Heading to Cuenca soon and want to equip yourself with plenty of knowledge about accommodation options? YapaTree is here to help! We’re going to guide you through the common short-term property rental platforms, give you the lowdown on some of Cuenca’s best accommodation, and provide some other ideas you might not have yet considered.
All of the following information is based on the presumption that you’re a single person coming for one month, so if you’re reading this in anticipation of an exploratory visit, the advice may apply to you too.
Booking.com – Aggregate all of the Hotels and Hostels
Booking is a reliable platform with many payment options and all sorts of properties available:
- Cuenca currently lists 88 properties for month-long stays
- The cheapest option is the Mochiliers Hostel for $180*, giving you a bed in an 8-bed dorm
- At the other end of the scale, a month at Mansion Alcazar will set you back over $6,200*
- La Querencia offers the cheapest private room on booking.com, at $241 for a month
- The highest-rated property in Cuenca is Gran Colombia Suites, a YapaTree partner. We’ll discuss them further down this article
*not including taxes
Hostelworld – Not Only for Hostels
The most popular hostel booking website is good for those travelling on a budget and who are happy to share a dorm with others. There are 15 listings for the next month:
- Mochiliers Hostel again comes up as the cheapest option, though it’s $7 per night on this platform (more expensive than booking.com)
- The most expensive listing is the Hotel El Conquistador, at $54 per night
- La Casa Cuencana is the best-rated place, with private rooms for $23 per night
- The best deals can be found for Selina Hotel and Co-living Space, which we will discuss later in this piece
Airbnb – The Most Popular Short-Term Rental Option
With over 300 properties listed all over Cuenca, it’s most likely that you’ll find your perfect digital nomad rental for your time here through Airbnb. Use the search filter to narrow your results, set your budget, and choose the right area. The first thing you want to change is the ‘Type of Place’, whether an entire place, a private room, a hotel room, or a shared room.
- The cheapest private room, which is a bit out of town, is available for just $160 a month
- Private rooms in the historical centre typically start from around $350 per month
- Ordoñez Lasso, where many ex-pats choose to live, is situated in the north-west of Cuenca and you can find rentals there starting from around $250
- With around a $500 per month budget, you’ll be able to get your own house or apartment
Note that quality varies and there’s a huge mix of classic and modern styles. Cuenca is an old and historical city, especially in the centre, but the further you stay from the centre the more likely you will be to find a modern place with all the mod cons.
Housesitting – Stay in Cuenca for Free!
If you’re lucky, you might be able to find a housesitting opportunity and avoid having to pay anything at all! These opportunities come and go quickly, but whilst the following websites often have listings, the best thing to do is join some local Facebook groups. At this time, there doesn’t seem to be a dedicated group just for housesitting.
Homestays – Get a Cultural Experience
Homestay.com is a great website to look on for a place to stay, especially if your objective is to improve your Spanish on this trip to Cuenca. Live with an Ecuadorean family and you will have a great opportunity to learn about the culture, customs, cuisine, and so much more, making your trip to Cuenca a much richer experience.
Couchsurfing is another option, though you’ll need to sign up for the service to access and view the potential listings.
You can also try some of the Spanish schools to help you find a homestay as they sometimes have good connections with local families. One example to try is Fausto from CCC Spanish.
Selina Hotel & Co-Living
One of my personal favourites, and perhaps where I would rent if I were here just for a month, is Selina Hotel. I had the pleasure of getting a private tour of this incredible colonial building, hotel, and co-working space for my YouTube channel and I encourage you to watch that below. You’ll see that the co-working space is more than adequate, there are plenty of social events to keep you busy, and that both the dorms ($270) and private rooms ($450) are well worth their prices.
At $672 per month for a single room, Apartments Otorongo is well priced and proven to be incredibly popular with those doing their exploratory trips. Being pet-friendly, well-situated, and very comfortable has helped them to build a strong reputation. The aparthotel is just a few minutes walk from the historical centre and is right on the Rio Tomebamba.
Their entire service is almost tailor-made for those doing their exploratory trips, with plenty of tours and support offered. You’ll get a real family feel here too, with the owners living on-site and doing their best to overcome the stuffy way that hotels are often run.
Get a FREE YapaTree card for stays of more than one month. Existing YapaTree members can get 15% off for stays of less than a month. See full deal details.
Gran Colombia Suites
You’ll pay around $1,070 for a month (including taxes), making them a direct competitor of Apartments Otorongo, but appealing in many ways to a different audience. What we like is that they are both on the YapaTree Card! With a YapaTree Card, you’ll get 20% off your 1st stay and 10% off subsequent stays. See full deal details.
Gran Colombia suites are located on… Gran Colombia! This is one of the most ornate and busy streets in the city centre, just metres away from the central square (Parque Calderon). Almost every building on this street is elegant, though most are overshadowed by the decorative architecture of this hotel. The apartments they offer might be costly, but if you’ve got the money, there are few better places to stay while you’re here as a digital nomad.
Now, for me personally, I didn’t want to pay $1,000+ for an apartment, so I shopped around. What I did is something I’ve done before whilst travelling as a digital nomad in order to get a better deal.
- I searched for a place I like on Airbnb
- I found one I like and contacted the person who had listed it
- I also spotted the name of the building in one photo, googled it, and contacted them directly via WhatsApp
- I used both channels to separately ask for a better price if we avoid going through a booking platform (commissions are no joke)
- I managed to get roughly half the price of what it was being listed for on Airbnb
- I agreed to a 3-month let, enough time to get my Professional Visa and look for a better long term stay
Solano Suites are on Av. Solano and I highly recommend them. There are about 20 suites, two lovely flowery courtyards, a full-time caretaker called Kaicer who is just the nicest guy, and things always work. I had no issue with water, electricity, Wi-Fi (albeit a little slow), security, or noise (apart from my god-awful neighbour). For me, this place was the almost-perfect landing pad that I needed to launch my Cuenca life from.
Looking for a Coworking Space?
YapaTree recently welcomed La Ofi to our discount card, giving our members a free 1-day trial and 10% off their first month of membership. This is a luxury working space based on the design and quality of WeWork in San Francisco.
Watch a tour and interview with the founder here:
Looking for a longer stay?
If you’ve fallen in love with Cuenca and want to pursue a traditional lease, then you can find an apartment for rent on the YapaTree property platform.
Or, if you’d like someone to help find and book your short term accommodation options, feel free to contact YapaTree and we can do the leg work and book for you (at no additional fee).
Have we missed your favourite digital nomad accommodation option?
Please let us know the option and why you like it in the comments below. This will help others and we may also update the article to include it later on.