Recommendation for Monica Gonzaga, facilitator

My wife and I would like to recommend Facilitator Monica Gonzaga. She was recommended to me by another gringo and he was right!

I bought a used motorcycle and she handled the very complicated process of transfer of ownership, matriculation and inspection.

Last month, it was time for us to get our permanent visas. We gave her the power of attorney and the proper paperwork. With the power of attorney, she was able to do all the footwork which included travel to the Azogues office twice without us.

She speaks perfect English as does her assistant Marta.

Contact: Cell: 593 98 384 1691

Scott and Teresa Pratho

Recommendation for Daisy Pet Foods, wet food for your pets

I have purchased Daisy Pet food numerous times over last year or so. Food arrives frozen in medium size containers, I mix with dry food, my dogs love it. Hayley is very punctual and her prices are reasonable.


Contact information:

Recommended by Keith A Hendon:

Recommendation for Luz Elizabeth Quilli Rivera, house cleaner and pet setter

Luz is the most conscientious hard-working house cleaner I have ever met. She is very punctual and self-disciplined and motivated to do a great job for her customers. I have not met anyone who could clean my house as well as I could until I met Luz. She is also very caring and loving to our pets. She is excited to be able to walk our schnauzer and she is very gentle with our 12-year old cat. I have no qualms or concerns about leaving our pets with Luz. Her prices are very reasonable and I think they’re a little low for all she does.

Address: Cuenca

Contact information: +593 (0) 96 838 4671

Recommended by Susan Saitta:

Recommendation for Manuel Tapia, contractor

Manuel has been doing renovations, repairs for us for the last 10 years.

Anything from a driveway, pool upgrade, water pump replacement, ceramic tiles throughout the house, roof upgrade, califon repair, carpentry, electrical work, you name it. Right now, he´s building two houses in the area, and although he´s based in Yunguilla, he´s done work in Cuenca, Challubamba and Paute.

He´s honest to a fault, and in years past, we have left for extended periods of time while he was doing work inside and outside our house. Doesn´t speak English, but I´ll be more than glad to act as translator to help both sides.

Address: Cercaloma, Abdon Calderon, Yunguilla

Contact information: 099 263 0840

Recommended by Andre Alban: 098 167 7881

Recommendation for Ida, stellar housekeeper

For the last year, Ida has been my loyal and efficient housekeeper. She is looking for new clients. She lost her regular employment during the pandemic and has recently lost 2 of her clients. She is a single mother of a delightful daughter.

Her work is exceptional and she has a robust work ethic. She is honest and reliable. Doing a good job is important to her. She remains masked the entire time she’s in my home (and she has been vaccinated), and does meticulous work in cleaning (much better than I do). She is the greatest pleasure I have ever afforded myself.

I highly recommend Ida. Ida is a Spanish speaker with some English but it has never been an issue. She was a lovely disposition and seems to enjoy the work. I love her.

Feel free to contact me with any questions.

Address: Cuenca

Contact information:

Recommended by Eva Hollister:

Recommendation for best maternity hospitals in Cuenca?

What are the best maternity hospitals in Cuenca? And do you recommend specific Gynecologist?

Address: Cuenca

Contact information: 099 924 2373

Recommended by Layan M: 099 924 2373

Recommendation for Handyman Olger Avila,

I asked a dear friend for a recommendation for a handyman to help with several household projects. He recommended Olger Avila, and I couldn’t be more pleased. I needed a replacement tempered glass for a skylight. With his extensive network of connections, Olger obtained the perfect glass at half the price I had been quoted from a glass store here in Cuenca. I wanted some inexpensive shelves constructed to specific dimensions for my laundry room, and Olger built attractive shelves that were sturdy and strong. He also flawlessly plumbed an outdoor faucet for our terrace. The breadth of his knowledge and experience is extensive. Oh, and he speaks flawless English (from having lived in the US for many years). I highly recommend Olger for all “handyman” projects.

Parenthetically, Olger also provides transportation services in his large SUV. He drove my friends to the airport in Guayaquil. He also provides day tours to various sites of interest around Cuenca.

Address: Cuenca

Contact information: 098 431 5433

Recommended by David Kaplan:

Recommendation for Adrian Puli, translator, handyman and transportation

Adrian is a lifesaver. He takes me and my husband to our attorney, doctors, hospital and just about everywhere. Adrian speaks perfect English and translated for us when we got our permanent visas, my husband’s shoulder surgery and when we moved from our first apartment to our current home. Adrian is quite helpful and a wonderful handyman. When my husband fell in the shower he broken some tile. Adrian came right over and installed safety bars and fixed the broken tiles and made it look new. He replaced some lights for us and made some shelves. Adrian is not only a great translator and handyman but also a wonderful friend. You will truly appreciate all Adrian can do for you.

Address: Cuenca

Contact information: 098 317 4172

Recommended by Susan Saita:

Recommendation for Maddy Gonzalez, health insurance

This is a recommendation for Maddy Gonzales, who has helped me in difficult moments, and has never let me down.

My husband had a serious accident in March and Maddy helped me figure out bills and reimbursements, she holds my hand through forms and requirements.

Later, it was my turn and again, Maddy made my life easier, and got my money back.

I strongly recommend Maddy Gonzalez, more than an agent, she becomes a friend.

Address: Edifico Plaza Alamos: Avenida Ordonez Lasso y Los Alamos Office 202

Contact information:

Recommended by Silvia Lanza:

Recommendation for Martha, house cleaning

Martha has been cleaning for me for 3 years. She is meticulous in her work and I trust her implicitly. She is looking to fill her Mondays as her client moved back to the US. You will not regret having her work for you.

Address: Cuenca

Contact information:

Recommended by Lorraine Marshall:

Recommendation for Segundo Prado appliance

Last year, the lock on my Cuisinart bowl broke. I called Segundo to see if he could repair it. He took it and brought it back the next day, nicely repaired. It locks properly and allows me to use the food processor.

This week, my rain showerhead fell down while I was cleaning it. The edge that was impacted immediately split into two sheets of metal. I called Segundo, he took it and reported back that no type of adhesive or bonding was working. He would have to try something else. Yesterday, he brought it nicely put together with rivets which match the showerhead pores. Voila!! Segundo knows his stuff, finds a solution, speaks perfect English, is very personable and reasonable. He’s on WhatsApp.

Address: Cuenca

Contact information: +593 98 446 3480

Recommended by Anha Purna:

Recommendation for Orlando Siguenza, tour guide

I was in Cuenca for 2 days (08/30-31) and after day 1 of walking around the city by ourselves we realized it was best to try and get a tour of the city to limit the amount of walking since we were with someone over 70 and to have a comfortable way to get around and visit what we missed the first day.

I had seen recommendations for Orlando Siguenza on here so I contacted him. Although he was already booked for the next day he was able to accommodate us in the morning for a 4 hour tour of the city. It was one of the best decisions we made on our entire 12-day trip to Ecuador.

Orlando was a pleasure. He picked up us at the hotel and took us to the Prohibido Centro Cultural (highly recommended!), La catedral de la immaculado concepcion, a few plazas, Eercado 10 de agosto, Panama hat museum, Mirador de Turi among a few others.

He is personable and extremely knowledgeable. If you want to truly learn something about what you are seeing, you will be very happy. Perfect English as well.

He gave me permission to share his contact info:

Address: Cuenca, Ecuador

Contact information: +593 98 585 4587

Recommended by Aaron S:

Recommendation for Unas con Estill, nail salon

I moved to Cuenca about two years ago. I experienced five different nail salons here before finding Unas. Several of which were recommended to me, but none could compare to the quality of the nail technicians at Unas.

These women are masters of their trade and artists in the doing. Thirty plus years of wearing acrylic nails, by necessity, allows me this platform to recommend these ladies and state that they are truly the best technicians I have ever experienced…anywhere in the world.

Address: Av. Gonzalez Suarez 6-50 y Gaupondelig

Contact information: 098 912 8270

Recommended by Carol Capek:

Recommendation for David Jackson (My Cuenca Nerd), tech repair

I had an iPad in need of repair. The screen had been lifting and separating from the bottom part of the iPad for some time. It had gotten so bad that light was shooting out from all side but one. I had seen several recommendations for David in GringoPost and called him. He responded immediately and made an appointment to come assess the damages. He was on time to the appointment, explained in detail his assessment, possible concerns and his quote for repair and timeframe. All was done as promised and I couldn’t be happier.

David Jackson aka My Cuenca Nerd – email:

Address: Cuenca

Contact information: 098 665 5450

Recommended by Tammy Lowe: 098 888 5937

Recommendation for La Guarida, restaurant, art, film, and music venue

I just had a most delicious gourmet breakfast at La Guarida, on Mariscal Lamar and Luis Pauta. The name, Guarida means “Lair”. A lovely place for lots of enjoyable events. The breakfast and the dinner meals are abundant and all prepared with love.
Andres and Omar are great hosts. The movies are very art house cool, the musical groups are very hip. And currently there is a big show of Segovias art and ceramic sculptures.

Now that Cuenca has reached “Herd Immunity”. treat yourself to breakfast any day, Monday through Friday 9 AM – 12:30 PM.

Address: Mariscal Lamar and Luis Pauta

Contact information: 099 806 8071

Recommended by Julia Rux:

Recommendation for David Jackson (My Cuenca Nerd), IT

We highly recommend working with Dave Jackson (Cuenca Tech Nerd). He’s set up our Puntonet several times, has refigured our Firestick, set up a Mesh network, reinstalling an SSD for an older model laptop, and is doing so much more, all at an affordable price.

Always friendly and on time; He even found me a computer part that I was missing for our smart TV that would have taken a month to get here saving me time and money. Even showed up with breakfast before Puntonet showed up early in the morning. This guy is the best.

Thanks Dave.

Address: Cuenca, Ecuador

Contact information: 09 866 5450

Recommended by Rob Kidd:

Recommendation for Isabela Latta, exceptional facilitator and communicator

Isabela provided facilitation services for a friend who had to return to the US for medical reasons recently. Her attention to him, and to all the details around his needs in Ecuador and during his transition back we just exceptional.

Her language skills, sense of humor, empathy, and her excellent and timely communication with his family in the US and with his friends here were all above and beyond.

She is a native Ecuadorian thus understands local customs, and her higher education was in the US, so her English skills are also top notch.

Phone with WhatsApp +593 98 387 6096

Address: Av. Ordoñez Lasso, Ed. Palermo, Cuenca

Contact information: +593 98 387 6096 with WhatsApp

Recommended by Paul Meers:

Recommendation for Anabel Cuervo, Bi-linguel nurse, medical consultant

I was in need of care for my husband at home post biopsy for a tumor when overnight his kidneys stopped working. After 2 weeks in the hospital he came home, went to out patient dialysis, came home was unconscious for a day and a half and could not pee. I was in deep need of help and medical consultation. Anabel Cuervo was able to come assess Andrew and talked with his Drs and administer care that helped him. From that point on she set up to have around the clock care for Andrew until he passed away. It was a big relief for me because I knew he was getting the care he needed!

Address: Cuenca ,Ecuador

Contact information: 096 313 1296

Recommended by Robin Chase Yngsdahl:

Recommendation for Dimplo’s, window cleaning

With a high rise apartment full of windows that needed a serious washing, I called Dimplo’s. They arrived in short order, gave a very favorable quote, and made an appointment for the next day. They arrived on time, performed the work very quickly and efficiently, did a great job, and everything was intact
(and here) when they left. I was most impressed and highly recommend them for all your window cleaning needs.

Address: Bolivar 17-25 y Miguel Heredia

Contact information: 099 225 1228 / 099 897 0528

Recommended by Jean Carothers:

Recommendation for Blanca Loja, excellent housekeeper/cook

Blanca has worked for us for over 10 years. She is honest and reliable. Doing a good job is important to her. Also, her cooking skills are outstanding, both Ecuadorian and gringo food.

She now has some openings for new clients.

She is willing to go anywhere in Cuenca. Blanca only speaks Spanish.
She also worked for a woman named Cristina Proano for 9 years. That woman can give Blanca another recommendation. Cristina’s phone number is 099 636 5843.
Below is another recommendation for Blanca (from MountainHombre):
“We hired Blanca about a year ago due to Mike’s recommendation here.

“We are so glad we did. She is a sweet woman who is supporting her child and her mom on her maid’s income.

“She is very honest, punctual, hardworking, and does a great job. We have a dog and a cat, so there’s some “extra” cleaning involved. She’s very eager to please.

“She’s also assisted with local information, the name of a great diabetes specialist, etc.

“She does not speak English, but my wife and her communicate quite well despite my wife’s poor Spanish. For more complex things, there’s me or Google translate.

“We do treat her like gold, because she deserves it!”

Address: Cuenca near Tres Puentes

Contact information: 099 809 9189

Recommended by Mike Lawton: 099 159 3533

Recommendation for Viva Mas, health improvement

More than two years ago, I met Farzin and Kafa when attending a birthday party that featured an incredibly delicious vegan chocolate cake that Kafa had prepared. I was happy to hear that they had opened their own shop, so I visited them there last week. I was delighted to find an array of super-tasty and healthy Middle-Eastern delicacies, plus a hand-picked selection of high-quality nutritional supplements. But best of all was finding out that both of them are certified health care professionals. Viva Mas is Cuenca’s new source of good food, good supplements, and good advice – highly recommended.

Address: Luis Moreno Mora 5-47 y Roberto Crespo Toral

Contact information: 093 900 9760 (English) 098 944 4492 (Espanol)

Recommended by Paul Anthony:

Recommendation for Dr. Juan Ordonez – dentist

Dr. Juan has been my dentist for over three years. During that time he has provided excellent dental services. I have received highly diligent cleanings, He also made a nightguard for me, Because I’m unable to have an implant, he made me a three-tooth bridge that looks very natural and fits well.

Recently, I had a dental emergency and Dr. Juan was very responsive and booked me an appointment promptly. He diagnosed and treated the problem with expertise. I trust him and recommend him for any for any dental procedure.

Both Dr. Juan and his English-speaking assistant, Jonathan, are friendly, courteous and professional.

My husband and niece are very happy with Dr. Juan as well!

Address: Av 12 de Abril y Jose Peralta – Edificio Pase del Puente, El Vergel

Contact information: 099 871 1578

Recommended by Jo Austin: 099 535 7378

Recommendation for Mustafa Adawi, computer/TV techie

We have used Mustafa for several years. We are in the dark ages technically so he helps us with hook-ups and brings our old computer up to date. Recently he installed a firestick which allows us to get anything we want. He also pointed out that the speed of the router installed by Etapa is too slow.

The man is honest and very fair with his charges. He is busy because his talents have been discovered but he will stick to an appointment time once it is set.
We highly recommend him. Also, his English is excellent.

Bruce and Maureen Stewart

Address: Mustafa Adawi 099 408 7897

Contact information: 099 408 7897

Recommended by Bruce and Maureen Stewart: 099 456 2895

Recommendation for Killa Spanish School

Soledad and Fabiola are fantastic teachers that have taken my Spanish to a new level. It’s so great to immerse yourself in the language with their guidance and to be able to speak with increased confidence when dealing with your daily needs. They are both kind and patient and have helped me improve in all aspects of the language: speaking, reading, writing and listening comprehension.

Address: Av.27 de Febrero 6-42, Cuenca

Contact information: +593 99 564 9563

Recommended by Ellen Fujioka:

Recommendation for Martha Cecilia Mocha, housecleaner, housecleaning

I have a wonderful housecleaner I would like to recommend. Martha has been my housecleaner for several years now. She is hardworking, always on-time, reliable, and very trustworthy. She does a great and thorough job. And if there is something especially important to you – all you have to do is mention it to her. She is currently looking for more work. Her rates are very reasonable, and she can be flexible with whatever schedule you need. Her English is very good. She can be reached by WhatsApp, or email.

Address: Cuenca

Contact information: 098 023 9685

Recommended by Jane Hiltbrand:

Recommendation for Paw Lovers, pet care

We took our two girls, aged one-year and 15-years, to get their nails trimmed and some much-needed attention. The owner, Paola, spoke English and was great to work with. She is studying Veterinary Science and is passionate about her love for animals. Their “Spa Day” took a bit over an hour and when we went to pick them up they looked and smelled fabulous. They were treated like royalty from end to end. We got way more than we expected for much less than we expected to pay. We will be bringing the girls back regularly.

Address: Miguel Cordero Davila 1-124 y Francisco Moscoso

Contact information: 098 672 2197

Recommended by Terry Carroll:

Recommendation for Mady González, insurance agent

My interest in finding other health plans here in Cuenca led me to Mady, a very knowledgeable and professional agent with the patience to explain and guide me through the pros and cons of different options available. She managed to simplify the process of finding the right plan that suits my needs and is now terminating my existing plan and beginning a new one.

Thanks Mady for making it such a painless process.

Give her a call: 098 630 4185

Address: Ordóñez Lasso y Los Alamos Oficina 202

Contact information:

Recommended by Poka Hugho:

Recommendation for Killa Spanish School, Spanish tutors

I’d gladly recommend the wonderful Spanish tutors from Killa School! Soledad and Fabiola are two amazing teachers who have helped me not only improve my Spanish level, but also deepen my understanding of the local mentality and culture. The communicative approach they apply has made the lessons with them highly engaging and fun. The topics are chosen as per the student’s needs and interests, and they provide both online and in-person classes. Both Sol and Fabiola are dedicated teachers that make sure you easily cross any kind of language barriers.

Address: Av.27 de Febrero 6-42, Cuenca

Contact information: 098 773 0401

Recommended by Maya Otovich:

Recommendation for G&G, Jacqueline Guerrero CPA, SRI accounting

The women at G&G have been assembling the paperwork and submitting all my receipts to SRI for my 12% senior tax refunds for several years now. They charge 10% of your total refund. Believe me, after doing all the paperwork myself for my first few years in Cuenca, I appreciate this time-saving service. They send me an email when the filing has been submitted and accepted by SRI. Jacqueline and her staff are knowledgeable and up-to-date on all the filing rules for your tax refund. I can’t recommend them highly enough. They can also advise in business accounting.

Address: Calle Alfonso Borrero y Remigio Ramirez

Contact information: 098 776 3540

Recommended by Carolyn V. Hamilton:

Recommendation for Bigotte Barber Shop – Mauricio

I highly recommend Bigotte barber shop for anyone looking to get a quality haircut and/or shave. When you walk in the place, you will be greeted by smiling faces along with the owner, Mauricio, who will welcome you with open arms. You will be given three darts to try and hit a bullseye on the dartboard to receive a free haircut.

If you do not speak fluent Spanish, do not worry, he can explain to the barbers exactly what you want. Once sitting down, you will be offered a complimentary beverage of your choice, including adult ones such as Jack and Coke, if you would like. It’s always five o’clock there.

Services range from facials, shaves, styles, and if you are adventurous, they will even wax nasal passages! All part of the experience he offers.

The barbers are super nice and friendly and always willing to ensure you get exactly what you wish for.

Quality place and great prices. You may walk out feeling guilty you paid so little for so much.

The place is located on the road behind Common Grounds, just off Gran Columbia and across from JD Muebles. Go check it out. You won’t regret it.

Address: Off Gran Columbia behind Common Grounds and across from JD Muebles.

Contact information: 099 580 0977

Recommended by Mark Tomlinson:

Recommendation for Alexandra Clara Guillen Lopez, podiatrist

I had heard that there were no podiatrists in Cuenca. Not true! IESS no longer has podiatrists, but there are at least three private podiatrists. I have gone to one and she is an exemplar professional, beautiful office, and a real doctor. I recommend her highly. Her phone number is 098 721 0299. She does not speak English, so bring an interpreter.

Address: Rafael Torres Beltran s/n y Jose Maria Sanchez, Cuenca.

Contact information: 098 721 0299

Recommended by Kevin Moen:

Recommendation for Paw lovers Dog Grooming

After reading another review for this company, we decided to take two of our dogs in for grooming (both rescues and one hates even a bath). Paola spoke English which made it so easy. We scheduled for pickup and delivery which worked out very well. They did a great job and will be using them again.

Address: Miguel Cordero 1-124 y 1-126 y Francisco Moscoso, Cuenca

Contact information: 098 672 2197

Recommended by Diane Brown:

Recommendation for Adrian, transportation, translator, and handyman

Adrian is 36 years old and spent over 6 years in the United States so his English is almost flawless. He can take you anywhere you want or need to go. He has taken me and my husband to our attorney, doctors and hospital and government offices and has translated for us. When we needed him to take us to Guayaquil to the airport he made the trip very comfortable.

My husband fell recently in the shower and broke some of the tiles. Adrian was right there and fixed the shower and installed handicap rails so that couldn’t happen again.

He has done a great many other things for us and he has always done a professional job. His prices are very reasonable and everyone that we have recommended him to think the same as we do. If you need help, call Adrian.

Address: Cuenca

Contact information: 098 317 4172

Recommended by Susan Saitta:

Recommendation for Le Petit Jardin, gourmet dining

We visited Giovanni and team, just before their vacation shut-down. As always, the staff were friendly and attentive. As always, the food was beyond fantastic. Since we were the last clients of the evening, Giovanni was relaxed; perhaps more reflective than usual. As we were enjoying his garden, while waiting for our cab, I asked who composed his client-base, I was surprised to hear that a larger percentage came from Guayaquil!

It seems these well-heeled folk, concoct reasons to make the trip from the coast, just to stop-in at le Jardin. Of course, there’s some speculation on my part. However, when folks from “the Big Smoke” make a bee-line to my favorite spot, it’s worth noting.
When asked about his preferred clientele, however, it seems that Giovanni enjoys a great rapport with the North American contingent.

Does he play favorites? Maybe. But it could be that the gringo palate is more discerning and our enjoyment of his craft, is more gratifying to him.

Address: Calle de las Brevas

Contact information:

Recommended by Sieg Braun:

Recommendation for Cristy Mora, SRI tax return filer

I was very happy with Christy she came to my home to collect sales receipts and even got my returns on emailed facturas.

She contacted me when the SRI deposited my returns in my JEP account and then she come over to collect her 12% commission.

I highly recommend her.

Address: Cuenca, Ecuador

Contact information: 098 977 2330

Recommended by Gary A Sisk:

Recommendation for Red Tag Moving Company, local moving company

We found ourselves needing to move quickly from our home from Capulispamba to Cuenca and called Debra Lynn at Red Tag Moving Company. Debra fit us into her already busy schedule, met with us and gave us a what turned out to be a spot-on quote for the amount of time it would take her and her crew to pack and move us. 11 hours to load, unload and transport 6 truckloads and 6 hours to pack our 3 bed, 2 bath home.

We did not lift a finger during the entire move and she and her crew worked tirelessly and with much cheer during the very long day. They expertly loaded the contents of our home with precision and the utmost care; fitting it all into their truck like a jigsaw puzzle. Debra had come out the day before and packed every single thing in our house with extreme efficiency and expediency having it all in place for her movers the next day.

The crew disassembled all of our appliances and beds and reassembled them at our new home. After the – again – long day, Debra made sure everything was connected correctly ensuring that we had hot water for our showers that night and she even unpacked everything we needed in the morning to have coffee and toast. With gratitude and praise we wholeheartedly recommend Debra and her crew.

Address: Calle Grand Columbia y Unidad Nacional

Contact information:

Recommended by Phyllis May:

Recommendation for KOLO restaurant and bakery

It’s Frank’s own place! And it keeps getting better and better. Located in the Hotel La Vieja Mansion, in a spacious and lovely dining room, Frank’s specializes in delicious American style food (Bravo to the Chef!) and good old Southern hospitality.

All staff speak English and are friendly and helpful. The menus are in English and Spanish, easy to read. Frank adjusts his menus frequently to include new and popular items, one of which is the Texas- style chicken fried steak. It comes with mashed potatoes and veggies, but you can have double mashed potatoes if you ask. Take it from a Texan, the chicken fried steak is a 10.

Pitchers of water with mint leaves lend another touch of class to the experience, and you just feel at home at Frank’s. Daily specials and the regular menu feature very reasonable prices. So get over there and try it out. Don’t forget to leave room for a cinnamon roll or take one home. The sourdough bread is perfect to buy for a late-night snack. Frank knows how it’s done.

Closed on Tuesdays. Open from 8 AM to 3 PM every day except Tuesdays. Enjoy.

Address: Luis Cordero y Juan Jaramillo 5-65, inside the Hotel La Vieja Mansion

Contact information:

Recommended by Janet Mitchell:

Recommendation for Tere Beauty Center, beauty shop

I’ve had painful ingrown toenails for years, and in just a few visits, the extremely talented Carol is curing them! I’ve gone for less than two months, every 2 weeks, and already there is a huge improvement. In only this short period of time, this week not one nail was ingrown.

They also offer haircuts for men, women and children.

They are located on the left corner of the crossroads just after the traffic circle where Gran Colombia has just ended and Ordonez Lasso begins. Next door to the E-Wok restaurant.
098 481 1365

Address: Ordonez Lasso x Los Alamos next door to E-Wok restaurant

Contact information: 098 481 1365

Recommended by Jeannie Alvin:

Recommendation for Mother and Son home delivery, restaurant

I am on a very restricted diet. I gave my diet requirements to Debby. She has been making and delivering meals for over a month. My last blood work was great. Her meals are delicious and have plenty of variety. Their phone is WhatsApp.

Address: 203 Los Clavelesby Los Cedros

Contact information: 096 322 3377

Recommended by Diane Jordan: 099 175 6588

Recommendation for Nandala Cocina Vegetariana, restaurant

The newly opened Nandala Cocina Vegetariana is a delight start to finish. The cheery decor, staff and fireplace were a welcomed relief on a gloomy rainy Cuenca day. The noodles and vegetables in the Pad Thai were cooked to perfection, with slightly crisp vegetables and a wonderful mingling of flavors. Spicey sauce comes on the side. My friend had a huge bowl of Ramen which she struggled to finished. On my next trip I’m going to try the Burrito. We were offered a complimentary side dish of perfectly cooked twice fried French fries with dipping sauces. I was full but I couldn’t resist. Nandala is definitely a welcomed addition to the culinary arts in Cuenca.

Address: 1-28 Florencia Astudillo y 12 de Abril.

Contact information: 593 99 808 3903

Recommended by Patricia Daugherty:

Recommendation for La Chakra – Matias, organic food/specialty store

I am new to the area and Matias was the first person that I met here in Cuenca. He manages a wonderful store full of the finest organic products including nuts, flours, honey, shampoos and it’s no wonder they have a five-star rating.

Matias runs the store for his cousin and he is the most wonderful person to help you with your needs. Very kind and patient, his English is excellent and I made a new friend here.

The store also carries CBD oil and other products to help you with your personal care.

Address: Esquina de la Artes, S/n, Planta Baja, Av. 12 de Abril cerca de la Universidad

Contact information: +593 99 683 9199

Recommended by Joe Scardino:

Recommendation for Elizabeth Gavilanes and Mateo Nauta, house/pet sitting

Elizabeth and Mateo are veterinary students in Cuenca. They took care of our house and 2 cats while we were in the US for 3 weeks. We came home to happy cats and a spotless house. They are very professional and have a contract that allows both parties to exchange information about the job/pets/special needs and contains all of their contact information. Elizabeth sent us photos and videos of the cats, which added to our level of comfort while we were away. We highly recommend them – also known as
M & E Pet Sitting Service.

Address: The service took place at our house in El Vergel.

Contact information: 099 848 1355

Recommended by Kimberley Wood:

Recommendation for Protemax, glass lamination

I wanted clear window film to prevent my furniture, rugs, etc. from fading. A friend recommended Protemax, which promptly sent a proposal with information about the product and cost. A few days later, three young people installed the 3M film quickly and correctly at the quoted price, which was much lower than I expected. I’m very pleased with the professional way Protemax handled the job. The glass is clear and stronger than before, thanks to the 8- micron thickness I selected. See

Address: Avenida Espana 13-13 y Elia Liut, Cuenca

Contact information: (07) 280 9396

Recommended by Jean McCord:

Recommendation for Leonardo the TechGuy

My employee’s son starts university and needed a real computer (the family has very little money and the two teenagers have been using their parents’ cellphones as computers for school). A friend donated a computer that needed some repair work. I contacted Leonardo–he got back to me immediately and came over to look at the computer. He diagnosed the problem, took the computer and told me the cost. I paid him up-front and, since I’d told him it was a rush, he brought the repaired computer back the next day! (He said he’d worked on it all night, since the computer was needed right away.)

On time, competent, very reasonably priced, prompt with repairs and advice–what more could one want? I recommend Leonard highly.

Address: Cuenca

Contact information: +593 98 352 2685

Recommended by Bobette Jones:

Recommendation for Leonardo Duran, electronic devices

Leonardo has helped me and my wife on several occasions. He is technically versed in telephone service, television, and internet problems. He is very punctual and can deal with your issues electronically. I highly recommend this young man.


Contact information:

Recommended by Keith A Hendon:

Recommendation for Williams Reyes, physical therapy.

Message, Personal Training, Fit-Boxing

I found Williams on GringoPost. One of his clients recommended him. As my Physical Therapist, he knew what exercises I needed for my scoliosis pain. Williams is a certified expert in the therapies and trainings that he offers. He will offer his credentials if asked. His rates are affordable.

A Cuenca native, he speaks excellent English. He will come to your house and work around your schedule. Prompt, courteous, professional, and a good friend.

Address: Home Service

Contact information: 098 348 5626

Recommended by Russell Bath: 098 333 9343

Recommendation for CPA Jacqui Guerrero, accounting/taxes

Ready to file your expat taxes?
G&G – Tax and accounting advisors

Expat taxes may not be fun, but they don’t have to be stressful. We can help make the process hassle-free.

CPA. Jacqui Guerrero Mgs. will assist you in all your taxes needs.
Come visit our new office. Conveniently located near SRI.
Improved space and services.

– Income Tax
– Assets Declaration
– Tax refund
– Payroll
– Assistance Record

Jacqui Guerrero

Address: Alfonso Borrero y Rafael Ramirez en el Edificio Fontana Di Leandra planta baja
Call or Whatsapp: +593 98 426 1679

Address: Alfonso Borrero y Rafael Ramirez in el Edificio Fontana Di Leandra planta baja

Contact information: +593 98 426 1679

Recommended by Jacqui Guerrero:

Recommendation for Leonardo’s Landscaping

We were looking for someone to help us with a garden project and happened to see an ad from Leonardo’s Landscaping and Gardening in GP. It sounded like the project was something he could do, so we took a chance and called him. He spoke excellent English and was friendly and knowledgeable, and came the next afternoon, right on time. He brought a crew with him and within a little over 3 hrs. they had bought grape vine trellis posts and all the materials needed, dug the holes for the posts and grapes, planted and installed everything – and we had two rows of grape vine trellises! Leo’s crew was also friendly and capable, and under his direction, everything was done exactly how we had wanted. We’ll be using Leonardo for any and all future garden projects, and recommend him highly.

Address: Cuenca

Contact information: 096 904 8247

Recommended by Roz Reymers:

Recommendation for Isabella Latta, facilitator

Last Friday I went to help pack up and move some things from the apartment of a friend who is moving back to the Atates because of illness. His family will be a strong support for him there. With him, when we came, was Isabella Latta, a neighbor, friend and facilitator. She is helping him with all aspects of the move – furniture sales, flights (coordinating with his daughter), getting to Guayaquil, closing out the phone, getting PCR tests… He doesn’t have the capacity to do any of the details at this moment in time.

I was impressed with Isabella’s kindness, patience, ability to work with Ecuador’s and the US’s complicated systems, command of English, and ability to interact with us in the midst of her work moving our friend back to the States.

Isabella lived in the States for 21 years in both NYC and California. She had 2 years of paralegal training and managed large retail stores while in the States. She is accomplished and able. She is even going with our friend on the transport she arranged to Guayaquil to be certain he gets on the plane safely. You couldn’t ask for any greater help than he is getting. She has a special quality of warmth and humor that makes even difficult situations manageable.

Address: Edificio Palmero, 10H, Cuenca

Contact information: 098 387 6096

Recommended by Jane Stallman:

Recommendation for Elizabeth and Mateo Pet Sitting, pet sitters

We were planning to be out of town for three weeks — the longest we had ever left our dog, and we heeded the advice of others on GringoPost to hire Elizabeth and Mateo. They stayed in our apartment while taking great care of our dog (and plants!).

We got regular updates, pictures, and videos. They contacted us with any questions or concerns, and we knew our dog and apartment were in safe and competent hands. Mateo is in the last stage of becoming a vet, and Elizabeth is not far behind. That just added peace of mind.

Their rates are very reasonable, and they are really professional in how they run their pet/apartment sitting business. We look forward to using them again.

Address: Cuenca

Contact information: 099 848 1355 or 098 525 7115

Recommended by Bradley Laye:

Recommendation for Croz Cell Technical Service, cell phone repairs, cell phone accessories

My cell phone wouldn’t charge. I took it to two different shops. At first they thought it was because of my plug. However, after trying out new plugs without any success, I was told my phone could not be fixed. I then went to Carlos at Croz Cell. He discovered the problem. An internal receptor was not connecting. He promptly fixed it and it now continues to work very well. If you want expert care with success, given promptly and in a most friendly manner, then go to Carlos Orellana at Croz Cell. He’s my “go to man” for all needed repairs.

Address: Ordonez Lasso 6-33 y Los Olivos (Edificio Orebri)

Contact information: CrozCell@crocell 098 458 4915 / 099 975 5029

Recommended by Luisa Nelson:

Elementary school documents needed

Hi, I just moved from USA to Ecuador With a 10-year old girl. I would like to know what documents I need to register her in school? I do have her report card from USA, Please help me,

Osayo: 259 3804. Call after: 10 AM.

City: Quito (capital)

Looking for recommendation for a female Ecuadorian muralist

The title says it all. If you have personal experience with a female Ecuadorian muralist, please post her contact information in the comments below. And, if possible, a photo or photos of her work.

Thanks so much.


City: Cuenca

Looking for garage for rent

Looking for garage for rent in Cuenca, $50-$100 per month.

2 or 3 bedroom furnished house or apartment (not a high rise) in Cuenca (not right in Centro but within 20 minutes by bus or taxi; not near cell towers and lots of wires and other kinds of ugly views). Furnished including pots and pans, appliances, washer and dryer, accepts small dog. Up to $500 per month. Reward.

Penelope: 072 824 4511. Call after: 7 AM.

Looking for 2 bedroom house for rent

Looking for 2 bedroom, furnished house for rent in Cuenca, $800 +, Must allow pets.

Looking for a 2 or 3 bedroom house (or ground floor apartment) with a green space for a small dog. Must be furnished. 6-month lease preferred.


Recommendation for Leonardo the Techguy, internet and computer support

We used Leonardo’s excellent service for upgrading our Puntonet internet. He was able to increase our plan to 100 megas and decrease our monthly cost at the same time! He was prompt with all his communications and scheduling of appointments. We really appreciated his efforts navigating this for us! We highly recommend using Leonardo for your internet or computer issues.

Address: Cuenca

Contact information: 098 352 2685

Recommended by Julie Lester: 099 221 3666

Recommendation for Mudanzas Espinoza Movers, moving company

I’ve worked with Mudanzas Espinoza Movers twice now in my 6 years living here. Sebastian is affordable, professional and does excellent work. His workers are polite and careful.

Address/Location Ricardo Darquea
Phone number +593 99 751 5644
Blog / Website http://www.mudanzasespinoza.comy experience is good.

Address: Ricardo Darquea, Cuenca

Contact information: +593 99 751 5644

Recommended by Mark G:

Recommendation for Dr. Juan Ordóñez, dentist

What a relief to finally be vaccinated and get my teeth cleaned. Dr Juan offers the most thorough cleanings and I can tell you from personal experience that his implants, crowns and gum treatments are well done and painless. He’s a kind, skilled and gentle man who works with a translator so language is not an issue. All bio-precautions taken. Call or WhatsApp.

Address: Building Paseo del Puente, Av. 12 de Abril y Jose Peralta, office #103, Cuenca

Contact information: 099 871 1578

Recommended by Taylor Brooke: 099 203 6812

Recommendation for Botaniker Alchemists, Restaurant

From the moment you enter this charming establishment you are greeted with sensory pleasures for your eyes as well as your pallet. Xavier, the owner bills himself as a “food engineer”. He definitely lives up to his title. The restaurant is beautifully decorated with plants and stylish furniture.

The staff is all bilingual and the restaurant consists of traditional Ecuadorian Food but some fantastic North American dishes. On our first visit I had the Quesadillas and my wife had the Tacos with a tasty guacamole. Our second visit we each had a hamburger cooked to our exact specifications. They use Heinz Ketchup and have a delicious Peanut sauce for dipping your Fries. Save room for the desserts because they are scrumptious.

I saved the best part for last. The “Alchemist” in the title is there because they produce their own private label of Gin and Vodka. I had the Honey Bee Gin and Sharon had the Ginger Lemonade.

Run, don’t walk to this great new restaurant on Los Alamos y 3 de Noviembre
Hours: noon – 11 PM. Closed Tuesday

Address: 3-91 Los Alamos y 3 de Noviembre

Contact information: 07 410 2731

Recommended by Lenny Charnoff:

Recommendation for Stefany Canino, mani/pedi

If you’re looking for someone to come to your house for a mani/pedi, Stefany Canino is the person you want. My husband’s feet were in desperate need. He was very fearful because his feet hurt and were very sensitive. Stefany came over and gave his feet the treatment they needed with no pain. She also gave him a manicure. She’s kind, honest, and very professional. Best manicure and pedicure in Cuenca. Contact: 593 96 081 0363 WhatsApp.

Contact information: 096 081 0363

Recommended by Eileen Barnhart:

Recommendation for Mateo and Elizabeth (vet students), pet sitters

Do you need loving, experienced, and reliable care for your pets while you are away? I would like to recommend Mateo and Elizabeth of M&E Pet Lovers. They are both vet students at the University of Cuenca. Mateo is going to graduate next March and Elizabeth is in the fourth year. Their training provides the expertise to care for your pets and handle any emergency that may arise.

They have cared for our precious dog and cat and we wholehearted trust them with our home and our plants as well. We have gotten free house-sitting as a bonus at no extra cost! Our animals adore them and we get pictures and videos of them daily while we are away assuring us our pets are happy and healthy.

Mateo and Elizabeth are extremely professional and provide a contract and reasonable rates. They even have reduced prices for longer timeframes. Having them stay with our pets at our home is a win-win for everyone. Our pets get to stay in their familiar space, reducing their stress, and we get to travel knowing that they are extremely well cared for.

Address: Cuenca

Contact information: 099 848 1355 or 098 525 7115

Recommended by Debra Rose: 093 990 6685

Recommendation for M&E Pet Lovers, pet sitting

We recently used M&E Pet Lovers, Mateo & Elizabeth, to check up on our two senior cats while we went on a long weekend trip. One of my cats is senile and wears a diaper and required someone to come by our house and change him 3x a day.

Mateo & Elizabeth were wonderful – they listened to all of the important information and truly cared about taking care of our kitties. Very professional yet warm and friendly service. I felt that my cats were totally safe in their care.

I highly recommend them for pet sitting or pet walking.

Address: Quinoas y Pucacocha, Cuenca, Ecuador

Contact information: 099 848 1355

Recommended by Laura O.:

Recommendation for Diego Maldonado, professional tour guide

Looking for a professional and certified tour guide? I would like to recommend Diego Maldonado of Amazing South American Tours ( for your next adventure. Diego has over 20 years of experience leading tours in Ecuador and 5 years leading tours in Peru and Bolivia. Diego specializes in birdwatching and cultural tours.

We have toured with Diego in the past and hired him again recently when a friend visited us from the United States. Our tour of Ingapirca was extraordinary and made even better because of Diego’s passion for Incan history. Every minute of the day he shared fascinating details about the Canari and Incan history of those ruins. On another day, we hired Diego to bring us to Gualaceo and Chordeleg. Even though we had visited these places in the past, we had never toured these places with Diego. In one day, we visited guitar-makers in San Bartolome, a kitchen garden in a traditional home where the owner made us Horchata tea and biscuits, the Mercado in Gualaceo, the amazing Ikat weavers in Casa de Makana, the orchid labs in Ecuagenera, and saw how the exquisite silver filigree jewelry is made in Chordeleg.

Diego shares many heartwarming life experiences about our area as only a native Cuencano can.

Address: Cuenca

Contact information: 099 841 2450

Recommended by Debra Rose: 093 990 6685

Recommendation for Visa Angels, help securing visas and cedulas

+ on your arrival and with the original documents plus the translations, Visa Angels takes the documents through the legal process. (We were required only to be present to sign for a temporary Power of Attorney, so they had our authorization to represent us at government offices and for the finalization for obtaining the National Identity Card.)

+ Visa Angels also helped us secure the required health insurance so we could obtain the national ID cards (Cedula) and get signed-up for the National Health Insurance (IESS) program. We gave Visa Angels our documents on the 29th of June and completed registration for the National Health program on August 20th.
We were exceptional pleased with the personnel and with the costs to obtain our visas, cedulas, and to be entered into the national medical system.

Address: Visa Angels Ecuador Edificio Maldini D401 Gaspar de Villarroel y Isabel la Catolica Cuenca, Ecuador

Contact information:

Recommended by Richard and Carmela Bartels:

Recommendation for Pho Vietnamita Bistro, restaurant

My husband and I had dinner last night at Pho Vietnamita. It was wonderful.

Our server was very attentive, and spoke English.

We highly recommend this place. Stop in and give it a try.


Address: Estevez De Toral

Contact information: 098 788 6153

Recommended by Kelly Magiera: 098 788 6153

Recommendation for Expat Envoy, Harrison Paul, Courier service

We highly recommend Expat Envoy for courier service of items from the US. They are currently bringing items once a month and the deadline for receipt of items to their Florida address, as well as delivery dates, are posted on the web site. The instructions are clear, as well as the cost. There is a list of items they will not bring, such as electronics.

We recently ordered a number of bedding items via Amazon and another business, and had them shipped to their Florida address. We were notified when all of the items were delivered. The deadline was the 20th of August. Harrison Paul is the owner and makes the trip from Florida to Quito to Cuenca himself, on August 28. Then his partner in Cuenca meets him in the airport parking lot here and an email is sent with the final invoice, the items, their weight, and the calculated cost on delivery. It is more economical for us to have them delivered to our apartment for a small fee because he lives a distance away. We set up a delivery time, which was after 3 PM on Saturday or Sunday. He arrived with the items, I checked for accuracy, and paid him the cash owed.

Very dependable, very efficient, and very affordable. They are very specific about items they will not bring, or amount of any one item, as to not raise any red flags with the airline customs. This service is not “illegal”, and they are not doing anything that anyone coming here with a bunch of stuff from the States, which we all do. We have always been pleased with their services, given that some of the items are rather high in value, and will continue to use Expat Envoy in the future.

Address: Florida, USA, and Cuenca, Ecuador

Contact information:

Recommended by Marshall and Nadine Devall:

Recommendation for Jugo Lino Japon Contonto

Painting, plumbing, landscaping, electrical, and cleaning

We are very happy with Hugo’s work over the past 10 years. He is hard working, honest, fast, and reliable.
(It is best to contact him by phone, and he speaks limited English.)

Address: Call for an appointment

Contact information: 099 146 2952

Recommended by Robert Brinkmoeller:

Recommendation for Fina’s Arepas y Empanadas, restaurant

Value for quality, taste, and portion size of food. I normally get the Pabellón, Carne, packed with seasoned pulled beef, black beans, avocado, cooked plantains and tasty shredded cheese in a perfectly thin, crispy but not hard crust. This is a meal size just by itself.

Tried “racion de papas” fresh, skin on fries, cooked until lightly crispy and lightly seasoned and were some of best I’ve had.

Couldn’t resist trying the chocolate cake. It was moist, slice was a generous size, and very fair price and had richer chocolate flavors then most pastries in Cuenca.

Always had great consistent service, good value for portion size and quality ingredients in a clean environment.

Also tried the Empanadas which were some of the largest and tastiest I’ve had in Cuenca.

Located 50 meters south of Remigo Crespo Toral on the east side of Av. Ricardo Munoz Davila (Street with traffic light, Bodegón liquor store and Ranchos)

Open Mon – Sat, 9 AM – 2 PM and 5 – 10 PM according to Google Maps.

Address: North Av. Ricardo Munoz Davila

Contact information: 096 274 5606 / 096 381 8889

Recommended by Jeff Branche:

Recommendation for Cristian Cordero, locksmith

I highly recommend Cristian Cordero as a locksmith.
He came on time and did a great job delivering my keys.

He doesn’t speak English but knows what you need and want with little explanation needed.

If it has a lock – house, apartment, vehicle – he can fix it.

He is the rare Ecuadorian who firmly believes in being on time.

I got his name from a GringoPost recommendation and thought that I would give him a try.

Address: Cuenca

Contact information: 099 472 8218 WhatsApp

Recommended by Alice Mendell:

Recommendation for Rica Huntley, cook, mother’s helper, housekeeper

I would like to recommend for hire, Rica Huntley.

Rica worked for us until the pandemic as a cook, helper, housekeeper. She came to our home every weekday from 8-1 and made breakfast, lunch, and then prepared a dinner we could just put in the oven or microwave. Sometimes she would pick up groceries we needed and she cleaned too. It was a huge help having Rica here with us and any family that employs her would be lucky to get her.

Rica speaks English, Spanish, and Tagalog so you will have no trouble communicating with her (unless you speak none of those in which case you probably aren’t reading this.)

As to her cooking, if you’ve eaten at her restaurant, Barrio Fiesta, you have tried it. I would give Rica ideas and sometimes ask her to follow some of our family’s tried-and-true recipes but, oftentimes, I was not inspired but it didn’t matter – she’d make a beautiful, healthy meal with whatever we had. Often, we’d get delicious sushi-grade fish from Luvimar and Rica would spoil us with a sushi feast. And, when we were participating in “Whole 30”, Rica managed to make those meals absolutely delicious and we didn’t feel like we were missing out on anything. I believe she also had some clients that were doing “Weight Watchers” and made food for them that complied with that as well but not 100% sure – ask her.

Rica’s rates are reasonable and the service she provided in our home allowed me to focus on other things than cooking and cleaning but still have healthy meals and a clean home.

You can call Rica at her number below or email her at and feel free to contact me too.

Address: Cuenca, Ecuador

Contact information: 099 995 6575

Recommended by Teresa Hardy:

Recommendation for Cuenca Animal Clinic, veterinary clinic

Why do I love Cuenca Animal Clinic? Let me count the ways.

Last Friday, Dr Oswaldo Cobos of Cuenca Animal Clinic sat with me and explained my senior dog’s latest blood test. He knows my dog well. She has been through surgeries, x-rays, dental cleanings, fungal infections, parasites, and the precarious performance at different times of heart, liver, kidneys and pancreas with him. Oh yes, she would even say she has “suffered baths” with him.

And as we went over the results, I felt a wash of appreciation for this vet. He is careful, caring, soft-spoken. We interpreted new results in this test, what we’re now watching for, and planned for what we would do at the next test in 3-6 months.

Another thing I appreciate about Dr. Oswaldo is that his approach to pharmaceutical treatment is conservative. He knows to give only what is needed, not more.

I’m knowledgeable about dogs and somewhat knowledgeable about veterinary care. I appreciate it when Dr. Oswaldo goes over the specific ingredients in a liver product that are known to be beneficial or talks about getting the kidneys to work harder.

Another thing about Dr. Oswaldo. He is aware that in Ecuador, unlike in the States where veterinarians develop specialities, all vets are supposed to know everything – which is not possible. So, he has undertaken to identify the skill sets of other vets, the better to direct a client to the best vet for their issue. He understands that teamwork makes better care.

Finally, a recent development at the Clinic is their purchase of a pet ambulance. Now, precious time can be saved by treating a dog in situ rather than conveying her back to a clinic.

Cuenca Animal Clinic is located near Millennium Plaza in El Vergel.

Address: Miguel Cordero Dávila 1-180

Contact information: +593 99 597 9719

Recommended by Heather Conley:

Recommendation for Fernando Cordova, Creación Muebles, furniture maker

Once again, Fernando has created a piece of art for me as well as a functional piece of furniture. I wanted an armoire to hold my hats, my coats, umbrellas and masks (of course). The only one I saw in a furniture store was over $1600 and I would have had to retrofit it to add hooks or a clothes rail.

I searched photos online and contacted Fernando with my favorite model (listed at $4000 on the site where I found it). We discussed dimensions, finishes and the configuration of the interior. I decided on hooks instead of a rail, and asked for a fairly high shelf clearance on the bottom so I could put baskets on the floor to hold scarves and sweaters. The armoire was delivered yesterday. It is stunning, not least the carving on the front.

This cost $1150 and finished in six weeks. I cannot speak highly enough of Fernando’s craftsmanship, artistry and professionalism.

You can contact him on WhatsApp (99 682 3249) or Facebook:

He also has a website:

Address: Celina Acha de Vega 1 31, Cuenca

Contact information:

Recommended by Heather Griffiths:

Recommendation for Olger Avila, transportation and tourism

My two adult daughters and I had the great pleasure of hiring Olger to drive us from Guayaquil to Cuenca a couple of weeks ago. He was waiting for us outside the doors of the airport with a sign with my name on it. He drove very safely and made sure we were comfortable. We ended up stopping 5-6 times along the way to take pictures of the gorgeous views (above the clouds)! We even stopped in Cajas NP and did a very short walk to a viewpoint. All of these extra stops and he did not ask for more money (although I tipped him well). He was so good that we decided to use him again for a day trip to Ingapirca. They did not have any English-speaking tour guides that day so Olger went with us on the tour and interpreted the Ingapirca tour guide for us. He speaks great English and is very knowledgeable about everything in Ecuador. We also used him again on another day to take us to Turi and he spent the entire time with us showing us around even going up to the top at the Adventure Park.

I cannot say enough how great Olger is and will use him again for airport transfers and tours when I return to Cuenca in November and beyond. He is a very good person.

Thanks Olger.

Address: Cuenca, Ecuador and beyond

Contact information: +593 98 431 5433

Recommended by Jeff Fugate:

Recommendation for Jody Mansfield, Visa Angels, all things visas

Jody Mansfield is an expat who was one of the original Visa Angels which was founded years ago to help people through the visa process before, during and after their move to Ecuador. Based in Cuenca, she guided me through the collection and apostlle of all the many necessary documents for my Temporary Visa before my leaving the States. Upon arriving here, she and her Angels, Sara and Geo, completed the visa application, satisfying all the requirements to the various ministries, thus securing me my cedula and visa. Nearly two years later, Jody and her team also facilitated the receipt of my permanent visa and my new Cedula. They are super to work with.

The highest degree of professionalism, integrity and character are what one hopes for when dealing with very important aspects of one’s life.

I highly recommend Visa Angels for all your visa needs or questions.

Address: Cuenca, Ecuador

Contact information: 096 896 2028

Recommended by Carol Capek:

Recommendation for Diego Francisco, facilitator services, native English, Spanish speaker

I have known Diego for three years and he is a trusted contact.

I needed assistant with my microphone when I use Zoom and Google meet. He solved the problem that others were not able to do.

He helped add payees to my JEP account on-line from his remote location. This really made my life simple.

Next, I am going to have him help me with social media because he understands it very well.

He offers facilitator services, such as going to the bank, to the doctor, to the markets for the first time.

Diego was born in Cuenca and moved to the USA with his family at the age of 4-years old, he lived in NYC for nearly 34 years.

He has 10 years’ experience in translating, and creates YouTube videos and texts, he also interprets live classes.

WhatsApp or call Phone: +593 096 891 8349

Recommended by Susan Swanson:

Recommendation for M & E Pet Lovers, Pet and House sitting

Mateo and Elizabeth came to our rescue for pet and house sitting when our scheduled sitter got ill. They were wonderful and so caring.

They took us to the airport both leaving and returning, got our car’s oil changed and washed.

They would send pictures of the dogs daily. They are also vet students, so no worries if anything happened, which thankfully it didn’t. The dogs just loved them, which was comforting to see. We can highly recommend them both for house and pet sitting.

Address: Cuenca, Ecuador

Contact information:
099 848 1355 and 098 525 7115

Recommended by Diane Brown:

Recommendation for Kolo restaurant and bakery

Best cinnamon roll I’ve ever had. Great menu, can’t wait to try everything. Frank is the best host. Awesome atmosphere – beautiful architecture. Located on the second floor of the Mansion Vieja Hotel. Gorge! Luis Cordero y Honorato Vasquez.

Address: Luis Cordero y Honorato Vasquez

Contact information: 099 297 5788

Recommended by Paul Marquis: 099 291 6457

Recommendation for Franklin Morocho, repairs of all kinds, construction

We discovered that we had had a leak in our roof. Franklin investigated on a rainy day and said he’d have to come back when it was not raining – the 3rd story, tile roof would be far too dangerous if it was wet. I agreed. Tuesday, he came, bringing a young man with him whose main purpose was to control the life-saving rope that Franklin would wear while out on the roof. The old choba (aluminum strip covering the joint between tiles and walls) had holes in it and needed replacement. Franklin had stored some excess choba here after a previous job, so all we had to do was get it to him while he was out on the roof. A plastic bag and broom stick worked well for that. He repaired the leaks, inspected the rest of the roof and the ventilator fan and returned safely inside. His fee was appropriate and his work was done in a professional manner. Thanks, Franklin.

Address: Calle Canton Saraguro s/n and Manuel Arturo Cisneros, Cuenca

Contact information: +593 98 967 3289

Recommended by Karen Kuenzel:

Recommendation for Javier Carmona, transportation

Javier is a safe, dependable driver with a 7-passenger van and lots of room for luggage. He regularly makes trips to the airport in Guayaquil, and will also take requested day trips. His English is excellent, and he is easy to contact and work with. I’ve used his services for several years now, and am grateful to have made his acquaintance.

Address: Cuenca

Contact information: 098 305 0346

Recommended by Susan Burnett:

Recommendation for Emilio Ruiz Delgado Dental Group, dentistry

Respectfully, I would like to recommend, from personal experience, The Emilio Ruiz Delgado Dental Group for all of your dental needs…The owner, Emilio, is a highly trained prosthodontist who specializes in crowns, bridges, esthetics and implants, and who uses only the most state-of-the-art equipment and procedures. His group also contains doctors which specialize in Endodontics for root canals, Periodontics for gum related issues, and Orthodontics for braces. The group also specializes in pediatric dentistry… Emilio’s office is on the North side of San Francisco Plaza in Cuenca, and his phone number is 098 395 9101. His email is Emilio, whom I have known personally for many years, is not only an exceptional (and painless) dentist but a great guy as well…And, he speaks excellent English…You won’t be disappointed.

Address: North side of San Francisco Plaza

Recommended by Frank Grillo:

Recommendation for Luvimar, gourmet market

I wanted to make a special dinner for my partner and thought I’d stop by Luvimar to get some cheese. I walked out with a pound of Canadian salmon, 3 different types of cheeses, some gourmet tuna steaks, spicy green mango relish, red curry paste, a bottle of nice wine, and delicious vegan chocolate with sea salt and caramel that the owner let me try in-shop.

I was very pleasantly surprised with the variety of products compared to my last visit. There are more cheeses (get one of the blues or goudas!), more types of vinegars, oils, and sauces (including BBQ sauce, hot sauces, pesto, and Dijon), sauerkraut and pickles and olives, all kinds of nuts and organic honey, salami and other meats and plenty of seafood options…but the real standout here is the Asian line. My goodness, I thought it was impossible to find reasonably-priced products for Asian cooking, but Luvimar sells miso, tahini, plum sauce, sesame oil, teriyaki sauce, hoisin… even a few different types of wasabi.

The bilingual owner, Luis, has really stepped up his game. He had some great recommendations for me, and was very accommodating. Also – so nice to have multiple payment options. My partner loved the dinner, and I was thoroughly impressed with Luvimar. I will definitely be returning (or placing a delivery) and I can’t recommend this place enough.

Address: El Vergel: Luis Moreno Mora #5-85 & Roberto Crespo Toral. 1/2 a block from the Rione Hotel, right near Cosecha 93, yellow house with a sign

Contact information: 099 439 6619

Recommended by Peyton March: 098 635 5288

Recommendation for Ximena Ojeda, ortodonica

I highly recommend anyone needing their teeth cleaned or other dental issues to contact Ximena. I had neglected mine for quite a while, and she cleaned my teeth great. No pain, very courteous, and was super gentle considering the time it’s been since my last cleaning. She speaks some English, and my Spanish is broken at best, but there were no problems with communication. She only charged $50 for the session, which would have been much more in the US. I was able to make the appointment through WhatsApp and she even sent me pin directions to use for the cab.

Address: Octavio Diaz 4-140 y Gonzalez Suarez Cuenca

Contact information: 099 546 1155

Recommended by Mark Tomlinson: 099 215 2108

Recommendation for Curbside Cafe, restaurant

The other day I was walking down President Cordova 12-56 and saw this small cafe. I decided to give it a try and was pleasantly surprised. They basically serve burgers which are totally fresh. Jorge grinds his own ground beef and makes his own homemade buns. And all of the fixin’s are fresh as well. Let’s not forget the fries. He cuts the fries soaking in vinegar and salt, dries them and pre-cooks for about 4 minutes. Then when ordered, cooks them to perfection. They are the best. Crispy on the outside and a great taste. Give them a try, I don’t believe you will be disappointed. You can also order on UberEats

Address: President Cordova 12-56 between Tarqui and Juan Montalvo

Contact information: 099 942 5735

Recommended by Sandy Jackson:

Recommendation for Carlos Ramirez Blue Box Insurance

My wife and I, both USA citizen expats in Cuenca, have worked with Carlos Ramirez at Blue Box Insurance for two years. I decided to get insurance to supplement IESS. In my experience, Carlos is a true professional in an Ecuadorian industry that can be unprofessional and even fraudulent.

In the fall of 2020, my wife and I visited the USA to be with my father-in-law, who was ill. I got bitten by a tick and contracted Lyme Disease. The insurance I bought through Carlos to cover us while in the USA instructed me to get care at a local hospital emergency room. The costs were quite high, and I was very ill. After I recovered, the hospital billed the USA office of the travel insurance company. I was well below their cost limit. Communication was extremely difficult with insurance representatives at the Miami office of the insurance company. Over the next 9 months, that company lost the records, denied ever having them, asked for the records over and over, and then went missing for weeks and months. Before the time the company finally paid, I mounted a pressure campaign to force the company to pay. Lawyers helped a little, but Carlos Ramirez was the one who had the ear of the insurance company and the Ecuadorian insurance regulators. He and I worked closely nearly every week for 9 months to get this done. Throughout the process, Carlos was a voice of reason and a consistent influence to get the company to finally pay. When I was finally going to file suit in Ecuadorian courts, he was able to get the company to pay.


Recommendation for Kolo, restaurant and bakery

It’s Frank’s new place. American, yes, American food. How delicious, those foods you just can’t get here in Cuenca. Located in the Hotel La Vieja Mansion, in a beautiful dining room with lovely furniture. And yes, for you fellow Americans, very nice restrooms.

Frank is still his usual hospitable self, fluent in English and Spanish and always ready to refill your coffee. The menus are Spanish on one side, English on the other, so they are easy to read. Daily breakfast and lunch specials make the always reasonable prices even more affordable. And don’t overlook the cinnamon rolls – the most delicious you will find anywhere! Take one home if you are too stuffed to eat it there.

We are so happy to find Frank again! It’s where Americans can relax and eat
what they really like. Frank knows how it’s done! Closed on Tuesdays. Open from 8 AM to 3 PM every day except Tuesdays. Enjoy.

Address: Luis Cordero y Juan Jaramillo 5-65 , Inside the Hotel La Vieja Mansion

Contact information: 099 297 5788

Recommended by Janet Mitchell: 096 291 2005

Recommendation for Jamil’s Moving Company

I recently hired Jamil’s Moving Company to help me move from the Cuenca area to Ibarra. Jamil and his crew did an excellent job. Nothing went missing, they were on time and on budget, and there was basically no damage. Jamil and his wife came to my place beforehand to asses my needs, and the whole operation went smoothly. A job well done. Thanks.

Address: Cuenca

Contact information: 098 400 1020

Recommended by Herman van Donselaar:

Recommendation for Lidia, housekeeping, gardener, pet care

I have known Lidia for a few years. She is able and willing to clean your house, take care of your garden, your pets, even your children. She can even go with you when you want to purchase something (always better to have a local do your negotiating). She is honest and a hard worker who speaks basic English.

Address: Cuenca

Contact information: 096 767 4548

Recommended by Leita Hulmes:

Recommendation for Maggie the housekeeper, housekeeping

I saw a post by Jeff Schinsky advertising the services of his sister-in-law, Maggie, as a housekeeper. As someone who dislikes cleaning, I contacted Jeff, who then arranged a meeting with Maggie to discuss my needs, her hours, and the cost. I have been very impressed with Maggie’s cleaning. She is punctual, remains masked the entire time she’s in my home (and she has been vaccinated), and does meticulous work in cleaning (much better than what I do). Although my Spanish is limited, I have no problem letting her know what I’d like done. I do not hesitate to recommend her; you shall not be sorry. Simply contact Jeff, and he will take care of the rest.

Address: Cuenca

Contact information: 096 901 5575

Recommended by Jack Kovacs:

Recommendation for Amazing South American Tours

Local, national and international tours

Having done some multi-day Ecuadorian tours with Felipe, we’re also doing some local excursions. The planned weekend hikes range from relatively easy, to really challenging. Fees are reasonable, at $10/pp and includes a bagged lunch.

The itinerary is well-articulated, along with the meeting place as well as possible opportunities outside of the event, whether local artisanal food or crafts.


Contact information: 098 068 4577

Recommended by Sieg Braun:

Recommendation for Nebraska Cleaning Services

Carpet and upholstery cleaning

We recently contacted Freddie at Nebraska to have several area rugs cleaned. He arrived when scheduled, took the carpets and returned them later that day. He was prompt, courteous, spoke excellent English, did a wonderful job and his prices were very reasonable. I would highly recommend using his service.

Address: Cuenca

Contact information: 093 937 9979 or 099 531 6785

Recommended by William E Dick:

Recommendation for Chef Papa, restaurant

I have been coming to Chef Papa a lot for the last 3 or 4 months. I come with my friends for lunch, dinner and sometimes because they organize events; they recently had a mariachi themed night.

This little, quaint restaurant has a wide food offering and is right by Calle Larga, near Plazoleta de la Merced.

I have been coming more lately since they have started catering more to vegetarians and vegans. They have started doing vegan nights on Friday.

Address: Presidente Borrero 553, between Juan Jaramillo and Honorato Vazquez.

Contact information: 096 324 4357

Recommended by Alejandro Macias:

Recommendation for Mustafa Adawali, computer repair

Our new Acer Aspire 5 notebook had many issues with performance like losing use of the pointer, and menus appearing from out of nowhere on the screen.

We called Mustafa who took it home to service it. He reinstalled Windows, activated Windows Security and, made everything go back to normal. He also installed Word.

Also, he looked at our Chromebook which had lost a black key, repairing that.

Mustafa arrives on time and gives good value for his reasonable fee. We highly recommend his services.

Address: Cuenca

Contact information: 099 408 7897

Recommended by Jeremiah Reardon: 098 385 8212

Recommendation for Angel Panchez, tour guide, driver, and facilitator

For almost ten years, I’ve been working with Angel Panchez. He’s taken our guests on all kinds of day trips outside of Cuenca, and helped us facilitate various errands. Angel speaks excellent English, has a nice, clean SUV, always shows up on time, and he’s a safe and conscientious driver. I highly recommend him. Especially if you’re new to Cuenca, you’ll make a wonderful new friend.

Address: Cuenca

Contact information: 098 589 9643

Recommended by Carolyn V. Hamilton: 099 998 8777

Recommendation for Orlando Siguenza, transportation and tours

Orlando has been helping us with so many things over the past five years. He has been our tour guide, facilitator and transportation to Quito and Guayaquil. Yesterday we picked up a family member in Guayaquil, and Orlando stopped on the way back for us to buy some wonderful fresh shrimp, fish and fruit at great prices. He is a safe driver, wonderful tour guide, and fluent English speaker. Orlando has helped to make our lives in Ecuador even more interesting.

Address: Cuenca

Contact information: 098 585 4587

Recommended by Celma Silva:

Recommendation for Matthew’s bagel and bakery store

I went in on Saturday to buy some of their delicious sweet breads like Chocolate Banana and Orange Zucchini and found that they now have a gluten free section.

They offer a very wide variety of foods and have just added Roast Beef, Corned Beef and Pastrami to their menu.

They have everything from breakfast, lunch and dinner items including snacks and many types of beverages.

I always find their bakery very clean, bright and airy, open and inviting with great customer service. They also have out-door seating and a restroom for customers.

They have an expanded menu with great bagel toppings. I highly recommend Matthew’s Bagel for quality food and service.
They speak English.

The new Tranvia stops nearby.

Address: Comercial Eloy Alfaro. Avenida Las Americas

Contact information: 099 860 4290 WhatsApp

Recommended by Alice Mendell:

Recommendation for Franklin Morocho, excellent plumber, repairs

We just had some emergency plumbing work done by Franklin Morocho. Our handyman is out of town and we called Franklin on short notice. He came promptly (yes, totally on time). He quickly diagnosed our water coming from the ceiling and exactly where the source was. He quickly went to a store and picked up the necessary parts. Came back in a flash and efficiently fixed our problem. We will wait awhile for things to dry out, and he will return to put the ceiling back together. He also fixed a couple of un-addressed small issues while he was here. His charges are very reasonable, and his work is great. We highly recommend him.

Franklin Morocho: 098 967 3289 franklincon1982@gmal.comed

Address: Cuenca, Ecuador

Recommended by Jerry Holland:

Recommendation for Kolo, restaurant and bakery

Frank Gonzales, Cuenca’s original “celebrity waiter” has created a winner with his new restaurant and bakery, Kolo. His scones are the best I’ve had in Cuenca. (The chocolate chip ones are positively addictive) The food is consistently good, portions are generous, coffee refills are free, and everything is reasonably priced. His wait staff all speak English and are personable and attentive. Kolo opens at 8 AM and is closed on Tuesdays.

Address: Luis Cordero 5-65 e/ Juan Jaramillo y, Honorato Vásquez, Cuenca 010107

Contact information: 099 297 5788

Recommended by Carolyn V. Hamilton:

Recommendation for Luz Elizabeth Quilli Rivera, house cleaner and pet sitting

We have used Luz for over a year now and I have not found anybody that could clean my house like I do until now. Luz is a very hard working, conscientious and reliable person. She cleans everything and her prices are very reasonable. If we need to go and meet friends she’s right there caring for our cat and dog. She absolutely loves animals. If you need a truly incredible house cleaner than it’s time for you to contact Luz.

Address: Cuenca

Contact information: +593 (0) 96 838 4671

Recommended by Susan Saitta:

Recommendation for Mady Gonzalez, health insurance/medical facilitator

We first called on Mady to help us sign up for health insurance when we arrived here, about three years ago. When my husband collapsed seven months later, Mady was instantly available to tell me what hospital to go to, and then mediated between me and both the hospital and the insurance company. When I needed medical help a year later, Mady referred me to doctors and helped me file claims during the lockdown due to the pandemic. A few months ago, she scheduled my vaccination appointment. This week, when I thought I needed a doctor, she offered either a house call, or an arrangement for me to meet the doctor at the hospital. She followed up every hour or so that day to make sure everything went according to plan, asked me about medications and whether I needed help with that and generally stayed in touch to make sure I was okay.

All this with no charge to me. And I recently downgraded my insurance policy, so I’m sure she’s not making much money off me from the insurance company either.

Mady speaks perfect English, she has been available any hour of the day or night, and she is always cheerful and kind. I am so grateful to know I can have Mady by my side, whatever the problem. She’s on WhatsApp too.

Address: Ordoñez Lasso and los Alamos

Contact information: +593 98 630 4185

Recommended by Heather Griffiths:

Recommendation for Harsha, translator

Spanish to English – English to Spanish.
Highly recommended, very clever, gentle, Price very sensible.
Harsha: 593 98 118 3867.
Try and you won’t regret.

Address: Cuenca

Contact information: 098 118 3867

Recommended by Ben Schreiber: