Saturday, January 29, 2011

Walking Our Own Neighborhood -- Gringolandia???

We live in a 10 story apt building called Edificio Los Pinos, about a half block from theTomebamba River,in the west part of town.  If you're looking at a map of Cuenca, we're sort of near the Oro Verde Hotel.

Some folks who sell real estate here, call our neighborhood 'where the gringos live'.  One of the high rise buildings close by (about 20 or so stories) is sometimes called the Gringo Palace.  But, we don't know how many gringos live in the neighborhood.  In our 10 story building, we like that only 3 other gringos live here.  Some of our expat friends also say that there are more Ecuadorians in their buildings than gringos.  We haven't done the reasearch or the math, so we can't say if this area is Gringolandia or not.  There are other areas of Cuenca where you'll find gringos, too.

We decided to walk the neighborhood and take some pictures of the highrises, especially of the huge complex called Terrazza, right next to the river.  We've heard that about 10-15 units have been sold to gringos, but not sure.  We've also heard the total building is sold out.  The complex is gigantic!  We tried to get some pics for those who have been asking...but we've had to do it in pieces. 

The Terrazza is the construction we've been watching grow from  our porch over the last several months...occupancy of some of the units is slated for later this year.

Taken from street level, on Av. Los Pinos.  You can see some windows have been installed...

Looking back toward Av Ordonez Lasso... 3 high rises.  On the left of the photo is Terrazza.  Middle building is Los Pinos (our building) and the right is the new one across the street from us, still under construction, Edificio Amazonas.

More shots of Terrazza, taken from the river side...

Walking along the river, several other views of Terrazza, as well as the other highrises.


A colorful view of laundry day at the river...and a recycler of cardboard...

New shop across from the river, about half block from Terrazza...  fung shui, reiki and yoga!

Back side (river side) of Oro Verde Hotel...we took a coffee break here and headed back along Av Ordonez Lasso.

Edificio Palarmo, across the street from the Oro Verde Hotel.

We posted an earlier shot of this 'hole in the ground' for a new building...some progress...  

This is a picture of the sign for the new building.

Here is the building right next door to the new construction...looks like 'zero lot line' from the new one, called River View, going up...

Another new shop along O. Lasso...and a lovely old house...

We made it back home as the afternoon rains began. 

Is this Gringolandia?  Not sure, but it's a neighborhood of new construction, many highrises, some services and some local color. 

The walk along the river is lovely, with tall trees and good smells and the sounds of rushing water. 

It's also a neighborhood of dust, construction noise, traffic and bus fumes along Av Ordonez Lasso.  Do we like this neighborhood?  Today, we do.  We still like the views of the river, the sky and the mountains from our porch.  We like that we can easily walk to the local Supermaxi, the big people's market (Feria Libre), the Co-op and some other good services, like Sukasa, for upscale shopping.  It takes us about 40 minutes to walk to downtown. 

We're not sure when the big road construction at the traffic circle will begin.  The City has plans to build an overpass...which we think means traffic will be re-routed around, maybe toward the nieghborhood streets and the river.  It's a huge project and may take some time to complete, once it's begun.

But, there are other perfectly good neighborhoods here in Cuenca, too.  If you're visiting or moving here, you just got to check them all out to find the best one for you.  Lots of choices.

Interspersed among the modern highrises, there are beautiful gardens...

One more pic...  taken on busy Av. Ordonez Lasso as we turned our corner for home...a little bit of country in the middle of Cuenca!


  1. Great photos Nancy, Why didn't you stop by our house when you were out! We could have coffee'd you!

  2. Thanx for you pix and posts. I am now spending 7 days in Quito, then bussing to Cuenca for an 11 week stay. Checking it all out for retirement/expatriation. Hope to run into you and others who have been so helpful with your blogs!

  3. How did you decide which area to move to? Did you look all over? Or just decide that it was closer to some of the friends that you had made? Just wondering. Thanks for the info. Sue

  4. HI Sue, actually, we looked all over the City. We must have looked at close to 50 properties before we found our apt...a little of everything, from apts/condos, houses, old adobes, new construction and old. We were looking for a porch...hard to find in those days. soon as we saw the porch, we knew this was the place for us! Later, I could remember all the views and the porch, but had to re-look at the pics to remember the other details, including how many bedrooms/baths, type of floors, kitchen layout, etc. Turns out, we lucked out on the neighborhood, too. We had a very patient realtor helping us.