If you are looking for a place to stay in Cuenca, I highly recommend lodging with Yolanda Colmenares and her family. Staying with a local family is a really fantastic experience and a great way to get to know about the city whilst also learning some Spanish.
I stayed for two weeks with the Colmenares in a very comfortable room with a private bathroom. The house is in a very safe and pleasant neighborhood within an easy walking distance of the Centre of town. Everyone in the family was extremely welcoming and were very helpful in giving tips about the city.
The family are from Venezuela but have lived in Ecuador for a number of years so it was a great way to experience both Ecuadorian and Venezuelan culture (as well as delicious food).
I was slightly apprehensive about doing a homestay before coming to Cuenca but cannot recommend it highly enough after my experience with Yolanda and her family. I combined my homestay with language lessons but this is completely optional. The lessons were organized by Yanapuma Language School which, again, I would highly recommend to anyone looking to improve their Spanish while in Cuenca.
I had wonderful days in cuenca. It was amazing!!! Especially I would like to recommend the place where I booked which is near the city center, you can go walking about 20 min. and you can just enjoy the beatiful avenius and scenery. Overall I enjoyed pulcritude, breakfasts, green juice, closeness, warmth and enthusiasm in "Yolanda's House" I went but I want come back at the same place.
I stayed with Sra. Yolanda for five days and was delighted by her welcoming hospitality, healthy tasty meals and comfortable, quiet accommodation. She works hard to attend to her guests and make them feel welcomed. She uses organic produce and takes her time to prepare each meal. The meal plan is not required to stay there but economical and a pleasant time to chat with her and her family when they visit. Yolanda, her son, and her sister helped me practice my Spanish and provided useful knowledge advice about Cuenca and surroundings. It takes about 25 minutes to walk from her home to the main central plaza. Buses are also available. Yolanda's son is also available for salsa lessons in the home, and is a very patient and fun teacher!
My wife and I have stayed with Yolanda Colmenares for two weeks. We love the hospitality, healthy cooking, and hospitality. Our room is comfortable and quiet. We have been lucky to find such a wonderful homestay.
Sra. Colmenares also rents rooms with or without meals.
This secure home is within walking distance to El Centro in Cuenca. Yolanda is a lovely hostess who prepares breakfast using all organic fresh produce. The rooms are very clean and comfortable. Yolandas son Carlos Colmenares also teaches private Latin dance classes and I would highly recommend taking a class from him.
We stayed at Yolanda´s guesthouse for 4 nights and it was an absolute pleasure. The house is in a safe gated complex and the house itself is well furnished, clean and very comfortable. The night we arrived Yolanda was waiting to at the gate to greet us and made us feel very welcomed. Our bedroom was lovely, spacious, bright and clean, as was the bathroom. Breakfast each morning was a real treat -each day was a different menu, home cooked and delicious. We were genuinely sad to leave as Yolanda and her son Carlos made it feel like home.
I'm thrilled to discover Yolanda Colmenares is now on Trip Advisor so that I can post a review. In July of 2015 I traveled alone to Cuenca to study Spanish. With connections through the school, I landed at Yolanda's for a 3-week homestay. I wanted to experience the culture within the context of a family. When I arrived at Yolanda's clean, bright and comfortable home, she welcomed me as if we were already friends. Her cheerful demeanor, her willingness to help me navigate a place I'd never travelled, and her genuine pleasure at making me feel at home proved her the perfect hostess. I looked forward to breakfast every day because Yolanda's home cooking is both delicious and nutritious. The fresh juice she prepares in the blender each morning (from one or more of Ecuador's amazing fruits) should not be missed. If you're lucky, you'll get to savor her arepas.
The Colmenares' home is situated in a very safe neighborhood that’s just a quick (and inexpensive) taxi ride to the Old Colonial Center of the city. I preferred to walk to my Spanish classes in "El Centro" because the stroll along the Riobamba River, and the walk up the steps to the old part of town, proved to be such pleasant exercise.
At Yolanda's house I was provided many opportunities to practice my Spanish, but I could also revert to English if needed. When I wanted to be alone, I retreated to my room and wasn't disturbed. My experience with Yolanda and her family created memories I cherish and lasting friendships as well. May it be your good fortune to spend time at the Colmenares' Homestay!
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