Cost of Living in Cuenca, Ecuador

Updated On May 10, 2022

How Much Does It Cost to Live In Cuenca?

Cuenca is the third largest city in Ecuador.

The retired people come here to settle down, and the young visitors come to explore the beauty and traditions of the region.

You can explore the seldom-visited trails by hiking or cycling.

Or you will have lots of historical places to discover.

There are numerous museums, cathedrals, and churches.

Apart from the old monuments, there are lots of houses in Cuenca for rent.

If you speak Spanish, great, then you will be able to rent an apartment twice cheaper than online.

Cost of Living Index:
* Based on Research & User Data

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Cost of Living in Ecuador


In most of the restaurants and cafes in Cuenca, the food is not only affordable but also very delicious.

You can, of course, rent a house and cook yourself in the kitchen with some products bought at the local market.

Although, the meals in the restaurants are cheap.

You will pay around $11 in a fast food establishment or $18 in a mid-range restaurant for two people.



Plenty of fresh food is waiting for you in the local markets of Cuenca.

They attract customers through their color and diversity of products.

You can see everything from bananas and grapes to sweaters and hats.

All in all, you will spend about $50 -$70 when you buy all the necessary products to cook starters, main course, and dessert (including a gallon of milk, a bottle of wine and a pack of cigarettes).



The most popular means of travel in Cuenca, Ecuador are buses and rented cars.

Taxis are not so popular, although you can use their services.

The prices can be a little higher than presented below.

It depends on the time of travel and miles.

A regular price for a monthly pass in a means of public transport is $10.



Besides reading lots of articles on the cost of living in Cuenca, try to check prices with the local people.

You will learn that sometimes the numbers are totally different.

Here we go with the average bill for basic utilities like water, garbage etc.

The prices can really differ and you will usually multiply by two the figure that your landlord names.

Sports and leisure


Ecuador and Cuenca, in particular, are created to live actively like go bicycling, biking, trekking and hiking in the mountains.

That is why many citizens and tourists tend to spend more on different kinds of sports.

If you want some standard services like fitness clubs or tennis courts, the price ranges from $6.80 for one hour of playing tennis to $32.29 for a monthly subscription to the club.

Clothing and shoes


Cuenca is not an exception when it comes to the hot shopping spots.

In case you forgot your running shoes or tennis shoes at home, you can always go and buy a new pair.

Jeans and summer dresses cost $43 on the average, while Nike or similar brand running shoes will make you pay $95.62 or so.

Rent per month


As we have already mentioned, there are a lot more ways to get a cheaper apartment or house when you know the language of the locals to find apartments offline.

The prices below are average and depend on the number of rooms, district of the city and appliances inside.

A fully furnished one bedroom apartment will probably cost around $356.00 in the city center, and three bedrooms here are just $576.50.

Cost of Living Averages Table for Cuenca

*Note: All prices are indicated in USD.
Average Restaurant Prices
Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant)$3.00
Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter)$1.50
Water (0.33 Liter)$0.48
Average Market Prices
Milk (1 Liter)$3.79
Loaf Bread (500g)$1.50
Eggs (12)$1.54
Average Transport Prices
One Way Ticket$0.25
Monthly Pass$10.00
Average Utilities Prices
Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling)$30.77
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local$0.17
Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)$40.52
Average Leisure Prices
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult$32.29
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour)$6.80
Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release$6.00
Average Clothing Prices
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable)$43.00
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...)$40.71
1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range)$95.62
Average Rent Prices
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center$356.00
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center$262.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center$576.50

How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in Cuenca?

Just like anywhere else in the world, people in Cuenca have many items of expenditure to put off money for.

First and foremost, most of the income goes to the markets.

The citizens really enjoy buying things and food in the markets and cook at home.

Only 10% of the budget is spent in the restaurants.

Another biggest cost item is rent per month.

Practicing in the gyms, hiking, cinema-going and other relaxing activities take about 7% of the average persons’ total income.

Average Costs Breakdown


Cuenca: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages

An average salary and the minimum wage have slightly increased in 2019.

The government of Ecuador, as well as the authorities in Cuenca, report that the minimum wage now is enough to fully cover some basic needs of a person.

To be precise, the average salary is $448.75 while the minimum wage is at the level of $318.00.

With this money you can probably rent an apartment and live a simple life while cooking at home, paying bills and going out sometimes.

Mortgages are quite a new thing here in Cuenca, as well as everywhere in Ecuador, yet the percentage of the interest rate is 10.28% per year.

Average Salary$448.75
Minimum Wage$318.00
Mortgage Interest Rate10.28%

Cost of Living by City in Cuenca

CityCost of Living Index

Where to Next?

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Or, browse the country/city indexes:

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