03 January 2009

Weather updated about every hour.

Aside from our apartments for rent, here is a
small orientation to Cuenca, Ecuador

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Approximate Quito and Cuenca Ecuador's

Time & Temperatures
Right Click, select Open Link in New Window for Quito, Ecuador Forecast


Approximate Guayaquil & Southern

Coastal Time & Temperatures
Right Click, select Open Link in New Window for Guayaquil, Ecuador Forecast


For comparison, here's Long Island NY USA Time & Temperature

Click for Stony Brook, New York Forecast

Because Ecuador is on the equator, Cuenca Ecuador's days and nights are both about 12 hours long, all year.

Year's average times of sunlight in Ecuador:
First light: 5:40AM (05hr40)
Sunrise: 6:30AM (06hr30)
Twilight: 6:30PM (18hr30)
Dark: 7:15PM (19hr15)

Also because Ecuador is an equatorial region, there are no significant temperature "seasons", no Summer, Fall, Winter or Spring here, although we have a "rain" season from about November to March. All days have about the same range of temperature.

If it's a clear and sunny morning especially during rainy season it's usually cloudy by noon and raining by 3PM. Often it clears by 8PM or 10PM until the next mid day. A few times a year Cuenca and Quito receive small (1/8"-1/2") hail and enough to turn the ground white at times.
How has climate change affected Cuenca? Due to climate change, since 2007 Cuenca has been cooler, more overcast than years past. This year however it seemed to return to normal and a sunny dry season appeared "right on time". Other blog posts or articles posted older than that won't reflect this change. Cuenca has, many days after November almost what you'd call "damp dank London weather".  If you are sensitive to temperatures below 60deg. F in the daytime and 40deg.F at night, living 1,500 (4700ft) meters lower in altitude than here is better such as Santa Isabel, Loja or Vilcabamba, all of which are south to southwest of Cuenca. Santa Isabel, with ample goods and services, is about two sensible hours drive time from Cuenca. At that altitude of 1,500 meters (4,700ft), 1000 meters less than Cuenca, temperatures trend about 10degF to 15degF higher than Cuenca's temperatures but by no means as hot, muggy and miserable as Guayaquil or the rest of the coast.

Caution! Realestate parasites! There's a growing amount of USA citizens who live here permanently with appropriate visas who are opportunists, mostly they are realtors. Vilcabamba and Loja are worst for this but Cuenca is certainly third. While there is a growing number of legitimate ethical expats who have started much needed businesses here in the form of restaurants and services, unfortunately the realestate business is contaminated with annoyingly aggressive and outright unethical people from the United States. Be careful.

The Expat Cliques. Some of the large growing number of expats (over 4,000 now in Azuay Province)  have divided into groups ("cliques"), each with a self proposed "leader" poo-bah. The rest of us who have lived here for years usually avoid the Friday night "gringo night" "gringo parties" "gringo groupies" "business card exchangers" found at several restaurants and bars. Avoiding these groups are people who have lived here 10 to 40 years as well as avoiding the expat forums etc., which are populated by prospective expats, newbies and yes some parasitic types who will sell anything to anyone at any price, the higher the better and some forum poobahs are unlicensed "realtors".

Why don't people hear about bad things about Cuenca?
Many posts, some blogs and web sites, forums etc. are done by promotors...Realtors, service providers etc. Seldom if ever do the promotor parasites say anything bad about Cuenca, it's awful rising crime rate or snarled discourteous and mostly DANGEROUS to pedestrians smokey downtown traffic.  Bus service is cheap, prompt and reliable but the drivers lurch and weave horribly and brake abominably. They start off when you are still standing, often causing passenger injuries or in some cases, start off before someone is actually inside the bus, casting them into the gutter. A recent death due to a fractured skull as a passenger hit his head on a concrete curb, was caused by this.  There is no "quality control" imposed by bus owners or the municipial authorities, UNFORTUNATELY.


There is, with good reason, an intense growing resentment among Ecuadorians and expats alike of new expats paying too much for everything. It's done either out of ignorance or "charity". As "nice" as it seems,THIS IS NOT WELCOME because it is causing inflation and the feeling of "rich gringos can pay more". Please ask expats who lived here for years or at least research accurate sampling of prices before you buy food (in open air markets and fruit stands etc.), goods & pay for services. Over payment spreads like cancer and makes the market think it can charge inflated prices to any foreigner and even native citizens. .

Examples of prices you should not to exceed

Daily maid service = $10-$15/day including meals NO MORE. The maid who works in our apartments charges in that range....comes at 8AM, leaves at 2PM unless you contract with her differently. She cleans, sweeps and washes the floors, dusts. It is customary to allow the maid to eat as you do for the time she's there..i.e. a free breakfast and lunch which she does not cook. That is the custom in this country.  Maids who do cook and even "live in" also can be contracted.

Christmas bonus to a maid is about $35 in groceries/gifts housed in a basket or an electric appliance she can used in a box that gift wrapped. There is an erroneous rumor amongst the expats here for some reason that 2 month's salary is the bonus which it is way too much.

Taxis in Cuenca $1.50-$3.00 max. Taxis from in front in airport's taxi area charge $1-$5 more which is absurd.. Walk a few meters to get a taxi across the street from the parasitic taxi group in the front of the airport.

Man's standard haircut, no "styling" etc. $1.50 to $3.00 Woman's hair-do about $6-$15 Close to the apartment is a barber shop which charges less than $2 for a man's haircut.

Good "standard" daily lunches cooked ahead of time ready for the lunch crowd come with juice or cola, vegetables, rice or potatos, a meat/seafood and small desert at medium restaurants are $2.50-$4.00/person. Everyone eats the same thing prepared en mass, or menu items and alacarte items are a bit more.

Alterations to clothes, $1 per trouser/pants hemming.

And thanks to consumers' money ill spent, Cuenca specifically now is the most expensive city in Ecuador, chiefly due to the inflation caused by this ill spent money.
Spanish/English classes $7/hour, 2nd person free per couple, $8/hr for family of 3 or more. Contact: my e-mail cuencaecuador@ymail.com