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Vânia, professional pet groomer

I rescued a dog in a really bad hair condition, a little male Shih Tzu. Vânia was very kind, she bathed him and made a very nice haircut. She put a beautiful tie and give him some treats. She has 25 years of experience in Pet Grooming (Leave the dogs for great haircuts; they look amazing!). She is also very careful and treats dogs with love. I had the best experience and also my dog.
I'm really grateful to her. Please call her to schedule an appointment for your dog.

Address: Cuenca - Manuel Alejando Nivelo Zuñiga and Av. 24 de Mayo (sector UDA)

Contact information:  097 916 1453

Recommended by Lilian Morocho: 098 963 4676

Dra. Doménica Toledo, permanent makeup

I highly recommend Dra. Doménica Toledo for permanent makeup (eyeliner, brows). I have gone to many people to have this done over the decades, and she is the first to give me a free touchup (included in price of $120). She is very professional and makes sure you will not feel too much pain (has a great anesthetic that she injects). She did a great job with me, and I get all kinds of compliments.

Address: Her location is Hospital del Rio.

Contact information: dommecita@hotmail.com 096 064 1120 / 098 245 9021

Recommended by Susan Schenck:  livefoodfactor@yahoo.com

Betty Ochoa, reliable cleaning lady

Betty worked for me for almost two years before I left Cuenca and I have recommended her to several people who have been very happy with her work. She is a conscientious and reliable worker and is always smiling. If she finishes her work earlier than scheduled she will find something else to be done i.e. gardening. She is always on time and never missed a day.

Tricia Eagle

Betty Ochoa is a gift. We found her through expat friends and love her dearly. As was just mentioned she is conscientious and always smiling. She works quickly and does a thorough job. As a bonus we learn Spanish through our interaction with her! Betty will look at your job and give you a verbal quote. She is honest and can be trusted completely. Several times we have given her our key without incident. If you are looking for a cleaning lady please consider Betty.

Karen Braun

Address: Cuenca, Ecuador

Contact information:  098 551 9630

Recommended by Sieg and Karen Braun:  onehaistct@yahoo.ca

Nicolás Muñoz Pesántez, lawyer

The best legal services in town, and in the south of the country. Go to Sur Legal and ask for Nicolás Muñoz Pesántez and his teamwork.

Address: Edificio Cámara de Industrias, piso 7. Av. Florencia Astudillo

Contact information: nmunoz@surlegal.com +593 7 288 0705

Recommended by José Muñoz: 095 923 6785

El Jeque Deli, Restaurant

If you want to have lunch or dinner, you should go to el Jeque, make some delicious shawarmas, and have hummus of various flavors, spicy hummus is my favorite, also make pita chips, salads, doners, falafel and kibbe, all prepared by themselves.

Address: Los Alamos Street and Ordoñez Lasso Av.

Contact information: eljequefood@gmail.com 098 436 7127

Recommended by Rod Seekatz:  Drchivago76@gmail.com

Esthefany Andrade, pharmacy

I would like to recommend Esthefany Andrade, manager of Farmacia (Pharmacy) Popular. Not only does Farmacia Popular give you 20% off all your Pharmacy needs including prescription drugs but they deliver free of charge. 

We have used their services for the last 1 year and a 1/2 and Esthefany is always very punctual and speaks fluent English. 

Give them a try for all your pharmacy needs.

Address: Cuenca

Contact information:  098 776 2533

Recommended by Debi Quilty:  DQlovingecuador@gmail.com

Wilson Pesantez, architect, P3 construcciones

Wilson Pesantez came to my house and did everything I needed done. He showed up, when he was supposed to, was very fair on the prices. No matter what I asked him to do, he had for everything a good solution. Wilson Pesantez has very good knowledge, being a famous architect.

Address: Architect Wilson Pesantez, Gran Colombia 21-251, Build: Mirador del Rio, Office 202,

Contact information: wilpo468@yahoo.com 099 783 1676

Recommended by Sue Ringgenberg: 096 987 6952

Esther's Nail Studio, nail salon

I had a beautiful gel manicure with Esther and Julie and I highly recommend their services. They are located at Jungle Gym and provide a variety of manicure and pedicure services. Esther is very friendly and her space is comfortable and quiet. Treat yourself and give and schedule an appointment.

Address: JungleGym, Calle Larga 9-46 y Benigno Malo

Contact information:  Esther: 098 730 6988

Recommended by Amelia Basista:  ameliabasista@gmail.com

Daniel, personal trainer

Daniel, a personal trainer and instructor at JungleGym is outstanding. He encourages and challenges you to achieve the results you are going for. He is very professional, creative, organized, and speaks English. I highly recommend his sessions.

Address: Calle Larga 9-46, Cuenca

Contact information:  099 813 5212

Recommended by Roger Theodos:  rtheodos@icloud.com

La Primavera Yogurt producer

I met Ada Paulouc at the Sunrise Cafe this morning. She gave me a sample of her yogurt (Cream'o'Gurt). It was delicious! Ada produces 11 flavors. The fruits are not overwhelming. They don't taste like chemicals. You can buy it at the Sunrise Cafe. You can also order it at delivery@creamogurt.com.

Address: 9-40 Calle Larga

Contact information: melodayofplants@gmail.com

Recommended by Frances Hogg Lochow: 093 929 7017

Dr. Fernando Martinez, gynecologist

I recently had laparoscopic surgery at Mt. Sinai with Dr. Martinez to remove uterine fibroids. I highly recommend Dr. Martinez. He is kind and professional and was very reassuring both before and after the surgery. I received excellent care from both Mt. Sinai, and Dr. Martinez. I highly recommend him and appreciate the compassionate care that I received at Mt. Sinai. His office is at Mt. Sinai, #320

Address: Cuenca

Contact information:  281 4321, ext 1300

Recommended by Janet E.: 096 993 3052

Dr. Lorena Vintimilla, house call doctor

I would like to recommend Dr. Lorena Vintimilla from Quick Therapy Clinic. My husband who never is sick became very ill and we contacted Dr. Lorena and she was at our home in less than 30 minutes. She assessed him, wrote prescriptions for treatment and he was healed within a day. She also checked up on him twice a day for several days after to make sure he was doing better and to see if we needed any more assistance. Dr. Lorena also provided me with treatment in our home to help me recover from 4 surgeries and a 3-month hospital stay that I was never properly cared for during recovery by US doctors. She offered my Vitamin Therapy treatment with an IV and I feel so much better. If you are too sick to leave home, then definitely call Dr. Lorena and her nurse Isabelle they're both wonderful.


Address: Cuenca Ecuador

Contact information:  593 98 468 2624 - Whats App

Recommended by Sarit Werba:  werbucks@gmail.com

Joe Febres, attorney

My name is Varsi Padayachee. My wife Gloria and I decided to retire to Cuenca from the State of Maryland, USA. Prior to our grand adventure, we decided that we needed legal representation in Ecuador. Given the ease of modern technology, we were able to correspond with a number of lawyers and others without qualifications, who considered themselves to be as good as any lawyer. Lots of promises, self praises but no substance. I then came across a posting about a young attorney in Loja, who had gone out of his way to assist a very frustrated couple navigate through the visa process. I decided to email him, detailing our intent. His name is Jose Febres. He was happy to assist, and quoted, what I considered to be an extremely fair rate. Jose laid out a detailed plan as to how we would achieve our dream. 

We followed his direction to the letter, from preparing all the paper work to getting them apostilled. I am compelled to mention this. The Ecuadorian Consul in the USA cannot and will not process your visa nor can you obtain your via in Ecuador in absentia.

I will not go into the process in detail. However, my wife and I are now, happily settled in Cuenca. Jose’s remit extended beyond just the visa process. He reviewed and approved our home lease agreement, walked through the Cedula process, the health insurance web and even helped set up our bank account. He even dealt with our shipper in Ecuador to facilitate a smooth customs clearance process.
He was not, just our Legal Eagle, he was our guide, our counselor, and he is our friend.
We had the opportunity to deal with various members of the legal community in the USA. It was all about money. Despite, imploring Jose to adjust his fees, he refused, insisting that he committed to helping us make a new life in Ecuador.
His professionalism, candor, integrity, drive and ability to place our needs at the forefront was unmatched.
Talk is cheap! And we heard a lot hot air from the so-called professionals in Ecuador. Jose will get it done, hurtling over all obstacles, to achieve his client’s needs. He is the real deal. Talk to him before you make your decision.

Address: Loja

Contact information: Jose@espinozareyesruiz.com

Recommended by Varsi Padayachee: 096 118 9008

Debra Lynn, moving services

Debra Lynn and her moving crew did an outstanding job relocating us across town from a 3 bedroom apartment into our new house. Debra and her crew leader met with us at our apartment to thoroughly assess our moving requirements. That evening she provided a written estimate that was well within our budget expectations. Debra Lynn personally supervised the move from start to finish. The 3-person crew treated our belongings as if it were their own. We were able to communicate directly with them in English or Spanish as to where the items were to be placed in the new home. The move and appliance connections were completed on time, without incident and exactly as estimated. We would definitely use her for future moves.

Address: Cuenca

Contact information: dslynn17@gmail.com

Recommended by Doug Fox:  dfox3951@gmail.com

Javier and Norma, Jameda hunting/fishing products

If you are looking for a special one of kind item or gift, Jameda Hunting and Fishing Products in Mall del Rio is a special store. I have made two separate purchases there. The first time was when I was looking for pepper spray when I was being attacked by a neighborhood dog. It was the only place that I could find to carry the item. (I never used it, but sure felt safer having it with me.)
Most recently, I wandered in in search of very particular birthday present for a bird lover. Hanging on the wall was macaw clothing hook. I had never seen anything like it before. Javier even offered to put it aside to hold, being a one of a kind item. Returning to purchase it several weeks later, Norma was pleasant and helpful in making it happen for me to provide this special gift to the recipient.
Customer service is wonderful. The folks that work there are attentive and helpful. So, even though you might not normally go into a hunting and fishing store, this one is extra special with some items you just wouldn't expect.

Address: Mall del Rio

Contact information:  288 1686

Recommended by Abby Osman:  ybba503@gmail.com

Tio's Deli, restaurant

We had a delicious lunch there today. My husband said his taco salad had a nice little spicy kick to it, and my Caprese grilled cheese was just right. Then we went for broke and had dessert: bread pudding ala mode and brownie ala mode, both drizzled w/a little caramel. Everything on the menu sounds good and we'll be back. Located on Ordonez Lasso, across from the Hotel Oro Verde properties; look for the green roof. Currently open M-F 11-3.  www.facebook.com/tiosdeli/

Address: Ordonez Lasso y Calle Los Olivos

Contact information:  099 573 3970 info@tiosdeli.com

Recommended by Jane Miner: 096 821 7809

UNIMÉDICOS, medicine office

We are a partnership of doctors, that speak English very well. We offer general medicine service, pediatrics, gynecology, geriatrics, etc.
We work from Monday to Friday.
From 8:30-1 PM and 3-7:30 PM.
Saturday from 9-1 PM .

Address: Remigio Crespo Toral- Agustin Cueva (Next to Pharmacy´s)

Contact information: unimedicosec@gmail.com 098 429 1342

Recommended by Carlos Palacios:  md.cepalacios@gmail.com

Fabian Prado, Hiking the Cajas

We had an incredible hiking and culinary experience at Rancho Hnos Prado which I highly recommend. Fabian picked us up on time and drove us to Tres Cruces mirador, then on to the family’s lovely Rancho. We enjoyed a hearty breakfast, then a hike with Fabian who was able to tell us about the climate, geography, and the names and medicinal uses of the plants and flowers. We learned so much from him and have pictures that are awesome. After hiking, we were treated to a wonderful lunch of fresh trout from their ponds. We left with full stomachs and incredible knowledge of the Cajas. I highly recommend the trips that they offer.

Address: El Cajas Km.39 via Cuenca Molleturo

Contact information: ranchopradocajas@gmail.com

Recommended by Lorraine Theodos:  lptheodos@gmail.com

Melissa Maher, culinary delights

My Little Pie Factory, run by Melissa Maher, has treats for one and all. We recently enjoyed her Tourtiere Meat Pie with friends, we all remarked numerous times on how tasty it was. A light, flaky crust with a savory meat filling. We also loved her chicken pot pie, which is generally something my husband thinks is boring, not Melissa’s! It was filled with loads of chicken and vegetables. I look forward to our next selection. They above were delivered as promised to our door, nice and warm and well wrapped. Highly recommended.

Address: My Little Pie Factory

Contact information: melissamaher010@gmail.com

Recommended by Lorraine Theodos:  lptheodos@gmail.com

Indian Affair, catering service

When I lived in New York there was a saying: You can have it good, fast and cheap- Just pick two out of three. 

In Cuenca you can have all three if you order your food from Anha Purna of Indian Affair.

Every week she meticulously prepares a different Indian feast to be delivered on Sunday. This dinner includes an appetizer, main dish, salad and bread. The food arrives on time and is hot and labeled for the uninitiated.

Run, don't walk to her website and order an Indian spread worthy of a king or queen.


Address: Remigo Crespo

Contact information: anhapurna@gmail.com 095 899 5126

Recommended by Lenny Charnoff:  lennycharnoff@gmail.com

Bernan's Homemade, food items

I want to give a huge shout out to Bernie and Nancy Hemingway for their awesome new gluten free goodies. After being on a cruise ship with me for 15 days and hearing me complain how hard it is to find basic things that I can eat, Bernie said I don't get it but will check to see if we can do anything gluten free. Less than 2 weeks after returning he said I want you to check out what I have. Thus began a food feast for me: gluten free corn bread mix, biscuit mix and pancake mix. Wow, was I a happy camper. Then he said I want some cookies so he made oatmeal raisin mix, chocolate chip mix and country style gravy. I have eaten all 24 of the oatmeal raisin cookies, loving every crumb and never experienced one second of discomfort like would have happened if they were not gluten free.

If, like me, you want good gluten free choices, contact Bernie and Nancy.

Address: 18 Rosemary Dr

Contact information: bernan_10304@yahoo.com

Recommended by Jodie Mansfield:  cuencajodie@gmail.com

Diego Mogrovejo, bilingual driver

Diego drives a 2003 Mazda Alegro 4 passenger sedan. I think 3 adults can be very comfortable.
* super safe and courteous, clean and comfortable 
* 25 years experienced bus driver who wants to make a change
* bilingual English Spanish speaking Ecuadorian from this area. 
* available most of the time but weekdays he usually needs to get his children after school from noon - 3 PM.
* weekends he is open all the time
* fare estimate Cuenca to Azogues $10 and he can stay and do a round trip for just $25 usually
* fare estimate Palermo to Aguas Termales just $2.50
* fare estimate Cuenca to Guayaquil just $80 and he can discuss a full day round trip

Address: Cuenca Azuay Ecuador

Contact information: mazter_1971_dmg@hotmail.com 095 891 5755 cel +593 95 891 5755 WhatsApp

Recommended by Garnett Stewart:  garnettstewart@gmail.com

Dr. Monica Villavicencio, biological dentist

Dr. Monica Villavicencio DDS, is very good technically and additionally she is a biological Dentist... which means she understand the relationship between organs in the body between teeth and other organs. If you are not familiar with biological dentistry take a look at a website (and the teeth-organ chart... scroll down ) of our US Dentist in Az:  www.mydentistaz.com
Additionally, Dr. Monica, speaks English and, for us, has been an invaluable resource of referrals to local doctors. She knows who is good and practices along line of natural medicine (which is my preference). By far safer way of finding a Dr. by a recommendation of another medical professional vs asking other patients (I nearly died 10 years ago following a recommendation of a patient who lied about the "bedside manner" and technology in a medical office back in CA. Never again: Ask the doctors to refer you!). Office phone number is 07 404 9521. Located in el Vergel area. Office name: BioAgeBioDental

Address: Conrnelio Merchan 5-11 y Carlos R. Vintimilla

Contact information: bioagebiodental@gmail.com

Recommended by Olga Davidge:  freemail81@hush.com

Dr Carlos

Looking for fast, affordable medical assistance?

Stop by the office adjacent to the pharmacia on Remigio Crespo near Juan Iniguez.

They review labs, make diagnoses, administer intermuscular Vitamin B injections, and more.

See their Facebook page for a list of services, operating hours and contact info


Injections administered for $2. Labs ordered, reviewed and record of treatment recommended for $15 Dr Carlos also provides nutritional consultations

Very friendly, with exceptional English skills.

Probably the most efficient doctor I've seen.

Address: Remigio Crespo y Juan Iniguez

Contact information: md.cepalacios@gmail.com

Recommended by Theresa Price:  theresamprice@hotmail.com

Fernanda Guerrero, translator/facilitator

I highly recommend Fernanda Guerrero as a translator/facilitator for people in need here in Cuenca. Fernanda spent time in Pennsylvania as an exchange student, and is bilingual. Beyond her language skills, though, she is very kind and insightful. She helped me make several decisions about working with doctors in IESS, and accompanied me to a medical appointment, translating results from tests I didn't understand and asking questions on my behalf when needed. She is dependable, communicates fully and in a timely manner, and really cares about her clients. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have, or contact her directly at 099 549 9846.

Address: Cuenca, Azuay

Contact information:  099 549 9846

Recommended by Paul Green:  paulgree@gmail.com

Cristian Mosi, Bonsai en Alambre

Cristian is a very creative artist in jewelry. I just purchased a pair of amethyst earrings, created while I was in his shop. All to my specifications, it was so lovely. So many wonderful and interesting things in his shop - check it out. His 'Trees of Life' in wire are spectacular.

Address: Hermano Miguel y Juan Jaramillo, one door north of 5-66 Hermano Miguel

Contact information: titicf@gmail.com 099 939 9732

Recommended by Laura Jamieson:  jamlj1959@gmail.com

Vistahermosa Opticas

I had my eyes examined for new lenses, by Jose' Hermosa Ugaz. I got tinted, progressive lenses. I can see so much better, and I am so grateful. I might add he is bilingual and has a great sense of humor.
My cost was $160. He also sells frames for $40., and has high-end imports. The $40. frames are totally fashion forward. He also repaired my temples with new rubber stems, behind the ears.

Jose' will definitely be our optometrist to use here in Cuenca.

Address: Ave. Don Bosco s n by Av. Loja (junta a Pizza Colombia)

Contact information: josehermoza75@yahoo.es 098 522 1855 / 098 413 9189

Recommended by Elizabeth Gross:  fredricagross49@yahoo.com

Dimplo's cleaning services

Well organized and experienced enterprise. They did a very good job cleaning my apartment and stove that had a lot of dirt. They even speak English now. Down below is the number of the person who attended me.

Address: Simon Bolivar y Miguel Heredia

Contact information: 099 413 6993

Recommended by Jhon Maveric:  juanpmalo@hotmail.com

DadaABC, online English school

After working for this company for almost six-months now and I can tell you they are one of the best online Chinese English schools out there. I work from my home here in Ecuador using a good high-speed connection with no problem.

They have an excellent software system with a great IT department and many students.
Having worked as an online educator for a number of years I can thoroughly recommend them as a great online place to work.
While the hours may not suit everyone, the pay is well worth any early mornings and there software / system setup simple to learn and use.

This is my personal recommendation link to the school:


Admittedly anyone who successfully applies using this link would result in my receiving a small commission, however, I have many other expat friends who are always looking for work and I never hesitate to mention this company to them because I am convinced they are one of the best.

Many of us like to work online from the comfort of our own home, unfortunately finding a company who pays well is the biggest challenge, Dadaabc ticked all of my boxes in this regard, I thoroughly recommend you check them out if you are looking to teach English online.

Address: Dadaabc Online - Ecuador

Contact information: dadaabc@dadaabc.com

Recommended by Jeremy Davies:  jdavies23@icloud.com

Ali's Restaurant

I just came across a new restaurant in town. Located on Estevez de Toral and 10-80 Mariscal Sucre is Ali's Restaurant. A real Middle Eastern restaurant in the heart of El Centro. They specialize in real flatbread, hummus, chicken and beef shwarma's, falafel, taboula and kibah. My wife and I each had a shwarma. Fantastic with real Middle Eastern flavors. We took home some hummus and flatbread. Tried it when we got home. Every bit as good as the shwarma's we had for lunch. A definite must try. They are open Tuesday thru Saturday from 8 AM to 4 PM.

Address: Estevez de Toral and 10-80 Mariscal Sucre

Contact information: ali_alkhoja2000@yahoo.com 098 380 9210

Recommended by Ray Mink: 098 302 3192

Estancia Vilcabamba, residence for seniors

The Municipality of Loja through the Municipal Board of Social Welfare aims to provide personalized and professional care to the elderly, providing services that ensure a good lifestyle for senior citizens.

This Nursing Home, which is located in the Valley of Longevity, Vilcabamba, has been appropriately adapted to offer thorough care for senior people.

It has a capacity for 120 people with a highly qualified team that will assist in three areas; day care and permanent residence for senior people.

It has all the features that of a family atmosphere and cozy.

• Residence Area
• Accommodation Area for Seniors and Family
• Medical Area
• Occupational Therapy Room
• Video and Reading Area
• Gym
• Psychiatric Rehabilitation Area
• Massage Area, hydro massage and ionic detox

• Conference hall, academic and scientific events
• Restaurant
• Praying Room
• Green spaces
• Pool and Jacuzzi
• Exterior Area for Private Events

The Nursing Home staff, who will be working with the elderly, is specialized in:

• Social Work
• Gerontology
• Nursing
• Psychology
• Occupational Therapies
• Psychiatric Rehabilitation

Areas of assistance:

Day care

This is to seniors who wish to stay from Monday to Friday from 8 AM to 4:30 PM with transportation service.

The main objective of this modality is to provide a space where they can perform recreational and recreational activities, physical therapies and occupational workshops in order to exercise their skills and enjoy their aging in an active and inclusive manner.


This service is for people with diseases common in old age who require either temporal or permanent care. It is especially for those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and senile dementia who need timely and specialized attention.

Other Services

Aimed at seniors, relatives of resident users, who wish to stay for a short time in the Estancia making use of all their services.

Address: Vilcabamba (Atillo and La Paz)

Contact information: patronatomunicipalloja@gmail.com 593 98 321 3257

Recommended by Gabriela Celi:  gabrielaceli89@gmail.com

Dr. Lauro Lopez Bustemonte, doctor - pain management

Before I moved to Cuenca, I needed to find a pain management doctor. I put a post on GP and was contacted by Dr. Lopez and his wife, Vicki. They assured me they would be able to help me and continue my pain management program from the US.

I suffer from chronic pain syndrome, psoriatic arthritis, and fibromyalgia. When I came here I was completely miserable and very medicated and of course, I couldn't speak Spanish. Dr. Lopez's wife, Vicki, speaks English and she helped us with everything we needed.

I now have a life and I feel so much better thanks to Dr. Lopez. I have been seeing him for a year and my life is very different thanks to Dr. Lopez. They even helped us when my husband had to have surgery, making sure everything was set up. They are a wonderful team and I would not see anyone else but Dr. Lopez.

The conditions he treats are: pain management, back pain, neck, articulation, oncological, neuropathic, migraine, cystic, fibromyalgia, myofascial, low back pain, intercostal and I am sure much more.

Dr Lauro López Bustamante.
Hospital Monte Sinai-Tower 2 4th floor, #405 / Torre 2 del Monte Sinaí. Consultorio 405. Teléfonos: 099 967 1423 y 07 281 4813 extensión 1405

Address: Torre 2 del Monte Sinaí. Consultorio 405

Recommended by Vivian Rogers:  markandvivianrogers@gmail.com

Cairo Cafe, Egyptian restaurant

Thamer is an always smiling young Egyptian, who came to Ecuador a couple of months ago and decided to open a restaurant as he loves to make falafel, shawarma, hummus and kushari, an authentic vegetarian Egyptian dish. The food is authentic and delicious in Cairo Cafe, a newly opened restaurant at riverside and would recommend it for anyone looking to try something new and different.

Sunday to Wednesday, 10 AM to 9 PM / Thursday to Saturday 11 AM to 11 PM.

Address: Benigno Malo 4-07 y Bajada del Padrón, 30 meters to Centenario Bridge

Contact information: salmar@gmail.com

Recommended by Michel Litbarski:  mlitbarski@gmail.com

Ecuador Expat Journeys, tours

Ecuador Expat Journeys is a phenomenal group of people who want to share their love of this beautiful country to anyone who may be interested in relocating here or wanting some locally guided tours. They're famous for their 'Crash Course' Tour of Ecuador but equally competent in their day tours beginning in Quito (their home base). From Quito and Cotacachi in the north all the way down to Vilcabamba and Loja in the south, these people know their stuff. If you've relocated and want to know more, culturally, about your chosen home, Ecuador Expat Journeys can help you feel more in tune with your new home. Their 'Crash Course' is amazing but they have lots of options for day trips originating in Quito and area. They are fully bi-lingual so communication was never an issue. Check them out today!  www.ecuadorexpatjourneys.com

Address: Quito, Ecuador

Contact information: info@ecuadorexpatjourneys.com 

Recommended by Susan Harrington:  taijamail@yahoo.com

Spacio Galeria, handmade products

"Spacio Galeria", an artistic must stop visit in Cuenca, Ecuador. A place where one can view art, jewelry, clothing, and other handmade products by citizens of Cuenca and other cities of Ecuador. Many of their hand made products are one of kind and can add to the treasures of collectors as well as giving individual enjoyment to those acquiring them for personal use. Attendants at Spacio speak English as well as Spanish and will be glad to give you some informative background on any item of interest to you.

Address: Simon Bolivar 12-60 y Tarqui.

Contact information:  098 720 1388

Recommended by Guillermo Peledini:  gpeledini7@gmail.com

Bar of Cuenca, Indian Restaurant

I just wanted to let everyone know that I have visited Bar of Cuenca and was quite impressed with the decor and the food was excellent. Both my friend and I had Chicken Biryani. The spices used in the dish were very fresh and Richard told us that they import many of the spices from India as they are not available here. Under the rice were large pieces of chicken breast which were cooked to perfection. He was very helpful explaining what the dish contained and surprised us with a wonderful Ayurvedic drink made of lemon, ginger and mint. I think I could have had 5 glasses of it. In addition, there was a small salad with yogurt dressing which was great except I cannot have dairy. Maybe next time I will ask for a small salad with lemon and olive oil. Average lunch cost is $5-$6.

Address: Tarqui 9-81 y Gran Columbia

Contact information: thebarofcuenca@gmail.com 099 841 5121

Recommended by Cindy Massey:  cindy37@gmail.com

Prancing Pony, restaurant

I've been travelling in Ecuador for nearly two months and have enjoyed many wonderful restaurants. But, my favorite by far, is a modest yet charming little place called the Prancing Pony. The food is simply delicious. It's well-prepared and extremely well-priced. The family that owns it are long-time restaurateurs from Venezuela and have brought their special touches and secret recipes with them (BBQ ribs to die for and the tastiest twist on the classic panini). Happy hour prices, at two cocktails for $4.50, have to be the best in Cuenca, especially if one of those cocktail choices includes rum and fresh-squeezed orange juice. Jose, the proprietor's son, speaks great English and can talk to anything from South American politics to where to buy the best vegetables. Just love this place and the people who frequent here (a home away from home).

Address: Calle Larga and Hermana Miguel next to the Casa Hibiscus and the Panama Hat shop

Contact information: armaderomon@gmail.com

Recommended by Elisa White:  whitebadger55@gmail.com

Juan Ordóñez, dentist

I’ve been to five dentists over a handful of years here in Cuenca but really hit the jackpot with Juan Ordóñez. Two weeks before seeing him, I’d been to another dentist for an ultrasonic cleaning. I left that dentist’s office disappointed that once again, my gum pocket depths had not been measured and I’d felt very rushed throughout the appointment. I’d heard good things about periodontist Juan Ordóñez and so went to see him. The first thing he told me was that my teeth needed to be cleaned. I was skeptical until he showed me serious amounts of plaque that had remained despite my recent ultrasonic cleaning. Dr Ordóñez cleaned my teeth better than they’d ever been cleaned and it was completely painless. (And it cost $31 as opposed to the $80 for the ultrasonic cleaning that I’d sought because of previous pain and sensitivity with cleanings.). Juan measured my pocket depths and discovered a serious pocket that my two previous dentists had missed. Gum health, as we all know, factors heavily in mortality and morbidity. No other dentists for me.

Address: Edificio Paseo del Puente, #103, 12 de Abril y Jose Peralta (corner of Paucarbamba y 12 de Abril)

Contact information: prodentconsultorioodonologoco 099 871 1578

Recommended by Taylor Brooke:  imajessme@gmail.com

Casa Alonso/Mansion Alcazar, gourmet restaurant

World renowned dining by reservations only is an experience to be had. We celebrated our Christmas at the fine dining in Cuenca's best restaurant, our table reservation was in the gazebo in the central garden and was peaceful. The food was very good and traditional Ecuadorian food. The wine is also very good, and the service is most excellent.

Address: Calle Bolivar12-55 y Tarqui

Contact information: info@mansionalcazar.com 07 282 3889

Recommended by Skip Martin:  skipkm16@icloud.com

Sunrise Cafe, restaurant

If you haven't yet tried the weekly barbecue night at Sunrise cafe, you are missing out. Ever since Orlando, the owner, got his new smoker he has offered barbecue specialties like ribs, barbecued chicken, pulled pork and brisket on Friday nights. Sunrise used to close daily at 3 PM, but is now open on Fridays until 10 PM. If you are a barbecue fan, this is the place for you.

Sunrise is located at 9-40 Calle Larga, about 30 meters to the west of Benigno Malo

Contact information: sunrisecafecuenca@gmail.com 07 284 0423

Recommended by Lina Maria Hernández Holguin:  hernandez-0305@hotmail.com