your next project go smoothly.

Address: Cuenca

Contact information: luigieiser@gmail.com 099 387 7127

Recommended by JD's Muebles: 098 818 7723

Zoovet Medical Center, veterinary services

Zoovet Medical Center is a veterinary office owned and operated by MVZ Pedro Reino M., specializing in dogs and cats. He is a young doctor who is current with all the lastest skills and techniques. He is well-equipped to handle all your dog and or cat needs, including grooming. Dr. Pedro is a qualified animal surgeon as he has a Masters Degree in surgery and canine care.

He has treated our dog and two cats with the utmost care and concern. He has even made house calls occasionally. He will send you emails as reminders of required shots, treatments and follow ups for your pets. While he speaks limited English, his wife is generally available, either in the office or by phone to assist (although we have always been able to communicate our pets' needs directly.)

His office is conveniently located on Ordonez Lasso y Calle Del Sarar, directly across from the football (soccer) field on Ordonez Lasso. The office is open from 8:30 AM to 8 PM with the customary 90 min almuerzo.

Facebook: zoovet Medical Center
Cell: 099 272 7833

Address: Ordonez Lasso y Calle Del Sarar

Contact information: zoovetmedicalcenter@gmail.com 07 408 9711

Recommended by D. Thompson: dandaec@gmail.com

Miguel, driver

Recommendation for driver in Cuenca and possibly beyond. Good rates around the city, equivalent to or better than a taxi.

Guayaquil $100
New car Hyundai Accent
Very safe and steady driver
Does not speak English

Cell# 098 689 3565

Address: Paris y Roma, Cuenca

Recommended by Chris Tiffer: csiecu@gmail.com

Claudia Gonzalez, translations

Make excellent translations of documents Spanish-English, English-Spanish

Address: Cuenca

Contact information: claugr20@hotmail.com

Recommended by Adrian Deleg: 096 704 1414

Adriana Vasquez S., court certified translator

Adriana did the papers for my visa work here in Cuenca. She did a perfect job and delivered within the time we agreed on.

Please note that for visa papers, you'll need someone who is certified by the Ecuadorian court, if not they won't accept the translations.

Her rates are very reasonable and her turnaround time is fast. She definitely is the one to go to here in Cuenca.

Address: Tadeo Torres - Cuenca

Contact information: adrianab26@hotmail.com 098 482 2449

Recommended by Frank Johnson: 099 570 1748

Cafe Guayoyo, restaurant

I have been frequenting this little gem and it is where  Popacuchu used to be. The food is absolutely delicious. I often have the roast beef and puree de papas. It comes with a little salad, all for $3. If you live in the area, it is a lovely family owned business with genuine friendliness and a lovely feeling of being welcomed. They are open until 8 every day except Sunday.

Address: Primero de Mayo and Avenida Las Americas

Contact information: guayoyo.ec@gmail.com

Recommended by Barbie Simmons: ibarbarita@hotmail.com

We Travel Agency, local tour company

I've traveled the world for about 20 years and I wouldn't consider myself a tour kind of guy, but I went with friends on a day trip to Frances Urco Lodge with We Travel. I have to say, this was one of the best day trips for the tiny price of $15 I've ever been on. We Travel took us to the lodge, about 30 minutes south of Cuenca in the Tarqui hills. In the morning, they taught us a lot about local fruits, complete with tasting and demonstrating ways to prepare them (including getting to eat what was prepared). We chilled out in the beautiful setting until the included lunch was served. It was great and lots of it. The lodge used to be a horse ranch, and in the afternoon one of the caballeros showed us some of the horses and told us about tack and all that horse stuff. Then we went on a nice walk in the hills. It was informative as well as fun. I totally recommend keeping an eye out for future trips with We Travel. We Travel is just starting up, so the prices may go up, but this trip would be a deal at twice the price.

Address: Cuenca

Contact information: wetravelagencyecu@gmail.com 099 582 6094

Recommended by Richard Schuckman: richardschuckman@yahoo.com

Rosei and Christy, maid service

This mother/daughter team came to my attention here on GP from another client of theirs. So, I called them to come over to my large house for a weekly cleaning.  They found dirt here and there as I was amazed at them moving furniture around to get to every corner. They were thorough, to say the least. When my house was sparkling clean it was quiet for a while so I ventured downstairs to see what was going on. They were in the overgrown garden clearing that out. Call them for  quality service for your home or apt. They only speak Spanish. Rosie is at 099 310 2939.

Address: Cuenca

Recommended by Gary Kissel: yourlinkcoach@gmail.com

Deborah Strelkow, Gluten Free Gourmet

I would like to highly recommend all of Gluten Free Gourmet's amazing products, the banana bread is to die for. Can't wait to try her pasta, she also advises you some recipes which turn out delicious. The recipes she recommended me for pancakes was unique and very tasty. She needs a web page with all kinds of recipes in it.

Address: Cuenca

Contact information: GFG.Cuenca@gmail.com 099 212 3431

Recommended by Jonnathan Sangurima: sangurima.jonathan@yahoo.com

Galeria y Marqueteria, framing shop

We needed some framing done and having passed by this shop a number of times, we decide to stop in to check. We had bought six custom coasters from a young man selling by the bridge. We wanted to have them arranged and framed. We also had a pastel drawing that needed framing.

Each piece was matted and framed with our choices, which was difficult due to the variety available. We chose using non-glare glass for both. The total cost for both pieces was under $30. Each piece is beautifully finished and we could not be more pleased. The last piece we had framed using non-glare glass in the US, cost us more than $30 for the glass alone and that was over a decade ago.

We will continually return to this shop for all of our framing needs.

Address: Presidente Cordova 6-30 y Hno. Miguel

Contact information: 099 822 9880

Recommended by Ryan James: drryanjames@gmail.com

Nova Tech, printer ink, security cameras

They also have computer supplies and do web pages.

Address: M Sucre 10-29

Contact information:  07 284 0466

Recommended by John Foote:  twofeet2ofus@yahoo.com

Dra Diana Alvarez, endodontist

Diana was deliberate, gentle, very focused and caring. Although young, she is a lecturer on her profession at University of Cuenca , so she knows her stuff and is up to date with new procedures.
I had two root canals over 4 appointments (she came out on a Sunday to take care of the first) and her price was extremely reasonable. She speaks enough English that we were able to communicate well.

If you need an endodontist she's a great choice.

Address: near to the ECU 911 building, Cuenca

Contact information: diana_paalv@hotmail.com 099 283 4131

Recommended by Bill Dixon: 098 893 9388

Lorena Ordonez, salon - pedicure

The best pedicure since I've been in Cuenca. She is a one girl shop but she really does a good job and pays attention to details. She is open every day except Sunday.

Address: Sucre12-84, entra Tarqui y Juan Montalvo, Cuenca.

Contact information: 099 367 7642

Recommended by Judy Correll: jlc@citygates.tv

Tosta Gastropub, Mini Cafe

The best sourdough in Cuenca. This is by far the best sourdough in Cuenca. Everything is fresh from Breakfast to lunch. With a wide variety of items to choose from. Even Pizza and fresh organic salads, plus delicious Jugo's and hot drinks including steaming flavorful Cappucino and moccacino.

Everything is made with sourdough. Stop by. You won't be disappointed.

Address: Avenue Solano 644 y Remigio Crespo/ white building with blue shutters

Contact information: 095 533 1738

Recommended by Joyce Cook: joycecook248@gmail.com

Cristina Guiñansaca, house/apartment cleaner

I used this family for quite some time. They do exceptional work, always with a smile. I actually saw at various times her mother and/or two of her sisters. In there somewhere are twins. They were entirely honest. I accidentally left several thousand dollars in a dresser. They would always fold my clothes. They brought me in to show me the money to be sure there were no problems. As an added bonus, her father does odd jobs in the evening so did some plaster work for me.

There is no English at all, but we never had a problem, we used my phone’s translator. They are wonderful people. Good solid people.

She is available after lunch into early evening.

Address: Cuenca Area

Contact information: cristinamgb1993@gmail.com 096 793 3343

Recommended by Loren Lowe: netlogicusa@hotmail.com

Milton C. Lopez, tour guide

We booked the train ride through Arutam Ecutours and was assigned Milton Lopez as our guide. Unfortunately the train ride was cancelled (mud slide) and we had already arrived at the station. Milton, continued with a modified tour and on to the Inca ruins. Milton studied Tourism at the University, is fluent in English, born in Cuenca and a great personality.

You cannot go wrong with Milton. He is a guide for all of Ecuador, including hiking and up to 10-14 days tours.

Address: Cuenca Ecuador

Contact information: mickytron8@yahoo.com 098 514 9529

Recommended by Paul Wallace: paulb_01@msn.com

Mr. Clean Cuenca, cleaning furniture carpet

Jenny Vallejo, great work. Had a soiled three-piece cream upholstered living room set. Showed up on time. Had it spit shined in a couple of hours. Cleaned up before left. Very happy with these folks. Also mattresses, car interior. They have FB.

Address: Totoracocha y Yaguacocha Cuenca

Contact information: Mr.cleancuenca@hotmail.com 417 3125 / 098 204 6225 / 099 885 0468

Recommended by Terry Schaefer: terrys2020@yahoo.com

La Chakana: Restaurant/Hotel

I highly recommend La Chakana restaurant. They prepare great food in a cozy atmosphere. Prices are quite inexpensive and the staff is very friendly.
Try the "sanduche de lomo" or the "corvina marinera"

Address: Honorato Vazquez 736 between Borrero and Luis Cordero

Contact information: 283 2337

Recommended by Magui Corral: 099 199 0294

Noudent Esthetic, dentistry

The wife and I have been seeing Dr. Isabel Bueno Bailon for two years and what a professional. She knows her stuff. She specializes in oral rehabilitation and ontology. The doctor pricing is very reasonable and she takes credit cards. So, if you want a nice smile and a bright grill, Dr. Bailon is a must to add to your life.

Address: Calle Miguel Cordero y Av. Paucarbamba Esq, Edifico Work Center Oficina 301

Contact information: noudentcuenca@hotmail.com 098 349 0015

Recommended by Robert Arechiga: robertkoanthony@yahoo.com

Dr Roberto Vasquez, ear, nose, throat

The wife and I saw Dr. Vasquez for a check-up. I went to see the doctor because I had a bad cold with a cough. I was prescribed cough medicine and tablets to get stuff out from my lungs as an easy fix. The wife, on the other hand, went in for an earache that had been hurting her for two weeks or more. We both thought it was an ear infection. Come to find out, the earache was from grinding her teeth while sleeping at night. I originally went to see a Dr. Serrano but, when I went to his office he no longer was there. He had retired. So sad; I had been seeing him for 3 years. The lady at the desk told us that his grandson took over his clients and, wow, what a treat Dr. Vasquez is; an awesome person and speaks perfect English. So, if you need to see a doctor that specializes in Ear, Nose and Throat, doctor Vasquez is the guy.

Address: Edificio Consultorios Santa Ines,2do piso, oficina 205

Contact information: dr_robertovasquez@live.com 098 701 9729

Recommended by Robert arechiga: robertkoanthony@yahoo.com

Karina Anguisaca, teaching Spanish

I graduated from the university in 2015, with a degree in Social Communication from Politenicia Salesiana. I am looking for work in my field or am available for custom Spanish lessons, house sitting, dog sitting, and baby-sitting. I have many references available if needed.

Address: Mary Jones Cuenca

Contact information: karina.17.13@hotmail.com 097 909 4619

Recommended by Mary Jones: ellamar4400@gmail.com

Liron Liron, restaurant

I was looking for a place to eat and I found this elegant place which offer great food and also the attention was excellent. It is located in Gran Colombia in front of Hotel Carvallo.

Address: Gran Colombia 9-41 y Benigno Malo Cuenca

Contact information: 07 284 3827

Recommended by Yanina Abad: zero_xzm@hotmail.com

Cuenca Consignments, consignment shop

Purchased a US height ironing board the other day from the great folks at Cuenca Consignments. I was amazed at the quality of their inventory from furniture to rugs, outdoor furniture and many electronic items. I even saw some moving boxes and 4 dog carriers. New spices and canned salsa and pickles from other Gringo Vendors too. Stop by their shop. Only open on Tue, Thurs and are very near the front entrance of the swimming pool at the Coliseo on Doce de Abril. Just keep going past the Coliseo property towards Ave. de Las Americas. Exact address is Isabella 4-75, see this site for a map and more info, cuencaconsignments.strikingly.com/. On their street corner there is a huge 5-6 story white building with an upscale furniture store on the bottom floor. They are located behind a black gate to the left side of the same large building and down the short side street. Give them a call at 096 798 2182 (Laurie) or stop by. See their FB page too www.facebook.com/cuenca.consignments

Address: Isabella 4-75 and Doce de Abril

Contact information: 096 798 2182

Recommended by Rick Crook: ahipychipy@cox.net

Len Charnoff, ProductosTerranova, seafood

We’ve been enjoying consistently high-quality seafood, flash-frozen, from Productos Terranova (via Lenny Charnoff). So far, we’ve tried the Carpaccio (thin sliced octopus), Japanese seaweed salad (wakame hiyashi), organic tilapia, paiche (mild white fish, somewhat similar to halibut), salmon (individual fillets and family-size), and smoked trout, and they’ve all been excellent. He also has scallops, langostino (large shrimp), and trout caviar. The small salmon fillets are a stock item in our freezer for those days when you want something quick, easy, and healthy. They only take a few minutes to cook, and you don’t need to thaw them before cooking. Available on Mondays at Bayou Café, 2-3:30; and on Tuesdays at Sunrise Café, 11-1:30.

Address: Cuenca, EC.

Contact information: graygeek@gmail.com 099 122 1238

Recommended by Sandra Materi: sandra.materi@gmail.com

Modelcuadro, picture framing

I had several pictures framed by the talented people at ModelCuadro and I wanted to share what a great experience it was.

1. I took in a long list of prints I needed framed - 14 of them, in fact. I was short on time so I asked them if they could keep the list and send me an estimate, which they did by the end of the business day. They sent a photo of the estimate by Whatsapp which is exactly what I wanted.

2. For 14 prints framed, one with a special matte, the total cost was $241. Some of my prints were very large. All frames are wooden and, of course, with glass and professional hanging hardware on the back.

3. I took everything to them on Monday and they were finished by Friday. They texted me to let me know.

4. Everything looked perfect. I had a couple of very special requests and they got everything exactly right.

5. They packed everything up carefully for transport home and even called me a mixto.

This is a family business and they were great to work with, very friendly and patient. They helped me make decisions on mattes and frame styles. The woman who does most of the framing speaks some English but, with my 6 months of Spanish classes (a work in progress), I felt like we communicated great.

The price was fantastic and the work was well-executed. What more could you want?

Address: Bajada del Padron 4-30 (at Calle Larga)

Contact information: +593 99 053 5368

Recommended by Teresa Hardy: teresa.hardy@gmail.com

Pacifico, restaurant

Good service, good food, good prices, good location (1 1/2 blocks from Goza on Borrero 5-64). Binny the owner/manager will make sure you will want to come back.

Address: Borrero 5-64

Contact information: 099 325 3274

Recommended by Paul Wallace: paulb_01@msn.com

Olive Garden, restaurant

I've now eaten at Olive Garden four times in the last couple of months. While they do offer almuerzo, along with a large menu, I've only tried their ceviche de camarones. At $4, this is a filling and delicious meal with about 8 large shrimp in a very tasty broth.

The restaurant is located across from Medimagen and Find Health in Ecuador, near the redondel of Pumapungo and Paseo de Los Canaris, close to the Tomebamba River and Doce de Abril.

General Manager Carlos Urgiles speaks English, too.

Address: Paseo de Los Canaris y Pachacamac

Contact information: 099 149 5305

Recommended by Rona Lee: rll418@yahoo.com

Boom Burgers, restaurant

You know the search for that great burger? This fun restaurant Boom Burgers & Shakes just opened that offers deliciously grilled stuffed burgers, fries, and shakes. The owner, Daniela, speaks beautiful English and is lovely and excited about her new restaurant. It's located just off of Remigio Crespo on Juan Iñiguez. You can find them on Facebook to get more info about their menu. Their address is listed as Juan Iñiguez y Padró Matovelle edificio Petropolis. Do you know where the Pizza Hut is on Remigio Crespo? Continue walking west. Once you get to the Monte Bianco on Remigio Ceaspo, that is Juan Iñiguez. Then left and walk 1 1/2 blocks and you are there. Enjoy.

PS: I haven't tried the shakes yet.

Address: Juan Iñiguez y Padró Matovelle edificio Petropolis

Contact information: 095 887 4179

Recommended by Jeannie Modaff: jeanniemodaff@gmail.com

Pedro Jaramillo, handyman

We have lived here for over a year and moved into an unfurnished house. We needed numerous things done from electrical work, installing appliances, screen doors, hanging pictures, installing media equipment, installing ceiling fans, putting barbeque grill together and Pedro also made me a cat condo from just a picture. He speaks perfect English and there is nothing he hasn't been able to accomplish. He is very reasonable in pricing.

Address: Cuenca

Contact information: 098 317 9316

Recommended by Judy Correll: jlc@citygates.tv

Matthew Hart, Bone-ito Bone Broth

There are tons of benefits in drinking bone broth that has been published on line but never had it until I tried Bone-ito organic bone broth. I highly recommend Matthew Hart's bone broth, it's delicious plus with all the goodness an organic bone broth can offer. I drink a cup of bone broth every day and use it as stock for cooking. You can find Matthew and Debby regularly at Common Grounds Mercadito and they delivery for free with minimum order of $20. Matthew Hart is also an awesome singer and a great song writer playing gigs around, if you haven't heard him sing you should come to his gig this 17th of March, Friday, 7 PM at Ali Baba Kabab.

Address: Cuenca, Ecuador

Contact information: 096 951 7977

Recommended by Jeanie Malone: incuenca@outlook.com

Sharron Cobb, facials, Skin Solutions

Stop right now and call Sharron Cobb for an appointment. She has brought back a machine from the US to enhance her already fabulous facials. This machine has all the bells and whistles found in the best Spa Facial Salons in the States. Just had my first 'new and improved' facial from Sharron and i left with a glowing complexion. She uses all natural products and each facial is tailored to your skin and complex. She listens to your concerns and works to please you. You will not be disappointed.

Address: Don Bosco y Parque Iberia

Contact information: sharroncobb@yahoo.com 096 710 2786

Recommended by Wanda Canon: 099 822 869

Marc's Consignment Store, furniture, etc.

It's amazing the variety of neat things you can find at this consignment store, new, used, antique and unique and Marc is such a nice guy. Speaks excellent English. You can call him at 096 849 6409, on the corner of Simon Bolivar y Miguel Heredia.

Go often. Reasonable prices so things sell fast. Open all day.

Address: Marc's Store on corner of Simon Bolivar y Miguel Heredia, Cuenca

Contact information: 096 849 6409

Recommended by Susan Correa: ricardoandsusan@gmail.com

Gaby or Pedro, Blueberries

The blueberries are always fresh and delicious. Gaby and Pedro will deliver too. Highly recommend obtaining this super food from Chile.

Pedro delivered some berries yesterday and apologized for them being several days old. It wasn't his fault - that was the only day I could get to town. But he felt bad about some of the berries being a little squished or soggy, so he tossed in an extra couple ounces for free.

Wonderful young people.

Address: Cuenca

Contact information: 095 892 3613

Recommended by Theresa Price: theresamprice@hotmail.com

Herman's Shoes, shoe store

At Herman's they make shoes and boots on the premises in the back of the store, Herman gave me the special attention I needed to get a perfect fit. He even made a special model for my feet which by Ecuadorian standards are rather large (size 13). For me he made an over the ankle boot of fine leather that feels like aglove. Herman is very knowledgeable about the fit he worked at Florsheim's in Chicago and Mexico and has the experience to fit a shoe or boot properly. I will definitely go back for more shoes. Also, Herman speaks good English. The store is located on Pio Bravo11-33 y General Torres Phone is 282 3897 The store is open all day however Herman is out between 12 and 2.

Address: 86 Tuckaway Dr, 13, Cuenca, Ecuador

Contact information: 828 606 9309

Recommended by Dallas Hughes: raeunion@yahoo.com

Something Sweet, Panaderia, Pasteleria, Cafeteria

Eureka. I finally found a bakery that knocks my socks off. Recently opened on Gonzalez Suarez 4-42, Something Sweet is a must try. Real chocalate (sic), rolls, cookies and even great mousses. The owners speak perfect English.

Address: 129 Elm Hollow

Contact information: 404 849 4321

Recommended by J P Cobb: jacksonpluscobb@gmail.com

Blanca Loja, excellent housekeeper

Blanca has worked for us (2 full days a week) for over 6 years. She is honest and reliable. Doing a good job is important to her.

One of her other employers, for whom she has worked for about 20 years, is moving to a smaller residence. So, Blanca has two half-days (mornings) per week available. You have your choice of Monday, Wednesday, or Thursday. You may use 1 or 2 half-days. She charges $50 per month for one half-day per week.

Blanca only speaks Spanish only, but I will translate, if needed.

Address: Cuenca

Contact information: 099 809 9189

Recommended by Mike Lawon: 099 159 3533

Richard Minkin, Informative/Facilitator,

I will weigh in here as well regarding Mr. Minkin. Richard was a huge help to me as I prepared to move to Cuenca. He was always honest, clear-headed and never once did he steer me towards or away from any particular business. He remains a wonderful resource.

Address: Cuenca

Contact information: foreverecuador@yahoo.com

Recommended by Robert J Bradley: robtjbradley@gmail.com

Catalina Amayas, Spanish instructor, translator

I hired Catalina to go with me to Azogues so that I could understand everything that I was being told there. I have a fair ability with Spanish but am lost in the technical language used during the complicated visa process. Catalina went with me, waited with me and asked all the questions that I wanted answered. She translated everything that I was told in an easily understandable and pleasant way. She was well worth her reasonable fee and I recommend her services wholeheartedly.

Address: Cuenca

Contact information: cattatokki@gmail.com

Recommended by Gary Kissel: yourlinkcoach@gmail.com