We remembered that before we came to Ecuador, there were many questions in our minds over what to bring, what we could and could not get in Cuenca and what might cost more than in the US. This is a controversial subject as some of the following items may be available and we just have not found where to get them. But, with that said, let’s take a look at three categories of what we have found to date. The lists are far from complete but will give you an idea of what costs more or less and what is hard to get in Cuenca. This is a favorite subject for the Gringos. We would appreciate contact from people who live in Ecuador with additions to this list and we will post it again soon with more information.
What costs more in Cuenca?
At the beginning of the 2009 economic crisis, the government of Ecuador imposed a high protective tariff on almost all imported goods which raised the cost of imports considerably. The government has promised to eliminate most if not all of these tariffs in early 2010 but we shall see. We are hopeful that when present supplies have been restocked, prices will come down on imported goods.
Nevertheless, we still find some items more costly like shoes, blue jeans, cars (especially if you want an automatic shift), cameras, toys, mail to the US, children’s school workbooks,
What is hard to get in Cuenca?
A large selection of almost anything, children’s clothes, off size clothes (Ecuadorian’s are generally smaller in size than North Americans), high thread count sheets (300 about top count), Levi jeans, aspirin in 325 and 85 mg size, cold medications, frozen foods, parsnips, good salad dressings, baby foods, chicken bouillon cubes, prepared foods like Whole Food in the US, full range of vitamins, A3 copy paper (only A4 available), English language books, TV and camera accessories, DSLR cameras, a full school day (classes end at about 1:00PM), high-end gyms,
What costs less in Cuenca?
Maid service ($8-10 a day), Utilities (did you know that there are no heating or air conditioning units used or necessary in Cuenca?), housing (both rental and purchasing), taxis ($1-2 anywhere in the city), fresh vegetables and fruit, Restaurant food (also tipping is much less), computer printers (most under $100), medical care, gasoline($1.48 gallon), In-country air fares, South American wines and liquors, custom made furniture, granite counter tops, labor ($10-15 day depending on job), DVD’s ($1.50 each),
Let us know what you think could be added to this list.