Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil

Cuenca Apartment(s)

November 12th, 2013 | Posted by Brianna in Ecuador | Lodging | The Places We've Been

In poor blogger form, we took a grand total of zero photos from our first apartment in Cuenca. We were there for a week and enjoyed the space, location, and amenities, but alas, no pictures to share. It was a bright, third floor studio in the center of town with an entire wall comprised of floor to ceiling windows through which we could view the ornate tops of no fewer than three separate churches among other nice rooftops. The rental was our first that was confirmed entirely through Craigslist, but the owner was mentioned in a few blog posts that I found via a quick Google search as a nice local vet who offers good apartments for expats to stay in short term while house hunting, so we were confident in the deal. It turned out to be a nice setup for us and gave us a chance to explore the middle of town a bit before moving to our longer term rental about a mile west.

This second apartment, which we called home until last week, was a one bedroom rental in a more residential part of town. The building houses a meat distribution center on the main floor with offices above the plant and a few apartments above the offices, all run by a sweet Cuencano family. One of the women who works in the building introduced herself to us as the person we were supposed to go to with anything we needed, and we really appreciated the way she made a very sincere effort to speak clearly and slowly so that we could easily understand everything she said. Indeed, her explanation of where to catch the bus and how to get back was simple, easy to understand, and accompanied by a hand-drawn map. On another day, she scolded us in a motherly fashion for considering walking to the store in the cold rain and sent us with an umbrella to a nearby panadería for warm bread instead. What a lady! Another woman, the matriarch of the family, brought baked goods in for the office staff one day and gave some to Ian and I as well. We really enjoyed being around such a nice community, which was certainly part of the draw of the location of the apartment.

The space itself was nice too though. We had an open living room and full kitchen. The spacious bedroom had plenty of closet space, a flatscreen television, and a warm, comfortable place to lay our heads at night. To our delight, we also had a private laundry room with well-functioning washer and dryer. Woot woot! The location of our apartment in the building was such that we had windows on three sides, allowing us lots of light and views of the surrounding mountains. We could tell an hour before it rained that the showers were coming as we watched the clouds roll in over the peaks.

First Apartment

Street view of our fist apartment in the centro. It's the second, brown building on the right.

Second Apartment Street View

Street view at our second apartment from the rooftop terrace.

Second Apartment Living Room and Kitchen

Bedroom, kitchen, and living room as viewed from the apartment entrance.

Second Apartment Living Room

Living room and entrance of our second apartment.

Laundry and Bathroom

Laundry room and bathroom.


Sunset view from the main room's window in our second apartment.

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7 Responses

  • Sam says:

    NO WAY! I’m pretty sure we tried to rent that apartment when we first arrived 2 weeks ago…but it was full! Above a meat distribution centre, run by a family, about a mile out of town. Yep, sounds just like it. And the pictures match what I saw on Airbnb. What a coincidence!

    • Brianna says:

      We could have been neighbors!! The place was booked full the entire time we were there with some people unable to extend their stays as desired because someone new was coming in. Where did you end up renting?

      • Sam says:

        We ended up paying much more than we wanted because most everything was booked, though we negotiated and paid less than the asking price of the place we’re in. It’s just behind the university, south side of the main river. Only about 10-15 minutes walk to the centre, so that’s nice!

  • Judy Robinson says:

    Looks like a really nice, clean, apartment. You mentioned you were there until last week? Are you moving on now? We got to see Bailey’s last soccer game last Saturday and it was the first one we had seen this year. She played so well, but unfortunately they got beat after two overtimes and a shootout. Spent the day with your folks and the Huberts and really had a nice time. We always are thinking and talking of you, of course. Be safe and we love you both. G & G

    • Brianna says:

      Hi Grandma! Yes, we moved over the weekend to Cusco, Peru where we will be until December 7. Our drive was quite long and eventful, so I imagine there will be a few blog posts about it.

      I did hear about Bai’s game and that I missed a really good one. Mom said Bailey played great and made her PK too. Perhaps it’s not so bad that the season is over though. I know she could use some rest.

      Thinking of you and Grandpa often too. Was telling Ian during one of our driving days last weekend about when you guys did that week-long trip in Minnesota and how I remembered that being when I learned two main things: 1. That when you do a hiking/camping trip, you have to poop in the woods, and 2. What S.O.S. meant. :) I have a picture in my head of a photograph of you sitting on a rock next to an S.O.S. sign you guys had made from rocks or sticks or something. Is that real or did I make it up?

      Love you and miss you!!

  • Benjamin Shamir says:

    ”To our delight, we also had a private laundry room with well-functioning washer and dryer. Woot woot!” – Haha…You made us laugh, Brianna, (and don’t forget to separate the whites from the colors).

    Great posting. Please don’t misplace the names of the landlords and their phone numbers because Molly and I will need to get them from you in the near future.

    Be safe.

    • Brianna says:

      I’m so glad you two got a chuckle out of that. Indeed despite all of the amazing things that we are fortunate enough to be having the opportunity to see, it is sometimes the small pleasures that we get really excited about. And our poor clothes have taken such a beating after carrying the weight for nearly a year!

      For safe keeping for us both, I want to share links for these apartments now. The first one that we found on Craigslist is in the same building and run by the same landlord as this one: That is not our apartment and has a different layout, but gives you an idea about the listings. Juan Fernando Bravo Estudillo is the contact, and he can be reached at You can also try googling his name; I believe he has an airbnb profile. Our second place is listed on airbnb by Gabriela, and you can view here listings on her profile here: There are five apartments, but only three are on airbnb. We actually stayed in a different one than we booked, but had discussed that with her in advance for payment and scheduling purposes. She is great and would be easy to work with via email as well. Her contact is Hope this is helpful!

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